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I got discharged this week from my wonderful midwife Sheridan, who has been truly amazing throughout and after my pregnancy, so I think it’s about time to share my birth story.

Upon finding out I was pregnant I instantly knew I wanted to go with One to One due to previous pregnancies and the experiences I had with those, plus the amazing reviews I had heard!

This was my 5th baby but first time having a home birth and first time being with One to One. If I would have known the amazing care provided I would have opted for them hands down with my others!

Upon signing up online I pretty much had a phone call straight away and was allocated my midwife Ruby. I had early bleeding and she was very supportive. At about 18 weeks I got allocated another midwife Chloe as Ruby was leaving. Again, Chloe was amazing but was transferring to another unit closer to her home. She was so worried telling me as she was my second midwife, but she needn’t have been as the care I had up to that point was brilliant. So, thank you Ruby and Chloe for supporting me and keeping my mind at peace during those worrisome early days. It’s at this point I met my midwife Sheridan. From the get go she was wonderful and made me feel completely comfortable about everything!

My pregnancy was classed as very high risk due to a number of numerous factors. It was my 5th baby and the chances of bleeding heavily after the birth were a lot higher. I had a previous pre-term labour. I had a retained placenta that needed to be manually removed in theatre. A previous SGA baby. Even with all these risk factors Sheridan reassured me that it was absolutely possible and as my pregnancy had been perfect there was no reason why I couldn’t. I had to have routine growth scans because of the previous small baby, 28-week scan was perfect my little girl was growing nicely, then at 32 weeks the growth scan seemed to show she had dropped centiles. I was devastated as this meant referral to consultants which in my mind ultimately would mean no home birth. I was prepared to do whatever was best for my little girl and Sheridan was there every step of the way, she met me at the hospital two weeks later and was ready to fight my corner for me. After the consultant scaring the life out of me mentioning steroids, early induction etc. and telling me a hospital birth was best and not recommending a home birth, my scan came back and everything was perfect! She was growing nicely. I had another hospital growth scan at 36 weeks to make sure and yet again everything was perfect! The consultant was happy and said there was no reason why I couldn’t get my home birth! Even with all my risk factors.

My due date was the 15th December, but nobody thought I would make it as all my others came early so at 37 weeks Sheridan brought me the birthing pool round. I pumped it up and put it next to the Christmas tree and waited and waited. Four days prior to my due date to everybody’s surprise I was still pregnant! Sheridan was amazing and was in contact regularly checking up to see how I was. That night I had started to get pains and tightening so thought it was time! But they were very irregular, so I decided to head to bed and wait and see. I woke up the next morning still pregnant and still getting irregular contractions that were varying in strength. As if she had a sixth sense Sheridan rang me first thing that morning as she was thinking about me, so I let her know about the situation. She reassured me that this was a positive progression and that everything was heading the right way (I felt as though I was in limbo as with previous pregnancies I’d had a few pains and be in full blown labour pretty much straight away, so this was unknown territory). I continued like this right through my due date with Sheridan checking in a few times a day.

On the 16th December I got woken with the pains at around 7 and thought here we go again but within half an hour I knew this was different so started to time them. The contractions were still very irregular ranging from a couple of minutes apart to 5-6 but were becoming a lot more painful. By 9am I knew it was time, being at home and not having to worry about getting everything together and off to the hospital was a dream and I went at my own pace sorting the children and ringing Sheridan, she was lovely on the phone and told me she would be with me as soon as possible and was sending another midwife to me who was closer, so I wasn’t on my own until she arrived. This is where I met Ellie. She was at my house within 15 minutes and immediately made me feel at ease, did a couple of routine checks and helped with filling the pool. Sheridan arrived a short time after that and both were there for me if I needed anything even to get a drink out of the fridge! My contractions were still very irregular at this point and getting even more painful, they were coupling as my little girl was back to back. I was told I could get into the pool whenever I wanted and this was music to my ears as I was pretty uncomfortable at this point. So, with Christmas lights twinkling and my music playing I got into the birthing pool. Sheridan and Ellie left me to it only coming in to see if I was ok or to check on baby’s heartbeat, a totally different experience from being made to lie on a bed in hospital not being allowed to move. So much more relaxing. I can’t remember what time it was when I asked for the gas and air but it was brought in for me immediately. I knew in my heart that once my waters went baby would follow quickly. Eventually my contractions became regular and powerful my little girl must have turned, it must be midwife intuition, but I remember at this point both midwives were with me next to the pool reassuring me and keeping me calm. I got a very strong contraction and with it my membranes finally ruptured at 12:45 I instantly had an overwhelming urge to push and with the next contraction at 12:49 my babies head was born, this closely followed with her birth at 12:50. A truly amazing and unforgettable experience in the comfort of my own home. My little girl was here, eyes wide open and looking around as if she had been here before! After spending a little time in the pool with her I had to get out. I had decided on a managed third stage to deliver the placenta due to my previous retained one. I was given the injection and we waited. After a while it became clear it wasn’t budging. Sheridan and Ellie both tried so hard to get it to shift but it wouldn’t budge. It was finally decided that a call to hospital and transfer in would have to happen. I was a little disappointed as it was the hospital I had wanted to avoid all along but equally happy I had at least gotten my home birth. The ambulance was called and bags were packed waiting. In all this time the two of them were still trying their best to deliver the placenta so I didn’t have to be transferred in. Que Debi! Sheridan made a quick call to Debi who suggested a trick (I won’t go into all the details) after what felt like hours I felt some pressure and sure enough upon a check my placenta had come away! Amazing. Just as the placenta was delivered the paramedics arrived who were told they were no longer needed, I didn’t need to be transferred after all! I went for a shower a short time later and once out came downstairs to find Ellie had gone so I never got chance to thank her, so thank you Ellie for everything you did for me during my labour I’ll never forget it! Shortly after once she knew everything was ok Sheridan left. I was at home in comfort holding my newborn baby and every trace of labour was gone, if I wasn’t holding the baby you wouldn’t have known that I had just had her it was amazing.

The aftercare I received was equally excellent. I got to meet Debi properly as she came to do Robyn’s newborn checks etc. so thank you Debi for the aftercare and your little life hack that saved the day!

If you’re still reading (well done) and are worried about homebirth due to being high risk or are just worried in general, all I can say is don’t be, even with everything that classed me high risk I got my homebirth and it was the most comfortable, straightforward and memorable birth out of my five only made possible by the wonderful One to One team.

Looking back now I am in complete awe with everything. My experience was magical and one I’ll never forget in my lifetime, it was made possible because of all the midwives I’ve already thanked but more so by my allocated midwife, Sheridan. She was my absolute rock and was there for me no matter what problem big or small and no matter what time day and night. I’ll never forget this pregnancy, birth and everything after because of her so thank you so much Sheridan, you got me the magical birth that I wanted and I’ll cherish those memories forever. With One to One you don’t just get a midwife, you get a friend.

Robyn Whiteside born at HOME 16th December 2017 6lb 3oz 12:50pm 40+1 weeks