Molly has kindly shared her home birth experience with us.
Hypnobirthing for a home birth in Leeds
'This was my second baby, my first birth was in hospital and wasn’t entirely positive, I hadn’t felt in control during the process or content with my experience. This led me to explore alternative possibilities so that I could be confident, calm and happy with my choices and environment.
This is why we decided to do hypnobirthing and plan for a homebirth. The course prepared us with detailed information on the scientific background and equipped us with lots of tools and practical techniques, which gave us greater insight into our decisions and preferences.
We regularly listened to the mp3s, which helped us both have a bit of head space to think about the birth and new baby, I particularly liked the relaxation and visualisation scripts along with the positive affirmations, which definitely fed into my subconscious building my sense of calm and confidence.
Together we created three birth plans, for a home birth, at hospital and an emergency caesarean, my birth partner was involved so he knew our preferences and could lead on discussions with everyone.
I was 41 weeks and contending with the heatwave. The day in question was very relaxed, my parents came up to stay and took my daughter to the park in the afternoon so my birth partner and I had a nap together (which would never usually happen!) then we shared a big family dinner so lots of positive hormones.
While reading my daughter a bedtime story around 7pm I first noticed it felt uncomfortable sitting down, this continued when we were in the garden and I needed to be standing and shifting my weight around. I watched some TV and some twinges started then just after 10:30pm went up to my bedroom.
I lit some candles and began to settle myself into the zone and remember my practice.
My birth partner checked on me, I took two paracetamols and let him know that I believed the baby was on its way so he began to set up the birth pool. I downloaded the a surge timing app, which I found invaluable, it led breathing counts and played calming music and positive affirmations. This gave me focus as I tracked surges and helped it feel manageable as the sensations became more intense and regular.
My birth partner called the home birth team at 11:20 and they arrived at midnight. I was reassured to see them and have the extra support, they joined me in the bedroom and sat on the floor beside me while I was on the birth ball leaning over the bed. They asked if they could do checks on me and the baby between surges and were happy with everything.
I had a bearing down sensation shortly after they arrived and the midwife asked if I would like an examination. I agreed as was keen to know how things were progressing, she checked and announced I was 9.5cm. We couldn’t believe it, I had hoped to be over 4cm but not expected to be almost fully dilated.
It filled me with confidence as we had already come so far and excitement that we would be meeting our baby soon. We all agreed it was now time to get downstairs and into the pool.
The birthing pool was such a release, the hot water felt wonderful and instant relief for my whole body. I had my first bearing down surge in the water which caused my waters to break with a pop. I breathed down my baby, with encouragement from my birth partner and midwife, there was no time for gas and air or other medication.
She came into the world at 1:24am and I reached down into the water and lifted her up onto my chest, it was perfect.
We did delayed cord clamping and cutting and I birthed the placenta on the sofa. The midwifes left us together as much as possible, completing paperwork in the kitchen so we had space during our special time, after all the checks they left us around 6am. One of the best parts was that we could fall asleep in our own bed with all our comforts around us, then our eldest daughter who’d slept through the night woke up in the morning and got to meet her which was a truly magical.
I feel really proud that we managed to have such an incredible water birth at home, we were calm and supported each other and it evolved better than we could have hoped. I’d read and watched lots of positive birth stories but hadn’t really believed it would turn out that way for me because of our first hospital experience, however hypnobirthing really gave us confidence and the vital support to help make it a reality for us.
· I had to register my intention to have a homebirth with the Leeds team – leedsth-tr.HomeBirth@nhs.net. I did have to follow this up a couple of times as information wasn’t being shared between the midwife and the department, once on the system they were good and had a really informative call who went through all the details. The midwifes who came out to our house were outstanding, they read our birth plan and followed our preferences exactly, both were extremely considerate and caring throughout I couldn’t praise them highly enough.
· I hired the birth pool from a charity called - Leeds/Wakefield Community Birth Pool Hire Scheme – they have a facebook page or email@example.com. It is very affordable and she was great, very efficient and lots of helpful advice.
· Also - Leeds Homebirth Support Group - on facebook, useful for links, info, people selling equipment, they also hold group sessions.'
Thank you so much Molly for sharing your positive birth story.
Has Molly's story given you more confidence about home birth - is home birth something you would go for? I'd love to know in the comments.
For more information about home births check out:
A great article with unbiased evidence and information about home births. https://www.sarawickham.com/research-updates/is_home_birth_safe/
Check out the Leeds home birth team here:
And the Leeds home birth support group here: