I was one of the lucky ones who were hardly affected by pregnancy, limited amount of the dreaded morning sickness and generally overall I felt really good. After my 12 week bloods, the results showed I had low levels of PAPP-A and as a result of this there was potential for me to give birth to a baby of low birth weight.
At this point I was not under the care of One to One and was already getting fed up with the lack of consistency of the same midwife and felt very on my own at the start of what should be an amazing journey.
At an appointment with the hospital regarding my low level of PAPP-A, they couldn’t really give us any answers. I would simply be sent for growth scans later on in my pregnancy and they would induce me on or around 40 weeks. Coming out of that appointment I felt any choices I had were taken away and more or less felt I was being told what was going to happen.
Shortly after my 20 week scan I came across One to One at a Baby and Toddler event. Rachel who I spoke to gave me the confidence to refer myself and I am so glad I did. Debi was our assigned midwife and from the get go I could not fault her. I had considered a home birth as I don’t particularly like hospitals but didn’t think this was as option with the Low PAPP-A and comments from the doctors.
Debi advised I still had choices and that it was down to us to make those decisions about what was best for us and our baby. In great detail she explained what would/could happen if we decided on a home birth and reassured and somewhat persuaded my partner a home birth was possible if it was what we wanted. Immediately after Debi left I felt in control again and more calm. My partner and myself along with Debi devised a plan that we would aim for a home birth, have the growth scans with One to One and dependent upon the outcome of the scans would revisit and revise if needs be.
Sailing through the rest of my pregnancy, I had growth scans at 28, 31, 34 and 38 weeks. The scans showed baby was happily growing and there were no concerns. At 38 weeks I was looking forward to the birth. I was striving for a water birth; so on the Sunday at 38+1, Debi delivered the pool to our home. She was off on a training course for the week, we stood laughing in our hallway that we had everything we needed and we were all confident baby was no way near ready for his grand entrance- little did we know he had other ideas. I had finished work on the Friday and had created a list of all the cleaning and rearranging I wanted to do in my weeks before his arrival, starting with the kitchen cupboards.
That Sunday night I went to bed with my mental list of cleaning and sorting. At around 11:30pm I got up to one of my many trips to the toilet. Half asleep I stood up to go back to bed and a trickle of water was forming a pool on the floor at my feet. Confused and still sleepy I couldn’t work out what it was. My partner, now worried I had been in the bathroom for some time came in and asked if everything was okay, my reply was a muffled I think my waters just broke.
Knowing Debi was on a training course I rang her mobile which automatically diverted to Vicky. Vicky advised to take some paracetamol, get as much rest as possible, being my first baby she wasn’t expecting much to happen and she would come and visit and assess me the following morning. Fast forward to an hour or so later I am in our bath begging her to come and see me for reassurance as to what was happening. Vicky arrived and did an internal examination but couldn’t come to a conclusion if I was only just starting or if I was on the way to being fully dilated. Turns out it was the latter. By around 4am I was ready for pushing, now out of the bath and on the bed, I was breathing through my contractions with the techniques I had learnt at pregnancy yoga and felt very calm, comfortable most importantly in control.
By 7am and lots of pushing baby had still not arrived and was stuck in the birth canal. Zoe the second midwife had made a few phone calls and I was allowed to push for a short while longer. By 7:30am the decision was being made that I would be transferred to hospital for most likely a forceps delivery. I immediately thought that was not happening, I was exhausted and felt deflated I had gotten so far. With encouragement from Zoe I still had time; I waddled to the bathroom and leant over the bath. Digging deep and with energy I didn’t think I had I birthed our beautiful baby boy in our bathroom at home with no pain relief, just in the nick of time as the ambulance team were knocking at the front door. I had done it, he was here and he was perfect. Weighing a healthy 7lb 10oz (not small by any means), Ruairi made his entrance into the world on the 13th February, 12 days early.
From start to finish the care I received from everyone at One to One was second to none. I felt empowered, in control, safe and secure in the hands of an amazing team of people. Without Debi I wouldn’t have got my wish and without the support and encouragement from Vicky and Zoe I wouldn’t have been able to have the birth I did. I fully believe being at home made a huge difference, even my partner has now said he would recommend a home birth to anyone and even more so recommend One to One. I cannot thank the team enough and feel grateful I have access to such an amazing service. I am already looking forward to anymore children we might have after such a positive and incredible experience but before I think about another I will find the time to clean my kitchen cupboards.