July 18, 2016
Independent Midwifery and Homebirth – A Father’s Point of View
Last year IMUK member Virginia Howes supported Suzanne Shaw and Sam Greenfield in welcoming their son Raffery into the world. Here for the IMUK website, Sam tells his story.
The second Suzanne broke the news to me that she was pregnant I was, of course, ecstatic, but I also had an enormous sense of anxiety given that I knew nothing about pregnancy and childbirth. What now? What do I need to do? Who do we speak to first? When’s the first scan? And what the hell is Braxton Hicks?! The list goes on…
The first trimester went in the blink of an eye, and it was 3 months of learning for me; learning and understanding the key stages of pregnancy, learning about what changes we needed to make at home and learning how to behave sympathetically and empathetically towards Suzanne! Together, we discussed it all. However, we didn’t discuss in detail where we wanted Suzanne to give birth. For me, it was a choice between two hospitals, and that was that. Suzanne had mentioned a homebirth, but the thought made me nervous – surely it was safer in a hospital?
It was only after a recommendation to speak to a hypnobirthing coach, Lottie, that I really understood the meaning of a homebirth, and listening to the science behind it all, I soon began to think that it could actually be an option for us. Suzanne was definitely keen on the idea from this point, but my mind was yet to be made up… until we had our first appointment with our brilliant independent midwife, Virginia, whom Lottie had referred us to and urged us to contact.
“I felt a sense of relief, a sense of reassurance, and a genuine feeling of safety.”
Again, independent midwifery meant nothing to me before this point in my life, but how that has changed. From the second Virginia walked into our home, I felt a sense of relief, a sense of reassurance, and a genuine feeling of safety. I had complete confidence that Suzanne and the baby would be given the absolute best care possible.
“She’d educated me to the point where I felt certain that I could deliver the baby myself!”
We had fortnightly visits from Virginia up until the final stages when it became more regular; this continuity gave us real assurance and we felt fortunate to have such support. Virginia made it clear to us that she was available to take a call every minute of every day if we needed her. I looked forward to every visit she made because she’d educated me to the point where I felt certain that I could deliver the baby myself! Virginia gave us structure to the birth-plan and explained every element, potential deviation and process of the birth, allowing Suzanne to feel like she was 100% prepared and, amazingly, to enjoy the experience in a safe environment and feel the empowerment that every woman should feel. For me, seeing Suzanne was in the right frame of mind pre-birth, gave me such reassurance.
The birth itself was magical, emotional and inspiring; Suzanne was incredible and we had a gorgeous healthy boy, Raffi. Curling up with Suzanne and Raffi within seconds of him entering the world, in our own home, felt amazing and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
To think that I went from a quivering mess with no knowledge of childbirth to feeling so confident that I could deliver the baby myself, within just a matter of months, is testament to independent midwifery as a service and I would, and have, recommend it to anyone going through this special time in their lives. Thank you!
Last year IMUK member Virginia Howes supported Suzanne Shaw and Sam Greenfield in welcoming their son Raffery into the world. Here for the IMUK website, Sam tells his story. The second Suzanne broke the news to me that she was pregnant I was, of course, ecstatic, but I also had an enormous sense of anxiety […]