Our daughter Lyra Bluebell Bridie, was born on the 20th September 2010. I had prepared for her birth with the same determination as a marathon runner. Quite early on I decided I would like a home birth. My female doctor tried to terrify me out of this idea with sad stories and tales of ‘untried’ pelvis’. I came away from my appointment with her scared witless and the whole idea of home birth went out the window. But gradually as my pregnancy developed the idea started nagging away at me again. My instinct, my gut feeling, was to have my baby at home. It is unusual for women to have their first pregnancy at home, but I was healthy and it had nothing to do with me being ‘brave’ or stupid either for that matter. It was just the way I knew I had to birth my baby. Continue reading
I’ll start my story with the happy ending. As I write this, my 11 week old baby boy is sleeping peacefully in his moses basket. A wry smile plays on his lips as he dreams sweet baby dreams. I reach into the basket and gently run my hand across his high forehead and in that one action my happy ending is tinged with the sadness of events some twenty one months before. Continue reading
As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted a homebirth. I’m no fan of hospitals (who is?) and felt it made much more sense to bring my first baby into this world in the safety and comfort of my own home. My partner, Conan, felt the same. We were relieved and delighted to find independent midwife Sue Cole living and working near where we lived in West Clare. We had trouble finding a GP to take us on, so Sue suggested one a little further afield who had already done antenatal care for one of her homebirthers. The reaction from the local GPs was disappointing but expected and further concreted my wishes to stay as far away from the medicalised world of doctors and hospitals as possible. I wasn’t sick after all. In fact after the tiredness of the first trimester had gone I don’t think I’d ever felt healthier or happier. Continue reading
When found out I was pregnant with twins I couldn’t believe it. This was my second pregnancy – no history of twins. I had rung the consultant I went with on my first child’s birth 6 years previously to book in but when we discovered I was pregnant with twins he was not overly supportive of a natural birth. We had recently moved and I decided to look into the regional hospital just up the road. Continue reading
My knowledge of “home birthing” was confined to my mother’s tales of how her then 15 year old aunt helped to deliver her on my Granny’s kitchen floor so like many mums when I discovered I was pregnant, the concept of having a home birth was not something that had entered my head, even though I wasn’t happy with the hospital birth I had experienced with my first child.
It was only when said mother mentioned that the daughter of family friends had had a home birth that I thought, hmm interesting I must look into that. And so my journey began. Continue reading
My first baby was a Caesarean for breech. It was quick, easy, and stress free – a generally positive experience. Regardless, I knew that if I got pregnant again, I would like to have a normal birth, not another Caesarean.
Fast-forward a year later, I’m pregnant!! This time, from early on, my baby was head down. I discussed the option of VBAC with everyone I could. Doctors. Midwives. Friends. Family. Online resources. I could not get enough information in me. I was healthy, fit, and everyone agreed, a fantastic candidate for a normal birth. Continue reading
It was my wedding anniversary and we’d been spending the past few weeks mad busy doing a lot of painting in our new house. We had 2 weeks to go til my due date so we were both fairly relaxed as we’d heard first babies are usually overdue. So that day we took off and had a lovely big meal with his family and then more pasta later on…I had a big appetite all of a sudden. Just as well really as my waters broke at around 10pm that night. I rang the Rotunda who said just to head in as a precaution to see if waters clear and check me. I was letting out so much waters my tracksuit was soaked so I don’t think there was any doubt about the fact that it was really my waters breaking! Continue reading
I was due on 27 December 2012 and waited for my so much wanted home birth. On my due date everybody was asking if anything started and really annoyed as it was putting more pressure on me and reminded me of 14 days countdown. I had absolutely no signs of upcoming labour. I started losing any hope for home birth with days passing. On 3 days overdue I woke up full of energy and ridden with period cramps but irregular. They were gone by night time. Next day passed really quietly, no cramps, no energy. Continue reading
On Monday, 42 weeks shared a birth story of a VBAC mum who was able to negotiate DOMINO care with a midwife in an Irish maternity unit. Her story is a must-read and is very popular. This second story, from the same woman, explains their birth journey and how they were able to negotiate the DOMINO care option.
Our Birthing Journey
Life & Death
Fighting for respect;
My right to choose how and where I birth my baby. Continue reading
A succession of events in my previous pregnancies and births, led me to realise the importance of continuity of care. I entered into my 6th pregnancy (4th birth) with much hindsight and was extremely determined to give this birth the best I could offer. My belief is birth is a special event. Our bodies and babies have a profound instinctual ability to orchestrate a cycle of events that gives rise to new life in the world. To enhance and protect this wonderful cycle of events, it was essential I create a support team (ie husband, midwife, doctor) and establish a positive natural birthing environment. I had total trust in my body and baby (much credit to Ina May Gaskin’s books), it was my support network and environment that required planning. Continue reading
So my due date of October 22nd came and went, I was really upset as I wanted to avoid induction as I had been induced on my first baby and had a negative experience. From 39 weeks in the Rotunda the doctors were talking about induction, mentioning issues like a previous shoulder dystocia and a big baby being probable. I had signed up to gentlebirth as I was so worried about having another horrific experience. I needed to be in control and gentlebirth gave me that! Tracy advised me to not worry about another dystocia and I continued to put off induction by saying things like ‘ oh we’ll hang on another day or two ‘. I was confident that the baby was fine and I thought that going to 17 days over would be fine. I don’t know where I got that number from but it was the one in my head for some reason! At ten days over the doctors started piling on the pressure but I resisted and told them I was happy to wait once me and the baby were ok. I asked one doctor to give me my Bishop’s score and he looked at me with horror and told me he didn’t do Bishop’s Scores! Continue reading
It’s hard to believe it’s 3 weeks to the day (now just over 4 as it’s taken me a week to finish this!) since Lorcan arrived – just like with Aoife it’s almost like he was never not here, yet I can’t quite figure out where he came from! Every now and then I find myself looking at him thinking “where did you come from!” Funny, how we have 9 months to prepare and it still seems to take us
unawares. Continue reading