This was my first planned home birth after the not-so-positive hospital birth of my eldest, 5 years previously.
When I was 39 weeks +1, I woke up at about 3 am with a dull cramping pain. I got up, assuming that I must be bursting for the toilet, but instead lost some of my plug and realised that I was actually experiencing a mild contraction. I went back to bed, but I couldn't get comfortable, so I rang my husband, Simon - who was working a night shift - to let him know that he probably wouldn't be working the next shift. I then went downstairs to sit on my gym ball. I had another mild contraction when I got downstairs and Simon arrived home from work shortly after. He was due to finish at 6, but was too excited to finish the shift. 😂 I continued rocking and bouncing gently on my ball. At this point, my contractions were roughly 15 mins apart and lasting only around 30 seconds. Simon took our daughter to school and went to bed for a few hours, after asking my mum to come and sit with me. By late morning, my contractions were a little stronger, lasting around 45 seconds to 1 minute and were around 8 minutes apart. I relaxed, watched films and wandered around the house. Simon got up just before midday, by which point, my contractions were 5 mins apart. We decided to call the birthing unit to ask for a midwife. A lovely midwife called Andrea arrived just before 1pm. She sat with me through all my contractions, got to know us all and was very gentle, encouraging and hands-off. I felt the need to use gas and air, as the contractions became stronger. As it came towards the end of the school day, we called my dad and asked him to collect our daughter from school and take her home with him (she wasn't keen on seeing the birth). I asked Andrea to check me and I was around 7-8cm dilated. I tried to sit back on the ball, but found that I couldn't. Feeling exhausted, I decide to lie on my side on the sofa. My next contraction told me that this was not going to work and I felt almost as though I needed to push. Andrea suggested a supported kneeling position over my ball. I instantly knew that it felt right. Feeling slightly more pushy with the next contraction, Andrea made a call to the 2nd midwife. I was definitely pushing through the next contraction and they started to come almost back to back. The 2nd midwife, Caroline, arrived just as I was starting to crown. She and Andrea gave me all the support and encouragement I needed to bring my boy into the world at 17.12. I had a physiological 3rd stage and delivered the placenta while breastfeeding. I had a 2nd degree tear, but was able to have stitches in the comfort of my own home. Andrea and Caroline didn't rush to get away, they chatted with us all, helped me bath, tidied up the living room and made toast and tea to enjoy while cuddling our beautiful boy. They didn't leave until we were all comfortable and happy. I knew that this was the only way I wanted to give birth again.
Thankyou to Amy for sharing her amazing birth story with us.