On Monday 21st November at about 8am, I woke up to a bit of water tricking down my legs. I rang the birth centre who said just keep an eye on it and ring us back if you lose anymore – I didn’t. I went about my daily chores and we did the supermarket shopping that evening and I had an early night as I was feeling very tired with slight period pains. I’d had a bloody show that morning too. I’d rung my friend in Switzerland who’s a doula and she told me to relax and not to get too excited as it can go on for a few days, just carry on as normal.
I woke up on Tuesday 22nd November with more intense tummy cramps and I wasn’t comfy laid down so I went into the lounge. I left my husband asleep so he wouldn’t start panicking and getting stressed! I knew our baby was coming.
I had short very frequent surges and I did my calm breathing through them. One of our dogs didn’t leave my side, he licked my arm through every surge, he was great. Lee woke up at 8am to find me hanging over the back of the sofa, by then my surges were getting very strong and I needed my tens machine. I had a bath first and then bounced on my ball. I rang the home birth team to let them know things were progressing. I breathed through my surges with my tens machine on, on all fours which was the best position for me to be in.
By 11am I rang the home birth team again as they were getting more intense and I felt like I needed more help regarding gas and air. At that point some of my waters went, and the midwives were on their way! Lee started getting the pool ready, he was getting a little stressed as the liner wouldn’t go on but he had pumped it up too much! We let a bit of air out and on it went. By this time my surges just changed completely – my body wanted to push! I was trying to fight it at first because I thought it was too soon and we had no midwife here yet. I just kept thinking, ‘remember what we’ve learnt, listen to your body, baby knows best’, so I just went with it, using my birth breathing as well.
The pool was ready, the midwife took about 40mins to get here, she arrived with no gas and air also no emergency kit. I didn’t know this until after! Lee handled it great and made sure the second midwife was fetching it. We had said no student nurses in our birth plan and two had arrived with each midwife. The first two midwives that arrived sat in the lounge observing me and Lee thought, ‘this wasn’t right’, he remembered about people watching you and so he asked them to set up in the kitchen. He’d told the students that they could watch from the window in the door.
I climbed into the pool and it was amazing, such a relief and all the pressure I was feeling went, I felt so relaxed and calm. We had our piano piece playing from our hypnobirthing cd, candles on, blinds down and Lord Of The Rings on in the background too! All of which I was oblivious to as I was in my zone. Still calm and floating around in the pool, changing positions all the time. I did have to keep standing up for the midwife to check babies heartbeat which was a bit frustrating – they didn’t fetch a waterproof doppler.
Lee was checking on the journey chart that our hypnobirthing had given us to see where I was but I never followed it, the midwifes told him I was doing great and that I was in control.
Up until 3pm I was still doing my birth breathing whilst squeezing Lee’s hands. I kept losing my breathing but Lee got me back on track. I snacked on jelly babies and Lucozade which did make me feel sick after a bit! By 3pm Lee had said to the midwifes that he wanted me to get out of the pool. They said they could see if I need the toilet to get me out. I really didn’t want to get out but Lee insisted, he did think I was too relaxed and that gravity needed to play its part too. I climbed out with Lee’s help, then that was it I had a huge surge and bearing down weight. I just couldn’t hold myself up, Lee had to take all my weight. I do remember grabbing his balls too! The midwifes thought it was most amusing -I’m sure Lee didn’t!
One of the midwives said, ‘baby’s head is here’, I just thought OMG! Lee kept saying ‘you’re nearly there Sarah, baby’s coming’. Three big surges and our baby was out, he was a boy. Our baby Henry. Born 3.05pm 7lb13.
I’d done it! Our first baby born at home with no pain relief, it was perfect and Henry was perfect. We had 3hrs at least of skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and Henry was latched on within minute of being born. I cut the cord and held him tight, we couldn’t believe he was here.
My placenta came out naturally in one piece on the toilet. My blood pressure had dropped, I felt sick and dizzy because I hadn’t eaten anything all day or drank a lot. I had a jam sandwich and a cup of tea. The midwives were thinking about sending me to hospital but decided I didn’t need to in the end. I had a second degree tear and it took them 40 minute to stitch me which wasn’t pleasant but I got more skin to skin with Henry which was perfect.
The midwives left at about 6pm and we just sat looking at Henry in our arms at home with our dogs too thinking we did it, he’s here our miracle baby boy. Just perfect!”
Sarah and Lee.