Mama J – “I’d recommend a homebirth to anyone thinking about it, it’s a beautiful feeling to give birth in your own home, and it makes you realise how natural the whole process is. Everyone we dealt with was very supportive of our decision and hypnobirthing gave me the confidence to go ahead with it.”
Our son was born on the 5th April 2019, at 2:52am, weighing 8lb exactly. I had only considered having a home birth a few weeks before due date, as the birth of our daughter was very quick and uncomplicated, and at the time one of the midwives had said to think about a homebirth next time. We had done hypnobirthing with Claire for both pregnancies and liked the idea of a relaxed birth at home.
This started to become a reality when we were offered the use of a birthing pool by my sister-in-law, followed by a very positive home visit by the midwife. My husband was keen to be present for the visit and ask questions, and from that point onwards everything was planned on the basis that it would happen at home, but always with the option to go to hospital if needed.
After the due date of 31st March passed, I was offered a sweep on the 4th April. Having been two weeks overdue first time around, I went ahead, but was sceptical whether it would have any impact (as it didn’t with the first pregnancy). How wrong could I be?! Walking around Aldi that afternoon I knew something was happening, and felt discomfort that I hadn’t had with our daughter. These came and went sporadically and it was only after putting our daughter to bed that I realised how regularly the feelings were coming.
At this point my husband started timing the surges and they were only 10 minutes apart, we ate, used the birthing ball and I tried going to bed, however they became more intense and I couldn’t lie down. We called the hospital, who initially said to phone back later, but during the call and after I could feel things were moving quickly. So, a minute later, I phoned back and they said a midwife was on her way.
My husband sprang into action, filling the pool which is not a quick job, especially getting the temperature right. The joke for the night was how many times would he boil the kettle and heat up the water! Meanwhile our daughter had been collected by grandparents to spend the night at their house. Whilst the pool was filling I was having regular surges under the supervision of the first midwife, with cheesy pop music in the background. After about an hour from the initial call the second midwife arrived, with gas and air which was much needed by that time.
Once the pool was at the right temperature, it felt amazing to get in and it helped with managing the surges. The midwives were extremely calm, and made regular checks to ensure no issues with the baby’s heart rate. I initially was able to sit on the seat for the surges but trusted my instinct and moved to a kneeling position against the side of the pool. I was encouraged to touch our baby’s head as he was crowning, this was an amazing feeling and it gave me the strength to push twice more to deliver him. Our son was born in his membrane in the water, and as soon as this was removed I held him next to me with only his head above the water. This was the most beautiful moment, and soon after I was able to hold him sitting on my sofa in the comfort of our home, which was completely relaxing.
The midwives stayed with us until 6am to do the necessary checks, the rocky road I’d made the day before was very popular all round, and the icing on the cake was the glass of Prosecco in bed about 8am! I’d recommend a homebirth to anyone thinking about it, it’s a beautiful feeling to give birth in your own home, and it makes you realise how natural the whole process is. Everyone we dealt with was very supportive of our decision and hypnobirthing gave me the confidence to go ahead with it.