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Home / Birth Stories / Birth Stories
26 Oct 2019

Empowered home birth

Baby Leon was born at 10:21 on Saturday 26th October weighing a healthy 8lb 11!

My waters broke at 2:30pm on Friday. I’d been having irregular surges before but thought it was Braxton Hicks! I was getting surges but not at regular intervals until 6:30pm. At this point they were coming fast every 5-7 mins but were manageable.

As per Anna’s advice we had a date night and had some mood lighting and we got a fish and chips takeaway and watched two movies whilst I bounced on my birthing Ball with the clary sage and lavender essential oils in the diffuser.

Surges got to about 4 mins intervals lasting 40 secs and at 2:30am the midwife came out to check on us and did a vaginal examination. I was only 2cm dilated (which was devastating news at the time) We knew we were on the clock as the rule is you have 18 hrs after waters breaking before having to go to hospital for antibiotics because of risk of infection. The midwife left us and my surges ramped up. I was using a tens machine but I really don’t think it did a lot for me (I don’t know if I left it too late to use it?) so I got in the birthing pool we had set up in our lounge. I used my breathing techniques to help manage the sensations.

When I was in the pool I started to get a pushing sensation but just thought I was constipated. Turns out I was actually bearing down and at the pushing stage! Our midwife came back about 7am and found I was fully dilated and I really needed some stronger pain relief so started the gas and air which give me some relief. The 2nd midwife turned up at this point. I was tired and hadn’t slept and had no energy and just could not push baby out.

After 3 hours of pushing I got out of the pool and we tried numerous positions to try and make it easier for baby to make his way out. I also stopped the gas and air to try and get back in tune with my body better. The baby had to get out or I was going to have to be blue lighted to hospital.

The midwives made the call to give me an episiotomy and we decided to go ahead with it to try and help our baby to be birthed. With some intense squatting supported by my partner, two surges and the head was out. Another surge and the rest of baby was out and he went straight on me for skin to skin.

Because it had been so long since my waters broke and I had been pushing for quite some time we decided to have a managed 3rd stage. The placenta came out straight away but we still managed to get 3 mins of goodness from the cord before my birth partner cut it! Our beautiful baby boy was born at 10:21am and my lovely husband got to cut the cord and announce that we had a boy.

It took the midwives 20 mins to clean and stitch me back up for which thankfully I had anaesthetic and gas and air. The delivery suite wanted us to go in for observation but we used the BRAIN tool and talked it through with our midwives and decided to stay at home.

The Midwife stayed with us until about 1ish and then came back at 5ish to check up on us. The midwives were amazing because they knew me (continuity of care team) and knew what birth I wanted. They did everything they could to respect my wishes and ensure that I could stay at home for the birth. I would say my birth experience was positive because I got to deliver my baby at home and the midwives were just so amazing. Looking back I definitely know I didn’t eat or drink enough sugar during labour as I did start to run out of steam which slowed my surges at the end. Having a cold was unfortunate as it meant that I struggled to breathe through the surges. In the early stages I found visualising blowing a dandelion helped and when it got more intense I did the counting in for 4 and out for 8. I found the mantra I can do anything for 60 seconds helped and also saying goodbye to each contraction because you’re never seeing it again really helped me. After my birth I felt so exhausted but so elated and empowered that I’d given birth to my little boy at our home and made informed decisions before and during and don’t have any regrets (except not eating enough sweets!)

I forgot to add in there that Nick massaging my back really helped with pain relief (more so than the tens machine for me!)