I was delighted when I found out I was pregnant with Lucy. We had been trying for over a year and the disappointment each month was devastating. This was quite a new experience for us seeing as our first baby was conceived in one of those ‘lets chance it’ moments early in our marriage! I had just started investigations to see if something else was at play when, around 18 days post ovulation, I was DELIGHTED to find myself feeling ill by the smell of raw meat walking past our local butcher! I ran into the chemist and drove home as quick as I could to pee on that stick! And pee on a stick I did….. 6 times…. JUST TO BE SURE THOSE PINK DOUBLE LINES WERE REAL!!!! Continue reading
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
Well as I’d gone early with my first daughter I assumed I’d be the same on my second birth. So 40 weeks came and went and no sign of baba!
I had decided early on I’d go with midwives as I’d seen that film “the business of being born” and I was nervous of the over-medicalised view of birth in America. Through friends I found a lovely midwife group who were very supportive of natural birth and just letting women do what they need to do during labour. I was really keen for a natural birth this time. Even though I had one the first time I was a little worried that this birth could be different and I wanted to do as much as I could to help me achieve this. So myself and my husband did a 12 week antenatal course (Bradley birthing class) and I read loads of inspiring books on birthing. Ina May Gaskin’s book quickly became a favourite. Continue reading
Many people ask me how a hardened construction foreman, used to barking out orders to the team over the squeal of sheet metal being cut or the pile-driving of skyscraper support columns, could end up in a very different setting, helping women deliver babies. My 25 year old self definitely would not have believed it. Compassion and empathy are not generally a job requirement for a project manager either, another role I have carried out over the years. 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
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
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
I had been training to be a midwife since 2006. Halfway through my final year on my internship I found out I was pregnant. I was on a 13 hour shift on the gynae ward and took a test into the bathroom and lo and behold it was positive! I finished my shift with great difficulty. Continue reading
I missed the conception – the sweet pain, the writhing, the sweat and moans and the ecstasy.
During your bearing I have not been there either.
But I am here now. I am with you.
Woman do not fear, come with me. Together we will come to a place of joy.
I will guide you through churning waters and bring you to harbour.
And when the moon calls me again I will go back out to the wild to seek another soul to bring to safety.
To Bliss. Fulfilment.
In the blue scrubs and bright lights I am with you, Woman, I am here with you
In the flurry of injections, cord traction and machines that go beep, and pip and squeak.
I am with you – stars in darkness, rolling black waters.
Sweet pain, writhing, sweat, moaning and glorious profound actualisation.
Take my hand, my heart. I am yours for as long as you need me.
So sweet woman, come to shore. To the culmination of love and hope.
Rivulets of blood and perspiration. Ruddy cheeks and eyes bright.
Days swim into night.
We are of the world and out of it.
Foreheads pressed. Whispering. Strength and gentleness meld, melt and merge.
Pushing, panting, gasping, smiling, crying, laughing, and perfect, perfect joy.
And as your needs release me I am not sure which one of us floats from the other.
Yet I will always be with you.
Naomi M. O’Donovan, Student Midwife
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I delivered my baby girl Ellie Saturday 22nd of June 2013 at 4.31 pm. I had a tough but quick labour. I was 12 days overdue, tired, emotional and terrified of another induction. My last experience was far from positive or even a happy time, you kept me focused and in control when I thought I’d lost it. You helped me breastfeed, didn’t make me feel like you were in a rush. Even when another midwife was trying to get me out of delivery suite you told her no. You took me to my ward gave me a hug and kiss. It meant so much. We had been so anxious and scared of returning to hospital again you changed all of that for us. Thank you so much Shona.
From the moment you get a positive pregnancy test, your mind begins racing. These early hours and days are spent trying to organise where you will have your baby and with whom. Continue reading