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Tanya & Yemaya: A healing & empowering birth | Second baby, Midwife Led Unit

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

A newly postpartum mother sits on the sofa with her newborn baby after returning home from the birth centre
Back home on the sofa with Yemaya

A mixed race family, a black father and a white mother, sit on a fallen tree in the woods with their toddler. The mother is nine months pregnant.
The day before Yemaya was born- her 'due date'

After quite a few false starts the day after my due date I started getting period type pains which got stronger throughout the day.. I spent the day with my mum while my eldest was at nursery and by the afternoon the pain was ramping up and getting closer together although somehow I was still in denial that it was really happening. I managed a bit of dinner while bouncing on ball and then by 8pm felt it was time to call the hospital. they said we could head in to the MLU.

By the time we got to the hospital it felt like everything had slowed down so the midwife made us tea and said sit for a bit and see what happens.. I was really hoping they wouldn’t send me home as just wanted to get on with it!

After she monitored babies heartbeat she felt it was dropping a bit and I was packed off to triage to be monitored and J was left to sit outside. It wasn’t much fun being stuck on bed with straps on and one slipped so they had to start all over again. Although I was quite uncomfortable I was convinced they were going to send me home if all ok with heartbeat. After about 2 hours they were happy that bsby was ok and said they would do vaginal examination to see how far along I was. I was happy with this as was keen to know if things were progressing. In the end I was 5cm! So they said I could go back up to MLU and they would start filling the pool.

Once I got back up there things definitely got much more intense and surges were coming closer together. After a bit of time in pool I decided to get out and found pacing around or leaning on side of pool helped me manage the pain.. My mucus plug started coming out but my waters still hadn’t broken. I was pretty much in the zone at this point and tried to carry on with breathing and take sips of water in between surges but they were almost coming back to back so not much time to rest. I’d been anxious about this bit as I’d had an epidural during my first birth and there was a point when I panicked a little bit and said I want an epidural (transition!) However, as I’d thrown all my clothes off the thought of having to get dressed and go to another floor was enough to keep me going!

At about 2.30am the midwife examined me and said I was 8cm but with a contraction she could feel my cervix opening more. After this it was all a bit of a blur but suddenly I said to J, "Ring the bell the baby is coming out," the midwife ran back in and suggested I climb on the bed and get on all fours so she could help catch baby. The head pretty much came out straight away without any pushing and after one push the body was out too and she passed her between my legs and into my arms!

A tiny newborn baby likes on her mother's bare breasts, shortly after birth.
Cuddles in bed

It was the most amazing moment and such a contrast to my first birth (very long, induction and epidural) and I was so glad I had the opportunity to have such a hands off, natural birth. I felt very calm and relieved as I looked down at her. Placenta was then delivered and I had one stitch where her hand had grazed me on the way out and then tea and toast! We were able to go home straight from the MLU in the afternoon which made us very happy! Overall a very positive, empowering and healing experience!

Breastfeeding while being fed by my mum a few hours after Y's birth