Firstly I would like to say how much I have appreciated the wonderful support of my One-to-One Midwife, Amanda. Without any exaggeration she undoubtedly made this birth a relaxed and extremely positive one which has left me with the experience of a truly natural and perfect birth – the way it should be.

I went with One-to-One for a couple of reasons: my lack of faith in the NHS being able to provide the support I needed after I ended up transferring to hospital for my first birth simply because the NHS had no midwives to send out when I needed them – the birth itself was uncomplicated, uneventful and unnecessarily in a hospital rather than at home where I wanted to be. I also was sick of being labelled by the NHS rather than treated as an individual, the “risks” attached to birth by the NHS being overwhelmingly exaggerated, in my view, simply to protect the NHS.

My old GP (now retired, fortunately!) told me I was stupid to consider a home birth and that birth is “inherently dangerous to both mother and baby and for the sake of an hour its much safer to pop to hospital” – Hmmmmm.

I wanted – and I received – individual attention and care with full consideration of me, my wishes and desires – all of which was provided within a framework of absolute safety. When I went into labour I was technically 12 days “overdue” according to NHS scans – which are notoriously inaccurate; baby arrived 6 hours and 20 minutes late according to our own calculations.

Period pains started at around 5pm on the Thursday evening and continued to get closer together and stronger. I rang Amanda and said I thought this was “it” ! Then my daughter was sick so we had to deal with that and the contractions then stopped…. So I rang Amanda back and said it had all stopped so I was going to go to bed and see what happened. I sat on the bed and got the biggest contraction – this was followed by other stronger and more regular contractions so the game was back on!

I phoned Amanda back at 11.35pm to say I needed her after all – they were now actually coming at 3/4 minutes! I strapped the TENs machine on and it worked really well, gyrated on the ball through contractions. Hubby got the pool down to living room and blew it up, started filling it and ran out of water! He got the immersion put on to recommence filling.

Amanda arrived, contractions regularly 3 mins apart and getting stronger. I had NO examinations throughout at my request, we went on trust of my body and feelings alone. I didn’t want to get into the pool too soon so I continued bouncing and ramping the TENs up, and eventually Amanda asked if I fancied getting in – so I trusted her to know it was the right time. I took TENs off and got in – BLISS!!

I cannot tell you how amazing the relief of water is! I also believe she got me in at exactly the right time, even though she wasn’t doing examinations, she was observing and used her experience – and she did this beautifully. So, we laboured and had hypno on the CD. Amanda did her regular baby and BP checks – which were unobtrusive and all fine. She didn’t feel the need to guide me, she simply supported me and stood in for the Hubby when kettles needed to be boiled or my hand needed holding through a contraction. She also massaged my ass when it got severe cramp at a vital stage LOL!!

I got to the “I can’t do this, I am never going to get this baby out” stage – I knew by then he was much bigger than his “big” sister!! And my body took over. I went with it and Amanda went with it too, she didn’t coach or have to do or say anything except encourage me and trust my body’s abilities. My body naturally pushed and I grunted along in time to it! It took its time and as a result, he was brought into this world nice and slowly, allowing me to stretch nicely and hence I had no damage to the old undercarriage. I asked Amanda to catch him as I didn’t feel confident to do it myself, she brought him to the surface and there he was just looking at me, Hubby and Amanda – no crying, just calm as you like We let the cord stop pulsating before it was cut and I said bye bye to him as “part” of me to let him start his life as an independent boy.

He was a whopping 9lb 14oz and was born at 6.20am on Friday!

The whole experience was stress-free and calm; and the main event took place in the environment in which I was happy – Just as nature intended. I felt in control the duration, yet immensely safe and well cared for. We aren’t having any more babies but I would be heading towards One-To-One’s door again if we did!