Home water birth of Maisie

20 Nov, 2023

.one_time_btn { display:none !important; }It all started on Monday 8th August, a week before the due date of 14th august. I had finally finished my to do list that weekend and managed to have a very chilled day Monday while Henry was at nursery (which included putting up his new sandpit and giving the garage a bit of a tidy up!) 

That evening I had a lovely relaxing bath with some clary sage oil to hopefully get things moving! I got out of the bath and went to the toilet, only to discover I’d lost my mucus plug! A quick Google to remind myself of what this meant, I realised labour could either start pretty soon or still be a week or two away! I then went off to bed, falling straight to sleep, thinking nothing would really be starting soon.

At around 1am I woke to go to the toilet, and then started to feel minor cramps. Not thinking too much of it, I assumed it was braxton hicks and tried to go back to sleep. As I lay there over the next hour, trying and failing to get back to sleep, I realised this wasn’t a trial run and things were really happening as I was having to concentrate on my breathing a little more each time I felt a cramp.

At around 2am I woke Sam, and excitedly told him that labour had started (he was instantly awake, having struggled to sleep properly thinking labour would be starting soon!)

Sam got up and started to take all the pool stuff downstairs. I called mum around 2:15 to ask her to come and get Henry (who was fast asleep and oblivious as to what was about to happen).

I ran a bath and called the home birth team around 2:30. I spoke to Chloe who was one of the only members of the team we hadn’t managed to meet during our appointments. She was so lovely and instantly made me relaxed and calm. She advised me to get some rest, as my contractions were only every 5-10 minutes and were perfectly manageable. She said to call back when they were around 3 in 10 minutes or when they started to become less manageable and I wanted her to come over.

At around 2:45 mum arrived and sam got Henry out of bed and bundled him in mum’s car. He got a bit upset when he woke to find himself being strapped into the car seat, but was fine shortly after they set off. With Henry out of the house and in good hands with mum, I knew I could properly relax now. As soon as they left I got into the bath upstairs while sam continued to pump up the pool and prepare the lounge environment for birth.

Once I was in the bath things really started to ramp up quite quickly. I was using the Freya app by this point for the lovely relaxing music and hypnobirthing scripts, but also to track my surges and help with my breathing. Pretty quickly, the app suggested I was in active labour when I was getting 3 surges in 10 minutes, each one lasting more than a minute. There didn’t seem to be much of a gap in between each one, and I was so surprised how quickly they had ramped up. 

At 3:20 I called Chloe back and advised her the surges had ramped up and asked her to come over. Shortly after this I got out of the bath; I didn’t like being upstairs on my own while the surges were getting more intense, as sam was still downstairs getting everything set up. 

Chloe arrived at around 4am, and by that point I was well on my way! She helped sam put the tens machine on me to help me with the sensations – this really gave me something to focus on and the little boost button was fab when a surge ramped up! I kept focussing on my breathing throughout each one, which really helped focus my mind and energy. In for 3, out for 6 really helped me stay calm and get through each contraction.

Shortly after Chloe arrived I agreed to an examination to see where I was, I lay on the sofa on my side and she confirmed I was 8cm dilated and this baby was eager to come out soon! I was over the moon and instantly felt a boost in positivity! At that moment my waters suddenly broke, and I felt a huge gush all over the sofa (luckily we’d covered it with shower curtains, bed mats and towels so it was safe!)

While all this was going on sam was filling up the pool, and trying to get it up to 37 degrees, the ideal temperature for baby to be born in (we still don’t know if it’s a big or girl at this stage!) I got into the pool at 4:15 and almost instantly my body started pushing, Chloe said she wasn’t surprised I was ready to push seeing as how far along I was already! She got the gas and air set up for me, and that really helped work through each surge and pushing sensation for the last stage of labour. I remember all the same feelings from when I gave birth to Henry, the fetal ejection reflex when my body took over the pushing and I gave into it, knowing my body knew exactly what to do to get my baby earth side! With each surge and push, I could feel baby’s head moving down and eventually out. Once the head was out I put my hand underwater and I could feel a whole head of lovely hair; feeling this and knowing how close we were to meeting our baby gave me such a lift! With a few more pushes baby was born at 4:44 into the water; I reached down and pulled baby onto my chest – I had done it, I had birthed our baby in our living room just like we’d hoped! The feeling of relief and accomplishment was amazing, Sam and I were both crying as we realised our new baby was here!! After about 10 seconds we realised we didn’t know what we had so I lifted baby up and we discovered she was a girl! We were both so convinced she was a he, it was the most incredible surprise and were soooo happy to now have one of each!

I stayed in the pool for around 15 minutes while the cord continued to pulse and she got all of her lovely blood from the placenta, when it had turned white sam did the honours and cut the cord.

The second community midwife who’d been called arrived shortly after she was born and I was still in the pool!

I then got out of the pool and lay on the sofa, and did some lovely skin to skin with our new daughter. Chloe gave me the injection to birth the placenta, which was delivered really easily not long after I lay down. A quick inspection by both midwives confirmed it was all intact which was good news. I had a good look at the placenta (something I’d wanted to do with Henry but felt too sick to look!) I couldn’t believe how big it was, so impressive that my body had not only created and birthed a baby but also an entire new organ as well, to keep that baby alive for 9 months!

I felt like absolute superwoman at this point, and just couldn’t get my head around how quickly it had all happened – only a couple of hours ago I was getting a few feelings and woken sam up, now I was lying on the sofa in our front room with a gorgeous little girl on my chest after the most perfect birth!

I was checked over and Chloe confirmed I had a slight second degree tear so stitched me up. This didn’t take long at all, and definitely made easier with the newborn snuggles I was enjoying! 

Once that was all done they did some checks and measurements on baby girl, we all guessed her weight at somewhere between 8.2 and 8.4 but actually she came out at a lovely 8lbs on the dot – not really the ‘big baby’ the two growth scans had predicted!

Once that was all done, the second midwife congratulated us and went on her way.

Chloe stayed for around an hour after this, we all had a cup of tea and some biscuits while she wrote up her notes and helped sam empty the pool and discard of any sheets etc we wanted to get rid of-what a great help! Even though we hadn’t met Chloe before during pregnancy, she was the perfect midwife to have with us, she was so friendly and warm, and left us to birth quietly in our own little bubble, only attempting a couple of times to monitor baby’s heartbeat in the pool (not very successfully due to how low down she was!) She gave me encouragement when I needed it, and guided a little bit of pushing at the end to birth the body, but apart from that she let me get on with it and listen to what my body told me to do.

Chloe left around 7am and then it was just the three of us, me sam and our new little lady to enjoy lots of skin to skin and try and get our heads around this quick new addition!

Posted by Little Birth Company Trained Instructor: Fiona Wilson