Homebirth in a delivery suite…
We had planned home birth in our birthing pool, but we ended up transferring to the hospital via our own car at around 6.30pm on the 9th Jan. It had been 28 hours since my waters broke. Although the waters were all clear, I was aware of the increase in risk of infection for the baby so we decided it was the right thing to do. Throughout the transfer, I focused on my breathing the same as I had at home.
When we arrived, we set the delivery suite up to be dark, with our galaxy starlight projector, LED candles, and baby scan photo and she was born to Parisian jazz music – I felt like I was at home. This was the exact same set-up we had had at home for the last few weeks, and I really did have such a strong anchor of calm and relaxation to the environment we had created.
I went on the Syntocinon drip at around 5-6cm to strengthen my contractions – the tiniest amount for a very short amount of time was enough to work – the contraction intensity stayed the same until the very end, they just came more frequently. The monitor was completely wireless so I was able to sit on the birth ball and move around the room if I wanted. It didn’t take long after arriving for me to have given birth, which was a welcome relief after being at home for such a long time in the early stages of labour.
Baby Rose was born in hospital just before 11pm within 5 hours of arriving at 6.30pm (I decided to agree to a VE on arrival and was 4-5cm then) I stayed at 2cm dilated at home for nearly 24 hours after my waters broke, so it was a pleasant and welcome surprise when I arrived at hospital at nearly 5cm. I used some gas and air at the end, but my breathing techniques and positive affirmations really was my pain relief.
“it would have been the perfect home birth”
Throughout the entire time, my partner Joe was on hand helping to keep me hydrated and fed, ensuring the environment was cosy and as I needed. He set up our space at home and hospital and left me to my breathing as we found that I could breathe through the contractions better when I was left alone.
Towards the end when I needed him to be closer to me he massaged my lower back which felt amazing and coached me through my breathing right up until the moment she was born.
Our amazing midwife said it would have been the perfect home birth but we prioritised our baby’s safety above all else, as per our birth plan. Rose had observations for 12 hours after birth due to the risk of infection from 24+ hours since waters breaking. All the observations were perfect, and we were back home snuggling the following afternoon. All in all a beautiful and positive experience.
“Every surge brings me closer to meeting my baby”
In prep for the birth, I played positive birth affirmation tracks every night so they were cemented in my mind. My favourite was ‘Every surge brings me closer to meeting my baby’. I also read lots of positive birth stories and visualised our own positive birth. I had our 20-week scan photo visible throughout the time at home and hospital and focused on this every time I had a surge – my breathing pattern was in for 4 and out for 4 and I focused my mind on the rectangle of the scan photo drawing around the box in my mind.
“I felt like a genuine warrior when it was all over!”
It was just beautiful. Our wonderful midwife said it would have been the perfect home birth and to definitely go for it again next time. It really was perfect even though slightly different to planned – truly a hypnobirth. I still can’t believe I managed to breathe through about 30 hours of contractions. Right at the end when she was being born I fully let go and I’m sure at one point I was moo’ing like a cow – there was no holding back. I felt like a genuine warrior when it was all over!
Rose was exclusively breastfeeding – it took a little bit to get the latch right when my milk came in but she did so well and drank like crazy. I’m certain that the feeding going so smoothly is hugely connected to how calm her entrance into the world was, she’s still pretty laid back to this day, well as much as a toddler can be.
The best thing I could have ever done to prepare for Rose’s birth was our hypnobirthing course with Sarah. From learning techniques to cope with the contractions to understanding the physiological process of birth – I truly believe without doing this course our experience would not have been as calm and positive as it was.
During my birth I had to have an episiotomy cut right at the very end just before she was born as she got stuck and we needed a little extra help. This was of course painful but my midwife offered me gas and air for this and the stitches after. One thing I was not prepared for was the swelling, bleeding and how sore it would be to walk and sit down for the following week. The midwifes were great at checking me and ensuring everything was healing properly but the best thing I could recommend were the cold cooling compress maternity pads, they were so soothing!
I did a lot of preparation for the birth and early baby stage but I definitely underestimated how I would feel hormonally and recovery wise, this is where having a great tribe around me really helped me for emotional support. I feel extremely grateful that I had a positive birthing journey and I would encourage anyone to consider hypnobirthing too.
Wishing you all the luck on your pregnancy and birthing journey,