Thank you to my midwife

My first pregnancy was a challenge – unexpected, at a stressful time. I didn’t realise what short supply independent midwives were in, and missed the chance to get one. Initially was too far out for a Domino home birth, so ended up with Holles Street MLU, then Domino. That was ok (apart from the hospital visits) til my (contested) due date arrived, and they menaced me with the spectre of induction. I called Philomena and she gave me advice on how to negotiate – also offered to come out to the birth if she became free. Continue reading

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The Birth of Three Sons – or – How I Became the First Direct Entry Male Midwife in Ireland

Viking Boys (1)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

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 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 second time mother’s home birth

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

Part 2: Our Birthing Journey Life & Death…finally Joy – Fighting for respect; My right to choose how and where I birth my baby.

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
…finally Joy

Fighting for respect;
My right to choose how and where I birth my baby. Continue reading

Did you know: You can have your first baby at home?

Lots of people (all of whom have never had a home birth or attended one) are very fond of telling the world that women are not “allowed” have their first baby at home. Has someone said this to you? I am sure that many people said it to me before I ever got pregnant, and some still quote it now.

Reasons people give are usually fairly random but often centre on some kind of notion that a woman’s body is akin to an untested, untried machine. The same people are usually eager to concede that once a woman s body has been “tested” in a pregnancy and birth and performed (one presumes) to appropriate standards, its fine to have a homebirth on baby two. Continue reading

The ten best things about having a home birth

Krysia Lynch, Coordinator, Home Birth Association of Ireland home birth blogger at homebirthireland.com and home birth mum gives us her top ten reasons why home birth rocks!

  1. You get to know your carer and you get continuity of care from the first visit in early pregnancy to the last visit up to six weeks after your baby is born. Most visits from your midwife will last over an hour and maybe as much as two hours. Most midwives include your other children in the antenatal visits and like to get to know you as a family. Continue reading

A gentle VBAC water birth at home

It was 2am on Tuesday morning, 5th March, and I woke up to cramps. They were very manageable, really just felt like period cramps. After timing them for about 40 minutes, it seemed they were 10 minutes apart. Shortly after that my 4 year-old little monkey woke up and wasn’t feeling the best, so I took him down to his Daddy to mind and got back to bed to rest and keep an eye on the cramps. I wasn’t due until the 8th March, so I still thought that it might have been just Braxton Hicks. Anyways at 6am, they were still going and so I knew I was on my way. I pottered downstairs and turned on the immersion so the water would be ready when it was time to fill the pool. I didn’t want to disturb anyone at this stage as I felt it was too early yet. But by 6.30, they had moved to 4/5 minutes apart so I gave my midwife a buzz and she was on her way. Next phone call was to my sister who we had asked to look after the kids. Continue reading