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Maia's Water Birth in the UK

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Finally have enough time to tell you wonderful hypno moms about Maia's birth, she's 7 weeks old now and is amazing everyday.

I'm 43 and Maia is my 5th baby, my other children are 20, 17, 11 and 10.  The first 2 births were in hospital on my back and were manageable but with hindsight, not the wonderful events they should have been.  My third was an unintentional homebirth with my holding DD3's head in while the midwife ran in the house.  My son's birth was meant to be a homebirth but we had a flu epidemic that year and there was 1 midwife to come out and assess me and escort me into hospital because there were simply not enough able staff.

Maia's father is not the father of my other children so she was a bit of an unknown quantity as far as my pregnancy went and therefore also the labour.  I had horrendous morning sickness for the first time and was not impressed.. Horrible PSD that got me a few appointments with the physio but not much relief.. and of course I am so much older than I was for the last birth with a new father to boot! He took some persuading but once I had shown him the stats for poor hospital experiences and had him read some of the horror stories, he came round to my way of thinking and we started to plan a homebirth with a birthing pool.

We would still have to use an NHS midwife because we couldn't afford an ndependant midwife but I managed to come up with the next best thing.  My son has a friend in his class, who's mother had not long qualified as a midwife and I phoned her to ask if she would be my midwife and she said yes, brilliant!!! All my ante natals were done in my own home, none of these rushed affairs in a sterile office :D

My guess date was 16th October and we had a 3D scan done because Daddy was working away and couldn't be here for either of the others, it's so weird seeing your baby as a black and white photo before she's born.

I have asymptomatically high BP and we had a few dodgy ante natals when the results were a little high for comfort but then I'd use my hypnobabies techniques and would get it right down, once I got it so low Paula, my midwife, was panicking about it being TOO low lol. I did, however, end up in hospital once for an hour for continous monitoring because it wouldn't come down but I just worked harder on my hypnobabies from then because I was determined to keep my home water birth.

Maia got into head down position when she was meant to but was really active and when I worked out which bit was which I realised she was posterior, my placenta was anterior and it turned out that her cord was quite short so all my attempts to turn her were in vain. I admit to worrying myself about back labour and  panicked when I read 'let birth be born again' by Jean Sutton.  Paula started to refuse to discuss the baby's position with me, I could tell from my shape that all my pelvic tilts were having no effect.  I borrowed a Rebozo but didn't get round to trying it.

I'm self employed as a driving instructor and finished working 2 weeks before Maia was born, by that time I was using my hypnobabies to help me sleep and to keep my BP down, the pregnancy affirmations was my favourite.  I never got round to doing a fear release until I was in labour but I knew that transition was the thing I was most concerned about.  I should tell you that I'd had no pain relief with any of my other births and fully expected to manage this birth in the same way but I always found transition so intense.  Added to that, I'd read somewhere older women labour for longer too, hypnobabies HAD to help me.

So we got to 14th and bearing in mind Maia's position and how posterior babies 'usually' go past guess dates, I was mildly surprised to see a tiny bit of the plug on the toilet tissue just before going to bed, I never did get into the habit of doing finger drops on those midnight runs...

Thursday 15th, my waters broke at 11am, just little dribbles when I moved about but no waves, I texted Paula to let her know and of course she wanted to be kept informed of any developements but said she'd come down later anyway to check my BP.  She came down at 1pm, still no waves and my BP was fine but now we have a time limit, she told me current protocols are 24 hours but we both knew I'd be doing my own monitoring if we went past 24 hours.

The pressure waves finally started a couple of hours later but were intermittent and more than manageable. I did my first fear clearing session and the birth day affirmations, and I think I listened to Deepening too. Paula came back at 4 and checked my BP and temperature again, both were fine but she said that she would have to let the hospital know what was going on and they would expect to see me at 11 the following morning.  She left telling me to take it easy to keep my BP down but to do what I could to get the PW's going.  I have to tell you that I was up and down our stairs more than I had been my whole pregnancy that evening, it worked to keep them going but would peter away when I stopped, needless to say I was fairly breathless.

My OH and my 2 youngest had a walk around to my dad's at about 7pm and by now I was having to stop walking and concentrate between each PW, still not anything other than pressure and tightening. I'd been rocking on all fours when I was on the phone to a friend and although I couldn't talk to her when I had a PW, I found that if I pushed my hips as far forward as I could, I could almost feel nothing!!!

