Emily & Lucas share their incredible home birth story of their second daughter.
Despite being told baby was ‘big’ throughout pregnancy, Emily worked through any worries like an absolute queen, and went on to have a beautiful home birth (almost! before the midwives arrived) after an oxytocin filled day at the spa with her gorgeous sister & mum. It’s such a special birth story & one I’m delighted to share…
'Second time parents
Known baby girl
Due date 7th March 2023
Delivery date 14th March 2023 (40+7)
Weight: 8lb 2oz
Planned: water birth at home
Actual: dry land home birth
‘From 20 weeks the hospital had been telling me this was a predicted ‘big’ baby. I found this really triggering as with my first daughter they told me she was going to be small and where I was unable to have my much wanted home birth and had to be monitored on labour ward for delivery - she was 6lb 3oz so not tiny. This time I was adamant I was having a home birth! At 34 weeks they sent me for a scan to check my placenta had moved out the way as during my 20 week scan it was covering my cervix. My placenta had moved, but the monographer did a growth scan while she was scanning me and she said baby’s abdomen was very big and I’d have to go back for another growth scan in 2 weeks.
I will admit the nerves then kicked in about would I be able to deliver a big baby at home? On reflection now I feel sad I spent a lot of time worrying that this baby was going to be huge and I wouldn’t be able to deliver her.
Lots of speaking to Kristina my Hypnobirthing teacher and reading the affirmation your ‘body will only grow a baby you can birth’ helped.
They sent me for a second growth scan at 37 weeks and a consultant appointment after - which I nearly didn’t attend, but decided I’d listen what he had to say. I was worried he would tell me I couldn’t have a home birth. I spoke to Kristina about this before I went and she reassured me even if he recommended not to have a home birth, I could still say I wanted one if that felt right. They predicted baby was 7lb 8oz during the scan. The consultant listened to me and said he was happy to still go ahead for a home birth but “would he feel more comfortable with a birth centre birth yes… “
We settled on a stretch and sweep, the consultant said that he didn’t want me to go over my due date, and discharged me back to midwife care.
I went on to have 3 more stretch and sweeps with my midwife - all unsuccessful. Baby girl clearly wasn’t ready to come but I was now over 40 weeks and really worried this baby was going to be very big. The hospital booked me in for an induction day at 41+5 and I was so disappointed.
I was doing all the things to help get her to come on her own. In the end, at 1 week over my due date with induction looming, my sister and I planned a fun oxytocin flowing day to cheer me up. I had my 5th stretch and sweep booked in at 9:30 with a midwife I’ve known since pregnant with our first daughter. She said she was able to do a good sweep and I was 2cm dilated (which I had been during the other examinations.) We went for a dog walk, went for some lunch and we manifested the perfect birth.
We then went to the spa for the afternoon. We picked up our mum and had such a laugh together.
At 3:30pm while laying on the beds in the spa I started having sporadic tightenings. Not painful at all so I assumed they were Braxton hicks. I didn’t tell anyone as I was scared they would stop, so I just lent into them and relaxed my mind. Suddenly the spa started playing rave music in the relaxation room and we all laughed so much all day.
We came home about 5.00pm and I phoned my husband to say I was definitely having contractions but he didn’t need to come home from work early. I was sat on my birthing ball with my daughter watching tv together. Contractions were very manageable but really tight. Grace my daughter was helping me time the contractions using the Freya app (which is amazing!)
We put Grace to bed about 7pm and I couldn’t then lay down in bed with her like I usually would do, so things were definitely getting more intense. Lucas made dinner and I was leaning over the island unit swaying while he was cooking, I definitely couldn’t eat at this point.
Lucas ran me a bath about 8:00pm, lit every candle we owned and getting in the bath was amazing. Contractions were painful but in between them I was able to laugh and joke.
My sister came over at 8:30pm and she sat on the bathroom floor and was helping me through the contractions. I remember thinking it was a really nice atmosphere.
It was about this time that they started to really ramp up and be very intense and I had to keep my eyes closed during them. Still had the Freya app on and really liked that it counts for you during the contractions.
I needed to move about a bit more at this point and the bath wasn’t allowing me to do that, so I got out and lent over the sofa on my knees while my husband filled up the already inflated pool. It was about 9:30pm at this point and my mum arrived to help. I remember feeling like I wasn’t sure how much longer I could go on for with them being so intense (hello transition!). Being on my knees felt good with someone rubbing the bottom of my back and having a hot water bottle on my coccyx bone.
I said to my husband I felt I needed the midwives there, so he got on the phone to them and she said she would make her way over.
Suddenly, I felt like my body was pushing which I had no control over. I moved onto my hands and knees and I could feel babies had coming down. I didn’t tell anyone my body was pushing as I knew it would cause mass panic and I wanted to stay calm and in control. I asked my mum to call the midwife again and I heard her say on the phone ‘I’m 3 minutes away!” So I closed my eyes and told myself to not give birth in the next 3 minutes!
As our midwife walked in the door at 10:15pm, my waters broke and I told her I was pushing! My poor husband was still trying to fill up the pool which had about 5 inches of water in it. The midwife kindly told him not to bother now as the baby was on the way out! At 10:25pm our second midwife arrived and within a few pushes baby was delivered on the rug in our lounge! I scooped her up through my legs and it was the most empowering feelings ever. Born at 10:29pm. In the moment of giving birth, I had no fears at all and all my worries about her being a big baby were gone and I knew my body was doing what it needed to do.
It was incredible having my husband, sister and mum all there for the birth, our midwife said the house was full of love and it really felt that way. Randomly our daughter woke up at 12:30 and she was able to meet her baby sister for the first time! ‘
If you enjoyed reading this positive birth story why not have a look at some other birth stories on my blog…