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Positive Home birth story

It's with a full heart that I'm given the honour of sharing the story of baby Amber's birth; second time parents, Rachel and Dan had come to see me for a private 'refresher' birth preparation course, having embarked on the Positively Pregnant course during their first pregnancy.


A little later in their pregnancy, once they felt clearer on their birth plans (Rachel had a low lying placenta earlier in pregnancy) I was overjoyed to be asked to become their doula - to support them through their pregnancy and birth journey.


Rachel and Dan were also supported by our wonderful community midwives up here in Northumberland.



In Rachel's own words:


" The day before Amber was born, I got a phone call off a midwife to say there was no one on call that night. I was planning a home birth so was hoping to have Dan, my Doula Jessica and the two NHS midwives. Knowing the midwives would not be attending if I went into labour that night was a bit nerve wracking but also made me truly summon the courage that would be needed to birth without midwives. However I woke up in the Sunday morning, still pregnant (41 weeks and 5 days) but very ready to give birth. 


My named midwife Karen, who had been amazingly supportive of all my choices throughout my pregnancy, called me on the Sunday morning to let me know they were back on call and in fact it was her and another local midwife Leonora. I knew ow important it was for me to have the right midwives at the birth and I desperately wanted to have Karen there. I asked Karen if I could get a sweep, something I had declined until that point, to hopefully get things started. Karen saw me at the maternity until at 2pm, everything went as expected and was pretty painless. 


I walked away feeling positive and confident that this was the day. Dan and I went to the shops for some last minute treats, we had a quick walk, I bounced on my birth ball, had some friends pop by, Dan gave me a foot rub and I even closed my eyes for a little nap. All the while, I was having some mild and pain free contractions. 


I maybe only had a few minutes of a nap before I was becoming more aware of my contractions. I asked Dan to time them and already they were 4 minutes apart. I messaged Jessica at 19:35 to update her and Dan started to get the room ready. The contractions ramped up and became more intense. A familiar pain started in my legs and I knew things were about to shift. I call Jessica at 20:39 and Dan called the midwives 21:11 asking the to come over. 


As Jessica arrived, Dan had finished setting up the room and was supporting me in the bedroom. I was happy to see Jess and knew her presence would help ground me. The pain in my legs was by far the most intense feeling which in every contract I needed to breathing through. Dan support my weight and Jess massaged my legs. Not long after, the midwives arrived and they quietly got to work setting up. Karen took my blood pressure and monitored baby’s hate rate while I moved around the house to try and work my way through every contraction. 


The quiet companionship by my birth team was the perfect level of support and comfort. They were there for me when needed and gave me space to trust my instincts. Honestly they couldn’t have been more perfect and I am incredibly grateful for them. 


I headed to the toilet with Dan at one point and could feel a shift in my mood. I started to feel emotional and sensed the transition stage starting. I knew this was the time to get in the pool. As we heading back to the living room, I felt the first urge to push. I climbed into the pool and almost immediately my waters broke. I began to push being entirely lead by my body. It was the most intense feeling but I felt incredibly powerful and allow myself to lean into my own body and listen to what it was telling me to do. I said out loud “she’s coming” and reached down to feel her head. I instinctively knew to lean back and catch her as she was born and lifted her out the water. I brought her up to my chest and sat back to look at her. She was finally here! And she was beautiful. She stirred but barely cried. She settled on my chest and fell asleep. It was like she didn’t even realise she had been born. I felt so happy, alive and proud of what I had accomplished. I couldn’t stop smiling! 


I had exactly the type of birth I was planning which is something I feel like I never hear actually happening. Everything had lined up perfectly. I felt so empowered by the whole experience and that feeling has still not left me.'



 

I asked Rachel if she were to describe her birth in just 3 words, which would she choose.


She said:


"Powerful, Calm, Joyful"




Want to feel calm, prepared and empowered as your approach your baby's birth? Why not embark on a birth preparation course with Jessica, just like Rachel and Dan?




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