Archie's Birth, by Rachel

Rachel posted to the Homebirth UK list when she had trouble arranging a homebirth because of her size. Because her BMI (Body Mass Index) was higher than Trust guidelines, she was told a homebirth was not appropriate for her. She sent the story below to the list, less than nine hours after she had her baby!

Rachel had previously written:

I was classed as high risk due to very high BMI. I had this with my first baby and was advised to have hospital birth, which I duly did first time round. Second time round I was determined to have a better birth experience and have insisted on home birth. To be fair, midwives have been very supportive once they outlined the risks they felt I would be under. Have not seen consultant - was asked at 38 weeks to go, and declined. No point really, just to be bullied into accepting hospital delivery.

I have felt right from the start that home birth was for me.

Rachel's Story

Due date came and went on Weds 3 Nov and yesterday had routine antenatal and midwife did sweep.

Had niggling pains throughout the day and they picked up to 5/7 mins after lunch. Called the midwife out at 6.30 to assess me as unsure if in established labour. She did a VE (vaginal examination) and I was 2/3 cms but cervix very thin. She then left and I had to call them back out 9.30 as things had definitely progressed and I needed something other than the TENS machine. First midwife arrived at 10.00 and I opted for the Gas and Air, and boy, was it welcome.

Had to have 2nd midwife present throughout established labour as this was requirement of me having homebirth due to high BMI. The 2 midwives I had were absolutely fantastic. After performing 1st VE at 1st visit, no other VEs were done, midwife could see in established labour at 1000 and they left me to it.

Waters remained intact until just before delivery, which was a good thing as meconium was present.

Archie Robert was born at 12.15am on 6 November 2004, weighing 7lb 2oz and came screaming into the world.

The whole experience was something totally removed from that of my first delivery in the consultant unit, strapped to the bed and induced. Although physically demanding, it was a real great experience and I cannot thank the midwives who attended enough!!

On a total high, and to anyone who is thinking of having a homebirth but is being put off by risk factors being forced on them, stick to your guns, if a homebirth is what you really want, go for it.

Off to bed for some well-earned sleep.


Rachel's midwives were from the Chorley Hospital, Lancashire.


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