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"Trust your body, trust your instincts, the female body is incredible when left to its own devices"

Naomi's birth experience

Water Birth at Home

My due date came and went. Having had my little boy the day before his due date I was disheartened as everyone comments on how your second comes quicker than your first. Not for me it seems. My SPD was particularly bad now, using a crutch if I wasn’t pushing a buggy with A in. I was very very fed up. I began slow early labour on Sunday when I was 40+5 weeks pregnant, surges every 8 mins, not painful but regular. They progressively got more painful and I even called triage to let them know that I’m booked for a home birth so the on call midwife should call me. She advised me to have a bath to see what happened. Things stopped. I woke up later that night with severe back pain, had another bath. It went and that was that. No baby tonight. Monday I had a sweep, I was 2-3cm with my waters bulging. Great! Let’s go walk this baby out! Tuesday came and still having random surges I went for a walk around the local woods with my little boy and mum. Doing lunges and squats to try and pop my waters. Nothing happened. I sent mum back off to her mums saying “I’ve got another sweep tomorrow, that’ll kick start things so you might as well rest tonight!” (She has been sleeping on our sofa). Tuesday night I just wanted to sleep, so at 8:30 we both went to bed.

I woke up at 12:30ish and had a good “clear out” and felt a lot of pressure from baby girl. Something was definitely happening this time. Contractions came on thick and fast, every 2 mins lasting at least a minute each time. This was it. I called triage who let the on call midwife know and it turned out to be the midwife I’d seen on Monday, and her “second” was my midwife, who I’d had the entire pregnancy. An ideal situation which put me at ease straight away.

Matt started to blow up the pool and I got into my “zone” using the Freya app from the positive birth company (highly recommend). My midwife assessed me who said I was 4cm, progressing well but that I shouldn’t get into the pool because it could slow things right down. I was coping well without pain relief so to keep going as I was. I used my ball and leaned up against the pool with every surge counting my way through. I felt like leaning on or pulling something helped massively. My midwife left as she wasn’t meant to be on call that night but wanted to be there for me and she was on call from 8am the next day so it would be her who would come back if baby hadn’t arrived. This was about 3:30/4am. The second midwife stuck around as she made me feel at ease but we decided she could leave at 5am. She told me to call if my waters went or I needed gas and air.

A woke up at 6:15am and I came upstairs to have a shower so he could play downstairs as normal (around the massive “bath” as he called it). The shower was incredible, hot water on my lower back was bliss, I stayed there for about half an hour with my mum offering to wash my hair for me (no thanks mum not my number 1 priority right now!). I got into a zone and was able to fall asleep sitting up in between each contraction, my mum was worried that I was slowing my labour down but I trusted my body that it was doing what it needed to do. 8am came around and the surges had become pretty intense so I decided I needed some pain relief. I called triage who sent my midwife over. Matt got the pool to decent temperature and my midwife set up the gas and air. I asked her to examine me and I was told I was 7cm.

Having progressed quickly with A she suggested getting into the pool as things were unlikely to slow down now I was in “established” labour. The relief of getting into the pool was incredible. My bump was so heavy and so low that I felt lighter than air getting in. I used the gas and air to get myself through each surge which had become almost relentless. Another midwife turned up. You know when the other midwife shows up it means baby is coming soon! And she did! I let my body take over and zoned out to go with each push that it needed to do. I used gas to breathe through and bared down when my body did but actually looking back at footage I was just using the mouthpiece and was blowing into it rather than breathing it in. Her head was born at 10:22, the rest of her followed by 10:25am on 14th August 2019. Matt, A and my mum were all around me whilst this happened. She was placed upon my chest (checking she was definitely a girl!), she had a good heart rate but didn’t really cry. She came into this world very peacefully, we made an incredible team. She was on me for about 5 minutes but the pool began to get cold so we decided to cut the cord, get her out and warm while I delivered the placenta. I wanted to do this naturally too which I managed after about 30 mins. No pain relief needed for this!

I got out the pool and my midwife checked me over. I tore but not in a way that needed stitches and had a couple of grazes. Again no stitches as long as I didn’t want them.

Now guess the weight of the baby? Having measured the 50th centile the entire way of my pregnancy? 9lbs 11oz! Bigger babies really are easier to birth apparently (second degree tear, stitches and physio therapy with my first 7lbs 4oz baby), just shows how inaccurate the measurements can be! Trust your body, trust your instincts, the female body is incredible when left to its own devices. I was in my own bed, eating a dominos, feeding my newborn by midday and my midwife left me to it. I came downstairs a couple of hours later and my sitting room was back to normal as if nothing had happened! A kept repeating “mama ba gone!” (mummy’s bath gone!). Time to settle into being a family of four!