I can remember sitting in my GP practice almost two years earlier seeing a poster for One to One Midwives and thinking that it sounded like something that would interest me should we decide to try for a baby. Then after a year of trying that second line finally appeared, yay! I went straight to the One to One website and gave them a call.
My assigned midwife was Kim Sefia who came to visit me at home (which was extremely useful as I’m a foster carer). I remember Kim asking me what I knew of One to One and my explanation was “it’s an old school ‘call the midwife’ type of approach”.
I still don’t think I was far off. I couldn’t believe that was it, my husband kept asking if I needed to get the pregnancy confirmed by the GP? No, that’s it…we’re having a baby.
During Kim’s visits I was always keen to ask questions about being a midwife, working for One to One and about life in general. Kim got to know Chris and I really well which was what I needed to put my mind at rest that I would trust her professional judgement come the day. I wanted a personal approach and someone who understood my needs and trusted me and my judgements, I couldn’t think of anything worse than someone patronising me or a multitude of staff coming to ‘inspect me’ whilst being in labour. My instinct was that I would want a trusting and calm environment.
Even though this was my first baby, I don’t ever remember thinking that I didn’t want a home birth, in fact I don’t recall speaking to anyone other than Kim about it. I think I just assumed my husband would think that it was the most natural place the same as me! I guess I never really told any family/friends of our plans, we just remained flexible. All I seemed to be hearing off mums was: “a home birth is too risky, especially being your first”, “you’ll want all the drugs you can get your hands on”, “you’ll need all the medical support you can, I did”, “you don’t know what’s going to happen”, “If I wasn’t in hospital I would have died during child birth”, “it’s the worst pain imaginable, you’ll want to be in hospital”, honestly the statements go on!
Chris and I attended hypnobirthing classes with Rebecca which were really interesting and useful. I did struggle to practice the meditation at home (we was in the middle of a house renovation) but I did take some key elements away from the classes and felt reassured to follow my natural instincts come the moment.
I had a week or so of contractions every 30 minutes to which Kim was always at hand to answer any questions day and night, to reassure and remind me not to rule out paracetamol (which I always did). Then after a day of no contractions and a trip to Wales! I woke up the following morning at 2am with strong period like pains, I text Kim and boasted that I had finally taken two paracetamol (which in this case was too late as this was the real deal). Chris remained in touch with Kim throughout my contractions, which came thick and fast. At 4am Chris finally managed to get me in the birthing pool downstairs, Kim arrived at 4:30am (she respected our privacy, reassured me when I hit my wall, the transition I think she called it, monitored us both discretely and kept the two grandmothers quiet for me keeping me calm and relaxed), I gave birth and lifted our beautiful Isabelle out of the pool at 8:40am, amazing (We had the lights nice and dim, a roaring fire, zen music playing on the iPad and Isabelle was born with her eyes open and was alert from the get go). I never had any pain relief apart from the two paracetamol at 2am! I just focused on the breathing and relaxation techniques we’d learnt in the hypnobirthing class. By 10am we was all sitting in the living room having tea and toast. It was such a beautiful experience that we will treasure forever. It was of course extremely hard work but I always felt reassured by Kim and Rebecca (Kim’s buddy) that my natural instincts were the best way for me and Isabelle.
Chris and I have spoken about the experience numerous times along with the grandmothers (who had all their children in hospital and thought we was crazy for having a home birth pre-birth). It remained a calm and relaxed environment throughout the birth. We would all highly recommend One to One and I spend my entire time bragging about Kim and the experience. Thank you.
When the idea of a home birth and a birthing pool was first suggested by my wife it seemed as crazy as Christmas in June.
As the pregnancy progressed the idea became more and more normal and after attending ‘hypno-birthing’ classes with One to One the concept was the most natural and normal way for us to have our first baby. Despite feeling quietly confident and relaxed about the process the 40th week passed and our natural anxieties started to show. On the fifth day over the due date at 2am the fun began.
After an hour of making sure this was it, we called our midwife Kim who provided immediate reassurance and asked us to call again when things progressed. Half an hour later we had made more calls and were advised to fill up the pool and for my wife to get in. The midwife was on her way.
By 4am midwife Kim was in attendance. It was at this point I got to see our assigned midwife do what she does best. She began to immediately reassure my wife by making regular observations and explaining to both of us what to expect. The calm, relaxed and confident manner in which she went about her business was very reassuring. She almost developed another state of awareness. It was plain to see at this point that Kim really ‘knew her onions’ and was a true professional. Not being concerned with having to deliver the baby myself I was fortunate to watch Kim in action. In practice, this meant her seemingly doing very little but was actually listening, looking and sensing a lot. She seemed to develop a strong intuition of how my wife was progressing with the delivery and while continually monitoring, was able to let nature take its course. This allowed both of us to stay relaxed and confident that all was well. At 8.40am baby Isabelle was born.
By 10am we were sat in our living with grandparents and the midwife eating tea and toast, trying to take in what miracle had just arrived. I remember feeling moved by the level of professionalism and confidence offered by Kim, making our experience feel out of this world.
As a previously skeptical father to-be I can not recommend highly enough the professional and compassionate services of one to one midwives. To say Kim, and the service as a whole was impressive would be an under statement. Thank you for doing more than just your job.