At about 12 weeks pregnant we started watching one born every minute on 4oD. After watching people labouring with midwives dashing in and out of the room and hearing people screaming I quickly decided I did not want to give birth in hospital!!
After researching my options, I said I wanted to have a home birth with a pool. I absolutely love being in the bath and thought the water would give me comfort and help relax me. I also looked into hypnobirthing and bought the ‘Mindful Hypnobirthing’ book by Sophie Fletcher.
In my head, labour was very mind over matter. Baby needs to come out and will come out. It’s natural for our bodies to give birth so what could go wrong? Just get your head in the game and get it done.
My plan was to set up the front room with fairy lights, soft music, candles and a water feature trickling away, along with the pool I ordered. How very ‘hygge’! I was going to just let my body do it’s thing, using up breaths and down breaths and slowly breathing baby out rather than pushing. I also didn’t want any pain relief as I thought I would cope fine. LOL. How naive I was. I didn’t actually read the whole book in the end so that was probably an issue from the off!
I had my first contraction on the Sunday morning. I wasn’t entirely sure if it was just Braxton hicks as I hadn’t experienced these, but after I started timing them I realised it was the real deal. However they were manageable and I just continued binging Netflix in bed with the dog, keeping Phil updated as it was his last day at work before 2 days off. We went to bed around 11 and although I was still contracting they weren’t getting any worse.
At 1am I woke up pretty uncomfortable so decided to get in the bath. I called the labour ward to let them know things were starting but said I didn’t need a midwife out as of yet as I was coping. A few hours later Phil called them back as my contractions really started getting sore so we asked for someone to come assess me.
My own midwife that I was assigned to came around about 4am and an internal exam showed I was only 2cm dilated and my membranes were still all intact so she performed a sweep. She said to try and get some sleep as no doubt it wouldn’t be too long before we had a baby! She said would come back around 11am for another internal to see how we were getting on. When I woke up things had died down a bit so I text and said not to worry about coming out, I would just keep timing and let them know if there were any changes. The contractions continued all of Monday but very irregular and only 20/30 seconds long.
On Tuesday I woke up around 5am to my waters going. The Midwife on duty came out at around 9 but as my contractions still hadn’t really changed we decided against another internal as this would have put a time limit on my home birth. We arranged for me to go into hospital for monitoring that afternoon and to discuss induction for the next morning if no baby.
Whilst at the hospital my contractions really ramped up again and were coming every 2/3 minutes and lasting for 40/50 seconds. We booked our induction for 8am the following day as baby would have been without his waters for over 24 hours at this point.
When we got home I tried to nap but my contractions were getting worse, told Phil to get the pool ready as although I knew it could have slowed things down I was starting to not be able to cope with the pain.
I got in the pool around 8pm and a midwife came out at 9. She did an internal whilst I was in the pool and told me I was only 4cm! I was so gutted that after 2 days I still hadn’t progressed much. She gave me another sweep and that really did speed things up. I started feeling “pushy” around 11pm so the second midwife was called out – my original midwife!
At about 2am I felt like I couldn’t cope any more, I was so exhausted and been pushing for 3 hours already. I also really felt like I needed a poo but couldn’t for the life of me go 🤦🏻♀️😂 I regretfully asked for a transfer so I could have an epidural and get some rest as I was SO tired. My midwife convinced me that I could do it, this was just transition and baby would be here any minute.
By 5am, there was still no sign of baby, I’d been pushing for 6 hours and contractions had fizzled out to only every 6/7 mins.
The midwives decided it was time to blue light me into hospital as it had been just over 24 hours since my waters went and things were not progressing any longer.
By the time I got to hospital I just needed him out. I was hooked up to a hormone drip to bring the contractions back and baby had a clip popped on his head to monitor his heartbeat. I was told he had turned back to back and was a bit stuck hence why all my pushing had gotten us nowhere! The consultant said if he wasn’t out in 20 minutes I would be going down for a section as his heart rate was dipping. The drip was turned up again and consultant advised they would perform an episiotomy to get him out. After around 10 minutes my beautiful baby was here at 6.08am.
67 hours after first contraction 😱
We were supposed to be discharged at midday but Brodie’s checks showed he had a slight heart murmur so we had to stay in for another 24 hours to monitor him. Paeds checked him again the next morning and finally we got the all clear to go home!
I can safely say my plan of a quick, relaxed, peaceful homebirth did not go to plan, but I’m so glad I tried. I felt so comfortable to be at home and be able to do what I wanted. My midwives were amazing and just let me get on with it.
I would recommend a homebirth to anyone, just keep an open mind, and if you want to practice hypnobirthing… read the bloody book!