My Home Birth
On the 28th October I was due to meet my midwife for what would hopefully be my last appointment, I was 39 weeks and 5 days gestation. She had offered to do a stretch and sweep that day if I wanted. Unfortunately, she had been at births during the night and had to reschedule for the next day, I was a little disappointed but still feeling good. That evening I had started to have some irregular and non-painful contractions and I knew this was probably it, I sent my midwife a text to give her the heads up and off I went to bed.
On Tuesday the 29th October I woke up to contractions slowly intensifying, I was managing them well and they were still irregular but I decided to call my midwife and let her know I would prefer not to come to my 11.30 appointment as I was sure the baby would be coming today and I didn’t want to be caught with painful contractions at the clinic which was 40 minutes from home. She agreed to come to my home instead.
My step mum had come around to braid my hair in preparation for labour. My midwife arrived around 11 and did all the usual checks, everything looks spot on and I was still managing the contractions well. I agreed to a stretch and sweep, I was about 2 cm dilated but his head wasn’t fully engaged quite yet so I was given some exercises to do to encourage him into the right position. Immediately after the stretch and sweep my contractions ramped up, I thought maybe my midwife had just irritated things and that it would settle down. She left around midday with instructions to call when contractions were 3 in 10 minutes and about a minute long.
At 1.56 pm between contractions I managed to send my step mum a text to come back, I also messaged my Sister in Law to come as she was going to help with my oldest son Lucas and lastly I messaged my best friend to let her know it was happening and I wouldn't be able to reply to her anymore. I turned on my music, a spotify playlist with chilled music, had my diffuser going with Clary Sage and my fairy lights on. Everything was perfect and I was so ready to meet my little boy.
I persisted through the contractions for as long as I could before finally contacting my midwife at 2.55 pm. I wasn't timing my contractions but I knew they were coming every couple of minutes but were not very long (they never did last longer than a minute). She was somewhat sceptical at first however stayed with me on the phone through a contraction, once it passed she told me she was packing her bags and would be here soon. It would take at least 40 minutes in good traffic for her to get to me. I continued to labour on the floor and on the toilet where my bowels were preparing. While I was waiting for my midwife to arrive I started violently shaking, I had a brief moment of thinking I couldn't do it and would need to go to hospital for the epidural before quickly realising I was probably in transition. I felt so much more present in comparison to my first birth, I was even able to talk and sing in the very short break between contractions at one point I was even able to tell someone to turn the music back on after it switched off.
My midwife arrived just before 4 pm and realised things were progressing fairly quickly so decided to call our second midwife and her student to attend. Around this time my sister in law decided to take my toddler to the park as a distraction. I finally got into the birth pool around 4.20 pm, it was such an amazing relief especially since I had this worry that I either wouldn't make it into the pool in time or I wouldn't want to get in. Although calm, I was a little tense in the pool because it felt like I needed to poo during contractions so I was 'holding on'. My midwife could see me resisting and with the most calm and soft voice she told me it was OK to let go now and trust in my body and my baby, so that I did. During my next contraction I completely relaxed and realised that I was pushing and it was not a poo, thank goodness LOL! 14 minutes of active pushing and out came my beautiful baby boy caught by his daddy and brought up to my chest, we gave him a little rub and soft blow on the face and he let out a little cry. What sweet relief after feeling like I was being ripped in half. In comes my toddler Lucas after returning from the park, my sister in law walking straight past not having realised the baby had been born. Lucas was more interested in getting into the pool with me than the fact I had a baby in my arms.
I had planned for a physiological 3rd stage (natural delivery of placenta without the oxytocin injection). I kept the umbilical cord attached until the placenta was delivered and it had stopped pulsating. This took 24 minutes with a little effort on my part, a little pushing had the placenta partially delivered then I stood up in the pool and quite literally bounced it out into a sieve. Baby in arms and giggling surrounded by everyone, what a sight it must have been for them. I asked my step mum to cut the cord. At this point I got out of the pool and was ready to have a shower, it was Daddy's turn for skin to skin. After my shower I got back onto the bed and had a cuddle with my big boy Lucas before having some more skin to skin time with my new baby, we cuddled and practised breastfeeding. All checks were done on me and baby before having a 2nd degree tear stitched by my midwife.
Once the formalities were over and done with, my midwives left and we enjoyed cuddles with our newest baby surrounded by family and in the comfort of our own home. Active Labour was roughly 4hrs in total, what a whirlwind. Looking back there isn't a single thing I would change. Having a Home birth was absolutely the best decision and if I were to ever have another baby (not that I am planning to) I would 100% have it at home again!
Introducing Levi John, born on 29th October 2019 at 4.49pm.
Weighing in at 3.59kg and 55cm in length.