From early on in my pregnancy my husband Ben and I had discussed having a homebirth. He was a bit cautious at first but after discussing it with our midwife Linda Shannon we decided as long as we had a trouble-free pregnancy we would go ahead with a homebirth. We avoided telling many people about our plans to birth at home as we found a lot of people have very strong opinions and we got tired of hearing everyone’s horror stories.
I had a very smooth pregnancy and didn’t suffer from morning sickness but had low blood pressure and had to take it easy in the mornings to avoid feeling faint. I could not believe how hungry I felt around 39-40 weeks. I finished work at 36 weeks our due date (29th July) came and went, although due to family history we did not expect to go into labour until after 41 weeks. We had a check-up at the hospital the day before going into labour just to check that the baby was ok, and the placenta was still working well. Everything looked fine so we were just instructed to wait. Linda gave me some acupuncture and a stretch and sweep in hope that it might start off the labour.
Thankfully, the next day I was having a lot of Braxton hicks contractions and by lunchtime I had a show followed by an increase in contractions. I was fairly sure we would be meeting our baby soon. We were at my parents’ house in Fielding for dinner and I didn’t want to miss out on the roast. I managed to eat between contractions which were getting a lot stronger. I instructed Ben he would have to finish his dessert in the car because the baby was on its way and I really had to get home now! By the time we got home the contractions were two minutes apart. I called the midwife and Ben started filling the birthing pool. I was managing the pain by kicking my feet which helped to take my mind off the contractions. When Linda arrived, she checked to find I was already 7cms dilated. What a relief I was able to get into the birthing pool. It felt great to be immersed in the warm water. I was able to move a lot more freely in the pool. Linda applied acupressure during my contractions to relieve back pain which worked really well.
When I felt ready to push, Ben got into the birthing pool, he was a great support and it helped to have something to lean back against. I concentrated on pushing through the pain of the contractions. Linda was monitoring the baby’s heart rate which was starting to drop and there was some meconium passing in the waters. So, it felt best to get out and try some pushes on the couch. I leant up against Ben with my mum holding one foot against her hip and Siobhan (the student midwife) with the other. It made a huge difference to have them to bear down and push against. After an hour and 25 minutes of pushing I gave birth to Emily Rose Trask weighing 8lb 1oz. (12th August 2009 at 1.19am) A total labour of 7 1/2 hours. I was so thrilled to have finally met our new baby it was not until a few days later that I read back over the birth notes that I thought to myself wow I did it! I achieved a natural home birth without pain relief and no stitches. There was one point during transition that I said to the midwife ‘Ouch, it hurts’ She just smiled and replied I know! This gave me the determination to push on and focus on the birth. I was extremely well looked after during the birth I had two midwives present and also a student midwife. They all did an amazing job. The aftercare and follow up visits were a huge help through the first days of breast feeding.