A truly beautiful first homebirth and waterbirth story. I love this two-part story, as we hear from Mum Liz and Dad Dave – enjoy this totally inspiring birth story
We so wanted to share our birth story with you as your help in our preparations enabled us to have the natural home birth of our dreams! Thank you.
So here goes!
On Tuesday 23rd October 5am I woke up to a ‘pop’ in my womb. My initial thought was our baby boy had passed wind (!) but the rush of water that followed assured me this was not the case!!!
After initial excitement I decided to crawl back into bed and leave Dave to sleep until his alarm.
The alarm went off and I exploded with excitement declaring he was not going into work. We were only at 38 weeks and 2 days so neither he nor his work were expecting it.
I encouraged Dave to get some rest with me as it was likely to be a long day so we waited until 9am for Dave to dismantle the dining room table and set up the birth pool (which was still in the box) and for me to call the midwives as my surges had started.
At 10.30am two wonderful midwives, Sarah and Jo, came over to confirm I was in labour.
At this stage surges were every six minutes although they slowed when they arrived but soon picked up once I relaxed in their company.
A humourous scenario ensued with them confirming I was in labour, so they started to communicate relevant information. Meanwhile every six minutes I would hit the deck get on all fours to breath through the upcoming surge before returning to sit normally on the sofa. The conversation continued uninterrupted throughout all this!
Anyhow, the advice was wait until there were three surges within a ten-minute period consistently for an hour before phoning for midwife support. So I left Dave setting up and went back to bed to try and get some rest.
By midday I was where I needed to be but decided to wait a bit longer before calling the midwives, as I didn’t want them coming out and going away again.
I was breathing well through each surge but started to fear the unknowns of the day ahead, so asked Dave to stay with me to help keep my mind on track. He juggled the final set up and comforting me before we phoned the midwife around 1pm.
Our midwife, the lovely Beth joined us at around 2pm. By this point I was fully into my meditation, breathing and concentration to keep my mind calm- so I really haven’t a clue on timings!
I tried to stay out of the birth pool as long as I could, as I had heard it can slow things down but shortly after her arrival I got in. And, it truly was the nicest feeling – relieving any discomfort.
For the next few hours I moved from one side of the pool to the other, going through surges on one side and relaxing, sometimes even falling asleep, on the other.
Dave would move from one side of the pool to the other resting my head on a cushion, placing flannels with essential oils on my neck and holding my hands when I was going through a surge. He would then put ice on my neck and stroke my head when I was breathing and relaxing. I was in a zone for hours until my body started to tell me our little boy was ready to come out.
In late labour I spent time breathing through intense surges but didn’t actively ‘go with them’.
As I was not having routine examinations and it was my first labour I was unaware how progressed we were. I didn’t have the confidence or knowledge to go with them and feared exhaustion if we were still early in the process. I decided to have an examination, which gave me the go ahead, so I now had the confidence our baby was ready to come out.
We tried various positions resulting in us getting out of the pool and our baby boy being born in our lounge!
Bodhi was born at 6.30pm weighing 7lb 8oz, he was born using only hypnobirthing techniques and I did not need any medical interventions.
Our experience was truly magical. We had beautiful music playing throughout, Dave had covered all windows so no light could come in and Bodhi was born in the way we had always dreamt.
We are so lucky to have had a truly spiritual experience as a family and we decided to keep ourselves in a private bubble for three days by not telling anyone he was here. I would recommend this to anyone as it enabled us to bond as a three, time for Bodhi and I to focus on breastfeeding and for me to enjoy the waves of hormones and emotions of a truly special time.
As Deborah said in class, birth can be an experience women wish to do again, I am grateful to be one of them! With my fantastic husband Dave acting as my doula, the fabulous support of the Berkshire homebirth midwife team, and the hypnobirthing support for all my mental and physical preparations enabled Bodhi to have a smooth transition into this world- for which we will be forever grateful.
Birth story from Dad
My alarm went off just before six to wake me up for work. Before I got out of bed Liz was millimeters from my face smiling from ear to ear declaring her waters had broken. I initially thought this was the wife playing me up, as we do like to have fun, but no, this was for real.
I knew I had quite a bit of setting up still to do as I thought we had at least another couple of weeks if not more for final preparations!
I wanted to get started on my jobs but Liz reminded me it may be a long day so I should rest now. It sounded like a good idea but I couldn’t sleep from excitement, so I lay in bed for just over an hour before starting to set up. In hindsight I would have started setting up straight away!
I got up, dismantled the dining room table, moved it into the garage, got the birth pool out of the box and pumped it up, then started filling it up with water. I had planned a trial run through to ensure there was no puncture and time how long it would take to put up and fill with water. But there was no time for a dress rehearsal so I just got to work.
Two midwives came over to check Liz and talk about the next step. I didn’t catch much of the talk as I was still filling up the birth pool with water, getting aromatherapy oils ready, ground sheets on the floor for protection and essential other bits like clothes, towels, ice, drinks and snacks. They soon left having confirmed all was as it should be.
I continued set up and all was going fine until Liz asked for support so I juggled moving between the dining room checking the temperature of the pool and the bedroom to be with her.
The next period of time was like entering some kind of time warp where time as I knew it didn’t exist…
Before long the labour developed and Liz was feeling more intense sensations. After waiting out as long as she could it was time to call back the midwife.
A new midwife, Beth, arrived who was young and relatively new to the homebirth team. She had a loving and gentle manner, perfect for the environment we wished to create.
Liz got into the pool shortly after to relax and support a lovely transition for our baby who was on his way. My job was to offer support when required, a hand to hold, a quite word, a gentle reminder, or just be there to read Liz’s mind and work out what she might need next. Ice cold towels, scented cloths, fluids and head rubs were typically what was needed.
Towards the end Liz got out of the pool, instead opting to try other positions. I provided her with support under her arms taking all her bodyweight between surges, a workout to say the least but incomparable to what Liz was doing.
Our little man miraculously came out and was straight onto to his mum’s chest. Once the cord turned white I cut it and we lay in each other’s arms marvelling at what we had created.
Bodhi was here, all was healthy and we had started the rest of our lives as a family of three.
Everything was now different.
It was incredible to see the woman I love go through this magical process and witness the full power of the female body. For this I have eternal respect.