Caroline Pearce's Home Birth Story

First Birth - at Hemel Hempstead Hospital

Booked a Hospital birth because I was nervous first time mum, and hadn't had contact with NCT (National Childbirth Trust) or anyone who even suggested home birth to me.

I wrote on my birth plan that I was happy to have any pain relief but would like to avoid an epidural.

My waters broke at 41 weeks and 3 days and I went into hospital straightaway despite not having any contractions.

Was strapped to a monitor which I complained was uncomfortable but was ignored - the midwife then appaeared again after an hour and said I wasn't in labour (she didn't examine internally) and put me on the antenatal ward even though I was having contractions every 5 minutes...

Anyway, to cut a long story short after contuniously asking and failing to get any pain relief for 3 hours I was transferred to a labour room to quieten me down - discovering that I was fully dilated and had Sam half and hour later!

It was funny (afterwards!) thinking how surprised they were but it left me with a real resentment about Hemel that I still haven't lost.

Second Birth - at Home in St Albans

Went to my GP at 6 weeks - told him I wanted a Home Birth due to fast birth/no complications first time round. He said that as a GP he didn't approve even though all his 4 children were home births but said that our practice midwife would be happy and he would get her to call me - which she did and was very pleased.

I did all my antenatal appointments with her - I didn't even need to see the Consultant at 32 weeks like I did first time, and my midwife visited me at home for the last few appointments. My only sadness was that having built a relationship with her she then had to transfer over to another part of the district for the last month so I didn't have her for the actual birth but her stand-in that I met a few times was the second midwife to come out.

My midwife delivered a pack of essential items for home birth about a month before DD - I peeked in the bag and it seemed to consist of plastic sheeting and a bin bag! I was also given a list of items that I had to supply as well. I checked that they brought Gas and Air with them!

On due date I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 1.40 with a massive contraction. After another followed a few minutes later I got my DH to ring for the midwife who was there fairly promptly. I hadn't met her before but we immediately clicked and worked well together (she was good at back massage - but also knew when to leave me alone!)

At 3.40 Joe arrived, at 8lb 3oz he was a pound heavier than Sam but due to excellent second stage management I didn't tear. An hour later I was tucked up in my bed (bed clothes freshly changed by the midwives!) with the baby and DH feeling very pleased with myself!

Caroline Pearce

Caroline and Ayesha, shortly after the birth

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