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Hello!

I guess there aren't too many home births around these days (something like 2% here in NZ), so I thought I'd share mine!

Firstly, why a home birth? Well, this is my second baby, and the first was a full-on induction with epidural. This baby obviously had a very medical start (ICSI), so I really wanted to go natural for his birth - also, I was just sick of doctors!! I planned for a home birth, but kept a very open mind as I know that anything can happen....

My waters broke at 3am, 6 days overdue. Contractions started, but not with any regularity. I went back to bed and tried to sleep - ha ha - too keyed up! I took note of each contraction, but they weren't too painful so let my DH sleep on... a few hours later, DD and DH got up and I was still having sporadic contractions - some 10 minutes apart, some 6, some 8 - all over the place. I called the midwife at about 9am just to tell her what was happening, and she said to get walking.... Well, I did a bit of walking, but not enough, as by lunchtime I was still getting uneven contractions! By 3pm that afternoon, I was really fed up - and couldn't understand why labour wasn't 'establishing' itself even after 12 hours - everyone always says second labours are faster!!!

Well, just then, as if a switch suddenly flicked, contractions started to come every 2 minutes. I began walking up and down the stairs (my midwife said this is great for opening you up!!) - it was so exciting - things were finally happening... the pain was getting stronger, but I could breathe my way through each contraction. The midwife arrived at 4.30ish, but she didn't check to see how dilated I was then - a joint decision by both of us! I kept on breathing through the contractions and they kept on intensifying... I had a birthing pool set up in my bedroom, but hadn't got in it as my midwife said it could slow things up if you get in too early, but it was great for leaning on as I had a contraction! I kept on walking around - up and down the stairs and all around the house!

By about 5.30, the contractions were coming thick and fast, and getting really big - by 6ish (I think!)I could tell I was in transition - I'd had these enormous contractions which to be brutally honest felt like I was being split in half (remember, I've had no drugs or anything!!!), and then I just burst into tears and said "I can't do this anymore" - I finally got into the pool and had another huge contraction, followed by the most enormous, primeval urge to push.... I was fully dilated and ready to go,  BUT the water in the pool had cooled down a little too much, and the midwife decided the baby couldn't be born in there as the temperature was a bit too low, and so I had to get out again after just 2 contractions!!!! Admidst the chaos of getting into and out of the pool and my amazing urges to push, my DH was rushing around downstairs, getting - would you believe it - hot water and towels to warm up the pool and to wrap the baby in....

After 11 minutes pushing, with this weird grunting that seemed like someone else (I'm sure it wasn't me!!), the shout was given to PANT, DON'T PUSH, and although I didn't feel like I had an ounce of breath left in me, I panted as hard as I could as the head crowned... a minute later (it seemed like hours of panting), my boy was born onto the bedroom floor (which was covered in a mat I'd made and lots of towels) and just like that, all the pain and grunting stopped, and there was my miracle, crying like he should!!

It was so amazing to feel it all in all it's glory - like the best thing and the worst thing you've ever done all rolled into one - such incredible extremes of feeling and emotion, and downright animal instinct.

And then, to be able to crawl into your own bed, with your wee baby right there - alert and relaxed - with a cup of tea and some smoked salmon and cream cheese crackers (pre-ordered!!), and then my DD arriving with Grandma and Grandpa half an hour later - just perfect!!

I feel so amazingly lucky and blessed to have had two incredible birth experiences, and I heartily recommend a home birth to anyone who feels they would like to do it and has a straightforward pregnancy with no complications etc...

Miracles do happen - keep believing in yourself.....

:)
 

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Wow Alice - What a fabulous birth story, so natural and gentle on you and your baby.  Congratuations and well done !

Jennifer xx
 

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Fantastic Alice, well done you!

I had a homebirth for my first baby and although we had to transfer into hospital right near the end (I was pushing in the street!!), I have no regrets and would definitely do it again.

A lovely story.

Sal x
 
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