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March 21, 2015

A Million Miles away from our hospital experience

When Angela first came to our house, she met a couple who were excited but extremely apprehensive about their second pregnancy. I was nearly 12 weeks pregnant and had a traumatic pregnancy, labour and post natal experience with my first child Jacob. Angela walked in and immediately put Craig and I at ease acknowledging our experiences, feelings and thoughts. She put faith and positivity back into our pregnancy. By the end of the visit I felt happier about our journey ahead. We employed Angela within days!

Getting to know Angela during the course of the pregnancy was great and we were always reassured by the continuity and her outstanding knowledge. Unfortunately we had a few scares with our baby with cardiac abnormalities found on the 20 week scan. Angela was always at the end of the phone and later attended scans and outpatient appointments with me when Craig was unable to make it. Due to my previous experiences I was highly anxious about the labour but Angela understood my worries and worked with us to plan the home birth we all hoped for. I knew exactly how I wanted the labour to go even down to what day of the week would be best with our son Jacob!

Jacob was born at 38 weeks so when 38 weeks came and went I felt completely overdue, but the weekly visits by Angela, and by then our second midwife Tami, kept me going. Tami booked in a session of reflexology for a Tuesday when I was just over 40 weeks to help kick start labour. However, that morning I showed signs of early labour! I was so relieved as I was beginning to think that I would need to be induced. I had a text from Angela in the night telling her to ring her mobile not landline if I needed her. I rang her at 7am to tell her I had had a show and was having very small surges. She was with another client in the hospital but reassured me.

“Due to my previous experiences I was highly anxious about the labour but Angela understood my worries and worked with us to plan the home birth we all hoped for”.

We packed Jacob off to the childminder with an overnight bag so my parents could pick him up and take him back to their house (I was in labour on a day that I had planned that worked well for Jacob!)  Everything slowed down so Craig and I went out for a walk to help the surges but it all seemed to be going rather slowly! Tami still came at 10am to give me some reflexology. She left at 11.30 and by 12.30 the surges were becoming stronger and more regular. We rang Angela again at about 1pm after a small lunch. She was with us by 1.30pm with Tami arriving shortly after. Luckily I had asked Craig to get the birthing pool up and start filling it (our hot water had been on since 7am!) as labour really took hold when our midwives arrived.
Angela and Tami bought in all their equipment and did their necessary checks including reassuring Craig and I.  They then did what they said they would do….knit and crochet! And Angela handed over the little hat she had knitted for our new arrival, gorgeous! Before the midwives arrived Craig suggested I put the TENS machine on (I was reluctant as I felt it didn’t help with Jacob’s birth). Angela checked it and increased the settings which then really helped…amazing! The following hour and a half passed with reassurance, checks and regular surges but within the calm environment of our front room with classical music playing and oils burning (provided by Tami)!  The hypnobirthing CD that Angela had lent me came in handy with my breathing which at this point remained calm and controlled. At about 3pm Angela suggested that I get into the pool as she thought that labour would be getting more intense soon, I didn’t really know but I took Angela’s advice and got in the pool. Angela was right! Labour really got going but with Craig by my side and Angela and Tami being totally reassuring that everything was good and giving me the odd homeopathic remedy, I managed!

“Angela and Tami bought in all their equipment and did their necessary checks including reassuring Craig and I.  They then did what they said they would do….knit and crochet!”

My waters suddenly broke which was a huge relief physically although a few surges later and it all intensified again with baby’s head crowning – ouch! I remember shouting out to Angela “I can’t do this and I don’t know what to do” and her calm response was “just go with it Anna, you can do it and you are doing it”. She never said “push push” so I didn’t, I just let the baby come out with the surges. At 3.54pm our little girl was born, Angela helped her up to me. Unfortunately the cord was around her neck and when her body was born this pulled and tightened so she quickly became floppy. Angela instructed me to get out of the pool with her, cord still attaching us both. Angela lay our little girl on the floor by the side of the pool and rubbed her vigorously to get her breathing….and she did! We got back in the pool and sighed! About 10 minutes later I felt a heavy sensation and told Angela I thought the placenta was coming so at this point Angela cut the cord and Craig took our baby. Angela then helped me birth the placenta.

birthstory

I got out of the pool and lay on the sofa to feed my baby who by this point was screaming! However, I felt I was bleeding quite a lot and after examination Angela told me I would need some stitches. I was worried about this as both my sisters had bad experiences being stitched in hospital and after my 1st birth with Jacob I had the epidural for pain relief! Angela gave me gas and air and is obviously very good at this skill as I hardly felt a thing! (It also healed very well).

Following this I climbed the stairs to my bed and cuddled my baby girl, skin to skin. Angela and Tami bought Craig and I tea and toast in bed. Angela and Tami tidied up downstairs, all part of the package!

It was a million miles away from our hospital experience with Jacob which included epidural, catheter, hormone drip, forceps, stitches and being cared for by strangers who often left the room just leaving me to get on with it. Angela and Tami were there all the time, looking after us and helping us achieve the birth we had dreamt of for our daughter, later named Niamh. I won’t deny that the labour was hard but Niamh’s birth was calm and controlled which I am sure is why she is a calm, contented baby, feeding well and smiling at 3 weeks. Jacob has ended up being an amazing brother helping with nappies and getting the muslins when I am feeding Niamh! It’s busy with two but totally worth it!

birthstory1

Employing the independent midwives was the best money we have spent in ages and the whole experience has finally healed me from my traumatic experience with Jacob. We sacrificed a few things to pay for them including our foreign holiday but we can go on holiday anytime, I only got one shot at Niamh’s birth and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Angela and Tami have restored my faith in women’s ability to labour and good midwifery care….THANK YOU!

Anna and Craig

When Angela first came to our house, she met a couple who were excited but extremely apprehensive about their second pregnancy. I was nearly 12 weeks pregnant and had a traumatic pregnancy, labour and post natal experience with my first child Jacob. Angela walked in and immediately put Craig and I at ease acknowledging our […]

 
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