“I don’t like hospitals” this mama said as I sat in her gorgeous Thame home. “We’ll cover homebirth in class four” I replied with a smile. This was her first hypnobirthing class and we had a lot ground to cover. But it quickly became clear that this was a less than straight forward pregnancy.

Can I have a homebirth on Fragmin?

This is a question I can’t answer. And in fact this mama didn’t ask me anyway! She just quietly listened to the pros & cons of homebirth. Said nothing. Then promptly (and correctly) starting the conversation with her Midwife. So the following was a complete surprise to me!

A homebirth in Thame! 

Dear Steph,

I just thought I would share my positive birth story and let you know that we had our baby, Jake, three weeks ago in the water at home as planned!

He will be 3 weeks old this Saturday and has been great! He took to breastfeeding really well and never lost any weight after birth! He sleeps as well as a newborn can and we often get 3 hour stretches.

I had an amazing birth

Which followed my birth plan completely. Very lucky, I know!

I had to fight for my home birth because the silver star consultants would rather I was in the JR Spires. (Because I was on Fragmin anticoagulant and the increased risk of post partum haemorrhage) However, so long as I hadn’t taken it within 12 hours of giving birth the risk was no higher than for anyone else so I didn’t really see this as a genuine problem.

I did my birth research!

I read so much birth research & papers to ensure I was making the right decision for me! After 2 visits to 2 consultants I finally managed to get them to write a plan for the home birth midwives to follow. The compromise was that I would have a managed third stage labour.

My waters broke at 3:30am on the 7th – my original due date, although it was changed to 31st August after the 12 week scan. I always thought that was too early as it would have meant I had ovulated on day 7!

I went into early labour straight away but managed to get some sleep until morning. We then just took it easy all day whilst my contractions got gradually stronger. A midwife came out to check me in the early afternoon just because my waters had gone. She left again as I was still in early, not active labour.

We went for a gentle walk. I had a shower & a bath. I wandered around the house and used lots of different positions, remaining active throughout. Then things started to get more intense and we called the midwife at about 9:30pm on the 8th. I had a really lovely midwife, Linda, who was very calm and experienced and left me to it, just listening from the other room to give us privacy.

We had low lights, piano music and candles and it was such a lovely environment. Our dog just slept in his bed in the corner of the room throughout the whole thing! Joe was such a great support – I leant on him through most contractions, particularly nearer the end!

I started getting some urges to push around 11:30pm so we agreed to a vaginal exam to see where I was – 5cm. I had to try not to push during each contraction (very hard)!

I decided to get in the pool at that point as it was becoming more intense. The pool was lovely and I enjoyed being able to get into any position and be supported by the water. I did use some gas and air after a while in the pool and found this really helped, particularly with breathing. After about an hour my urges to push got so strong and he started to come.

The last part of birth was very quick!

Because in just 2 easy pushes that I had no control over and definitely couldn’t stop he just popped out and I had no tears at all (which I was very happy about!!). I caught him myself and unwrapped the cord which was once around his neck. He was very calm and just did a little cry but was breathing immediately. He was healthy and fed within the hour.

I had such a straightforward and natural labour

So Linda and I decided to try a physiological third stage and just use drugs if we had to. That is, if I did have any excessive bleeding. The placenta came out easily after I stood up and had a small push – about 15 minutes after the birth and my bleeding was normal… good old natural oxytocin!

I was so pleased that Linda agreed with me that we could just play it by ear rather than jumping in with drugs straight away, despite what the consultants had said. I was really pleased to be able to stay in the water cuddling Jake whilst we waited for the cord to stop pulsating and the placenta to come – I had been dreading having to jump out straight away and suddenly have lots of intervention.

Labour was completely manageable

Yes birth was hard and intense but I never once felt out of control or that I couldn’t do it. I just left my body to it and it worked! Hypnobirthing definitely helped give me that confidence and empowerment. I also would never have thought to have a home birth without hypnobirthing and I’m sure that made SUCH a difference to my experience, particularly as I don’t really like hospitals.

Thank you!

Rachel