First time mum’s natural birth in the Rotunda

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

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Part 1: A VBAC mum negotiates one-to-one continuity of care with a DOMINO midwife for her hospital birth

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

A fast, natural birth for a 2nd time mum at 42 weeks in the Rotunda

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

The Mysterious Placenta and the Third Stage of Labour

Did you know, the placenta has always been thought of as a mysterious and powerful organ? 

31st century BC

Narmer Palette 31st century BC – the small attendant on the far right carries the placenta of the Pharaoh, thought to be his ‘soul’ or ‘external helper’

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A home birth for a first time mum with Holles Street community midwives

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

Third time mum, fast natural birth

My third pregnancy was very much a surprise. It did not start in the best way! I was breastfeeding and vividly recall taking the first response test while holding my 6 month old PRAYING it would be negative. I nearly dropped him when the second line came up. I was in denial… only after the 5th test with varying shades of lines and symbols screaming PREGNANT did I actually look at my husband and conclude that I was very much indeed pregnant. My first words were “what are we going to do” Continue reading

A second time mother’s birth in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny

New Year’s Day

Morning Time

Woke up this morning before the alarm, which usually goes off at 7am shouting “mammy, get me!”. Something has woken me up and after I pat my 40 week and 5 day old bump, I know what it was: a very mild, but distinctive period like cramp. I’d had one or two in the days shortly after Christmas but I’d been walking regularly and that was when they usually happened. Yep! There it is again. Another quick rub and half hour later I feel nothing more. Just as well as our 22 month old alarm clock is shouting for me to come “get him.” Continue reading