The Must Have For 2012 – A Homebirth

When my friend first told me she was planning for a homebirth over three and a half years ago, I replied with “well I’m not afraid of hospitals.” NIEVE, hell yes. I had no idea what I was so quickly dismissing. I thought that it was only serious hippy types and people with a hospital fear that actually chose to give birth at home. My friend was neither, she was a paediatrician – she knows what goes on in the maternity ward.

When planning for baby #2 I’d already started finding out more and it dawned on me, there was an even better way if the circumstances were right. Due to various circumstances we didn’t plan a homebirth, it just happened. And well, kinda fell into place on the day (erm mind the pun, although I’d not calling that falling, I still had to do a whole lot of hardworking pushing).

I can admit it now, but I wanted a homebirth so much, at one point I’d convinced myself that I was willing to let the dream go. I’m so pleased that I didn’t need to in the end, that it all happened without the stressy prep – better than I could have ever imagined. Mainly down to the midwife I had and my subconscious determination.

I appreciate that the best way to have a homebirth is to plan it, but don’t write it off if you haven’t. A waterproof picnic blanket and old towels was all we needed. But I guess the most important thing is the right frame of mind.

Any chance I get, I can’t help but rave about how good it was. It’s not just me gloating about the most amazing experience of my life. (cough cough…although it is a little, I still brim with pride now). But mostly it’s because I wish more expectant mothers would get switched onto the idea. This is how birth is meant to be. Not all gowns and hand sanitiser, and polished floors and bed rails.

If you are interested in finding out more, why not pop along to this homebirth support site

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The Value of a Good Midwife in Labour

For the last eight weeks I’ve been considering how to say thankyou to the midwife who helped me deliver my son at home in September. I’ve been thinking hard about the words that I could use to show my deep gratitude that would show what her assistance meant to me.

For me and many other mothers world over, giving birth is one of life’s great moments. I can firmly say that giving birth to both of my children naturally were the best days of my life. Giving birth at home tops it all. Still now, having had time to reflect, I am still in awe of that day.

The reality is, it would have never happened that way without Teresa, the experienced midwife on call for the day who guided me through it all. Awesome doesn’t quite capture how brilliant she was. I wish all midwives could be like her; experienced, relaxed, supportive and fun. I could not have ever felt more reassured during my labour.

She didn’t just take care of the physical things like checking the baby and telling me when to move into different positions, she focused a lot on the emotional things and enabled me too off load and get my head straight and focused. I always underestimated this side of labour, but now I know it makes a difference and am sure this is one of the big reasons I was able to labour quickly and smoothly (along with the calmness of being in my own home, and having self confidence and belief in my body’s ability).

The fact that by being at home, I had her full attention all of the time, made an even bigger difference. This for me is a major plus point of a homebirth.

So my message is that we should be valuing good midwifery more in society. Birth can be the most beautiful thing if you have the right environment and support.

And what a way to start a new life!

Natural Homebirth Birth – Did that just happen?!!!

I’m still in shock and awe at what happened yesterday. In fact I can’t sleep for thinking about it and gazing at my little baby Boyo.

It was better than I can have ever imagined, don’t let the world scare you that it’s some horrific experience. I’m not about to launch into my full birth story here, cause that is going to take some proper writing. But I couldn’t wait to share some of the highlights:

A) No intervention

That is nothing, no internal examine till 1pm to check dilation, and he was born just under three hours later. I was only 3cms dilated at the time but the midwife knew it was ramping up super quick.

B) Homebirth

This is the BIG one for me, I really wanted one but it was just too much of a fear challenge for daddy (quite understably many will agree) for him to get his head around until we reached the point of almost no return. The plan was to labour as long as possible at home and then drive to the low risk birth unit at the hospital just some ten minutes away. It all progressed so quick from my examination at 1pm that getting in the car 45 mins later was almost out of the question.

3) Born in the caul

This means that baby was born in the amnionic sack that surrounded him in the uterus. Usually your waters break or the medical team break them for you to help things progress. His head came out in the sack and the midwife tore it open.

4) Full labour was totally natural, including the third stage of delivering the placenta. Soon after giving birth I had the urge to push, so kneeled up and out it popped. Only pain killing was gas and air plus Tens machine.

5) Total physiological third stage labour and delayed cord cutting

This means you don’t cut the cord early, you let all the remaining oxygen coming from mama be absorbed by the baby. It also meant that we didn’t cut the cord until a good few minutes after the placenta had been delivered. A job that daddy did.

6) Partnership with daddy

This time because I had a midwife one on one at home with me, we chose to wait until I was well established in labour before daddy come home to do his job as the birth partner. It worked very well and kept all as calm as could be. By the time he got home I was ready for his support. Never under estimate the importance of a great daddy as a birth partner in the labour process. We made the perfect team and this time I made him work hard. Running up to ‘transition’ I laboured standing up, hugging him and then finally pretty much hanging from around his neck as my legs could no longer support me and I had the urge to push. Our amazing partnership and teamwork ran flawlessly for the rest of the day.

More coming soon from one euphoric nurturing career mama 🙂