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My big boy Rafael born at home on the 18/8/2004 at 12.21AM weighing 11lb 5oz.

After finding out I was expecting my third child I decided from the start I really wanted a home birth. I started my care with the NHS, and to cut a very long story short, I was told that I was not an ‘ideal’ candidate for a home birth and that I would not be able to have the birth I wanted.

After looking at hypnobirthing I contacted Tracey from Pure Birth and started my hypnobirthing course at around 26 weeks pregnant.

After telling Tracey that I really wanted to have a home birth and that I wasn’t happy with my currant antenatal care, Tracy told me all about One to One and I really felt excited for the first time about the possibility of having a home birth. After a couple of weeks of trying to arrange to be referred from my doctor and coming up against different people saying it wasn’t commissioned, it was Emma at One to One who finally allocated me a midwife called Sarah.

When I first met Sarah with my mum who was my hynobirthing partner, I felt truly relived that One to One felt that I was an ‘ideal’ candidate to home birth.

After a few visits it was decided that I should have growth scans as I was measuring big for the number of weeks I was. Sarah organized everything and was really reassuring. Sarah, along with the rest of us, were expecting a ‘bigger’ baby, as both me and my partner Darryl are tall. Scans showed that everything was fine and that he was going to be a ‘big’ baby. Again Sarah was really reassuring that she thought I would have no problems having my son at home.

One week after my due date, on the 17th August, my waters broke around 8PM in the front room of Darryl’s mums house. I had no surges at the time and we drove home expecting everything to ‘kick’ off later on. 30 minutes after my waters had gone I felt my first surge which was only a slight niggle, and a second around 7 minutes later. As my last labour was fairly quick (around 3 hours), Sarah had told me to let her know as soon as things started. By the time my next surge came I was at home. I called my mum who was coming round. I had my children, aged 5 and 6 and Darryl’s son at home aged 8 so they all went to bed. Darryl called Sarah and I got on my birthing ball. It was now around 9.30PM and my surges were every 5 minutes. When Sarah got there, Darryl was trying to fill the pool without the liner!!! Luckily my mum got there in time to get the liner in before he filled it too far!!!

Sarah knew that I wanted a natural birth with as little intervention as possible so I was unconcerned how dilated I was. I was listening to my hynobirthing MP3 and sitting on my ball. My mum suggested getting in the pool, which I felt was a bit too soon as I was coping well with my music. My brothers girlfriend was timing my surges and said “Sam they are every 3-4 minutes” I hadn’t realized how quickly the surges were coming. I got into the pool around 10PM and it felt lovely with the warm water, my mum lit candles and I listened to my birth affirmations and with each surged practiced the breathing techniques I had been shown.

Around 10.30PM I asked for gas and air as the surges were coming pretty much every 2 minutes and I was starting to panic a bit and lose track of my breathing and I wasn’t able to concentrate on my affirmations. Sarah was checking the baby’s heart rate but to be honest I never really noticed.

By 11.30PM I felt like I had been surging forever and I felt like I was having no gap in between. At around 12AM I was feeling a lot of pressure in my bottom and I had been shouting at everyone, especially when my gas and air bottle had run out! Debbie the other midwife that arrived to help Sarah went to get some more gas, which felt like a lifetime. I think I even shouted at Sarah at that point! (Sorry!).

At around 12.18AM, Rafael’s head popped out and the rest of him followed 3 minutes later! A big healthy baby at 11lb 5oz born just how I had imagined having him. Naturally at home with his family all around. Thankfully I had no tears etc. so after delivery of the placenta, I was able to cuddle and begin breastfeeding my big boy straight away.

Thankfully because of One to One and my lovely midwife I was able to have the amazing home birth I had always wanted.