Adam's birth story, by Nichole Bruce

I had my third baby at home, having had my two other children, aged 5yrs and 3yrs, in a home-from-home unit at our local hospital.

I planned to have a homebirth from about 20 weeks pregnant and found www.homebirth.org.uk a useful source of information. I did have a little of resistance from a couple of the midwives in my community team but eventually found one who was in favour of homebirths.

I did have many false labours from 35 weeks on, but the contractions never developed into anything so there was no need to call for assistance. I finally went into labour properly 6 days overdue.

I had ordered a TENS machine and borrowed a rocking chair. My sheets were out and towels and clothes were all ready. Having two other children, my parents were on hand should anything go wrong and if we needed to be transferred urgently to hospital.

I called my on-duty midwife at 8.15pm when I was sure that my labour was well established and she arrived at 8.40pm. When she arrived I was 6cm dilated and my TENS machine and the rocking motion of the rocking chair were working fine.

We took the decision at 9.15pm that it would be best for my bag of waters to be broken as I had been getting pains from the morning. Once my waters were broken the pain intensified and I was encouraged to walk up and down the stairs repeatedly to encourage the baby to come down.

By 10pm I was really in pain and used the gas and air and breathing exercises learnt in parentcraft classes with my eldest. I found the all-fours position made my pain easier as I was able to rock my hips through contractions. It was in this position that I delivered my son Adam, 9lbs 4oz. The actually pushing stage lasted 4 minutes and I had no stitches, grazes, cuts or tears. I had the injection to deliver the placenta but I cannot actually remember delivering it. I was holding my newborn son and nothing else mattered.

The midwives helped clear up the mess - this was only on an old sheet which washed without any stains left. My mum and dad came up and met their grandson within minutes of his birth - priceless. Once I had had a bath the midwives checked us both up and left their contact numbers and left.

My children met their younger brother when they awoke in the morning - they were really excited as he had appeared overnight. What a wonderful present.

On the whole my homebirth experience was controlled, calm just what I had hoped for. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wishes.

Nichole Bruce

nb50@leicester.ac.uk

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