We first found out about One to One when we attended NCT antenatal classes, I was 30 weeks pregnant. At the time I didn’t feel like the midwife I saw at the GP was particularly interested in her job and it seemed like she was just ticking boxes. Therefore we felt it was worth self-referring to One to One for the remainder of my pregnancy.
Being a children’s nurse, I had decided I wanted to give birth in hospital in case there were any complications; however, having attended the NCT classes and heard about all the factors which affect labour, I decided a home birth was an option after all, but only if I was happy that the risks could be minimised.
When we first met Jenny, I asked lots of questions about the risks and what she was able to do in certain situations; from the outset we felt at ease with her, that we could trust her and were confident in the support she would provide.
Two weeks after meeting Jenny, I developed symptoms of obstetric cholestasis. Jenny had been the first person to mention itching of the hands and feet as a potential problem and that I should notify her if I had these symptoms. I phoned her after an uncomfortable night and she visited the same day to take bloods, these confirmed that it was obstetric cholestasis. This meant I was now classed as high risk and would have to give birth in hospital and probably be induced.
Jenny looked up all recent and relevant research on OC and emailed us the links to current guidelines regarding induction so that we could make an informed decision about when it was safe to wait for induction. She accompanied us to appointments, which was helpful and reassuring, particularly the first one when everything was so new.
After reading the material Jenny had provided, we decided that induction at 37 weeks was the safest course of action for our baby. Jenny told us what to expect and answered our questions; she also visited us in the hospital during the induction process, which was great to see a friendly face and check the processes with someone we knew and trusted. The induction progressed fairly quickly, considering I was 37 weeks.
We had attended the free hypnobirthing classes provided by One to One which I found helped me to relax and I liked the positive approach to labour and pregnancy. I used the TENS machine during early stages, but once my membranes had been artificially ruptured I found the contractions very intense and opted for an epidural. Luckily I managed to remain fairly mobile within the bed, changing position regularly from side to side.
We used the hypnobirthing techniques to help to relax me during this time. I was shaking constantly due to the epidural which I had no way of stopping, however, when my partner read the hypnobirthing scripts to me I was able to relax enough to stop shaking and go to sleep.
The sensation returned enough for me to push our baby out and I managed a normal vaginal delivery with only a couple of stitches.
I was keen to go home after the birth but Amelie was reluctant to breastfeed. Jenny liaised with the hospital midwives and informed them she was happy for us to go home, as the hospital has suggested we stay. We talked with Jenny on the phone when we arrived home, she gave us advice of things to try overnight and arranged to visit early the following morning.
Amelie remained reluctant to breastfeed and Jenny visited daily to provide support and help me to breastfeed. Amelie remained very sleepy and uninterested in feeding. Jenny encouraged us to try syringing the colostrum and giving it to Amelie and then later expressing and cup feeding. Finally on day six she started to feed with the help of nipple protectors.
Without Jenny’s constant support and the continuity of seeing one person I doubt I would have persevered with breastfeeding through what was a very challenging and emotional time. I am so glad now that I did and I am managing to breastfeed successfully. Jenny also was very supportive when I had been told by local breastfeeding support that it was not ideal to use the nipple protectors, although to us it was better than bottle feeding.
The post natal support from Jenny for the 6 weeks has been invaluable and we feel it has helped me bounce back quickly and look back on Amelie’s birth as a positive experience. Although induction is not ideal and far from a home birth, it was as good an experience as it could’ve been and we have a beautiful healthy girl, which is the most important part.
Overall I feel that Jenny’s commitment to her job, her support and knowledge is exceptional and her involvement in our journey into parenthood has made a significant difference, making it a positive and happy experience. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend One to One, and Jenny in particular, to any expecting parents.