I received an email last night from a previous client about her home birth experience in February of this year and to say tears started streaming down my face is an utter understatement! Best of all, she has given me permission to share this amazing story with you (I hope you have tissues at the ready!)
I was due my third baby in Feb this year. Having had two previous hospital births without complication I decided at 24 weeks I would like to try for a homebirth. This is when I learned about the amazing HSE service with the Self Employed Community Midwives.
I contacted Aine who is the closest midwife to me and she quickly confirmed that she had availability for me in Feb and that she would call to my home to do the assessment paperwork. This happened soon after and I was eligible for a homebirth!
I was overjoyed at the prospect of labouring and birthing my baby in the comfort and safety of my own home.
The care I received from Aine was second to none. It was wonderful getting to know her and seeing the same midwife for every antenatal appointment, again, in the comfort of home.
Aine supported me through all of the ups and downs of pregnancy, thankfully none of the downs stopped the homebirth from going ahead, I even went 12 days over my “guess date” and so the hospital wanted me to come in to “make a plan”. But I knew I had til 14 days overdue for the homebirth to still be able to happen.
Thankfully the night before I was due to go in to hospital I went into labour (at 3.45am), I stayed in bed until 5.15am and when I got up noticed that labour seemed to be progressing quite quickly. I used the TENS machine at this stage and contacted my midwife Aine and doula Jenni at 6am. I then pottered around lighting candles and preparing the room. Aine was here in what seemed like a matter of minutes and she quietly went about setting up her equipment while my husband filled the birth pool and made breakfast.
During this time I felt so relaxed between contractions, easily coping and breathing through them and still able to chat during the breaks. I felt most comfortable on my feet walking around/leaning on the counters etc.
My doula then arrived followed by the second midwife Carolyn.
I felt so incredibly supported and surrounded by care and kindness. Each person in the room empowered me in different ways to help me feel that I could do this.
As labour intensified Carolyn tried different techniques and comfort measures such as counter pressure on my back and the rebozo.
Eventually I decided it was the right time to get into the pool and it was a lovely relief to feel the warm water, so soothing. At this stage Aine had begun playing our hypnobirthing tracks which helped keep me relaxed and calm.
After an hour in the pool Aine suggested hopping out for a few minutes to see if the change in position would help bring baby down a bit and she was right, within 15 minutes of getting out of the pool our baby boy was here, at 10.45am weighing 10lbs 8oz.
I fully believe the confidence instilled in me by these women helped me bring my baby into the world. I had less fear or anxiety than my previous hospital births. During the immediate postpartum I felt immense care and respect and nothing was too much trouble for the midwives. Jenni was also an incredible support throughout the morning, ensuring I was drinking, being kept cool and she supported me through my most feared part of the entire labour which was getting stitches. I enjoyed skin to skin on my sofa, and within a few hours of giving birth everyone was gone and it was just my husband and I and our new beautiful baby cuddling by the fire. Like pieces in a jigsaw, everyone here that morning played an important part in helping me deliver my baby safely, without drama or fuss and into a calm environment. I was encouraged to listen to my body and go with what I was feeling at the time. A day I will never forget. I also want to mention the fantastic postnatal care giving to us by Aine, who arrived later that evening to check in on us and consistently over the following two weeks, always ready to answer questions or lend a hand or an ear! It was very hard to say goodbye when the time came. Thank you Aine, Carolyn and Jenni