My first pregnancy was a challenge – unexpected, at a stressful time. I didn’t realise what short supply independent midwives were in, and missed the chance to get one. Initially was too far out for a Domino home birth, so ended up with Holles Street MLU, then Domino. That was ok (apart from the hospital visits) til my (contested) due date arrived, and they menaced me with the spectre of induction. I called Philomena and she gave me advice on how to negotiate – also offered to come out to the birth if she became free.
I jumped at the chance, but didn’t contact her til I was actually in labour, and my husband and I had been really put off by the way the community midwives (CMs) acted around my dates and the home birth. I asked my husband to ring Philomena around 5.30, and went upstairs into happy labour-land. Came down about 5 hours later, he was still sitting on the sofa and just… hadn’t rung. We rang then, she talked to us both, and she came out then and there – I didn’t have to get back in a car and travel to the house I was to meet the CMs in. It was such a gift!
Philomena came around 11 and made my night when she said she was staying. We’d never met before, but she was incredibly calm, confident, and hands off – she seemed to know what I needed instinctively. My labour strangely went off the boil, and my daughter wasn’t born til the following afternoon. It was a long, tiring labour – for everyone involved, no doubt.
Here’s the crux of it – had I been under the care of the Holles Street Dominos, I would have to have been transferred and induced. My daughter had a cord around her neck, I don’t think she could have handled the induction – I would have been sectioned.
Because Philomena came out to us at the last minute (or the 4th centimeter), we were saved that, and the emotional toll it would have cost. I can’t thank her enough for that. She really was our angel. Her post natal visits were a delight we looked forward to eagerly, she was so sweet with our daughter.
I count myself incredibly lucky, and grateful for our saved, safe home birth. Thank you so much, Philomena, ten years on.