I came to One to One fairly late in my pregnancy, I was 26 weeks before I contacted them and I’m so pleased I did. I gave birth to my first son in 2010 in hospital and although my pre and post natal care was fantastic, my experience of labour was quite negative and both myself and my boyfriend were nervous about going through it again.

From day one, Lisa was a breath of fresh air and gave me confidence in my body’s own ability to give birth without any intervention (I’d had to have a forcep delivery and episiotomy with my first child).

I knew I wanted to have a water birth as I’d been in the pool with my first child and the pain relief it offered was amazing. The availability of a pool can’t be guaranteed in hospital so I was keen on the idea of having one at home but my boyfriend had found the whole experience quite traumatic first time around and really wanted the security of a hospital so we decided we would go to hospital for the birth.

My pregnancy thankfully, was fairly uneventful and Lisa carried out all routine checks at home which was fantastic as my boyfriend works long hours and I didn’t relish the thought of having to trail a 3 year old with me to appointments whilst heavily pregnant.

First time around I’d given birth at 39 weeks so I assumed this one would arrive early, but my due date came and went, however I had lots of Braxton Hicks, they became so strong and regular the Friday before I gave birth that I text Lisa to warn her that something may be imminent but it was a false alarm (which was lucky as my boyfriend was happily ensconced in the pub).

I continued to have Braxton Hicks on and off for the next few days and woke at 3.30am when I was 40+5 and felt fairly strong pains. I started timing the contractions and they were about 11 minutes apart, I stayed in bed until 5am and the contractions weren’t easing off so I was fairly certain this was the real deal. I then text Lisa at 5.30am and she got in touch shortly after. By 8.30am having whisked our son off to his grandparents for the day, the pains were getting much stronger and Lisa arrived shortly after to check on progress. By this point I was wired up to the tens machine, had the hypnobirthing cd on repeat and bouncing on my birthing ball.

Having Lisa in the house was very reassuring and kept both myself and my boyfriend much calmer than first time around. As the contractions increased and became more intense, Lisa helped me to work through them and suggested ways in which I may be more comfortable. As we weren’t sure whether my waters had broken or not, Lisa left it until around 12pm before examining me as I felt increasing pressure and the contractions were becoming unbearable. I was unexpectedly fully dilated and we needed to make some quick decisions – Lisa was very calm and explained our options – we could get an ambulance to the hospital immediately or stay at home, my priority was to get into some water as I knew the pain relief it offered was fantastic and I also dreaded the thought of being moved, let alone travelling anywhere so we decided to stay at home.

As this was unplanned, Lisa had a pool with her but no liner so quickly tried to organise delivery of one and suggested I get into the bath in the meantime. Barely able to move, Lisa and my boyfriend pushed and dragged me up the stairs between them and helped me into the bath which felt absolutely amazing and the relief was immense. I felt a new surge of energy both physically and mentally and started to use gas and air, our second midwife Liz arrived and I felt very calm and in control.

I began to feel the pressure of the head and it became obvious the baby was on his way, we abandoned plans to move to a birthing pool and I began to push. The gas and air was making me too relaxed and Lisa suggested I try pushing without it, this made such a difference and only a couple of pushes later, the head was visible. I was in a difficult position with one leg underneath me but I was unable to move so Lisa and my boyfriend had to hoist me up in the water – they were fantastic and Lisa kept assuring me that my body would do all of the work for me if I just relaxed and she was completely right, a few pushes later, my beautiful baby boy was born into the water at 1.04pm and we were able to lay in the bath together immediately, an amazing feeling. The placenta was delivered shortly after and within an hour I was sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a very large bar of chocolate with my baby having his first feed.

Both Lisa and Liz were amazing throughout the birth and immediately after and I couldn’t have thanked them enough. Their personal care and attention was second to none and I only wish I’d used One to One Midwives with my first child.