A second time mum’s positive birth – in her car outside the Coombe

On 29th November at 38+6, I went for my weekly reflexology appointment. During the session I could feel the baby really moving around. That night as my husband put our daughter to bed and I was preparing dinner, I had a real sense that it was our ‘last supper’. I’d a lovely relaxing night and a bath before bed. At about 4am on 30th November – I was 39 weeks – I woke with pains, they were about 10 minutes apart and very intense, much more so than when my labour started with my daughter. Continue reading

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A first time home birth mum has a positive hospital birth following transfer

When we went for our first scan I was told that my due date was 22nd February. We were suprised as we had thought it would be March. I remember we asked the sonographer if the scan dates could be wrong and she said no. As first time parents we just accepted this, since we weren’t completely sure about our own dates. Continue reading

No Epidural? Pain management alternatives and tips – Part 1

In a previous article, 42 weeks explored the epidural and other medical pain relief interventions for labour. You can read it here: Epidural, Is it right for You?

This week, 42 weeks looks at ways to manage labour without the use of medical pain relief.

A father applies pressure to his partner in labour. Taken from the 42 Weeks Gallery.

A father applies pressure to his partner in labour. Taken from the 42 Weeks Gallery.

Continue reading

A first homebirth for a third time mum

Our third pregnancy surprised us.  My youngest was only 10 months and was still breastfeeding.  We had always planned a third child, and were ecstatic.  From the start I was considering making this our first home birth. Our first birth in February 2010 took place in the consultant-led unit of Our Lady of Lourdes.  It was an induction at 42 weeks, and I had found it quite tough.  We felt railroaded into purple pushing, assuming the doctor’s preferred position (on my back) and then ended up with episiotomy and ventouse.  We were quite shocked for days after that birth, as we had spent the pregnancy preparing for birth in the MLU and using GentleBirth techniques.  Our second birth was in December 2011 in the MLU in Cavan.  A very different story – I awoke a little after 1:30am thinking I might be feeling something.  Arrived at the MLU fully dilated at 3:30am and baby was in my arms by 4am. Continue reading

A first birth for a mum in Cork University Maternity Hospital

Given that my little man is now eight months I think it’s about time I finally get his birth story down on paper!  I had a fantastically easy pregnancy and pretty much sailed through the nine months.  I did the Gentlebirth home study programme and listened to the tracks daily, did pregnancy yoga every week and had regular acupuncture.  I also did lots of research into birth in Ireland, interventions, hospital protocols, natural pain relief and so on.  The Gentlebirth Facebook group was my go-to for any questions.  I drank raspberry leaf tea from 34 weeks, used evening primrose oil from 38 weeks and bounced on my birthing ball for hours.  So by the time my due date arrived I was fully prepared and ready to go! Continue reading

A first-time mother has a gentle home birth using hypnobirthing

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

A home birth for a first time mother

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

A waterbirth at home for a second time mum

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

Baby #4 and a first homebirth

I guess I should start this by saying I had two wishes for this, my fourth baby’s birth:

  1. that I wouldn’t be an angry labouring woman or lose control; and
  2. that we would all (my husband, me and four kids) be in our own beds after the birth.

I’d prepared using the Gentlebirth CDs and this was our first homebirth.

I was six days past term and had been having shows all week. I was also hiding big time at school pickups. I felt like everyone was watching me, even though I’m sure they had more to be thinking about! Continue reading

Calm birth for first time mother with Domino midwives

Photo courtesy of www.independent.ie

Photo courtesy of http://www.independent.ie

It really was more a case of knowing the type of birth I didn’t want that led me to the decision that I’d try for a natural birth. I have a total fear of the whole needle into your spine thing. So that really put me off the idea of wanting an epidural. Also, knowing you can’t feel any contractions and the increased risk of tearing or having an episiotomy concerned me, too. In my job I’ve waxed hundreds of pregnant clients and heard hundreds of birth stories so I knew that the best-laid plans can change. Continue reading

A first time mother’s natural birth in CUMH

So I thought that nearly 17 weeks later it’s time to get my birth story down, before I forget any of it. Our son Daniel was born on the 5th June at 12.25am, it was a totally natural birth which I really, really wanted (even though everyone told me to be flexible I was determined not to take drugs or have an epidural). I was aided by my fantastic hypnobirthing CD and my also fantastic TENS machine. I had a really positive experience and I can honestly say that I didn’t really feel any pain once I put the CD and TENS machine on, only pressure and the will to push like the bejasus. Continue reading