For a lot of mums-to-be, the thought of not making it to hospital on time, and giving birth at home without a midwife, is a terrifying thought. But second-time mum, Nikki, who came to my pregnancy yoga classes, handled it beautifully. Not only does she say, “yoga and hypnobirthing helped me to achieve my dream birth”. She also encourages any woman considering a home birth to go for it, as it was such an incredible experience!
Nikki’s Unplanned Home Birth
I woke up around 1am on 22nd December and couldn’t get back to sleep, so decided to listen to some positive affirmations and relaxation clips from my hypnobirthing class. I started experiencing some period like cramps, assumed it was braxton hicks and went back to sleep. When I woke in the morning the period pains were still going and seemed like they might be increasing in intensity, however, I didn’t want to alarm anyone so had breakfast and got ready for a morning walk.
Once out on the walk I could still feel cramps, but they seemed to ease, so I was feeling grateful to have a bit of respite from the discomfort. I got home had some lunch and carried on as normal. Around 7pm the cramps returned, and it felt like they were increasing in intensity and I mentioned to my husband that this could be it.
We carried on watching TV and relaxing as much as we could and finally decided to put our head down for some sleep around 9.30pm. Once I put my head down the surges started to roll in, and I used my golden breath to get through each surge. At 10.20pm I said to my husband I was heading downstairs with my birthing ball and was going to call the hospital. When I got through they listened to me breathe through a contraction and told me to come in.
At this point the surges started increasing in length and intensity quite dramatically. I was using my breathing but was obviously making some groaning/mooing sounds, as my husband came down and asked how I was doing. He was quick to react and grabbed everything we needed and packed the car whilst I called my mum to come for childcare. We were ready to go by 10.40pm and my mum arrived, at which point I said to them both I don’t think we will make it to hospital, due to the fact that my body was already starting to push.
My husband called for the ambulance, who asked heaps of questions, which completely took my mind off my breathing and I could feel myself panicking. I was trying to stick with the breathing, but the surges were only about 30 seconds apart, so I was losing focus. Luckily, my mum stepped in and started massaging my back, and this started to calm me down slightly.
The paramedics arrived at 11pm, and my bag of waters was bulging but had not popped. They decided very quickly they did not have time to get me in the ambulance and to Stoke! So my husband set up camp for me in the kitchen with the trusty yoga mat, blankets, towels, cushions and my birthing ball. We put on my birthing music and I was given some gas and air on my request.
I could feel the pressure increasing and used my breathing and mindset to remain calm. At 11.40pm my, all male, paramedic team delivered our little girl. WIth the community midwife arriving at 11.43pm! She waited for the cord to stop pulsating before my husband got to cut the cord and then we enjoyed skin to skin cuddles and reflected on how quickly it had all unfolded.
I was then given the option to deliver the placenta naturally or have the injection. I opted for natural but 15 minutes later decided to have the injection and I used my breathing to help me through the surges and deliver the placenta. They then checked me over, before helping me to move to our sofa, where our little boy conveniently woke up and came down to meet his baby sister.
I am so delighted with how things ended with no interventions, especially in light of last time (episiotomy and ventouse). It was a really empowering experience, and it is incredible what the human body can do! I really believe that yoga and hypnobirthing helped me to achieve my dream birth – even though this happened at home, rather than in the birthing pool I’d hoped for. One thing I will say is, if you’re even considering a homebirth then 100% go for it, as it was an absolutely incredible experience, with no need for a hospital trip afterwards for me either.
All the best to those still attending pregnancy yoga and I hope this positive quick homebirth gives some people some reassurance.