I know that a home birth is not something that everyone would consider and I think the key to feeling confident in the run up to your birth is to plan for something that feels right for you, whether that be home, hospital, birth centre.
For me, I always knew that i wanted to stay at home to give birth. I had a very uncomplicated pregnancy and there were no reasons why i wouldn't be able to.
As the weeks of my pregnancy passed by I felt more and more confident that I would be fine to stay at home, we rented a birth pool and practiced putting it up and down when I was 37 weeks (we all had a little swim in it).
Eve having a little swim after practicing setting up the pool
We were all thinking that this baby would come a little bit early. My daughter Eve arrived two weeks early and everyone I spoke to, including my midwife, was presuming this one would be early too, oh how wrong we were!
Roll on 3 more weeks and I was 41 weeks and tired of being pregnant. With each over due day that went by, I started to lose a bit of confidence in my ability to home birth. I was worried he would be getting too big for me to be able to manage without pain relief, I was worried he would be so overdue and i would need to be induced, I was worried that I might end up having to go to hospital and I wouldn't get the birth I had planned for.
Then, at 41 weeks, at 10pm in the evening, I was sitting on my birth ball and the contractions started to come. I'd had a few false starts so didn't get my hopes up but after around 20 minutes, I knew that this was it.
The contractions came quite quickly and they were already close together. I decided to take a bath, I was feeling relaxed, calm and happy. As I lay in the bath, rubbing my belly and feeling confident that he was on his way, I started to feel like the contractions had slowed down, or maybe the water just made them softer. I lay for about 20 minutes, eyes closed, breathing, visualising and enjoying the moment.
At around midnight the contracts were now quite intense, Ed had lit candles in our living room where I was going to give birth and we had beautiful music on. The lights were dimmed and as he began to fill up the birth pool I danced and swayed through each contraction. We called the midwife, she was on her way. Soon, it didn't feel right to stand anymore, I came down onto all fours on the floor but continued with the movement, I listened to my body and rocked and swayed. I was in a sort of trance, I was calm and I was focused, I was allowing my body to do what it needed to do without really thinking about it.
Being on all fours and allowing my body to move how it wanted to really helped with the contractions
When the pool was ready, I moved into it, the water felt great and I was already having a bearing down feeling like I needed to push, and with each contraction that came, the pushing feeling became a little stronger. I now found that making noises really helped me get through the contractions, long extended sounds and roars. This alongside Ed pushing down really hard on my lower back, made everything bearable, I felt in control, I was in my body, not my head, I wasn't thinking about what I was doing, it was just all happening so naturally.
Leaning over the side of the birth pool was a really comfortable position when the time came to push.
Soon the need to push became intense, and as I leaned forward over the side of the pool, I pushed our little boy out into the water. My waters didn't ever break and he came out in his amniotic sac. As I drew my hands down to hold him the sac came apart and I slowly unraveled the cord which was around his neck. I pulled him up to my chest, it was the most magical thing I had ever experienced (alongside the same feeling with Eve). He was here, with me in the water, I had done it. My midwife watched the whole thing from the side of the room, she kept her distance and just allowed me to listen to my body and birth my baby with no intervention.
Finley River, was born at 2.30am, just four hours and fifteen minutes after my contractions started. At 5am we all went up to bed and at 7.30am we introduced Fin to his big sister who had been asleep in her bed whilst he was born downstairs.
It really was a truly magical experience.