Guest blog from one of the members of our Home Birth Support Group UK.
This home birth after caesarean review comes from the officially the biggest wimp in the world!! ???
? Birth of baby Isla
? Previous C section (VBAC) and previous forceps delivery
? Known ‘surprise’ baby girl
? 8.8 lbs
? Home dry land birth at 04:32 on 30/09/20
? Tens machine only for relief
? Questionable transfer to hospital after birth due to low level PPH
? Birth is a natural bodily function
? Birth is not a hospital procedure
? The best place for a baby to be born is the same place that they were conceived.
? My first birth was 5 days of being induced, contractions I couldn’t cope with, gas and air that didn’t work, drugs that made me sick, premature rupture of membranes by midwife, a c section due to meconium then 5 more days in hospital whilst baby was pumped full of antibiotics. Trips to special care I had to do myself having just had a c section. The agony for me and baby was awful . The hospital, Redhill, still fills me with dread.
? Second baby. I was determined to do things differently 7 years later. So I listened to KG Hypnobirthing on audible (for free with free trial! ???) and this changed my perspective on everything! Due to being a vbac I opted to birth in hospital, a different hospital, Hayward’s heath. I had a lovely birth here, the hospital was fantastic, I felt like I was at a hotel not a hospital. The views out the window were spectacular, the room was gorgeous, the en-suite was lush! My second was early (39 weeks) my waters went and I let my body go into labour naturally after 48 hours. I was in early labour for over 24 hours, it wasn’t until I got to hospital that active labour kicked in. Because I was in hospital I asked for every drug going, because I do (I’m wimp out Wendy!!) 2 hours after the contractions had ramped up I felt such a weight in pelvis, no one really told me what it was and because he was early I hadn’t finished my audible book, so didn’t know what was happening and ended Up begging for an epidural as I felt overwhelmed and of course I was in hospital so I could!
No one would examine me to see how far along I was due to no waters. I think if I’d been examined I would have been close and I might not have had the epidural. Unfortunately due to a dodgy hip the epidural took out my right leg, so I couldn’t get into the position my body told me to move into and couldn’t push baby out from laying on my back. Forceps and a cut was used. I felt very deflated and I knew why it had gone ‘wrong’ and I was upset and disappointed with myself. I had terrible haemorrhoids after this birth, the cuts healed well but the haemorrhoids were excruciating for weeks after birth.
? I wanted to experience birth, proper birth, without interventions. It’s one of those sacred things in life, I can’t quite explain it, but i wanted it! And I knew I wasn’t going to get it in hospital, due to my wimp out Wendy status, so decided on a home birth! (Just to avoid the epidural/ interventions not because I wanted to be at home, house is tiny etc!)
I bought the Positive Birth Company digital pack but I just couldn’t get into it. Listened to a few of the videos but it was mostly untouched. I think I was happy in what I knew already. I Asked any questions I needed answering in the Home Birth Support Group UK and read others stories so I was happy I knew what was going to happen to my body. I listened to some hypnobirthing on YouTube, but it kept sending me to sleep!
I bought everything needed for home birth, including pool and placed it on the kitchen table ready. My partner (Barry) took little interest in preparing with me. Last time he was more of a hinderence than a help, telling me to just have a c section and told me you can’t ‘breathe’ a baby out! Such a mood hoover! So I didn’t bother involving him in preparations as I didn’t need that kind of negativity in my life!
? The day before delivery
?? This is a story of bodily functions wee, poo, sick and blood!! Stop reading now if you can’t hack it!! ??
So pineapple does induce labour!! Who knew!! 10 hours after posting a pic to the home birth FB group of a plate of pineapple that my mother had hand delivered to my door, for a giggle, Isla was here! ???
My days are so busy, 2 children, loads of animals to look after and extra bits and pieces to do as well as a house to run and an iron deficiency I was just shattered all the time. But that day was different, i switched things around to give myself more time to do stuff and spent the majority of the day watching questionably ‘funny’ baby clips on YouTube at the request of my 2 year old (Eli). In the afternoon my eldest (Alex) (9) rode our pony after not riding so long, he was really good with the pony and made me feel proud. We had an easy dinner of chicken dippers, chips and beans and I posted updates from our day on social media getting lovely feedback.
? As I put my kids to bed, the braxton hicks I’d been having most evenings for the past 3 weeks came back, but it was nothing new so thought nothing of it. At 10 I went to bed but the braxton hicks were just a little too uncomfortable to sleep, not bad but couldn’t sleep, but that’s not unusual, so I watched a bit of Michael macantyre on tv with my partner. I love A&e & murder programs normally but I made a conscious effort not to watch any of those!!
About this time my tummy went to pot, lots and lots of toilet trips! Wee, poos and feeling sick! I had guessed a bit with the timing on the dippers so was wondering if I’d food poisoned myself! ???
At 11:30 or so I asked in the home birth FB group when I should put the tens machine on, as I needed some help with the braxton hicks, but was conscious that I didn’t want to waste the battery / pads for nothing! I still didn’t know if this was the real thing, food poisoning or braxton hicks! I asked my partner to tell me how to use it as he’s good with technical stuff but he just got stressed and stomped off. I had to read the instruction book 3 times in between contractions before I understood how to use it. I’m not usually that stupid and it’s not hard to use but I think the situation was making it hard for it to sink in! I was still learning new features right as she was crowning!! ???
