Seren's Birth Story, by Hatty Wilson

I gave birth to my fourth baby at home, 43 weeks 2 days gestation - a healthy 11lbs 12oz boy. I had all the scare tactics of the problems that can arise with larger babies and late gestations (I had none of these problems!) and also had low blood pressure all through my pregnancy which rose considerably during labour (I think it is meant to!).

I added a week to the date of my last period as my dates are usually out by about that, but as so many people have said to me, babes come when they are ready!! If I had stuck to my actual date I would have been 44 weeks and 2 days late - I would have had some grief then!!

For notes on dating pregnancy, see Hatty's first three birth stories.

I went to 42 weeks with my first baby, River, (induced) and my second daugher, Chase, 41+5 with my first daughter, Eden, (induced) and 43+2 with my fourth baby, Seren. From 42 weeks I had alternate days of the midwife popping in, and hospital on the other days for going on a monitor and a couple of scans. My midwives and doctor were almost insistent I be induced, but I was strong and had a lot of support from the Homebirth UK email group.

My midwives and doctor had expressed concerns about the baby's head not being engaged, but none of my babies had engaged had before labour and I stuck to my guns.

All of my children have been large: 9lb 5oz, 8lb 1oz, 9lb 8oz, 11lb 12oz, and I had pressure about that too, but again it was my choice and I got loads of info and support. I did feel the pressure, but I also explained my reasons and reasoning. The midwives and doctor knew I was well informed and had to respect my choice!!

The three most important things I have learned are:

With the repeated monitoring I received I knew all was well with babe, and had the home birth I wanted, happy and healthy. My placenta was "perfect" - midwife's words.

Here are some messages that Hatty sent to the Homebirth UK mailing list before and after Seren's birth:

12 November

I went to hospital and was on the monitor this morning. They also gave me a scan, claiming that it would buy me more time.

"Until when?" I ask.
"Until they want you to go in" was the reply.
"I don't have to go in if I don't want to".
"Oh no, we wouldn't get you to do anything you don't want to do".

Same conversation with the sonographer pretty much. She pointed out that "we" wouldn't want anything to happen if I wasn't induced. She estimated babe's size to be 11lb 9oz first of all, and 10lb 7oz secondly (she rechecked). She did also say that sizing was very inaccurate at this stage (if she hadn't said it, I would have!). The midwife is going to come in on Wednesday if nothing has happened.


15 November

Still here, still huge!! Midwife visit this morning has left me a bit ggggggrrrrrrrrrr - she said that if the babe is any bigger in the scan then she wouldn't be happy about my delivering at home (what with scans being soooo accurate and all!!!), especially now she knows I have been advised by a consultant to have a hospital delivery because babe is big, blah blah.

I have started taking goldenseal (a herbal remedy sometimes used to induce labour) every hour and am off for another walk in a bit.

I think I may have to start a belly cast tomorrow if I'm still here!! I don't know I'd have room for it though as I am blocking out sunlight now!!!

16 November

Went for another scan and monitoring, all is fine, except now they consider me to be very high risk. They wanted me in for daily monitoring (said no) and are trying to hassle for hospital delivery even if I don't get induced. I explained why I am very reluctant to go for this, and that hasn't made any difference. I feel that they are trying to set me up for problems, just to prove themselves right.

I might just have to get tickets for Harry Potter tonight, that is bound to start it!!! 2 1/2 hours of sitting in a cinema seat???? What do ya reckon??? self induction #67 :)

19 November

Just to let you all know that things are certainly happening. The midwife coming back in an hour, contractions are 5 min apart, 5cm dilated. Water is still there. I promise capital letters when I finally have more news!!! I'm comfy sitting here rocking on my ball, thanks for all your support and keep those vibes coming!!!!

19 November - later

I posted this morning to say we were off and running, but it hasn't come up. Contractions are 2 mins apart, I've got my TENS on, got some geranium oil burning. Clary sage at the ready.

