Before I was planning on giving birth, it never even crossed my mind that a home birth was something I could or WOULD be able to do.
When I was around 25 weeks pregnant my Mum actually suggested that I think about having a home birth but I laughed it off. At the time I couldn’t imagine anything worse, not having doctors around, not having pain relief if I needed it, and what if something went wrong? She explained that when she was giving birth to me she got so stressed she ended up needing a c-section! My Mum thinks this was down to everything going on around her, drugs being pushed on her left right and centre and an overwhelming feeling of not being in control.
Whilst at an antenatal class one day, the topic of conversation turned to home births and I must say, everyone in the room seemed to be 100% against the idea apart from me, I guess after speaking with my Mum I wanted more information, and my tutor told me all the pros and cons to having a home birth and the statistics.
I spent days going over everything in my head and then… I shouted at my partner I WANT A HOME BIRTH. Of course he was totally against the idea. After a couple of discussions I just about managed to talk him around. We are only 10 minutes from the hospital, 5 by ambulance. If anything was to go wrong it was safer for me to be at home than in the nearest midwife unit.
I wanted my partner to be able to stay with me the whole time, I didn’t want to have to spend the first night with my baby in hospital, I didn’t want any pain relief pushed on me and I wanted a water birth.
On my next midwife visit we explained that we wanted a home birth, I was kind of expecting her to try and talk me out of it, but no she loved the idea, she booked in a home visit and made me feel 100% comfortable with my decision!
When it came to telling family and friends, 99% of them disagreed with our plan saying I was putting my baby in danger. It’s not a done thing there is a massive stigma around home birth which doesn’t need to be there. We stood our ground and explained that this is the way we want to do it, it’s my body and our baby!
When my midwife came to visit at home she did all the usual things, I then had to sign a disclaimer about all the risks of having a baby at home in my midwifes words “these are exactly the same risks you would have in a hospital they just don’t have to get you to sign in hospital” she made me feel so good about my decision.
We decided to buy a pool for the birth as it cost just as much renting one as it did to buy one! The only mistake we made was not testing it before I went into labor.
Eviction day was here I started having twinges and pains, we rang the midwife and she came to check on me I wasn’t in full blown labor but we knew I wasn’t far off. My partner was told to get the pool ready this was at 4pm she said she would come back in two hours but if anything was to happen or I needed pain relief to ring her straight away. I rang my mum telling her baby was on her way and to set off as she lives two hours away.
When my mum arrived at 6:00 my contractions started getting more intense I needed gas and air just as I said the words HELP ME my midwife pulled up with gas and air on hand what a life saver! As soon as she walked through the door she said get that pool filled, that was my partners job he connected the hose to realise we had the wrong fitting! So my mum and him filled the pool using a baby bath which took forever! Looking back I think this was a good thing as it kept him occupied rather than stressing me out.
My midwife didn’t leave my side I started getting back pains and she helped by pressing my back, she helped me with breathing and checked on baby’s heart beat constantly. It got to about half past 7 and the pain was becoming increasingly difficult to handle I was asking to get in the pool actually no I was begging to get in as soon as the midwife gave me the all clear I jumped in, wow what a relief!!
I was in the pool for around half an hour able to move around and get into a position which was comfy for me and then I had this big urge to (as I said it) I NEED A POO! This was obviously me getting to the pushing stage! My midwife rang her colleague telling her she needed to get here as baby is coming!
When the second midwife arrived I was at the stage of pushing! I was no longer on gas and air as it was just getting in the way. My body took over and I felt like my mind was no longer in control very weird feeling. All I can remember is my midwife playing with my fake tan as I had been to a wedding days before and not letting go of my partners hands. After half a hour of pushing my baby girl had arrived I won’t lie, it bloody hurt, but it was also the most amazing experience ever!
I decided to get the injection to pass the placenta as at this point I’d had enough. My partner cut the cord and then helped me out of the pool onto the sofa, which had shower curtains on for any blood. Whilst the midwifes checked Hallie quickly.
The midwife then helped me latch Hallie to breastfeed and have skin to skin. Soon it was time for the dreaded stitches! I only had a graze so only had a couple but honestly that hurt more than labor!! Whilst this was happening my partner had skin to skin.
The midwifes then cleared up everything and weighed Hallie and checked her over again. And helped me to make sure I knew how to feed her. They told me all about safe sleeping what to look out for and who to contact. Hallie had cuddles with my mum, my mil and sil as my partner had rung them to come over for 5 minutes, then everyone left and we went to bed. Well not exactly ….. we spent most of the night checking she was breathing.
I can honestly say this was the best experience of my life! I would recommend anyone who is thinking about a home birth to look into it.
You don’t have to be strong willed. You don’t have to have a high pain threshold, I cry at everything! If you believe in yourself and your body you can do anything!
However or wherever you decide to give brith you will be amazing!