My story really begins 3 years ago when I had my first child. Five days after the birth and completely out of the blue, I experienced hallucinations, paranoia and delusions, was sectioned and diagnosed with postpartum psychosis. The labour itself was a 60-hour test of endurance, which I felt I had failed. I was sent home from hospital twice, only being 3cm dilated, and ended up having an epidural on day 3.
I felt pretty powerless throughout and can’t remember making any decisions myself. I struggled with feeding through the night and after 7 days without any sleep; psychosis hit me like a train.
Making the decision to have another baby was not easy for either my husband or me. I had heard about One to One and knew that would be the best option for us to enable us to plan and reduce the risk of a repeat psychotic episode. I could not have been happier when I met my midwife Tabitha Gould. She was knowledgeable and professional but also friendly, open and fun. She’s one of those lovely people you feel like you’ve known for years as soon as you meet. She was able to advise me on all my options and I felt in control throughout my pregnancy.
We hadn’t considered a home birth before but with her guidance, we decided that would be the best option for us. Tabitha even came to a meeting with a psychiatric nurse with my husband and I and was involved in the risk planning. She maintained that she was confident a repeat episode of psychosis was unlikely and that was a real comfort to me.
When the time came, we were actually staying with my in laws due to our builders over running on our extension! Not ideal. Tabitha was so flexible and continued home visits at their house. She reassured me I could still have the birth I wanted, even if it involved going to hospital instead.
Well, when I was first examined at 9cm, the decision was quickly made I would be having a home birth after all, at my in law’s house! Ill equipped (with all my supplies for a home birth at MY home), Tabitha quickly rallied the troops and gathered towels a plenty. She helped create a calm, relaxed atmosphere; perfect for the natural birth I had planned.
Without any pain relief, Megan entered the World into a peaceful, emotional room. In the days that followed, Tabitha was on call day and night and she helped me establish breastfeeding with her support.
Day 5 after the birth was a very emotional one for us, remembering what had happened 3 years ago but thanks to all the support we received and the forward planning, there was no repeat episode. We can’t thank Tabitha enough for her encouragement, support and professionalism throughout. She gave us the birth we wanted, against all the odds. I still get emotional when I think about what an amazing experience we had. Megan is now 3 months old and every day I am reminded how lucky we are.
Thank you Tabitha and One to One!