Posted on Friday 22nd January 2021 in Birth Stories…
EMILY: Homebirth, Perfect
During my pregnancy I did yoga every day because I wanted a home birth and knew I had to prepare myself physically and mentally, especially as this was my first baby.
A few days before my waters broke; I’d been getting period-like pains and backache. I was doing lots of exercises to encourage the baby into a good position and breathing practices using words like “softening” and “opening,” imagining my cervix dilating. I’m sure it all worked and helped speed the birth along because Emily arrived three days early. When my waters broke – just before midnight – I wasn’t sure what to do. Did I need to get checked at the hospital? Would a midwife come out to me? Had my waters really broken?
I rang the on-duty midwife who said I needed to get checked at the hospital where they would also monitor the baby’s heart rate. During the long wait my backache intensified and was becoming more regular. I felt sure I was in the early stages of labour and that these were contractions coming sometimes every 10 minutes and sometimes five minutes apart. After being monitoring we were allowed back home and I was feeling quite relaxed when a midwife arrived about 9am. I was sitting on my birthing ball and using long, slow exhalations through the contractions. As everything was okay, she left saying we should call her when things had moved on a bit. Two and a half hours later I was well established in labour and suddenly realised we’d better call the midwife.
During my pregnancy I did yoga every day because I wanted a home birth
When she arrived I was leaning over a table rotating my hips and using the “aaah” breath very loudly! There seemed to be no gaps between the contractions but sounding the breath really helped me through them. Occasionally I shifted position – moving onto all fours on the floor or leaning forwards on the stairs. When the midwife arrived I was already 8cm dilated and she let me get on with things, occasionally monitoring the baby’s heart rate. A second midwife arrived as the birth was fast approaching. I found the best position – and the one I stayed in for virtually the whole time – was standing leaning over a table and circling my hips. My partner and one of the midwives also massaged my back.
I was offered gas and air but didn’t want it.The midwives said the baby was on her way and I moved onto all fours. But I couldn’t sustain that position and in the end, semi-squatted, against my partner who was sitting behind me.
The final stage, when I was told to “push” was the most difficult – I found myself really having to push hard when what I had hoped to do was to “release and open” gently. I did notice though, that there were definite gaps now between the contractions. The midwives were hugely encouraging and told me the baby’s head was there so I reached down to feel it. Then her head emerged and after one final push, the rest of her followed. The midwives brought her on my stomach after my partner cut the cord.
It felt fantastic – such a sense of achievement, relief and joy! This was 3.04pm – about four hours after the really serious labour had begun. I was asked if I wanted an injection to speed the delivery of the placenta but said no and it came out really quickly and easily. The next few hours were wonderful – Emily was put to my breast and after a while the midwives helped me have a shower and then they just left the three of us together. Perfect.