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November 1, 2021

Homebirth after caesarean

As promised, here’s our birth story. I’ve written it fairly fast (both children asleep for 20 minutes at the same time!!!!!) so please let me know if I’ve missed out anything major. I’ve tried to keep it short as I have a tendency to ramble!

This birth was my second. A HBAC, (home birth after caesarean) which is quite something for me as I’m a type 1 diabetic. It’s not the normal route, however, for our family, it was safest.

My eldest, Mabel*, was born 2.5 years earlier in Switzerland and her birth was everything I had been told I should expect being “high risk”. It was everything I feared most, a failed induction resulting in a c-section.

Being in the UK for this pregnancy offered the possibility of an independent midwife. The stress of my previous pregnancy led me to have very low expectations. I optimistically made an appointment with Janie, but half expected to be told that she couldn’t work with me. Thank goodness I was wrong

Following the most evidence-led care I have ever experienced, my pregnancy progressed beautifully. I looked forward to every visit and loved how much Mabel was involved in everything. I was relaxed and happy, although a little nervous that I wouldn’t go into labour on my own because of my previous 43-week non-starter.

Unlike my first pregnancy where I never felt ready to give birth, I was ready for this pregnancy to be over from about 38 weeks. My hips were sore and my body ached.

At about 2.30 on a Sunday morning in May, I woke up. This was not uncommon. I’d been waking frequently in the night with hip pain for the last few months. As had become my normal routine, I got out of bed to do a few stretches and walk about a bit to ease the aching, whilst pottering about I noticed I was having

Braxton Hicks, again nothing out of the ordinary as I’d had regular Braxton Hicks for the last half of my pregnancy. I couldn’t feel them, but I could see my tummy muscles working. The hip pain  disappeared whist I was sitting or standing, but returned every time I lay down. At 4.30 in the morning, whist contemplating how much fun it would be to look after a toddler on minimal sleep, I decided to download an app to time my Braxton hicks. To my surprise, after three contractions the app told me to go to hospital! I saw this as a sign to wake my husband, Will, and tell him that I may be in labour, but probably not as I wasn’t in any discomfort, however I was now bored of being downstairs on my own with achy hips and could he join me? 30 mins later I started having period style cramps with the contractions and Will told me to text Janie to tell her that I may or may not be in labour. I wasn’t convinced I was as I was only just over 40 weeks and really not experiencing anything I would even call uncomfortable.

For another hour things remained the same, Mabel woke at 5 and refused to go back to sleep. Sometime around 5.30 things began to pick up pace and I started using hypnobirthing through contractions. I told Will that I thought I might want to go in the pool, so he rushed around trying to fit hoses to taps whist making Mabel breakfast. Just as I hopped in the pool, Janie arrived. I  announced that I still wasn’t sure if this was “it” and was told not to worry as she was due to come over for an appointment at 10 anyway, so this could just turn into that if things petered off.

I was really concentrating through contractions by now and was trying very hard to stay in my zone.

At no point did I feel that the contractions were unmanageable. Intense is the word that best describes what I felt. Time went past in blobs from here. My waters broke in the pool, I felt the urge to push, nothing felt like it was happening, so I got out of the pool, walked around a bit, pushed a bit more, lost confidence that this baby was ever coming out, was reassured it was and then got back in the pool. I was still pretty relaxed, pushing contractions were far more spread out so I even fell asleep between a few, then at some time after 9, during a big push the baby’s head was born! Mabel was sat on Wills lap just next to the pool and Janie was near me. The second midwife, Amanda, had just arrived. I waited and waited for another contraction, but it just didn’t seem to come, so Janie told me to push anyway and out he slipped. I reached down and picked him out of the water. Joshua was born at 9.30. He was perfect.

*This amazing birth was attended whilst we had indemnity to offer labour care. The children’s names have been changed to protect their identity.

Gemma

As promised, here’s our birth story. I’ve written it fairly fast (both children asleep for 20 minutes at the same time!!!!!) so please let me know if I’ve missed out anything major. I’ve tried to keep it short as I have a tendency to ramble! This birth was my second. A HBAC, (home birth after […]

 
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