A Beautiful Homebirth

The birth of Emilia - A beautiful homebirth

 

Having witnessed my sister give birth to her third child at home 4 years prior to my first child being born, I knew that one day I would want to have a home birth.

I made brief mention of this to my husband the first time round and I literally saw him quiver with fear. Frankly the idea terrified him. Unlike me birth was an alien experience from a birth partners point of view and he was worried that if something went wrong we wouldn't get to hospital in time.

When I found out I was pregnant the second time, I hit him with it straight away, the dreaded 'H' word. I wanted him to have time to get used to the idea and for him to see that there was no doubt in my mind it was the best way to labour and birth our child, for me as well as the baby and even him and our daughter as I knew from last time it would set me up for the following challenge.

I had hoped that my confidence alone would be enough to convince my husband it would be safe but prior to completing the hypnobirthing course I was aware that he was far from convinced or confident in his ability to  support me outside of an environment where he felt both myself and the baby were safest.

Hypnobirthing provided Ian with the insight needed to give him this confidence and each week we would leave and spend the 30 minute journey going over what we had learnt in amazement.

Like me he was surprised at what neither of us knew about the human body and it's reactions to fear and any associated pain.

By the end of the last session, I knew that I not only had his support but actually he had began raving about the benefits of home birth to friends and family if we were ever faced with concerns or questions over our choices. I was 100% supported and finally we were on the same page.

For me hypnobirthing gave me the facts about labour, my body and my baby and complete confidence in my body’s ability to bring my baby into the world safely.

I learnt fantastic relaxation techniques which helped me immensely in the later stages of pregnancy and through association I found the music I had listened to through the course and practice a huge comfort whilst in labour.

I truly wish I had discovered hypnobirthing for my first child, however will be eternally grateful that Linda helped me achieve the birth I had always hoped for and will always look upon with total happiness.

I entered into my second pregnancy with only one fear, being that for one reason or another I would 'have to' be induced. To a lot of people this may sound irrational and raise the question as to why this is a problem.

My first pregnancy 3 years ago was excellent. I had been lucky enough to avoid most of the less delightful side effects experienced by some and thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy. I was looking forward with excitement not only to the arrival of my first child but oddly the birth. It was simply never something that caused me any anxiety. I was fully aware it was likely to be more painful than anything I had experienced, however I was confident in my ability to get through it.

The first sign of labour was my waters breaking at 40+7. This was far from the gush I had always expected and I later learnt that this was due to the fact that it was my hind waters that had broken ( top of the amniotic sack) as opposed to my fore waters (bottom of the sack). As a result the waters trickled for the next 24hrs however, aside from this and some mild contractions I had no other signs of going into labour naturally. As a result I was informed that I would have to be induced as I would 'not be allowed' to go longer than 48hrs post rupture due to a risk of infection. Interestingly I later learnt that the increase in risk is extremely minimal.

I was devastated as had always hoped for a water birth, which would no longer be possible but went along with the advice received, frankly being completely ignorant to the fact that I had choices.

My labour was forced, frightening, excruciating and exhausting. As a result I spent very little time bonding with my daughter immediately after the birth and this took me many months to recover from emotionally as I always felt that I had rejected her.

My fears entering into my second pregnancy were not of pain but rather that I wouldn't bond properly with my next child and would miss out on the instant feeling of love so many by others had talked about and subsequently go through the same roller coaster of emotions and guilt I experienced the first time.

I was equally if not more confident in my ability to labour well in the right conditions, however knew that I needed some help with staying relaxed in the event of things taking an unexpected turn.

I had heard about hypnobirthing from friends and was intrigued to know more.

After a four week course with Linda I was amazed at how little I knew about my own body. I felt empowered in a way that I'd never previously experienced and was even more excited about the arrival of my baby so I would get to use all the amazing techniques I had learnt and spent the subsequent 3 months practicing.

I was convinced my 2nd baby would be early. When my due date passed I wasn't too concerned but when I reached 7 days late and the words 'book you in for induction' were uttered I started to feel anxious.

This anxiety peaked when my waters broke at 40+8. It was exactly the same as last time and when no further progress had been made 24 hrs later I was worried to say the least and felt almost defeated.

I had planned a water birth at home and had worked so hard to prepare both mentally and physically. The birth pool was ready and waiting (less the water) in my lounge!

My midwife came and did a swab to confirm it was my waters that had gone but much to my disbelief it came back negative. I knew it was my waters but I was more than happy that the medical professionals had satisfied themselves that I wasn't at risk of infection and would have those precious few more days before the scheduled induction date to allow my baby to arrive in it's own time. Having done my research, I was happy that I wasn't putting either myself or my baby at significant risk.

The next few days were emotional to say the least but I tried to keep a level head using the relaxation techniques and used the time to practice my breathing.

After a few false starts, I began to experience mild contractions on the evening of my 11th day overdue.

I arranged for my mum to come and sit with my older daughter whilst my husband and I went for a very long walk. It was in my mind my last chance to get things moving before the dreaded 'Induction day' 2 days later.

We walked around a mile and a half in heavy rain chatting excitedly at the thought that this may be it.

It was at this point the contractions changed from being mild and possibly just another false start to moderate and quite clearly the start of something so we turned back to head for home.

We arrived home at 9.30pm, my mum left and we sat watching TV whilst I bounced merrily on my ball practicing my breathing.

I had always imagined that if things were to happen at this time of day we would leave my daughter asleep upstairs so she could wake one morning to a new brother or sister, however my instincts told me this wasn't right so my husband drove her to my mums around midnight.

On his return he began to fill the pool and we made the call to the hospital. I was unsure if it was too early as with the aid of my up breathing and relation music I was coping with the contractions well.

The midwife arrived around 1am at which point I had been in the pool around half an hour and I was feeling extremely calm, relaxed and focused on the task in hand.

I was examined and the Midwife confirmed I was 5cm dilated and that my waters did appear to have gone. I knew I hadn't been wetting myself!!

I continued to labour, practicing the up breathing techniques with the aid of my husband who was an amazing support.

The midwife had read my birth plan in great detail and was respecting my every wish with minimal intervention. Aside from the initial examination and the odd monitoring of the baby, I truly felt that only my husband and I were in the room.

At sometime just before 3am I reached the 'transition' stage. I was completely aware I had got there and simply allowed myself those few moments of self doubt and denial of my ability to go on, knowing that it would soon pass.

Shortly after this I felt the great urge to push so began trying to practice my down breathing, however I did struggle to regulate my breathing through the contractions at this stage as they had grown in intensity considerably so I requested some gas and air. I'm not sure that this offered any pain relief, however it certainly helped me to control my breathing and remain focused.

After approximately 4 or 5 contractions my babies head was out. I didn't need to be told this I could feel it and between the last of these and the final one I could feel the baby wriggling eager to make an entrance into the world. It was such an amazing feeling to be so alert at this stage and a complete contrast from my previous labour.

One final contraction saw the arrival of a second beautiful baby girl, Emilia Ivy at 3.21am. I was flooded with love and pride instantly!

I placed Emilia on my chest skin to skin and remained in the pool until the cord had stopped pulsating which was around 15 minutes after she arrived.

Sometime in this 15 minute window, Emilia latched onto me to feed independently. It was such an amazing feeling and I couldn't believe we had done it just as I had hoped.

I had no need for stitches and my placenta was delivered naturally within another 30 minutes with no complication.

The midwives left at. 4.30 and by. 5am my husband Ian, Emilia and I were snuggled up in our own bed.

Just perfect!