Homebirths can be very empowering!
Homebirths – for me an experience I will never forget and always be proud of !
When I first decided I wanted a homebirth I was very excited about my announcement, however it turned out to be a roller coaster of emotions for the next few weeks. I told my midwife first, who although very nice spent at least 10 minutes trying to persuade me not too (this is 7 years ago so things may have changed !) She ended up saying that if anything went wrong then the ambulance could take up to an hour and I could put my baby at risk – nothing like making you feel guilty. It was all quite upsetting and confusing.
However my mind was made up, I knew I could drive to the hospital in 5 minutes ( ok be driven lets be realistic ) so there was no changing my mind – I was due in March 2006.
For the next few weeks it seemed that everywhere I went and anyone I told were so negative about my decision – even the most positive comments would be ‘ gosh you are brave’ which is not want you want to hear. You get used to it though and surround yourself with positivity, I read lots of books about natural births, I did hypotherapy most afternoons…while Arthur my little boy then 13 months had a nap every lunch I would take the opportunity to lie down and imagine giving birth to music in a sort of paradise.
I was just beginning to convince myself that all would be great when my midwife called and said that the United hospitals had sent an email out to say ALL home births were to be cancelled! I had just spend over £100 on my birth pool in a box and was cross and very upset – all this time I had spend working up to this and 3 weeks before I am due and they say no, not possible – please come to the hospital – After a fair amount of frustrating phone calls and the odd ‘ I think the Echo would be interested in this story’ they changed their minds and said I was to be the only exception and we were back on…hoorah …and thank you ( Trudi ) my midwife for arguing my case because I have to say when the time came to give birth I totally understood why those poor midwifes were not in favour of homebirths. When they arrived at my house for the birth, it was after a day shift at 10 pm – they stayed with me until dawn then went back to the hospital for another shift – madness, poor things- I have to say I’m amazed it’s legal !
Looking like I had swallowed a cow ( not a cute little girl ) I decided it was time to get things moving, 5 days overdue I booked to see friend and reflexologist.
Paige is now known ( affectionately Paige if you read this!) as the White Witch .
She pressed here and there on my feet and made me feel all lovely and relaxed and no word of a lie, I shut her front door armed with homemade cookies her husband had given me in my hand and before I had reached the top of Steep Hill I went straight in to Labour….well for anyone that knows Lincoln, you will appreciate Steep Hill is not an ideal place to start your Labour.
I just needed to get back to my house and get my birth pool set up – oh ok my partner needed to get it set up.
And so then it began …well as labour goes it was good, the midwifes turned up an hour after we had called, they had both been on all day shifts and neither of them had done a home birth with a birth pool which did make me a little nervous but I suspect made them a lot nervous! After my examination I asked them to leave me – I wanted to practice my hypnotherapy and go in to a sort of trance,(get me with my hippy ways!) get those endorphins working well – no interference, that’s what one of my books had said, imagine you’re a wild animal, go and do it in your own space, concentrate on every wave of pain focus and imagine the baby getting closer to you with every contraction. So that’s what I did, in fact I was in such a trance that other half had to keep pulling me up out of the water as I would calmly slip underneath…well sometimes calmly anyway.
You will know when it’s time to push the experts said (in my natural birthing books ) . So when I thought I was close Mark went and got the Midwifes … no!! I didn’t want interfering at this stage so said no ( with my eyes ) to Mark – I had warned him I was going non verbal …it was understood, I had given him the low down on hand gestures and looks – I muttered something about pushing and the midwife said ‘no you are not ready.’ That was when I felt empowered, partner whispered ‘ Do what your body tells you Vicky’ and I did!! I pushed my gorgeous little girl out on my bungie cord and apparently banged the other side of the pool before she came pinging back to me… ah yes but what I didn’t mention was the expletive that came out of my mouth, as I pushed ..yes as loud as you can imagine the f word was screamed at the top of my voice!
Well I’m sure the midwifes have heard it all before yes but my mother in law hadn’t and rushed to door shouting ‘ is it a girl?’ ..ah yes let me see…I felt around in the murky water as couldn’t really see a lot (yes lights were dimmed – dolphins were whaling ) and to my delight found a lovely little girl bobbing around in the water. Wow I had birthed her myself, that was the proudest moment of my live – yes my midwifes were there if needed them and that was great – but I didn’t! I can truly say I felt like the cleverest girl alive.
So there we have it – anyone thinking about a homebirth, read the stories people like us have written, have a back up plan yes by all means but for me it was the most exciting moment of my life!