My home birth story
Updated: Jan 8
Junipers birth story
I gave birth mid April to my second daughter Juniper, we had the most incredible homebirth mostly alone in what was to be her bedroom, we only had one midwife present who stayed out of the room until the very end, I used hypnobirthing techniques and drew on my knowledge of the birthing process to fully tune into my body and didn't require any pain relief. Here is my positive homebirth story below.
On Monday morning I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvis and was quite achey but didn't think anything of it as it seemed as though we had been waiting ages at this point without any signs or symptoms that labour was nearby, I had a 41 week midwife appointment at 2pm where I accepted a stretch and sweep after asking for advice in the home birth uk facebook group and weighing up the benefits vs risks (the risks seemed incredibly low for me personally). I then met Benj (my partner) and Izzy (my 2 and a half year old toddler) in the park but asked to leave as I was feeling uncomfortable, my contractions started soon after we got home and I timed the first one on an app at 3.53pm, I'm not sure whether this was due to the sweep or not as it was incredibly soon after and felt almost too soon. The contractions were coming every 3 to 5 minutes straight away and I was having to pause to breathe through them, I bounced on my birth ball and ate some veggie chicken wraps between contractions but soon after felt like I needed to take myself up to babies room where I could make things dark, private and get into the zone.
Benj kept coming and checking on me whilst also getting Izzy ready for bed and by 6 we rang the midwives to let them know I was definitely in established labour and that they should probably come out soon, my contractions were really intense pretty much from the start so I felt like I was going to have another fast labour (my first was around 5 hours). The next hour I tried using the TENS machine but didn't really feel like it did much so just carried on breathing through the contractions whilst leant over the sofa bed, Benj got Izzy into bed by 7 and I went in to say goodnight and give her a big cuddle, Benj told her when she woke up she would be a big sister but she didn't quite understand. The first midwife arrived at 7.10pm and after doing a couple of basic obs (I requested no VEs and she was happy to oblige) she sat herself in the next room doing paperwork and said she'd keep popping back in to check babies heart rate every now and then but just to call if we needed her, luckily Izzy went straight to sleep and I was really happy to have Benjs full support for the next hour, I took the TENS off and just had him rubbing my back. I'm not sure of timings but maybe 7.40 I started having to make noises to get through the contractions and realised my body was pushing, I didn't have any sort of transition this time but just before the pushing stage I did say to Benj that I felt very tired and wanted to fall asleep between contractions.
Once pushing started I got a huge burst of energy and after a couple of intense pushes I reached down and could feel babies head ready to come out, the midwife guided my breathing at this point telling me where to breathe into and for how long which I found soooo so helpful, I had requested no coached pushing but this was a very happy medium ground which I was super thankful for. Her head came out and she started making little noises before her body was even born and then on the next big push out came her body. I picked her up to my chest and sat on the sofa bed feeling the proudest I'd ever felt in my life to have managed my dream home birth with no pain relief, no interference just complete trust in my body and lots of shouting at the end (I seriously don't know how I didn't wake Izzy up).
The second midwife turned up with a student about 15 minutes after she was born, I'd just delivered the placenta completely naturally but choose not to cut the cord until after the golden hour, I was having skin to skin and breastfeeding her so they left us to it for an hour and went downstairs to fuss the cat. When they came up we were still feeding so they started my discharge notes and then took her for checks and weighing about 15 mins later, Benj cut the cord and I got a good look at the placenta and had the midwife explain all the different bits and took a photo much to Benjs disgust hah. I got examined and had a small tear but it needed a few stitches as it hadn't stopped bleeding by this point, overall though bleeding was pretty minimal, Benj took baby for some cuddles and I got stitched up on the sofa. They then went through the paperwork and left us to it! I took a quick shower and we headed to bed for the night, she fed almost right through until 5am which was a little brutal after just giving birth but I still felt really well in myself and a lot better than I did after having Izzy, being in our own home and settling straight down without having to mess around at the hospital was perfect and definitely contributed to my quick recovery.