My name is genesis dove and I'd like to tell my home birth story. It didn't go as planned, but I had such a good midwife that it was still a wonderful experience in the end.
I found out I was 3 months pregnant when my daughter was 22 months old. It was a shock but once we got used to the idea I decided to opt for a home birth. I had tried for one with my daughter but my waters broke a week after I was due and I ended up in hospital, flat on my back with a drip in my arm and monitors all around. I was determined not to let that happen again.
When I went for my 20 week scan I met up with the midwife, Janet, who did all my antenatal care with my daughter and she offered to take over my case this time. So she started comming to our house to do the check-ups and until a few weeks before my baby was due every thing was fine. When my blood tests were done at 38 weeks I found out I was anaemic but, not to be deterred, Janet dosed me up with iron tablets and got blood ready at the hospital in case I needed it. A week later my blood count was back up and we were on track for my much-wanted home birth.
A day later contractions started and I started to think 'is this it?' They were still coming the following morning and Janet came round and said, yes I was 3 cm dilated and in early labour. A few hours later everything stopped. This happened at least once a day until a week later when I was so exausted I was sent to hospital and given sleeping tablets so I would get a nap.
Later that afternoon Janet came in and told me I was booked in to be induced in a week. I think at that point I knew I wasn't going to start by myself. So we found ourselves back at hospital the following wednesday, they put the gel in at 10am and by lunchtime my contractions were so close together that I was worrying the other mothers on the ward. I finished lunch and went down to the labour suite where I was met by Janet.
We were left to have a nice bath and deal with the pain ourselves until 4.30 when I was examined and was 4cm so could have my waters broken. The next hour and a half passed quickly and with a lot of gas and air. At one minute to six I gave birth to a 9lb 10z baby boy, Zane.
As it happened it was a good thing we were at hospital as Zane had a true knot in his cord so needed oxygen and when I delivered the placenta I started to bleed and ended up on a drip. I was reminded of something Janet told me the first time I was pregnant, "if you end up in hospital even for something silly, there's usually a good reason behind it".
Editor's Note: Midwife Janet had a point! However, it is worth mentioning here that oxygen is taken to most home births in the UK, in case the baby needs resuscitation, although it is always a good idea to check that it is provided routinely in your area. Babies born at home are less likely to need resuscitation than babies born to mothers of the same risk level in hospital, but the National Birthday Trust Fund (NBTF) report on home births found that oxygen was administered to 5.6% of all planned home birth babies .
Genesis suffered a post-partum haemorrhage (pph), but she was at greater risk of this happening as her labour was induced. The NBTF report found that women having home births were significantly less likely to have a PPH than women of the same risk level having hospital births. If a PPH does occur at home, the midwife will be able to administer drugs such as syntocinon or syntometrine, and take other emergency measures, before transferring you to hospital. In many areas the necessary drugs can be administered intravenously at home. See the UK Midwifery Archives page on emergency management of PPH.
Genesis's story is a fine example of the difference a good relationship between a mother and a midwife can make:
Even though we ended up in hospital no-one pushed us around and as I had had the time to get to know Janet, I felt I could trust her to do the best for my baby and I.
Zane is now 8 months old and is a very fit and large baby. Looking back I wouldn't change anything about that day.
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