My partner was upset because I couldn’t tell him if this was the real thing or not. Thing is, a few days prior I had braxton hicks, he called his mother and they had a heated exchange discussing whether I was in labour or not.. this ending up with them saying that this was my third I should know! I didn’t want that negativity again and him telling all and sundry what was going on, so I didn’t want to confirm or deny anything or drop the possibility of food poisoning into the mix either!! ???
? T minus 3 and a half hours till birth….
At 1am I decide we should get some rest, knowing that if you have contractions at night you should rest. My partner informed me that he was going to bed as he didn’t want to be tired for work in the morning! ??? I was like ok….. and he said don’t you want me to go to bed? And I said something along the lines of if I’m staying up, you have to too!
I kept going from hot to cold and sweating, I wasn’t sure why, stress maybe? My partner helpfully told me that maybe she had pooped in my womb like my first and there was a problem! But I knew my waters hadnt gone so I knew she was safe and just ignored old Nancy’s comment!
At 2am my darling Eli (2) woke up. I went in with my trusty tens machine to breastfeed him back to sleep. I was feeling very sick by this point. Damn food poisoning!! ??? He usually goes back to sleep well. But I was breathing through my contractions, doing my best up breathing to breathe that darn hot air balloon away and this was keeping him up. Then it came, I felt sick, I shouted for my sick bucket and it arrived just as I threw up into it over Eli’s head!! ??? Bless his cottons he held the bowl above his head while I chundered into it! This didn’t help with getting him to sleep! My partner took the bowl away, then suddenly again I’m sick, no bowl, so I aim for myself. This puts Eli right off breastfeeding!! I stink of poo, sweat and sick now!! Weaning time maybe??! My partner cleans me with a towel, I continue to lay with Eli to try to get him back to sleep.
? 1 hour till birth
At 330, after lying with Eli for an hour and a half I decided I couldn’t lie down any longer. I didn’t know how far apart the contractions were as I dared not click my phone look at the time as I didn’t want to disturb Eli.
I had remembered that last time when labour progressed I was sick and that was a ‘sign’ I was in active labour ??? Maybe it wasn’t food poisoning? ??? I decided I needed to call the midwives and I really needed to stand up!! I felt like I need help to cope, but to be absolutely honest there were only about 5 contractions that I felt I needed help with, those wee all whilst lying with Eli, trying to keep as quiet as possible! ??
I had recently watched some cctv of a poor lady giving birth in a prison cell on her own on the bed as guards didn’t believe she was in labour, suddenly I left like this was going to be me, giving birth on the bed whilst keeping as quiet as possible so Eli went back to sleep!! ???
I made a decision, I got up! I asked my partner to lie with Eli and I called the midwives, ( I couldn’t have ask him to call he would have got far too confused and I didn’t want to text him when I was with Eli as I didn’t want to disturb Eli! from the midwives location I estimated they would be 50 minutes. I had a contraction on the phone, they wanted to know how far apart the contractions were I said maybe 3 in 12 minutes, i really didn’t know!
I also realised at this time and told the midwives that the contractions weren’t actually painful at all it was just a lot of pressure.
About this sort of time I noticed I was down breathing! ??? I wasn’t doing it on purpose, it was just happening… and with most contractions I poohed myself!! ???
I was also really aware that I needed to put something outside the gate so midwives knew where we were as we live in the middle of know where. But I didn’t think I’d make the walk to the cone in the chicken area and then to the front gate, in the dark, whilst down breathing! ???
I could hear Eli crying with my partner and knew, sadly, Eli needed to go! So I called my mum to come and get him. It was now 0345 and I decided that that was a reasonable time to call her, it was basically dawn! ???
About the same time my partner bursts out the room saying he can’t do this anymore! He’s only been with him 15 minutes. ??? Apparently it was all my fault because I breastfeed him to sleep. I politely told him I was having a baby and I couldn’t help right now!!!
My mum arrives around 04:00 and takes Eli. They watch Blippi till 7am!! Eli is happy!
? T minus 32 minutes to birth
My partner sorts the cone out for the midwifes. I then ask him to sort the pool. Because he didn’t help with the test run he didn’t know how to set it up, so between contractions I did my best to explain what he needed to do. For someone reason he took his trousers off and spent most of this period looking for shorts, then looking for the tap fitting, which he did sort out a few weeks ago but placed on the windowsill instead of the table and it had obviously fallen off in the wind and potentially been tidied away by Eli! ??? He tipped the bedroom upside down in the searching process! ??? I tried to help look but just kept contacting and poohing everywhere! ??? Barry scooped it up as It happened ( he’s previously been a carer ( I know, it’s surprising!!) so isn’t new to poo!) luckily we have wooden and tiled floors, so there was no long term poo damage! ?
During this period at the end of my down breathing I was beginning to make ‘URRRING’ noises. Not the mooing I had read / heard about!! ??? I could feel baby’s head down on my cervix. I could see it happening in my minds eye!
