Rafferty's birth, by Steph

Steph's second baby, Lilli, was born at home - although Lilli was a big baby, it was a gentle birth.

I have recently had another pretty amazing home birth, unassisted and very quick and perfect!

My third pregnancy was lovely and I was healthy and happy throughout. After having such a pain free and ecstatic home birth with my daughter Lilli I was keen to have another home birth with this baby. However I know birth can be unpredictable and decided early on to use the following mantra which I said everyday through out my pregnancy: "I would like to birth my baby confidently and quickly at home, working in well with my husband Billy and my two daughters Rosa and Lilli".

Little did I know how accurate this would be!

Throughout my pregnancy I continued to keep fit, and I was running around Clapham Common up until I was 6 months pregnant. I continued yoga, and replaced my ashtanga class for a Pregnancy Yoga class with Nirlipta at the Sitaram Partnership in Brixton. I also undertook a series of hypnosis sessions with Nirlipta to brush up on my hypnobirthing, which had worked so well when I was birthing Lilli.

I started reflexology at Neals Yard Remedies at six months and continued with this every fortnight until the last month, when I had sessions every week.

My wonderful midwives were from the Birth Centre Midwifery Practice and Becky and Rachel were my midwives with my previous pregnancy and birth. Billy and I knew that one of the keys to a successful birth are to be in a supportive atmosphere and frankly the cost of private midwives is worth it.

I had become interested in unassisted births, and had discussed this in passing with Becky, who advised me just in case, to keep calm and not touch the cord upon delivery! This advice would come in good use after all.....

My baby was 8 days overdue, and as it was my eldest daughter's 6th birthday on the 1st March I had a delightfully busy day. Rosa spent the day singing happy birthday to us, and maybe this was wishful thinking. I had had a stream of wonderful visitors throughout the day and slight twinges of contractions but not so you would think 'this could be it'.

At 18.15pm I started to experience stomach ache and started pacing the room. I went downstairs, and to Billy's surprise I suddenly told him to tidy up. Suddenly I panicked and shouted at him to tidy up immediately - they were in the middle of dinner!! I came back up stairs and realised things were moving VERY quickly and continued pacing and breathing to control the tummy ache. I went downstairs again and told him to phone the midwives, and then thought not to be so ridiculous a baby could not come that quickly!!

I started crying and realized that this must be happening now, and luckily all my hypnosis training came into play and I calmed right down. One of my sessions with Nirlipta focused on staying cool when everything else was hot, and this is what saw me through a very speedy 30 minutes.

The children were playing downstairs and I knew I needed to find somewhere quiet to birth this baby, so I made a den in the top room, with birth ball, eiderdowns and i-pod with calming zero 7 music playing!!

I went to the bathroom and my show started and waters popped all at once. I went back upstairs to the birth ball, and rocked on my knees. Billy came up and I told him the baby was coming! He was so surprised as it was only 18.40, and he looked at me and said, no it wasn't and went back dowmstairs to answer the door!

Pamela, our lovely neighbour had knocked on the door with a birthday pressie for Rosa and apparently she took one look at Billy's face and said she would take Rosa and Lilli to her house for a play!

I felt the baby bear down and knew it was coming so on my hands and knees I birthed our baby boy on my own. It was 30 minutes after I had felt the first twinge of tummy ache, so you can imagine how fast this all happened.

Billy came back upstairs and was amazed to see his son in my arms!! Rafferty was screaming and screaming and I was happy to hear his cries as I figured it was a healthy sign. Billy phoned Rachel our midwife to tell her the baby was here and I birthed the placenta 10 minutes later. I was excited and amazed to experience such an empowering event and very proud of myself!!

My midwives arrived at 19.08 and cut the cord. The girls came back and we all marveled at our beautiful 8lb 80z baby boy!! I had a lovely bath with him, and Lilli jumped in with us. Rosa was delighted that her brother chose to come on her birthday, making the 1st of March an auspicious date for our family!

All in all a very blissful birth and I felt blessed at the speed and ease of it all!!

Whilst writing this my new baby is now 14 weeks old and calm, gorgeous and a wonderful presence in our family!



Independent midwives

Steph booked with Caroline Flint's Birth Centre Midwifery Practice (www.birthcentre.com) tel 07710 336 815, which is based in Tooting, South/SW London.

Using hypnosis for birth

Sitaram Partnership:

0208 678 0054

Big babies - what are the issues for a planned homebirth?

Practical preparation for homebirth - suggestions and links for birth classes, preparation, equipment etc.

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