During my pregnancy, there was one particular visit where I said to my partner: “That’s who I want at the birth of this baby”. All of the community midwives who visited us for every single antenatal appointment in the comfort of our own home were amazing, but there was something about this midwife that made me feel even more confident and reassured that this home birth would be one of the most wonderful experiences of our lives. Continue reading
I guess I should start this by saying I had two wishes for this, my fourth baby’s birth:
- that I wouldn’t be an angry labouring woman or lose control; and
- 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
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
My first son was born through a natural birth in hospital with the Holles Street Community Midwife team. This time around I felt empowered by my successful delivery and decided to try it at home. I was with the community midwives again and I can’t imagine giving birth without them by my side. Continue reading
Our first baby was due on Friday 8th February. I had kept pretty active during my pregnancy, I walked, swam, done a pregnancy yoga class, and bounced bounced bounced away on the pilates ball! I also listening to Gentlebirth CDs. I had a fear of hospitals, sickness, blood, needles and honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through pregnancy let alone labour. But at the same time I knew that I would love to have a natural, pain relief free labour. I wanted the best start for my baby and I really wanted to experience labour and feel my baby entering the world. I believe that keeping myself active throughout my pregnancy, informing myself of all my choices and keeping as calm as possible really helped me have the birth I wanted. Continue reading
My daughter was born at 43+1 weeks in Holles Street on December 15th. I had politely declined induction at 42 weeks and opted for daily monitoring instead as I felt happy to let my baby decide when her birthday would be as long as she was happy in there and there were no signs of anything wrong. She scored 8/8 every day on her Biophysical Profiles so I was happy to continue with the pregnancy. It would be an understatement to say I came under severe pressure to induce labour every time I attended for a scan. But I held my nerve, did my research and made an informed decision not to interfere with the birth/labour process. Continue reading
I have found it very hard to put into words the gratitude and love that I feel for the midwife who took care of us the day my son was born.
She was the midwife I needed – and my husband needed – that day. We had both taken an instant fondness to her on our first antenatal appointment with her and we were delighted that she was the midwife on call when I went into labour. Continue reading
This letter is dedicated to the wonderful community midwife who visited us in our home the morning after my son was born to check how we were doing. Continue reading
When I went to see my GP to confirm my pregnancy at 5 weeks, she went through all my maternity options with me and fair play to her even mentioned I could have a homebirth if I wanted. She wouldn’t recommend it, but it was available if I fancied it. Oh God no, I said, not for me. I was actually already booked into the Domino Scheme in the National Maternity Hospital. Once I got the thumbs up from the pregnancy test, I was on the phone. You have to move quick in this town for community midwife-led care! Continue reading
I laboured for a few hours at home and only went into Holles Street when I couldn’t even talk to my partner anymore. He insisted on getting me to the hospital when he couldn’t get coherent conversation out of me. In Admissions at the hospital, I couldn’t even answer basic questions, such as “is that your correct address?” I was swiftly taken by wheelchair up to Labour and Delivery and brought into a delivery room. The midwife who attended me was brilliant. Her name was Heather and she was the only person in the room besides me and my partner. She was a fountain of calm and quietness! She allowed me to push my baby out at my own pace and he was born in just over 10 minutes.
I am convinced that her lack of interference and her strong supportive presence made birth even more of a joy for our new little family. When it came time to deliver the placenta, I requested that I be given time to do this without any medication. She was absolutely supportive and I delivered the placenta easily and effortlessly within 20 minutes. I can’t thank Heather enough for her respect for my wishes in childbirth, for being totally ‘hands-off’ and for being a significant support in the birth of my first child. Maybe she will read this and know what a difference she made to our experience in hospital? If you do ever get a chance to read this, Heather (midwife in Holles Street in October 2008), please know that you had an enormous impact on my positive birth experience.
It is a little hard to know where to begin with the birth story and how much to share. One thing I’ve learned since having Nate is that sharing experiences with other women is a very powerful tool. In the hours before Nate’s birth, I read several birth stories that gave me the courage and strength I needed to endure the labour. Continue reading