We got home about 9pm and started baking brownies and cookies, as much to distract the kids as anything, and although I didn't help out, I was now it established labour and phoned Paula to tell her that.  The PW were still around 10 mins apart but were lasting for more than a minute.
Once the baking was done, I got in the bath to help relax me and to pass the time, the kids came in to say good night at 1130 and I put on birth day affirmations again I think, it's 50 mins long whichever 1 it was, then I resumed getting through each of the Pw's pushing my hips forward, yes I was lying on my front in the bath and it was all working great!!  My OH came in a couple of times and he took the only photos on Maia when she was still 'Bunny', so we have to look at my naked ass when looking at photo's of my bump lol, not nice BTW!! I was using nipple stimulation to keep the PW's going as I felt they were still not that well established.

So now it's nearly 1am and I decide I'd better get out of the bath, no idea how close the PW's are, but I do know that I have no problem dealing with them or using hypnobabies to deal with them.  However, as I stand to get out of the bath, my concentration slips and I have 3 PW's one after the other, no pain but now I realise we have very little time and the birth pool hasn't been filled yet!!

I shout at OH to get my phone so I can get Paula's number for him to call, 'how far apart are your contractions?' he asks, so much for keeping to the script.... 'every minute' I reply not wanting to panic him or her but in reality they are less than 30 seconds apart. And I shout that we need to get the pool filled NOW!

So I get a tank top on and some underwear to wait her arrival, she lives 2 min drive from me, and with me shouting at OH the kids have disappeared upstairs not really sure what to do with themselves.

The pool took me 45 mins to fill during the rehearsals and Im pretty damn sure that I'm not gonna get in there...but OH has other ideas and blasts water into it, unfortunately he doesn't put the tap adaptor on tight enough and it blows off, I remember walking into the kitchen and wondering why the ceiling is dripping lol.

Paula arrives about 1.10 and starts to take my BP and tries to take ,my temperature but I have to get on my knees to deal with the PW's and she loses the thermometer....and now I know I'm in transition, no position is comfortable and I'm starting to moan through each of them.

I still have my undies on and on the other side of the room the birth pool beckons, still not full but sooooo far away I don't think I'm gonna be able to get in, and now I'm feeling pushy which I tell Paula. So I turn and face the back of the sofa but the cushion slides as I brace for the next PW and I know that I HAVE to get in somehow.  As 1 PW dies away, I make my move and have my undies off and HOP into the birth pool before the next 1 starts.  The uncontrollable urge to push takes over and now I'm loud which feels great but which freaks the kids out so they stay upstairs, we hadn't made any definate plans about them being in attendance so if this is where they want to be then I'm wasn't going to force them.

I now gather my wits and know that I have to calm down to breath this baby out, I'd have stitches with each of my other babies and wasn't looking forward to having them again.  I reached under the water to her head and gave Paula a scare when she saw my finger tips in the dim light and thought they were toes, and she asked OH to get her a mirror so she could see better.  He disappears upstairs to try and get the shaving mirror off the wall and has to be shouted back down as Maia's head comes out, no ring of fire and the other midwife came in then and I actually said to her that it was nice to see her lol.  She's the supervisor of midwives at the hospital Paula works at and had put herself on call because there are so few home births in this area and she wasn't about to miss out!!

1 more push and I lift my baby to the surface and welcomed her to the world, her Daddy was just coming into the lounge as I lifted her up and so he did see her but didn't catch her which was what we had hoped for.     Within 10 seconds her brother and sisters greeted her and I sat back whilst gazing into the face of our new arrival. She was born at 0145 on her guess date with NO labour in my back, with no problems, with no pain, with no meds in our own home with our own family around us.

We waited till the cord stopped pulsing, Daddy cut it and we used a cord tie made by a doula friend instead of those plastic clamps, yuck. I had tried to lift her out of the water so that Paula could wrap her in in a dry towel because she was very blue but her cord was so short I was struggling to get her to my chest, so no wonder she hadn't turned!

Within 20 minutes Granny and Gramps had arrived and even my daughter's boyfriend came back to see Maia, all the while I'm still in the pool!

I had a physiological 3rd stage,  it took an hour and then we went through to my bedroom to be checked for tears and this was the only time that my under carriage was looked at, I had no internals at all :D as per my birthplan :)) I also needed no stitches yay!

Maia weighed 6lbs13oz, my smallest baby and was 50cm long, she's the apple of all our eyes and even the dog likes her, the smelliest springer spaniel on the planet.

I thoroughly recommend hypnobabies, if only to get you through your pregnancy, if you stay calm and choose to use your 'tools' then you will give yourself the best chance of getting the birth you want.

Good luck to all you moms to be, especially Kathy mommyryn, I have followed your situation through all it's twists and turns and hope you are holding your sweet baby soon.

Sorry this is sooo long but I wanted to make sure I remembered it all :D

Hugs

Debs xx
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