This pregnancy, my third child, was a planned home birth. My previous deliveries were in hospital. Both of my eldest boys were born in the birthing pool. My middle child, Jake, was my first experience of hypnobirthing. I was only at the hospital for a short time before he was born. I found it to be the most empowering experience. I was high on oxytocin for weeks after Jakes birth.
When we fell pregnant this time, both myself and birth partner knew we wanted to birth at home. It just felt like the right decision for us and our family. Where to birth your baby is an individual preference. You should always feel happy with your choice. My pregnancy progressed as expected and as my ‘guess date’ drew closer we made plans to have the birth environment we wanted. I had affirmations, fairy lights, candles, aromatherapy oils and music at the ready! Adam even had a practice run setting it all up. This time I packed a comb as I’d heard how it can help with acupressure points during surges. Early hours of Friday morning (8th) I started to have some contractions. They were strong and began to get regular. I was so excited! I let Adam sleep and I went downstairs. I listened to my MP3s and sat on my birthing ball. After a couple of hours, the sun started to rise and my surges stopped. I’d never had a labour that stopped before so I felt a bit frustrated. I was so excited to see our baby and now I had to be patient again. I know from my midwifery experience that my body was trying to get the baby to engage and be in a good position for labour. I had to trust my body and let it do it’s thing. I went to bed Friday night and again at 4am Saturday morning the surges started again. Exactly the same as the night before. This time I got in the bath. I thought the water would help me to relax. It did! I relaxed and once again the surges stopped as the sun came up. We spent Saturday in our pjs. I went back to bed and had a 3 hour nap. It was bliss. The whole family played Mario kart on the wii and ate lots of yummy food. Adam and I went to bed early and watched a film. Before bed I did some head engagement exercises from the Spinning Babies website. Sunday morning around 4am I woke with the same surges. I just assumed it was the same as the two nights before so I stayed in bed and tried to sleep. They progressively got more intense and my body didn’t want to be laid in bed. My instinct was telling me to get up. I left Adam sleeping and I pottered about. At around 6am I woke Adam and asked him to run me a bath. I wasn’t sure if the surges were different from the previous nights. Adam ran me a bath and I relaxed listening to music. Adam went downstairs and started to try and cover the bifold doors. I’d always wanted my birth environment to be low lighting where possible and the sun was shining through. I messaged my midwife and asked if she could palpate my stomach. I was convinced that I wasn’t in active labour and that the baby was trying to get into an optimal position. My surges were around 1 in 8 at this point. I’d never timed my contractions before. I’m a big believer that this distracts you from your hypnosis and encourages your brain to focus on time rather than just going with your body. This ideally is a birth partner job.
At around 7.15, Jake woke up. Adam took him downstairs, gave him some breakfast and put Thomas the tank engine on for him. He loves Thomas! Our midwife arrived at 7.20. She observed me having surges whilst in the bath and told me there was no doubt I was in labour. I was using the comb for acupressure points. This really works! I got out the bath and the midwife checked me over. Baby was really low in my pelvis and in a great position. She offered me a vaginal examination. I accepted as I still wasn’t convinced I was in labour. I was 6-7cm at this point and Adam was asked to fill the birthing pool as quickly as he could downstairs. Jodie called for the second midwife to come. The midwife asked Adam to come back upstairs and abandon the birthing pool. Adam took Jake into Archie’s room, he had to wake Archie as he’d slept through it all. They both chilled watching TV in his room. I got back into the bath and went with my body. My surges were really expulsive. I’d gone from not thinking I was in established labour, to discovering I was in labour, to the baby is ready to be born in our bathroom all in 30 minutes. I tried to stay calm but the speed of it all had released some adrenaline. Adam was great. He told me that I was strong and that I was amazing. He reminded me of the birth breathing technique. I did ask for some Entonox (Gas & Air) at this point. Mostly because of the adrenaline surge. Unfortunately the Entonox didn’t have the right attachment. Adam reminded me that I didn’t need it and encouraged me through each surge. I started to use the birth breathing technique and hummed Dylan into the world. Adam went to get the boys as soon as Dylan was here. It was the most amazing moment. Their little faces when they saw Dylan will stay with me forever. We’d originally planned not to have the boys at home when I went into labour. Archie can be a worrier at times and with Jake being so young he would need either mine or Adams attention. That being said, I’m so glad we had them at home. It worked out perfectly.