This story was submitted by one of Natalie's midwives, Laura, with Natalie's permission. Laura comments:
"We think this story shows how important the preparation for birth in the antenatal period is and that one of the most important roles for midwives at a birth is to do "nothing"!"
I am writing this at 05.30 in the morning. I have had 8 hours but can't sleep any longer because my breasts are so full. I haven't fed since 9.00 last night when I put Megan in her cot. She is 3 weeks old. This is no coincidence.
Megan is our 3rd daughter. The other girls were intended to be homebirths but, for reasons that COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED, they were both born in hospital - long difficult labours - complications - mismanagement - conflicting opinions.
We were determined that this would be a better birth and decided to accept that it would be a hospital birth so we may as well go in search of the best hospital for us. We made appointments. We had been recommended some independent midwives and thought it worth the £50 to eliminate them from our options (Some independent midwives charge for an initial consultation, refundable if you book them for your maternity care). Laura and Jane came on a Monday evening. By Tuesday 10am we had booked them and cancelled all hospital viewings and have never been disappointed.
Jane and Laura listened to us and our needs - the needs of our whole family - and created a situation in our home in which we felt comfortable to give birth. Most of the work was done before the birth! In fact during labour they monitored the baby's heart and drunk tea! But yet they did everything. We had so much confidence in them. They enabled a lovely birth.
We had a beautiful birth in water at home. We were together, listening to our music - relaxed. It was over in 4 hours. My first baby was 3 days and second 24 hours (the next will be 5 minutes if I continue along those lines)!
Yet the true implication of such a birth are coming to light now, after the birth.
The absence of any trauma has meant an incredible recovery. I can honestly say that 2 weeks postnatal I was myself - me - Natalie - mummy - wife - friend. I had energy for Amy, Anna and Russell (and plenty of milk for Meg). Meg fed beautifully. I never engorged. She has made a positive impact on our lives and Amy and Anna have quickly accepted her and long to talk to and hole her. We have quickly adapted to being a family of 5.
I have enjoyed my newborn so much more than the others, and I can hardly believe that I gave birth 3 weeks ago - neither can the health visitor but the evidence is bulging from my chest!
Natalie's independent midwives were Laura Abbott and Jane Dutton - see www.homebirths.net.
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