November 10, 2014
I knew that I needed to birth at Home
I chose to have independent midwives for the birth of my second son, and I’m so happy that I did!
During my first pregnancy, I planned to have a home birth with the local NHS hospitals’ home birth team. I was always calmly confident that I would be able to give birth in my own home. The ante natal appointments all went well and I felt very comfortable with the midwife. But when I went into labour, my assigned midwife was on holiday and two midwives whom I’d never met before came. My waters had broken over 72 hours previously and as there is an increasing risk of infection I had been pressurised by the hospital to come in for an induction – something I did not want to do. So when these new midwives came I was already tired and wary of anyone connected to the hospital, and they reinforced my anxiety by immediately trying to persuade me to go into hospital. I felt that the midwives weren’t supportive of my need to stay at home and were themselves feeling pressurised by the hospital doctors to bring me into the hospital. After a time, I felt so worn down by their nagging and hassling that I submitted and went into hospital where things snowballed and I had an emergency C section. My traumatic experience was compounded when I had to stay in the hospital with my newborn son for 5 days, even though I desperately wanted to get home, and never return to that hospital. I took a long time to come to terms with my experience and I still don’t think I can make sense of what happened to me.
When I was in my second pregnancy, I took the decision to try for a home birth again, because I just didn’t think that I could give birth naturally in a hospital environment. I knew that this time I needed midwives with whom I’d built up a relationship and who I trusted and who really valued my need to give a natural home birth my best shot. Knowing that Elke and Mal would be with me during my pregnancy, labour, birth and in the weeks following the birth put me at ease and on meeting them, I knew I’d made the right decision to go with my gut instinct and try for a home birth again. Because this would be a VBAC, I did have some worries that I might end up in hospital again, but this time I knew that I would be ‘buffered’ and protected from the stresses of the hospital experience, and I felt that they would take on a lot of the burden of stress on my behalf. Happily, the two experiences turned out to be chalk and cheese. During my second labour, everything felt so calm and unrushed, and I felt that I was allowed to let my body do what it had to do. But I also felt so confident in my Mal and Elke’s care. For a lot of the time, me and my husband, Tim, were together in the room with Mal and Elke nearby and helping and monitoring the labour in a really unobtrusive way. I felt totally in control and I know that their years’ of experience and understanding of my needs during labour gave me that confidence. When my baby was born, I was pretty shocked but overwhelmed that I had given birth naturally in a birth pool in my own living room with my husband and two lovely midwives. The sense of accomplishment that followed was immense.
That night my mum and other son came home to meet the new baby and we all had takeaway pizza and a little glass of bubbly before me and little Seth had a surprisingly good nights’ sleep together in bed!
Esther and Tim
I chose to have independent midwives for the birth of my second son, and I’m so happy that I did! During my first pregnancy, I planned to have a home birth with the local NHS hospitals’ home birth team. I was always calmly confident that I would be able to give birth in my own […]