4 years ago (I was 22) I had a (I hate to say it) horrible labour. My daughter Evie who is now 4 is gorgeous and I wouldn't change her for the world, came in to this world in feb 2004. I woke at 1am and felt as though I need the loo and when I went to the bathroom I saw that I had had a 'show'. Having been to all the NHS-run classes and this being my first I knew I had a while to go so climbed back into bed, the labour pains were then 10 mins apart. I woke my then partner (now husband) and he sat with me and timed. At about 4am I was becoming quite uncomfortable so called the hospital to see if I should come in, they advised that as my waters hadn't broken to have a warm bath. This I did, but as soon as I climbed in the contractions intensified.
We decided to go to hospital anyway and when we arrived we were shown to a lovely room with a birthing pool. The midwife asked to examine me and said that I was 5cm and if I wanted I could get in the pool,so I did, then she said they expect me to dilate 1 cm an hour ish so try to relax and breath then she left the room, this was a 5.30 am, the contractions became stronger and closer gradually, I felt I was dealing with them well and didn't want any pain relief.
The midwife came back at 7am and asked if we were ok, which we were. Jason (my husband) rubbed my back and before we knew it, it was 9.30am. The contractions were still 4 mins apart, the pain had increased, but my waters still hadn't broken. The midwife asked me to get out to examine me; not knowing any different, I got out, she said that my membranes were bulging but I was still only 5cm, no further along. She called in a senior midwife who examed me further and informed us that Evie was back-to-back (occiput posterior - see 'get your baby lined up') and that things would "get worse". He said I wouldn't be able to deliver naturally and I had to be transfered to another hospital for and epidural. it happened very quickly. I don't remember being given any options or actually being asked, but before I knew it I was strapped to a bed with gas and air and left in a corridor and told the paramedics would be here shortly. My husband was given directions to the other hospital and told to meet us there.
I am unsure how long I was strapped down for but the pain was huge. I finally arrived at Poole hospital at 12pm; we guess that I was alone in the corridor for over an hour with people walking past looking at me.
When we arrived at Poole I was again examined and my husband was allowed in and my mum had arrived. she was appaled at my treatment. I was told that I was having an epidural and by that point I was in so much pain I didn't care. Whilst waiting for the doctor I felt a huge urge to push. There was only a student midwife in the room who went to get a midwife; she said the doctor was only 2 doors down so keep the noise down and don't push or I won't get an epidural. I was also told that I was still only 5cm and I couldn't possibly need to push. When he arrived I couldn't speak to him and he was very patronising ( I look very young) and as I was then a 'Miss' (which was written above my bed in large letters) I'm sure that they assumed I was 15 or so. He finally gave me the epidural and I was allowed to lie back down. As soon as he left I shouted "I have to push"; the midwife said that my waters hadn't broken so I shouldn't, she again fetched the other midwife who broke my waters and 9 mins later at 3.34pm Evie was born. The midwife had both of her hands around evie's head as she came out to "aid delivery" I felt every bit of it, so the epidural was pointless.
After she was born, I was elated. They put her in the cot next to me and told my mum and hubby to leave the room whilst I was sewn up. I tore, 2nd degree. I was so relieved to have it all over with and was very tired. They then spent 40 mins stitching me up. A midwife was teaching a student how to do it. After 10 mins I said that I was tired and wanted to sleep could they please just finish and stop teaching. I was told not to be silly and to wait. I asked for them to get my husband and was told no. So I shouted for him and thankfully he was the other side of the door having previously been told he wasn't allowed in.
I was then taken a private room, when I stupidly thought my luck had changed. After seeing my and my partner's family, they all left and I slept. I awoke as 8pm and Evie was crying, my legs were wobbly after the epidural and I had a needle in my hand after having the epidural. I rang my buzzer and no one came; after trying for 10 mins with no response, I pulled the needle out myself as Evie needed some attention. She had done her first poo which was as black and thick as tar - this is very normal, but I didn't know this being a first time mum. I was scared alone and could barely walk. I managed to change Evie and brought her into bed with me. I was trying to get her latched on when a midwife came in; she told me off for using baby wipes to change evie and taking the needle out of my hand. When I explained that I had rang for help, she called me a liar. Anyway that was my nightmare. Unfortunately I suffered post natal depression and vowed not to have any more children.
Fast forward 3 years, I have now married my husband and fell pregnant again. I was so scared and, being a little older and wiser, researched a little more and that is when a came across your website. Reading the stories of all these women who have had fantastic home births made me hope that this was something I could achieve. I spoke to my midwfe who was all for homebirths but said it is difficult due to lack of staff, but she advised that if my mind is made up then even if asked to go to the unit don't, stay at home and they are obliged to provide someone to assist. So when I awoke on Easter sunday at 5.30am with the same feeling of needing to poo, I went to the bathroom and had had a show I knew what was happening. I woke my husband and then ran a bath. It was important for me to have Evie in the house (she was alseep) but to have my mum look after her. I called the hospital at 6.15 and spoke to a midwife - she asked me to come in and I said no I am happy at home, can you please send someone; she said she would. My contractions were coming thick and fast, Jason was hoovering downstairs in the living room and laying sheets when the midwife arrived. She came up stairs and asked me how I was, I was fine and dealing with it very well thank you, I felt I was being a little rude at first as I didn't want any intervention. She went outside to gather her belongings and no sooner had she left than my waters broke and I needed to push. Archie James was born at 7.26 am in the bath, completely unplanned to have him in the bath but fabulous anyway. I had gas and air for the last 3 minutes, otherwise I did it alone; I was so pleased and it is not an over the top to say it changed my life.
I was down and felt as though I had failed after having Evie, I can now see it wasn't my fault and I have 2 beautiful children and am a very proud mummy. As I was so down after Evie, I didn't look after myself, I put on weight and didn't work. I have now lost weight and am at the end of my first year of an English Degree.
Labour is such a huge event in a womens life, take control and have it the way you want it; trust your body and it will show you what to do.
Siblings at a home birth - what to do with your older children? Should they be present?
Pain relief - what are your options at home?
Waterbirth at home
Get Your Baby Lined Up - what it means when your baby gets in an awkward position, and what you can do about it.
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Home Birth Stories
Home Birth Reference Page