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Daisy's birth story, by Helen O'Donnell

Helen joined the Homebirth UK email group when she booked a homebirth late in her pregnancy - at 38 weeks. Her first baby was induced in hospital after her waters broke before labour, and her second was a hospital waterbirth. This is the story of her third baby's arrival.

I haven't posted since the day before my planned home birth which was in August, but would like to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who offered invaluable advice to me especially as I only considered having a homebirth at 38 weeks so didn't have long to prepare and plan for it.

In a nutshell… it was fantastic! An hour and half of early labour, two hours of first stage, a 2 minute second stage and a quick physiological third stage. No intervention, drugs or stitches… just one beautiful 8lb 7oz daughter.

I chose not to have a birthing pool at home; other than not leaving much time to sort one out, I was quite happy to labour in the bath and following the birth of my second son (DS2 - Dear Son 2) last year, which was a hospital water birth, I had the feeling that the 2nd stage would also be very short with very little pushing so was happy to hop out the bath and do the hard work on bed….. but….

On Friday morning (41+4) I had a second membrane sweep which was expected to get me going that afternoon / evening. I had a sweep with DS2 which was absolutely fine, but would have chosen not to have one this time if it wasn't for my sister-in-law's wedding the following Saturday and wanting to have my baby and get past the first 3 or 4 days when I usually feel like a bag of spanners.

Anyway, early afternoon I started having regular contractions so hubby ran me a lovely bath with candles, music, a cuppa and a magazine, and we continued to discuss boys names.

After an hour the contractions got progressively stronger so DH (Dear Husband) called the delivery suite to advise them of my progress. At this point my folks arrived and my Mum offered to paint my nails whilst I was still in the bath. She's also a budding photographer so we have a ton of photos of 'before', 'during' and 'after' so some rather yucky ones for the family album!

Within half an hour my favourite CMW (Community Midwife) turned up (my CMW with DS1 (Dear Son 1 - first son), always got on great with her) with that lovely Entonox so I decided to get out of the bath to stretch my legs, move round a bit and let the MW have a quick ganders (this is UK slang for having a look!) I was almost fully-dilated, yippee!. Laboured in the bedroom with the Entonox, the MW and my Mum and was having a laugh, between contractions whilst DH and my Dad made refreshments!

Contractions stepped up a pace so decided to get back in the bath with the Entonox and the second CMW arrived. I agreed with the MWs that I would get out of the bath and onto the bed to birth…. BUT it happened so fast without any warning that I wanted to push, so I cocked my leg over the side of the bath, the MW yanked the bath-plug out and without a push, Daisy Rose made her entrance at 6:03pm into the freshly emptied bath! Straight to chest and absolutely fine, other than there being meconium in my waters, which she threw up a few times during the night but was fine. As with DS2, prior to the birth I had no show and my waters didn't break.

Had a physiological 3rd stage, of course in the bath, which was very convenient! I just squatted and I think it just fell out LOL! The MWs removed the placenta and the big blobs, rinsed the shark attack water away with the shower hose, hosed me down so that I could jump straight into my lovely clean bed with proud hubby and Princess Daisy. No stitches required and Daisy weighed in at 8lb 7oz.

My in-laws came in the evening bringing DS1 and DS2 back home, to meet their sister, whilst I stayed upstairs in bed to rest, but then being a social-animal I just had to come downstairs to see them, have another cuppa and tell them about my wonderful day!

In hindsight? I wouldn't have done anything differently except I wish I'd had homebirths for DS1 and DS2, with DS1 I had PROM (prelabour rupture of membranes) so after 4 days they examined me and as I was quite dilated they stuck me on a foetal heart monitor, I feel unnecessarily, for my entire labour so didn't get chance to be on my feet at all and it was a long and painful labour with plenty of syntocinon, the baby had a nuchal hand (hand up by his neck) which didn't help in the old tears and stitches department, and with DS2 it was so straightforward it should have been at home.

Because the whole day that Daisy was born on is a fond memory for all of us, it was relaxed, exciting, happy and quite spiritual. To stay relaxed in my own home, to use my own bathroom, to lay on my bed when I wanted a break from the contractions, to move around when I wanted, to get in and out of the bath when I fancied it, to drink and eat what I pleased when I pleased, to be able to have privacy with my husband when the contractions were very painful and I just wanted his hand, and to have my parents near who felt quite honoured and humbled to be 'there' rather than in an hospital waiting room, to have very little disruption to my sons routines and especially to give birth HOW I SHOULD GIVE BIRTH has made it all so fantastic.

Once we'd decided on a homebirth we were a little concerned that we wouldn't get one for 'external reasons' as we had received some dire excuses from the midwife team for not having a homebirth such as 'staffing shortages', 'going past 13 days' and even 'running out of Entonox'! But, again with thanks from this Forum we would not be letting any such reasons prevent us. THANKS AGAIN FOLKS.

Hospital birth (40+2) 2003
Hospital water birth (41+3) 2005
Homebirth (41+4) 2006

Related pages:

Home Birth Stories

Overdue - what are the risks? What are your options?

Pain relief - what are your options at home?

Water for pain relief and birth

Meconium - what does it mean if your baby passes meconium? Should you transfer to hospital?

The Third Stage of Labour - what are your options, and the pros and cons of each?


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