Thank you to Hayley Jane for sharing this amazing water birth story for us. Here’s her story:
“My due date according to me was 15/03/2017 but the doctors went off my scan and estimated 12/03/2017 so to them I was 4 days over on the 16th and I was having my bloods taken every 3 days for them to have a record of my blood count at the hospital in case I needed a blood transfusion as I did with my first baby due to him being back to back, ventouse then forceps delivery with a very bad 3rd degree tear, and the full works!
My midwife Kelsey was lovely and I had a very good bond with her as she had helped me fight for my homebirth but the 16th was her last day on call and then she was off for a week so I agreed to a sweep in the morning whilst she was here taking my bloods (although I was initially against a sweep). She gave me the sweep and said she could feel baby’s head which was very exciting and that I was 1cm dilated and instructed me to go and have sex and then skin to skin contact to get my oxytocin released lol.
I went and got my shopping just in case anything was to happen and whilst I was out I had the odd, quite powerful Braxton Hicks, but I had been having Braxton Hicks since around 20weeks and in the last couple of weeks, they had been getting stronger and stronger and I kept thinking labour was starting so I ignored them and carried on my day. When I got home, My oh, Liam put some Clary Sage in the diffuser and stuck some Al Green on (jokingly as it’s what we conceived to) and we decided to have sex.
Afterwards, we lay their cuddling having skin to skin and I felt overwhelmingly in love and happy and ready.. at that moment I started getting surges but I was still dubious with all my false alarm Braxton Hicks but these felt a little different, a little more real. Liam went to pick My 9 year old son Ajay up from football and I went to make tea as I wanted to keep things normal for as long as possible, it was 5:30pm and I managed to put the tea on quickly sitting and rocking on my birthing ball every time I felt a surge but within that half an hour, the surges definitely picked up and were coming every 3-4minutes, lasting about 30-35seconds. I phoned my mum and she listened in on the phone and said it was definitely labour so I txt my midwife and went into my birthing room with my ball just as Liam and Ajay got back.
I found they were ramping up quite quickly. My midwife was on her way, as was my Mum and Dad and I felt that being on my hands and knees, leaning over my ball and taking nice deep breathes was the easiest way to cope with them. I tried to use the tens machine but I didn’t have pain in my back, it was all in my lower abdomen and the tens machine just made them stronger and more difficult to breath through. Liam and Ajay were quickly setting up the room, lighting candles and putting my affirmations on and filling the pool.
I’m not sure how long had passed but my midwife arrived quite quickly and timed my surges. She wanted to examine me which I had agreed to previously before getting in the pool but I was finding it difficult to lie on my back and relax enough so she offered me the gas and air to help me to relax for the examination and I agreed, my other midwife Lisa had just arrived with it. I wanted to work with my midwife as much as I could to get the best possible birth and she also knew my wishes and wanted to help respect those as much as possible too. I had the gas and air which I was a little nervous about as I am so in tune with my body and hate feeling anything strange and I am quite an anxious person but the gas and air instantly relaxed me.
I was 5cm dilated, yay! I couldn’t believe it as it had only been an hour or so. I really wanted to get off my back and be active in the pool so I got myself in the pool (my Mum and Dad also arrived at this point.) Liam got in with me and I leaned over the edge using the gas and air (it was too much a relief after I had already started to use it but I do think that I may have been able to cope a little longer without it by just breathing if I hadn’t started using it)
Liam sat behind me in the pool holding my hand and stroking my back and my mum was sat in front of me (out of the pool lol) holding my other hand and I just breathed in and out, listening to my affirmations and I can remember feeling like I was having an out of body experience, it was strange and I was completely in a zone, looking at the affirmations on the wall, and listening and breathing… Ajay came in to hold my hand and tell me how much he loved me and I was so in awe of him at that moment but felt things were piping up a little and I was so scared of scaring him so asked my dad to look after him for a while.
I suddenly felt a lot of pressure down below and it was very intense and I asked Liam to put his hand there and hold me (strangely this helped and I ordered him not to move his hand lol) the pressure built up and up and up and then all of a sudden, my waters broke (onto Liam’s hand lol) it was such an amazing relief! I think being in the water for it may have made the pressure so intense but the feeling of it all coming out was good!
Anyway, I quickly went back to my breathing and zoned back out. My midwife Kelsey was also sat in front of me and guiding me, every time I felt unsure, I looked to her and she quickly reassured me. I kept getting the urge to push and I couldn’t control it but Kelsey kept telling me to breathe and not push so when my body impulsively tried to push hard, I forced myself to breath it and moan through it instead. I felt like I had been doing this for a long time and she just kept telling me that me and Charlie were doing it together, nice and slowly to stretch everything properly and I was trying to avoid a tear again so I knew she was right and continued.
I had been on my hands and knees for so long and I needed to change position but I had built it up in my head that that was the best position for birth 😕
I managed to change position and Liam sat behind me and I sat on him, in his arms which was such a relieving comfort, he kept whispering in my ears my affirmations and telling me how strong and beautiful I am and that I could do this. It was very intense at this point and a number of times, I said I couldn’t do it (knowing full well I had to lol)
Everyone that was there at this point which was 2 midwives, a student whom at some point they had asked me if she could come in to watch and I agreed (anything to help you know ☺) my Mum, Dad, Ajay and Liam, they were all there and being so amazingly supportive in some way and I felt so much love and support in my home that I believed I could do it.
That urge to push came and he was coming.. my bodies first instinct was to try and push hard to get him out but I stayed in control and breathed hard down instead. Honestly this exact moment when his head was coming, it was the most intense thing I have ever felt, I was breathing with the gas and air so strong and my partner was holding my hand and it was so intense and I really felt like I floated out of my body for a moment whilst he was coming and then they took the gas and air off me and asked me to breath alone whilst the last part of his head came out. I couldn’t look but I could hear everyone saying how amazing it was as I slowed all my breathing right down to help his head come out really slowly and turn.
The head was there and it was stinging but not unbearable and with my final surge, I breathed his little body out and felt a massive relief, they told me to pull him out but I could still feel his legs inside wriggling and needed a little help so Kelsey helped me bring him up out of the water and onto my chest and oh wow… what an absolutely amazing moment… the whole of me was so consumed and overwhelmed with love and amazement at what had happened. He was so quiet and then let out this little cough and splutter and then opened his little eyes. Ajay was outside the door listening and came in as soon as he was born and I just felt in love. In love with Charlie, in love with Ajay and Liam and everyone that was there helping, my home felt like a huge love bubble.
We stayed in the pool for a little while but I really wanted to get out and get Charlie on my skin properly (I had a sports bra on) and I knew we needed to check to see if there was a tear or how much I was bleeding so we moved into my main living room and I got on the sofa which they had already covered over with lots and lots of sheets.
I held Charlie and delivered the placenta then everyone except Charlie was asked to leave whilst they examined me to see if I had tore. I was so nervous but Kelsey and Lisa’s faces were so excited. They checked me over, my bleeding was normal and I had a tiny graze which wasn’t even bleeding. They were both so thrilled for me and I was so proud of myself. All my consultant and doctors appointments fighting for my home birth and all their risks of everything bad that could happen had disappeared and I had proved them all wrong.
Everything was perfect, everything is. I am so happy that I can look back at this birth and feel happy and excited about it, everyone there said it was amazing to be a part of it and I just couldn’t have asked for anything more. Hypnobirthing, being in my own home and having loving and supportive people with me helped me achieve all of that and I strongly suggest it to every pregnant woman out there. Charlie is perfect and my little family is complete”