We had 4 paramedics, 2 midwives, my mother and my husband
This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course with Anna Owen of Rock Your Birth, covering Bromsgrove and Worcestershire
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with is!
When I opted for a homebirth at 36 weeks I was slightly apprehensive. This was my second baby, the first of which was born at the local midwife led unit at 39+6 in a very straight forward water birth that I hoped to emulate.
Fast forward to March and our local MLU was shut so it could be used for pregnant ladies with COVID symptoms. At this stage I changed my mind and requested a homebirth but was told I’d need to wait and see whether my local trust were still supporting home births when I got closer to my due date.
During this pregnancy so many things seemed far beyond my control and as someone who thrives on having plans I did start to struggle. A friend suggested hypnobirthing and I came across Rock My Birth which was a shining light during lock down. The classes and teachings helped me work through the challenges we encountered which included transverse lie, footling breech, PGP, the reduced antenatal care, the restrictions put in place due to COVID, the closure of the local MLU, being furloughed etc. etc.
Luckily our local trust was able to support home births throughout the pandemic so as soon as I was signed off from consultant led care at 36 weeks I discussed a homebirth with my community midwife. She was very supportive. The decision to homebirth was made to ensure I would have the water birth I felt I needed and as such I set about sourcing a pool and all the bits that would help me create a positive birth space at home.
My “due date” came and went and I became more frustrated having never gone “over due” before. I tried to focus on the fact the date I had been given was more of a guess date and tried to focus on activities to boost my oxytocin levels. We went on lots of family outings, enjoyed lunch out and I went on plenty of walks. Having Anna (from Rock Your Birth) on hand for support or to act as a sounding board was a great help especially during those last couple of weeks.
I woke at 5 am on 27th July (a week after my guess date, 41 weeks) with period pain type cramps but didn’t want to get my hopes up. I got my son ready for holiday club and then set off on a 5 k walk. On the return from the walk I noticed what I thought were intense BH. By lunch time they got to the stage where I needed to pop the tens machine on to help manage the pain.
My midwife was due to visit that afternoon and had mentioned performing a sweep so I messaged to say I thought things might be happening already. She arrived at 2.50 pm and I was having quite regular surges until this point. On her arrival they slowed down and disappointingly I only had 3 where I needed to focus on my breathing whilst she was there. Thanks to the hypnobirthing course I had completed I was able to use wave breathing to ride out the surges. The midwife checked my urine, bp, baby’s heart rate and said as I was coping so well and was obviously just in the early stages of labour she’d continue on her rounds and then head to the hospital to collect gas and air and I should call her if things ramped up. She recommended a bath and paracetamol and left around 3.10 pm.
I took her advice and tried paracetamol and a bath but after having one surge in the bath whilst lying on my back I had to get out. I popped the tens machine on and began pacing the corridor, it was at this point I asked my husband to start filling the pool as I was now convinced I was in labour and it wasn’t a false start.
By 3.40 pm the surges were coming thick and fast, I was using the Freya app and trying to remember my calm breathing whilst rocking over a birth ball on the floor next to the very empty birth pool. Within minutes I was asking my husband to get my mum (who luckily lives next door) as I was having a very strong urge to push with each surge.
My mum arrived and my husband tried to contact the midwife but ended up calling 999 to request ambulance assistance. My waters released which gave a very temporary rest bite. I tried to breath the baby out pausing between contractions and using down breathing. I quickly birthed my sons head and waited for the next surge during which time he turned to free his shoulder, with the next surge he came shooting out. My mother was on hand to catch him.
My son was free birthed into the world with zero pain relief or medical assistance at 4.01 pm. Within minutes my sitting room was full. We had 4 paramedics, 2 midwives, my mother and my husband (so much for COVID birth partner restrictions on homebirths!). It was chaos. I was helped up off the floor whilst various different people took obs and checked us over. I got to have skin to skin whilst waiting for the placenta to work it’s way out. The cord was clamped after it had stopped pulsing and after the placenta had been delivered my husband cut the cord and was able to enjoy skin to skin.
It wasn’t the calm home waterbirth I had planned or envisioned but it was a successful homebirth and to be snuggled up in my own bed with my baby safely in my arms and on the boob was an amazing thing. Also to know that I was able to do this on my own without any pain relief or medical assistance was extremely empowering.
Luca Thomas Velasquez born 4.10 pm on Monday 27th July at 41 weeks weighing 8 lb 1.5 oz.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!