I had myself set up in the bathroom with one of the 3 candles I’d managed to successfully light, it was really hard to light candles when in labour! ??♀️??♀️??♀️ I was Nice and close to the toilet, toilet roll and baby wipes! Barry also kindly provided me with a bag for my used toilet roll as he was concerned I was going to block the toilet system! ??? I was Leaning on the sink swaying and pressing the boost button on my tens machine for a contraction.
? 04:25 – the midwives arrive – 7 minutes prior to birth!! ???
The house was dark as I told Barry we can’t have the lights on, so he’d duly turned them all off complaining that he can’t see anything! The midwives came into the bathroom with torches. I was kind of confused about who they were! ? Barry was still in his boxers and by this point he was emptying the pool as I realised he hadn’t put the liner in first. He’d opened the patio doors and was trying to tip the pool water away. I had another contraction and they said they could see the babies head between my legs! ??? They said I needed to move, i refused!! ??? They said you don’t want your baby born in the bathroom do you?? I didn’t think there was much wrong with that! I asked to clean myself up first, (((poo))), they let me. Then I walked across the room with the top of babies head showing between my legs holding onto the two midwives (I was guessing by this point these people were midwives???)) to the sofa which magically suddenly had the pool liner on and an inco pad on.
The relief when I kneeled on the sofa was amazing and almost immediately with another contraction her head was out! I felt the ring of fire, my URRING became higher pitched, but I wasn’t screaming, it was just a noise, almost primal. And the ring of fire wasn’t that bad, it was a few seconds, it was fine! Then the relief when the head was out was fantastic. I didn’t push, gravity and my body birthed the head (and body!).
I felt her turn.
Then I knew the next bit would be easy, just like I’ve seen in the videos in the home birth FB group, she was going to shoot out and sure enough the next contraction she flopped out onto the sofa!!
Apparently she came out her in sac but sadly I didn’t see this. I had told my partner I wanted it filmed and photographed but it didn’t happen. ??? Too quick!! He was behind me but then moved in front to support me which was a nice feeling.
I’d left the boost button on the tens on at this point and it was causing me to have spasms! ??? The midwives were like what’s wrong with you! ???Between the spasms I managed to utter tens machine! And they helped me turn it off as suddenly I couldn’t remember how to use it again!! ??? It wasn’t even on its highest setting! I only paid £5 for it on Facebook market, it’s officially my bargain of the century! ??????
The midwives said they would pass her between my legs but I wanted to lie down and I couldn’t work out how to do that whilst holding her! So I lay down and they gave her to me! We cuddled and she breastfed almost immediately! ?
My 9 year old appeared 20 minutes later to see his sister. ? He is now besotted with her! He’s asked lots of questions since so obviously heard her being born. He wanted to know why I was making strange noises but agrees I wasn’t screaming! ??? I hope this has given him an experience of a true birth, a new respect for women’s bodies and a special bond with his sister. He certainly been very different since! ?
We waited till the cord went white before cutting as it was quite short.
Then they wanted me to birth the placenta, naturally I had a melt down! ? It all seemed quite rushed but I didn’t really have any concept of time by this point. I managed to birth it naturally on the toilet, after they inserted and removed a catheter as they didn’t believe me that my bladder was COMPLETELY empty after being sick, weeing and poohing EVERYWHERE all night! ???
I needed stitches for a second degree ‘neat’ tear, opposite side to my cut from last time which was fine. I had local anaesthetic and gas and air, I still couldn’t cope! ?
Unfortunately my bleeding although slowing, wasn’t stopping quick enough for them. It was the end of their shift and they didn’t want to leave me in case I fainted and hurt baby. So sent an ambulance ( I tried to go in my own car!!) and we went to hospital. The bad hospital too!! ??? But by the time I got there bleeding was even less, I had a drip to stop it and it all stopped very quickly. We waited 8 and a half hours to be released! 8 and a half hours!! ??? The aftercare in that hospital is great, they really did help lots on my breastfeeding journey with my first 9 years ago and their care was good this time, just slow like all hospitals. It did help settle some demons although I was upset when I was being wheeled through the hospital and having flash backs to 9 years ago and my long painful slogs to special care!
I missed my partner at the hospital as even though he is useless under pressure he is good at baby duties.
I did think during my 8 and a half hour stay staring at the blue curtains or lights (they definitely need some murals or something to brighten the place up!) that I really wouldn’t have been able to do the birth I had just had in a hospital, I would have had an epidural, not because I was in lots of pain but because the option was available to me and in fear I might not be able to cope in due course, and I would probably have had interventions because of this.
When I got home at 1630 the same day I finished my jobs on the yards and tidied up the the house, activities I couldn’t have done after my last two labours and activities that mean the world to me to carry on and complete. Definitely no Harry the hemorrhoid this time!! ??????
By 19:30, id had dinner, my sick and placenta bowl was my fruit bowl again, the floors had been disinfected and life was back to semi normal again, although kids very very hyper excited ! ???
All my births have obviously been special but the home birth was definitely out of this world yet so completely normal!!??