Edie's Birth- A speedy water birth at home
Edie turned 2 this week, and as always when one of my girl's birthday's come around I feel all reflective about both of their births. So in celebration of Edie's birthday, I'm indulging in sharing my own birth story this time around. So here goes..
I was just a day shy of 39 weeks and had plans to meet one of my best friends at the park with our toddlers. That day however, I just wasn’t feeling myself. Physically I felt fine (as fine as you can at 39 weeks pregnant) but mood wise I was all over the place. I felt tearful and deflated and just couldn’t get the motivation to do anything. I am not someone who would usually back out of plans, but that day I just couldn’t face it, and I very apologetically cancelled on my friend, got into my pyjamas and snuggled up at home taking it easy with my toddler. It was like my body was telling me to rest up and store my energy for what was to come…
I started to feel some slight cramping at around 6pm while I was getting my daughter ready for bed- I had experienced quite a bit of Braxton Hicks during the 3rd trimester so I put it down to that and carried about my evening as normal, before heading to bed. At 1.30am I woke up with a cramping feeling again, nothing too intense but it had been enough to wake me up . I waited to see if it returned, and sure enough this cramping started to come through at regular intervals for the next 30 minutes. At that point, I decided to give my husband a nudge awake.
I should mention here that my first labour and birth with my eldest daughter was very quick, so I had been given the heads up from the midwives that a second birth may be even quicker, so I felt it best not to hang around if I thought something was happening. We were planning on a home birth and knew that we wanted our daughter to be out of the house during the birth, so given it was the middle of the night, we had to decide fast if we should take her to her grandparents. At around 2.15am I waved off my husband, daughter and dog as they set off Nanny’s house, and I was left alone at home.
I had a shower and pottered about the house getting things ready between surges (I’m pretty sure I emptied the dishwasher at one point!) and was feeling pretty good. I gave the midwives a call just to give them the heads up that something might be happening. They said to call back when they were every few minutes. Almost as soon as I got off the phone to the midwives, the surges started to come through faster and picked up in intensity, but I still felt they were manageable and I was able to breathe through each one with ease, so I held off on calling for a little while.
My husband arrived home and kept busy getting the birth pool ready, and the midwives decided it was best they come out to check how I was getting on. The two midwives who arrived at our home were lovely, and everything I had hoped for. The lead midwife had trained in hypnobirthing so was a total advocate for the approach I was taking in managing my labour.
At around 4am I was offered an examination, which I accepted. The midwife confirmed that things were progressing really well and that it didn’t look like things were far away. Until that point I had felt like I wasn’t that far along, and imagined I’d be labouring well into the daytime.
Almost immediately after the examination things started to pick up, and the surges built in intensity. I really liked being at home and having the ability to take myself off to be alone and get into the zone for mountain breathing through each surge. The midwives were brilliant at letting me have my own space and subtly checking in on me without disturbing me.
Around 4.45am my husband reminded me that the birth pool was ready, so I started to make my way to the pool. On route, a surge hit and my waters went in spectacular fashion onto the plastic covering we had laid out on the floor of the living room. My husband tells me that at this point he heard the midwives whispering that baby would be here very soon.
I got into the pool and within a minute or so my next surge arrived and I started to feel an uncontrollable urge to bare down/push- just like I experienced with my first daughters birth. My body was taking over.
No more than 3 surges later, my daughters head was born- and with the next surge her body followed.
Edie Summer Churchill was born at 5.05am on Saturday 22nd June 2019, just as the sun was rising. Just 3.5 hours after I was awoken with the first feelings of labour.
I will never forget the moment I reached into the water to pick her up and brought her into my chest for our first embrace. I couldn’t believe I had actually managed to have the home birth I had hoped for, and that it had gone so smoothly, and at such pace! I was so elated, with her snuggled into my chest, that I hadn’t even thought to check the gender yet. We were thrilled to find we had welcomed another little girl to our family, at a healthy 7 lb 1. We named her Edie, and gave her the middle name Summer due to her arriving into the world just a few hours shy of the Summer Solstice.
My home birth experience was everything I could have hoped for and more. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Edie I knew I wanted a home birth, but I always had it in the back of my mind that I could change my mind on the day and go to hospital if I felt nervous at all- and I truthfully thought it would probably end up that way. But when it came to it, I can honestly say there was not a moment of the experience where I felt worried or unsure, or that I should be anywhere else than in my own home, with my husband and the amazing support of 2 midwives, who were subtly in contact with the hospital throughout. Being in my own space, with my own things was a huge comfort during labour, and little things like being able to shower in my own bathroom after birth, and then snuggle up on my own sofa was pure bliss.
Edie’s labour and birth was hand’s down the most empowering experience of my life and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.