I've got 4 kids here, my three and River's mate Sky, whose mom is here for my labour (bless her, she's my rock!!). It's a bit loud, so I may be retiring up to my room and probably the bath. Still have my sense of humour - for now, but I have been growling at the kids a bit. The boys want to watch, but we will see!!! It may be a bit freaky for two 5 year olds to watch, even though we have discussed it with them and explained, still a bit mad for them!

Keep up the labour vibes guys, all received with thanks :) I'll let you know when we FINALLY meet the likklest wilson :)

19 November again - The Baby Arrives

Thanks for your messages and positive thoughts!!! The littlest wilson was born at 10.13pm, a MASSIVE boy!! And when I say massive, he is 11lb 12oz!!!! A total monster!! Fed for over an hour and sleeping now. River and Sky were standing by the door and weren't freaked or fazed at all, just a bit concerned.

Love to you all, all thanks for support and everything AGAIN!!! It means soooo much :)

hatty, paul, river, edz, chase and babe :)

The Birth Story

I had niggles on sunday, after chatting to a lovely midwife who said "I understand why you don't want to be induced, you obviously have long pregnancies and you're probably still healing from the fall!!!" (Hatty had a fall in late pregnancy).

I felt very assured after that. My midwife, sue, phoned monday morning and popped in late morning. She examined me and I was starting to dilate, so I sat on my ball emailing. The midwife popped back and left again to let me get on with it. Slowly building and tapering off again contrax all afternoon, put tens on at 3pm-ish.

Midwife and student came back at 6ish, and I started moving around the house sorting washing and stuff (had done some cleaning first thing!!!), watched Corrie over my ball as babe was OP (occiput posterior - see 'get your baby lined up'), still didn't move, so I went up for a bath at 8pm. I hadn't dilated much during the day, but things started moving in the bath and Sue called for the second midwife at 9pm. By 9.30 Sue asked if I'd come out as there isn't alot of room in my bathroom. The boys (River and Sky) were up and down so we gave them the job of getting me a cold cloth for every contraction.

I thought it was time for some gas and air at 9.50 - I was finding it really hard by then. I kind of lost it after one very long and low contraction just after they broke my waters. Sue said it was OK, I said it wasn't, not at all!!!! She said it was - I'd done this before - and all I could say was "OK" in a little voice!!!

Then the contractions changed and I moved down so my bum was hanging off the bed and started to push. Top of his head, Sue said I couldn't leave it there so I pushed again, head born, she said "Shoulders next - make it count!" so I did - I just knew if I didn't *they* would be right and he'd be stuck, so with all my might I pushed and covered my lovely midwife, Sue, in amniotic fluid!!!! Loads of it. He shot out and my huge son pooed on my floor - I put my foot in it as I lowered my leg, mmmmmm lovely :)

He is a bit purple, has loads of black hair, and we had a natural 3rd stage, 150ml blood loss, that all happened sooo fast. The boys had been standing by the door trying to edge their way in, as they were behind my left shoulder, and got to see him seconds after birth. River was a bit shocked as I was screaming. The student midwife (bless her) was crying, it was her first birth she had attended, and was so moved by it.

My friend took loads of pics. The midwives did push her out a bit and that was the only thing that I would change as I was counting on her being there for me, rather than the midwife being there watching me, but at the time I was not really in the mood to give a hoot!!! We had a lovely bath together, after which they weighed him, and could not believe it. 11lb 12oz. He was the biggest baby they had in the book, and it took two of them to hold the scales!!!

Then the girls were woken up by the boys and they were running about very excitedly for a bit. The baby had a feed for about an hour, after which he slept and I came down had some cheese on toast, hot chocolate and posted my news, texted loads of friends. A few phoned me back and I was chatting until about 2am when I decided I needed to go to bed. As I went back upstairs, I found the girls looking through the bars of the crib watching him. Paul took them back to bed and babe was wiggling a bit so I fed him a bit more and he fell asleep in the middle of us.

He is just the right size for lying next to me for feeding, which is handy, and a lot more comfy than sitting up feeding, and it has meant that when he wakes during the night, I just move him to the other side. So I'm quite refreshed!!!

Hatty Wilson

Hatty's first three birth stories are on another page.

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