I’m a mum of two and after a straightforward first pregnancy, my midwife suggested I could have my second child at home. After talking to friends who had had very positive experiences of home births, I decided to go for this option. The midwife visited us at home a few weeks before my due date to run through everything with us that we would need and once we were all organised we just had to wait.
8 days before my due date I woke up feeling very tired, I spent the day looking after my older daughter and relaxing as much as I could. It was a Sunday so my husband was at home to help out too. At 3:45 pm whilst we were all out in the garden I started to feel a few aches and realised that they were 5 minutes apart. This confirmed to me that labour had started. I told my husband but as I felt fine and didn’t expect anything to happen too quickly, we got on with making tea and sorting my daughter out. I rang the local maternity unit who asked a few questions, then passed my details on to the on-call midwife who rang me. I told her I felt fine at the moment although my previous labour had only been 12 hours. She recommended that I give it a few hours and ring her back when things seemed to be hotting up. We ate tea, bathed my daughter and got a few things sorted out for the baby round the house. Then my parents came to pick my daughter up as she was going to stay with them overnight. By this stage my contractions were coming about 3 minutes apart and quite painful but were much easier to deal with by me walking around and keeping busy as much as possible to take my mind off them. We rang the midwife again and she said she’d like to come over at this point. She arrived at 8:45pm. At this stage I needed to stop what I was doing to breathe through each contraction, but otherwise, I was trying to still keep moving. The midwife was lovely, calm and relaxed and let me take the lead and do whatever I wanted to do. I asked her to examine me and she said I was 7cm dilated already and she thought the baby would be there pretty soon. This helped me decide to have some gas and air as I knew I would not need this for long and I was finding the contractions much stronger. This helped to take the edge off for me and gave me something to concentrate on as I walked around the room. Soon after that I felt like I needed to push and was encouraged to do so. Not long after my little girl was born in our bedroom at 9:58pm. She was placed straight in my arms whilst they had a quick look at her, then my husband and I could cuddle her and settle her whilst I gave her her first feed in our bed. The midwife tidied the room completely so you would never know a baby had been born there. She gave me a few stitches which didn’t hurt at all, ran me a bath and made me a cup of tea. Once we were all sorted out she left and I spent the night cuddling and feeding my beautiful little girl. It was such a calm and relaxed start in life for her and felt totally normal and natural. It was a beautiful experience which I hope to repeat someday. I do think that being in familiar surroundings, keeping moving, and feeling relaxed about the birth really helped it all to go smoothly for me.