Jack's Pain-Free Home Birth
A Calm & Comfortable Home Birth
Whilst pregnant with her first baby, Danielle planned for a home birth after hearing her friend’s inspiring birth story. Little did she know just how calm, quick and comfortable her son’s birth would be. Danielle prepared for her son’s birth throughout her pregnancy and hypnobirthing played a big part in that. Find out how simple tools like breathing and a focussed and positive mindset, helped this mother to have such an incredible birth experience.
Ever since a close friend of mine had her second child at home, it was always in the back of my mind that I could do it too. However, the birthing unit at East Surrey looked lovely, so why not have my first baby there? That was the plan until our midwife and NCT teacher persuaded us otherwise. Why shouldn't we try and have this baby at home? We live 5 minutes away from the hospital, I was having a healthy pregnancy and classed as low risk. I booked an appointment with the home birth team and that was it. Questions and issues were answered with ease and we decided to have our baby at home. From 36 weeks, I had the rest of my midwife appointments at home and they were happy with both my progress and baby’s. I had decided to use Hypnobirthing which teaches you simple self hypnosis, relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques to help with labour. My estimated due date came and went so I kept busy going on long walks and enjoying the summer sunshine.
Gym ball magic!
My 41 week date came and I decided to have a sweep to move things on a bit, even though at first I was adamant at not having any intervention. My midwife said my cervix was softened but I wasn't dilated at all. I had been losing my mucus plug slowly all week so I knew baby was getting ready. Later that day, I went for a long evening walk and realised that baby would be coming soon. That night, I felt a little uncomfortable and restless, and by 4 am I was wide awake and didn't want to be in bed any more. I was having stomach cramps which I thought was a result from my sweep the day before, not realising at the time that I was in early labour. I made myself some breakfast and a cup of tea, then thought I had had a little accident. Realising it could possibly be my waters releasing, I woke my husband up in excitement with the possibility I was in labour. I returned to my cup of tea, seated on the gym/birth ball. Two bounces later and whoosh, I felt my waters really go. Well, this is it! My husband started to get the birthing pool ready (remembering where I would like it after our trial run a few weeks before). I started focusing and putting my hypnobirthing practise into good use. I listened to positive affirmations, tried different positions on the ball, and used breathing techniques to work through the contractions/surges.
By 6am I was having 2 contractions/surges every 10 minutes. By 11am I was having 3, and it was time to call the home birth team. The main midwife on call arrived at around 11.15am. I was still breathing well through the contractions/surges but was feeling uncomfortable. My midwife reassured me I was doing really well, but was only 2 cm dilated. We all decided after half an hour of chatting and watching me that we could continue on our own until things progressed further. I agreed - I just needed that little comfort blanket to say you’ve got this.
Pool, positions and pushing!
However, only an hour after saying goodbye everything went 100mph! I started doubting myself, losing control of my breathing and thinking I couldn’t do it any more. With some re-focus from my husband, I realised I was going through the transiting stage. My body was getting ready to push. After a quick phone call to the midwife, and having an incomprehensible conversation, she arrived within 5 minutes and immediately suggested I get in the birthing pool (unaware to me, I was now fully dilated). My body cooled and I relaxed into the water, it was bliss. I was back focusing on my hypnobirthing techniques, listening to music and focusing my energy. I felt in control, relaxed and calm. Another midwife had arrived to help, and they were both always there for me, checking baby’s heart beat and making sure I was ok and comfortable. Little did I realise that I had been in the pool for two hours and hadn’t really progressed with pushing. My midwives were starting to get concerned that baby should have made an appearance by now and asked me to really think about pushing. With some words of encouragement I stood up thinking moving my position might help gravity do its thing. It did and after a few pushes baby’s head was appearing. With a few more pushes on my knees, my husband was guiding our baby between my legs and up on to my chest. We had done it! I was finally holding my little boy, Jack, in my arms. Although, at 9lb 1oz, he wasn’t really little! We enjoyed 30 minutes of skin-to-skin as I breathed in my pink bundle..
Within two hours of giving birth at home, the wonderful midwives had checked us both over, delivered a rather large placenta (with a little help from a syntocinon injection), helped with Jack’s first feed, and waited for his first (meconium) poo. And then they were off!
That was it. We were left sitting on our sofa, enjoying cuddles with our beautiful new family member.
What did birth feel like?
When I look back on my journey through labour, I can honestly say I never felt I was in agony or in pain. Yes, the contractions can be uncomfortable with your muscles working like crazy to get the baby out. But for me breathing and focusing on positivity, and believing in my body, really helped me thorough. I am also thankful for the awesome East Surrey Hospital Home Birth Team, who were supportive and respectful of all my birth plan decisions. And not to mention my eternally supportive husband, who was with me throughout every step (including getting in the pool with me and delivering Jack).
The whole experience of home birth was so amazing!
A huge thank you to Danielle for sharing Jack’s birth story with us.
Find out more about the full antenatal course we offer over on our Group Hypnobirthing Course page.