It's not every day you get to witness a beautiful home birth, so I thought I'd share my recent experience with you.
I got a private booking with a lovely couple who were recommended by friends who'd recently completed the Babies in Waiting Hypnobirthing course. Over the next four weeks they began to form a positive picture in their mind of what labour could be like for them and how they'd work together and navigate choices and decisions along the way. They knew they could be met with Covid-19 restrictions if they chose to give birth in hospital, and having the birth partner there throughout labour was most important to them. So they explored the idea of having a home birth and grew more confident over time deciding it was the right choice for them. It can be daunting for first time parents choosing to have a home birth, but with knowledge comes power! They practised the relaxation techniques daily and decided to write a 'coping strategy list' to support them both during labour if they felt overwhelmed or anxious.
They both felt very positive and grateful after the Hypnobirthing course and asked me if I could support them at home during labour. I was thrilled!! I just had to wait for the call telling me they were in labour.
The next step was the home birth assessment to discuss their home birth options with a community midwife. Shortly after, they sourced a birth pool to use in their birthing room.
On Wednesday, the day before baby's 'due date' Mum had some irregular surges throughout the day and by the next morning they'd become more frequent. They called the midwife to update her and she came round at 8am to see how they were doing. Mum asked the midwife to assess her and she confirmed the cervix was very soft and 2cm dilated, labour was in progress!
I arrived that afternoon and reassured them that they were both doing really well working together through the surges. As we talked and mum snacked on some biscuits, I noticed they were both tired and Mum was feeling uncomfortable and uncertain. I reminded her that labour takes time and that she can utilise breathing techniques and visualisation to support her. I diffused some lavender essential oil and we listened to a relaxation script. The surges progressed and Mum began to focus inwards suggesting she could be in the active stage of labour now so the midwife returned at 3pm. Mum was keen to know how far she’d progressed and how much longer labour would be – now isn’t that the million dollar question! I felt her disappointment as the midwife confirmed she was nearly 4cm. She felt exhausted and the midwife suggested baby could be in back to back position which may take longer. The midwife and I left so they could get some rest and have something to eat.
When the midwife and I returned at 10pm, Mum was completely focussed on her breathing and felt ready to go upstairs and use the birth pool. Now 5cm dilated, Mum began to doubt her ability to progress so Dad reminded her that it wouldn't be long now and that she was coping amazingly. The midwife’s positive presence was very reassuring and made everyone feel very comfortable.
We filled up the pool in the bedroom and created a relaxed birth environment. The room was calm, lavender oil diffusing, soft music playing in the background and lights dimmed. This was it, the final stage of labour! Mum got into the pool and began using gas and air during her surges. Dad, myself and the midwife took turns applying pressure to Mum’s lower back, holding her hands and encouraging her. Dad was doing an outstanding job as birth partner by looking after Mum and boosting her confidence. Reminding her to breathe, eat and drink. Fetching things, holding her, empowering her and remaining calm. I was amazed by Mum’s inner strength, self-talk and motivation. She found comfort in saying “breathe down” while birth breathing through her surges.
Mum seemed to progress better out of the pool standing up leaning over the bed, allowing gravity to help baby down. A second midwife arrived and added to the positive and encouraging atmosphere. At 3am, Mum roared with all her might as Dad received their beautiful daughter in his arms. It was a truly magical moment to see Mum and Dad overcome with joy and pride as they held their baby for the first time.
Vicky ( Babies in Waiting Romford)