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Homebirth of Estelle- 30/03/18

Preconception

My partner Leigh and I had decided that we were both at an age where we thought it would be a good idea to start trying for babies.I had been told that it was harder to fall pregnant after 30. So in November 2016 we stopped using contraception!

Got to January 2017, my period was late by a week. I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I thought I should double check the result of that test and went to a doctor to get a blood test.When the Doctor told me it was also negative I was crushed. I was mad at the doctor and I was worried that maybe my partner and I couldn’t have children together. I made my partner go to the Doctor to get checked to make sure he was healthy.

I decided to book an appointment with a fertility clinic because I didn’t want to mess around and the potential long waiting times. I bought an ovulation tracker from the chemist, and started tracking when was the best time to have sex. This made it really awful for my partner. It added stress on to the whole experience, I was so determined and impatient to have a baby I took all the fun out of it.

My first pregnancy

Our fertility appointment was 3 days away when my period was late again, but this time by 2 weeks. I took another pregnancy test and I was pregnant!! I cancelled the appointment at the fertility clinic and was so happy that after 5 months of trying it had finally happened. I knew that wasn’t a long time, I was very grateful.

At 10weeks we got a scan just to check everything is was ok.At the scan we found out it was a missed miscarriage. When we were in the car after the scan Leigh was upset, I was more upset that my body still thought it was pregnant.I now had to decide between the 3 options, which were naturally miscarry, medically induce birth by taking a tablet or have a surgical procedure to remove my pregnancy.

Normally I would go with a natural approach but in this circumstance I went the surgical way. I was leaving for India in 2 weeks and didn’t want any complications or any longer delays on falling pregnant again.

In July 2018 I was off on another holiday to Spain. I arrived in San Sebastián on July 19th on my own at a back packers hostel. It was late so I had dinner close to the hostel so I could go to bed early.

Pregnant again!

The next day I woke up early. It was exactly a month since my last period. I needed to get a pregnancy test… This was extremely hilarious!! I went to a supermarket to find one… nothing! After some charades with the non-English speaking supermarket staff, she had informed me that I would need to go to a chemist. At the chemist I played charades again and 20 euro later I got my test. P O S I T I V E !!

I told a few random people at the hostel that I am pregnant. I messaged Leigh and my best friends. 2 days later I was in Barcelona, where I spent a few days with my brother. I told him straight away but I told him to keep it a secret from mum and dad just incase I had another miscarriage. Not long after, I had some mild morning sickness, was very tired and thought it’s better to go home just in case these symptoms got worse.

Back home, I had organised a scan the day after I arrived. I went with my best friend because Leigh didn’t want to go incase it was bad news again. At 6 weeks and 3 days my baby had a heart beat!

I waited until 3 months to tell my parents and to call my midwife for a homebirth. I was born at home and I always knew I would have homebirths too. I never imagined having a baby in a hospital.My sister was very sick from the age of 8, which lead me to developing a negative view of hospitals, doctors and nurses.

First meeting with my midwife

My first appointment with my midwife was wonderful. We talked for 2 hours about my plans for pregnancy and birth before hugging goodbye. I was so happy to find my midwife because she was exactly what I wanted.

I was very skeptical about Leigh meeting my midwife. Leigh and I are opposites in almost every way! Leigh is Greek and from the city and I am a vegetarian from the country. We drove to the midwife appointment and already Leigh was making me laugh with his skepticism on the location of my midwife. He told me why couldn’t you just have the baby in the hospital like everyone else does.

At the end of the appointment my midwife walked us out and gave us both big hugs. I asked Leigh what he had thought of our midwife and he was extremely impressed by her knowledge and professionalism. I knew I wouldn’t be happy having a homebirth if Leigh wasn’t on board. He had been swayed… Our midwife had made him very comfortable and confident that she would be able to safely assist the birth of our baby.

We decided not to do the Glucose Test to check for pregnancy diabetes, as I am a vegan and had no risk factors for pregnancy diabetes.

My midwife had given me several books to read, which I found extremely helpful.I also did a Hypnobirthing online course and started with weekly prebirth acupuncture at 36 weeks. On week 40 my acupuncturist started induction treatment. One day after the acupuncture I started experiencing mild period pain that wasn’t going away.

Wednesday 28/03/18

At 22.30 I had my first bath to manage the pain. I went to sleep after.

Thursday 29/03/18

I woke up again 3.30 Thursday morning and had another bath because the period pain had increased.I couldn’t get back to sleep so I just sat in bed watching movies on my phone. Around 13.00 the pain hadn’t gone. I tried to have a nap because by this point I knew the baby was coming soon.I slept for an hour and woke up still in pain.

21.30 I called our midwife to tell her the situation and just to let her know that I thought the baby was coming due to the pain getting worse and not going away. Our midwife said to call back when contractions are closer together.

Called again at 22:30 and she explained the next call Leigh should make is once I start to howl like an animal and she advised us that I just need to focus on the labour. I had the bath filled and 2 wheat packs in circulation to keep the pain to a minimum. Leigh called our midwife back around midnight. And to my dismay our midwife recommended for me to get out of the bath as apparently it could be slowing down my labour. I was not happy!! I was running around the house, outside, inside, wailing, listening to Hypnobirthing and breathing with the contractions.

Good Friday 30/03/18

At around 3:30am I had enough and I wanted my midwife to come over. I was threatening Leigh to either call my midwife or I would go to the hospital. I had had enough!!I texted our midwife at 04.38 and finally she said she would be on her way.

When my midwife arrived at 5am I felt pressure to bear down but nothing was working. It was just hurting me in my bum too much. I was more expecting for the pain to be in my vagina. I didn’t realise that first it hurts in the bum…

I was sitting in the bath when my midwife informed me that she would leave for a bit and come back when I started to feel even more pressure in my bottom. I was thinking no way she can leave!!! I was in the bath and explained I felt it much more in the bum now and the evidence was floating around me…

I got out again because I was uncomfortable in the bath and started to try pushing on the toilet. The second midwife was on her way, which meant to me that I was getting closer to giving birth.

Pushing…

I think it was around 8.30 am when I really started pushing as my midwife could see my baby’s head inside my vagina. It took me a long time for me to get the head out because I found it really hard to find the right way to push. After several different position changes, my waterbirth in the bathtub turned to an on all fours birth in the toilet.

My midwives were so good at motivating me, keeping me positive and updating me on the situation. They were also doing regular checks of my baby’s heartbeat.

Birth

By around 10.00 I had got the head born and on the next contraction I was to push with the midwives guidance but I pushed harder than I was suppose too to prevent tearing, mostly because I was so tired and just wanted it over with. After 1 hour and 42 minutes, our baby was finally born at 10.12 on a Good Friday. She was covered in meconium so we cleaned her up quickly and I picked her up straight onto me as she started to cry.

My tears of joy had no tears. I was so grateful that I was able to do this with such wonderful midwives in the comfort and safety of my own home.We named our baby girl after my sister, Estelle Aria.

We moved to the couch where I rested and gave Estelle her first breastfeed.

And then… I had to push out the placenta, which also happened slowly. I took 1 hour… I was tired and over it, but my midwives were patient with me and guided me through it. Finally I had birthed the placenta and I was able to have a bath while Leigh held Estelle for the first time.

Once I had finished my bath, we cut the cord and weighed Estelle- 4100gr! 

Our Midwife stayed until 1pm, making sure that everything was fine. Our midwife came to visit us at home for the following days and weeks to make sure everything was well with our health and breastfeeding.

I was so happy that I was able to go through my labour and birth at home and so was Leigh. It was an amazing experience that was made better through the relationship and care we had with our midwife.

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