I just wanted to send a huge thank you to Jo, Cheryl and Julie. My husband and I attended a hypnobirthing course where both homebirths and One-to-One midwives were mentioned. After the course we decided that we would like a homebirth so I self-referred to One-to-One at about 32 weeks. I wish I had done this earlier; Jo was my midwife and was amazing throughout and always really flexible.

She met me at a presentation scan when there was a possibility that my baby was breach, luckily she wasn’t but Jo had already spent the day reading up about breach homebirths to try and ensure I had the birth experience I wanted!

My surges started at around midnight on Saturday night and continued every 3 – 15 minutes until Wednesday morning (too frequent and strong to sleep) when I called Jo, exhausted and fed-up, and told her I wanted to go to hospital and have a C-section! Jo arrived 30 minutes later with Cheryl and they spent the next few hours using different techniques to help my labour progress. At around midday the urge to push became a lot stronger and I was around 7 cm dilated. I got into the pool (hot water is an amazing pain reliever!) but, unfortunately, my bulging waters seemed to be stretching my cervix and after they burst a short while later I went back to being about 4 cm dilated (although the urge to push remained). Several hours later I was in the bath while the pool was being refilled and Cheryl had left to get some drugs to help me rest. She was delayed on the way back but Jo said she could see the head but explained that I could still take the drugs when they arrived (as delivery could still take some time). However, all I heard was ‘head’ and I tiptoed, bow-legged, as fast as I could to the pool and after what seemed like only a few minutes (I’ve no idea how long it actually was) my beautiful baby girl, Freya, was born at 8.21pm. Jo and Cheryl were great with helping get things sorted afterwards, making tea, and helping me express colostrum etc.

For the first 3 weeks or so, breastfeeding was a real struggle; we were having difficulty with latching on and my milk didn’t seem to be coming in. Julie was incredible; she came around to our house several times a week and sent me lots of encouraging texts and spoke to me on the phone regularly. Lots of people told me to give up but with help from One-to One, we persevered and eventually got the hang of it. On the 29th July, we celebrated 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding with some solid food!

During the pregnancy lots of people expressed shock and concern that I was choosing to have a homebirth (especially my first), to the point that I started lying and vaguely muttering something about going to a midwife-led unit. Although I certainly hope that if we’re lucky enough to have another child the labour is quicker, I don’t regret for a moment that we stayed at home. In fact, given the length of the labour, I am sure that being at home in our spare bedroom with candles and fairy lights etc helped me to cope, and the relief of being there once Freya arrived and knowing we didn’t have to travel anywhere was wonderful.

So from the pregnancy, through the delivery, to the postnatal care and breastfeeding, One-to One have been amazing and if we have another bundle of joy, they will be my first call.

So, thanks again!

Abi, Ben & Freya xxx