My pregnancy went smoothly and as the big day came closer I felt surprisingly calm about the prospect of giving birth.The due date came…and went. We reached the 41 week milestone and began to think we should help mother nature along. All the old wives tales got an airing: spicy food, long walks, reflexology and then Deana, our midwife, suggested a sweep…this seemed to do the trick and within 36 hours we were off!
It began with mild cramps early in the morning. At first I brushed these period-like pains off, surely this wasn’t labour, I tried to convince Jason, my husband, there was nothing to get excited about. However, within a few hours it became clear that this baby was on the move. The use of a tens machine then birthing pool helped keep me sane in the early stages.
We made the mistake of not blowing the pool up before hand which led to Jason doing breathing exercises with me when the contractions were at their peak whilst trying to inflate and fill the pool at the same time. We were in regular contact with Deana, and were able to let her know when she was needed…Jason’s reply when asked if he wanted her to come, “YES…please!”
I didn’t give birth as planned in the pool, instead Ezra was born on the bathroom floor. He was a big baby and decided to come into the world with one arm up, a pose he’s adopted as his favourite sleeping position since.
It was a challenging labour but I never felt like it was out of control, Deana was confident, constant and a reassuring voice for both Jason and me. We were able to have the home birth we wanted despite having to go into hospital afterwards. Ezra was given treatment at The Royal Surrey as he had swallowed some fluid during the birth and I received stitches for perineal tears.
My experience in hospital compounded how I felt about home birth. Being in my home, surrounded by people I trusted had given me the chance to make choices as circumstances changed. Giving birth in hospital would most likely have resulted in medical intervention, something I had wanted to avoid.
When talking with people about about home birth you get a mixed reaction; a surprising number think it risky or even irresponsible. I remember my neighbour’s comment upon hearing we were planning a home birth for our first child, “are you allowed to do that?”
Chatting with other mums who have been under the homebirth team the response is always overwhelmingly positive to the point of being evangelical! My husband, Jason, who before the pregnancy was at best sceptical of home birth is now a firm convert. For myself, I could not have asked for better care and attention for myself, my baby and my husband.
Having a baby is life changing and we’ve been lucky to have started this new chapter with some of the finest people that I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Thank you home birth team, you’re awesome!