I had my last appointment with my midwife, Jo yesterday and it was a genuinely sad day.
I decided to contact One to One Midwives when I got pregnant with my second child as I thought appointments at home would be more convenient with having a toddler. It was in fact so much more than that!
From my first appointment with Jo, I knew I was in good hands. We talked about my previous birth and how I had wanted a pool birth but ended up with an episiotomy and forceps delivery. My mum missed seeing Isaac born, as it was in theatre so only my husband was allowed in.
Jo suggested that maybe the intervention came too soon in hospital and that maybe I would like to consider a home birth this time. Many of my family and friends (and my husband!) were against the idea but it really appealed to me.
My pregnancy was not an easy one as my mum found out she had breast cancer and had a series of operations, ending in a mastectomy and reconstruction in February. Jo became more like a councillor during our appointments but she never rushed me or made me feel silly for being upset or like it wasn’t her problem.
The closer I got to giving birth the more I was leaning towards home birth and then I attended the hypnobirthing classes taught by the One to One. They were such an inspiration. Everything they teach makes perfect sense and you realise giving birth is a process your body is designed to do. I took so much from those classes and I’d recommend them to anyone who is pregnant.
So the morning of 31st March (one week before my ‘due date’) I woke at 3am with tightenings. Our little boy was sleeping in our bed so I told my husband to stay in bed with him so as not to wake him and I went downstairs to start timing the surges. I sat on my birthing ball and watched TV, keeping track with a contraction timer app! At 5am they were about 3 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I rang my mum and told her something was happening and then I rang Jo. She said I sounded very calm but if I needed her she would come. I said I was ok for now but I’d ring her back when I needed her. She laughed that it was hard to tell with hypnobirthing mums whether they were in active labour or not as they’re so calm! I got in the bath and listened to my hypnobirthing affirmations. At 7am they were becoming quite powerful so I rang Jo back and asked her to come. Her and my mum arrived around 7.30, just as my son was waking up. My mum took him home so my dad could look after him and then came back. I was listening to my hypnobirthing music and leaning on my ball, breathing through the surges and focusing on my visualisations. These really helped as I noticed when I didn’t visualise my hot air balloon moving up in the sky, the surge was much more powerful (and painful!) At 10am my husband and Jo had filled the pool in the living room (with buckets as we didn’t have a hose pipe adaptor that fitted!) I got in the pool and carried on listening to my music and breathing. At 11am my waters broke and I could feel my body begin to push. All I did was breathe and focus; my body was doing the rest. I had a little gas and air towards the end and at 11.30 my beautiful baby girl was born in to the water.
It was so calm and peaceful and I was so happy I’d gotten the birth I wanted with my son and didn’t get. My mum got to cut her cord (after it finished pulsing) and the placenta was birthed easily while my husband had some skin to skin with our daughter. An hour later, my son was brought to meet his baby sister, Rose, in our living room and it was the happiest moment of my life.
I genuinely believe that without Jo and One to One Midwives I would never have had the birth I wanted. I felt so in control and safe in the knowledge Jo was there, quietly supervising and letting my body do its job. I cannot stress enough how important the hypnobirthing class was to my positive frame of mind and confidence in my ability to birth how I wanted.
Thanks Jo and I’ll miss you!