Co-founder's empowering homebirth: George

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Wednesday 2nd June 2021, I woke up to a text from an acupuncturist I had been on the waiting list on for months. She had an appointment that evening at 6:30pm and I jumped at the opportunity. That morning I had lost my mucus plug and thought my body was really getting ready for labour. I was really excited and keen to go into labour, so I wanted to encourage Arlie on her way. I had been having warm up surges from 16 weeks, but during the needling I noticed the braxton hicks were coming more regularly with more intensity, little Arlie was also moving like crazy.

I got home, ate a big dinner, did the washing and tidying and got into bed and watched some trash tv. I turned my light off and went to sleep but I was aware while sleeping between 10pm-12:45am that I was having surges which were rousing me. 12:45am decided to get out of bed and come downstairs to sit on my birth ball as I was really wanting to encourage labour and I knew being active in those early stages can help to encourage getting things going.

I sat watching ‘This is us’, eating my biscuits bouncing away on my ball until around 2:30am. I used a hot water bottle on my back as I was feeling a lot of surges in my lower back. In that time, I decided to start timing my surges. They were coming every 2/3 minutes but were only lasting between 20/30 seconds. I rang the midwives to ask if there was anything else I could do to increase the length of the surges as I really wanted this to be something. They said unless I wanted to go on a walk, just to keep bouncing on my ball and to play with my nipples. She said she would let my community midwife know who called at 2:45am and asked what was going on. I told her I was having surges every 2/3 minutes, but they were short and nothing I couldn’t cope with, and I didn’t think I needed her. She said she wanted to come and check me over and would be over in about 45 minutes.

I went upstairs and woke my husband Nat to say I thought I was in early labour, and the midwife would be coming over so could he come downstairs and take over timing my surges and get my birth plan ready to give to her. He got my tens machine out and attached that to my back. This is when I had to start focusing on my surge breathing with each surge. I kept repeating in my mind that the more oxygen I got to my uterine muscles the more efficiently they would work so each surge that came I really focussed on sending as much oxygen down to my uterus.

3:30am my community midwife Jane arrived, Nat gave her our birth planned. We refused lateral flow tests and any cervical checks. Jane was respectful of this and just did my blood pressure, Doppler for babies heart rate and a urine check.

I thought Jane may leave but she stayed and sat very quietly in the corner of the sitting room doing notes. I spent my time now going from lying on my left-hand side on the sofa (trying to move Arlie over as she was lying very much on my right) to the toilet where I was opening my bowels a lot and losing more mucus plug. I had my relaxation music on next to me which I found very comforting as I had used it a lot when pregnant while listening to scripts and relaxing.

I think Nat picked up that things were progressing around 4:30am so went to the kitchen to start inflating the pool up, the noise of the pump woke our 2 year old so he went to settle her. When he came back downstairs to check on me, I said things were definitely progressing and I thought I would want some gas and air in the not too distant future so please could he ask Jane to call the second midwife and ask her to bring some. He went out to speak to Jane who was having a coffee in her car. I asked Nat to also call my mum to come over in case our daughter woke again so she could be around to settle her, thankfully she is close by.

Jane came in to check on me and let me know she had rung the second midwife. We had a chat and I expressed that I felt the baby wouldn’t come out until my waters released as I knew they were holding her in. She was great at giving me some words of support and some physical touch as I then had two quiet intense surges. I wasn’t sure what Nat was doing at this point, but I think he had gone to set up the hose to start filling the pool.

When he came back into the room, I said to him and Jane that I felt I had a balloon in my vagina that needed to pop. I asked Nat to come to the toilet with me as I needed a wee. As I took my knickers down and went to sit down on the toilet my waters exploded into the toilet and wow did they make the loudest noise when they hit the toilet bowl! Seconds later I said I need to push. I managed to walk a few steps forward from the toilet into the sitting room. I knelt on the floor with my elbows over the sofa. I remember saying to Nat “my buttholes going to explode” and “where is that gas and air”, the feeling of Arlie coming was extremely intense as she was so quick but within the next surge she was here. I remember putting one leg up and my hand down and feeling her back slide down my hand.

5:23am Arlie Margaux Lillia was earth side. Jane caught her and passed her up between my legs. “I did it” I said to Nat. I wanted to try and latch Arlie to the breast to encourage my placenta out, but her cord was so short I couldn’t get her up to my chest. Nat got behind me to support me as I said I felt very weak, and we lay with Arlie on my stomach looking at Arlie who was very alert. My placenta came away itself within about 15 minutes and we left the cord unclamped for this time. I then latched her to the breast. The second midwife then arrived not too long after I joked she was a little late with the gas and air. I am thankful she bought it, I had a second degree tear down the right-hand side of my perineum and I used the gas and air when Jane did my stitches.

The most amazing part of the whole birth was my mum bringing my 2 year old, Sloane down when she woke at 6:30am to meet her baby sister. She was so sweet and kissed her and was asking lots of questions. These precious moments we will cherish forever. My mum then took my 2 year old out to the farm and by 8:30am I was in the bath with tea and biscuits while the midwives and Nat did a quick clean up downstairs. My great friend Abi arrived a couple of hours later with treats from the cafe and she said the house was spotless so well-done Nat!

I would 1000% have a home birth again (if I can convince Nat to have a third!). Never once did I feel overwhelmed and insecure. I am proud of myself and my husband for sticking firm throughout the pregnancy with our wants and wishes. Yes, it was quick and intense, and I didn’t get my gas and air, but I was in control, comfortable and empowered and would do it again in a heartbeat!

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