Clair's first baby was born by caesarean for breech presentation. She planned a homebirth for her second, Emily, but transferred to hospital and ended up with a caesarean after slow progress in the second stage.
When I found out I was expecting my third child I was determined to do things differently. After having 2 previous sections and being told by hospital consultants that my next child would be born by c-section, I felt very strongly that I did not want another section and that the NHS could not support me in my wishes so I hired an independent midwife. It was the best decision I ever made.
With full support from my IM I planned a home water birth and I am very happy to say I achieved my goal.
At 6am on 31st January (3 days past my due date, 11 days past my hospital due date) I started having regular contractions. I calmly woke my husband and asked him to stay home from work today because I was having the baby. I got up, ate breakfast and then we woke our 2 children and got them up and dressed. All the while the contractions were getting stronger and closer together so by 7.30am I called my midwife. I called her again at 8.30 and she said she would be on her way over.
We sent my eldest child off to nursery as usual. I stayed very calm, rocking over my birth ball during contractions, watching tv with my youngest child while my husband filled the inflatable birth pool. By 11 am the contractions were very strong, the pool was ready and I got in. The contractions faded for a few minutes and my midwife arrived with her student. Then they started again with a vengance! The water was very helpful - I found it very relaxing between contractions and whilst they didn't make the pain go away it was easier to cope with them than on dry land.
By noon I started getting a strong urge to bear down. It was hard not to push but I tried to breathe through contractions. I started getting tired and asked for gas and air to help me. I had a very strong urge to push and couldn't help myself but there was no sign of baby descending yet. My midwife was incredible throughout, encouraging me and supporting me whilst staying very hands-off. She only disturbed me to take my pulse and monitor the baby with the waterproof sonicaid. She never asked me to change position to do this - she worked around me and showed me the utmost respect.
Even though I had been pushing for a while things were not progressing so she suggested I get out of the pool and try to empty my bladder. I sat on the toilet for a while but I could not pee so I decided to get back in the pool again. I continued with the gas and air and at around 3pm things started to happen. I got incredible urges to push and the baby started coming down. I felt baby descending and pretty soon his head was visible. I almost pushed his head out but the contraction faded and it slid all the way back in again! I pushed it out with the next contraction. I felt his head between my legs, a very strange sensation! Then the contraction faded and it seemed like forever before the next one came. It did and as I started to push out his body he rotated and kicked me! His little body slithered out and I sat up and picked him up out of the water. I had delivered my son into my own hands. He was pink and alert, his big blue eyes looking at me. He started to breathe right away; he gurgled but didn't cry. It was all very peaceful. My husband and 4 1/2 year old son witnessed the birth. My son was very interested and asked if we could keep him. We said yes!
I held our new son in the pool for almost 15 minutes. The placenta wasn't in a hurry to come so we waited until the cord stopped pulsing, tied it with cotton tape and cut it. My husband held our son while I got out of the pool and 90 minutes later delivered the placenta down the toilet. Everyone had tea and biscuits and we settled down with our new family in the comfort of our own home.
Samuel Nathan was born at home in the water at 3.45pm on 31st January 2006. He weighed 8lb 4oz. I was so happy, it was the best experience ever. I had avoided all hospital pressure for intervention and successfully delivered my son into my own hands. I couldn't believe we had done it! It all seemed so normal and natural, despite it being a home water birth after 2 sections.
Flowerpot Tots - clever cloth nappy products for growing babies
Home Birth Stories
Independent Midwives - what they do, and where to find one.
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean - what are the issues?
Home VBAC stories
Caesarean.org.uk - support and information about caesarean birth and vaginal birth after caesarean.
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