By Marie Anne, United Kingdom
After a previous induction, and reading up on the safety of homebirth. I felt confident that this was the way i wanted to go.Friday night, 8th March 2002.
I could feel half hourly contractions sitting in my mils house. I didn't plan on getting too excited though, as i'd been having contractions off and on all week that had come to nothing. I felt relaxed and happy, and knew i was close to seeing my new baby, Garys older sister announced that she was expecting a baby, and so the atmosphere was wonderful.One baby almost here and another starting its journey. At home we settled down to watch ‘save the last dance', and as the contractions became closer together i realised that things were starting to move along. I began to rock my hips, watching the last of the film on my knees, i told Gary that i thought that i was in very early labour and that i had the feeling that it was going to be a back labour. I was feeling the contractions more in my back.
We tidied up the house a little in preparation and tried to get some sleep. We snuggled up together but i couldn't doze off, so Gary ran me a bath with some lavender oil to relax me, and made me a cup of camomile tea. I wanted to release as much tension as possible. After the bath, i had a walk around the house, trying to keep active and when the contractions were around 5 minutes apart and more intense we phoned the midwives to let them know how things were progressing. Around half an hour later, between 3 and 4am, our two lovely midwives arrived and my contractions eased off a little while i adjusted to the new presence in the house. We chatted and i got to know them a little better and gradually my contractions strengthened again. I was feeling strongly that baby was posterior, and the midwives began to suspect this also when they saw the positions that i was naturally drawn to. Like all fours, hips rotating, and that i was also feeling the contractions intensly in my back.
The pattern of the contractions was one strong followed by one mild and things were progressing slowly. I was amazed at the space between contractions where i could catch my breath, as it was so different from the sharp contractions that crashed into one another, which i experianced when i was induced with My elder daughter Kayleigh.
We sent Gary to bed, he was pale and tired and i needed him fully awake. We'd been awake since 6am on Friday morning, and i was tiring a little. I chatted and breathed through the contractions as they became stronger and when Gary woke up i was having my back rubbed with some clary sage and lavender oil. This was bliss.
He made a little toast, and i decided that it would help me if i had a nap to revive me. I went to bed and managed to doze, moaning and breathing through each contraction, i felt relief after this short rest and knelt up in bed, though the contractions were very strong and intense. They still seemed to be trying to turn the baby, it was like climbing, without ever getting any higher. I began to turn to Gary, and the midwives left us alone, i hugged his legs and he rubbed my sacrum gently with each new contraction. Easing off at the peak, then i walked, squatted, kneeled, tried all fours to help me cope with the contractions. The strongest ones seemed to come when i went to pee, which was frequently. and with each visit there was more and more bloody show.
Anxious to speed things up, the midwives offered to break my bag of waters, but i was hesitant to say the least especially as baby was still trying to turn. At around 3.30pm on Saturday, my waters broke naturally, baby was still posterior, and the m/ws were hoping to see the baby before they had to change shifts. The contractions were so intense, i found myself praying while blowing and breathing. I felt only semi conscious of what was happening around me. I was sitting backwards on a chair on a disposable mat,waters leaking furiously, , leaning forward and cocentrating on getting through the peak of the contractions when my mum, mil and young sil arrived.
Gary sent them to make tea, & have a glass of wine, as i only wanted gary with me at that point. The midwives changed over at about 4.30pm, they made the changeover as smoothly as possible and i was glad that they were fresh and energetic as it breathed some life into me. We decided on a bath to help ease contractions which by this time were so intense that i was grasping Garys hand but couldn't bear for him to touch me. The bath was a godsend ,i tried to fill it more..turning in the water to find comfort. As i did i felt a tremendous uncontrollable urge to bear down. I heard a loud grunt and realised it was me, you could visibly see my uterus pushing down to Garys amazement. I returned to my room, and got onto the bed, the urge to bear down taking over me, there was an anterior lip due to the position of baby and so i knelt up and blew through the urges until i could no longer resist, grasping poor Gary around the neck and burying my head in his chest. I let myself push as my body dictated, changing to a deep squat, lifting my head to scream out loud at the hardest parts (the most wonderful feeling of release as i did). I felt the head crowning, burning me and i reached down to touch babys head. Two more pushes, and the most intense burning sensation, I birthed my babys head.
I blew through the next one to make sure the cord wasn't around babys neck, then pushed my 9lb 3oz baby into the world. She was born at 7.24 pm , the m/w passed her through my legs instantly as i was still on my knees and had been leaning forward. I was filled with elation as i looked at my new daughter, held her to my breast and she nuzzled close. After a little while when it had stopped pulsating Gary cut her cord, the placenta came away easily and naturally and i was able to relax and enjoy my elation with Gary holding me as i nursed our new daughter. I didn't have so much as a graze to fix. The hard work was over and i had my reward.
The house was filling with people, but we stayed in our room to enjoy our little one, bathed her gently and cleaned me up. After an hour, i took her through to the living room where our families were all sitting. Mum had brought me some homemade soup to eat, which was wonderful and very welcome, and everyone congratulated us, toasted the baby and then made their way home leaving us to revel in our new family member. After a chamomile tea, Gary, Carly and i went to bed together tired and happy. We woke next morning, still grinning and kissing and deliriously happy, and introduced Kayleigh (who'd stayed over with her friend Gary's young cousin Amy)to her new sister. Carly is beautiful, and for some strange reason Gary and i feel more in love than ever, i think it was the closeness of the birth..i felt so close to him and he was a marvelous support. I later found out from my mum that the m/w had been reporting back to the hospital and was only happy to wait another 1/2 hr to an hr for baby to be born before recommending transfer to hospital. If i'd been scanned they would have tried to talk me out the homebirth, because baby was Posterior and 9lb3oz, so i'm VERY glad that scan didn't go ahead. I am so glad that we were blessed with this wonderful event.