Tag Archives: Stockport

Ellie’s twin homebirth story

On the morning of Friday 14th November 2014, I woke up feeling uncomfortable but excited. I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant with twins and I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for many weeks. The night before, I hadn’t slept well because I’d felt a lot of cramping and kept having to go to the loo. I asked my husband to work from home because I felt like something might finally be happening. I had been cleared for home birth the week before by my One-to-One midwife, Sarah, and I was desperate to meet our twins!

I had a difficult pregnancy and had been advised to take it very easy from around August, when I started getting strong Braxton Hicks contractions. I’d suffered with anaemia, dehydration, hyperemesis gravidarium, and extreme exhaustion so I had not really enjoyed my pregnancy. What kept me going was visualising our home birth and how calm and relaxed we wanted it to be – the opposite of our first son’s birth in hospital.

On that Friday morning, my husband took my son to playschool while I slowly got ready, breathing through the surges which were still quite irregular. They got stronger and more regular during the morning, which was funny because I had booked a reflexology treatment that I decided to go through with!

At lunchtime, the surges started to become quite uncomfortable, so I asked my husband to help me to keep focus. I struggled to eat although I nibbled on some toast, as I thought I might need energy later on. Around this time, the One-to-One Midwives arrived – Debbie, who was covering for our named midwife; a second Debbie, who was shadowing the first; Lisa; and Katie, the consultant midwife. I was bouncing on my ball in between surges and still able to breathe through them, with the help of my husband. I was listening to my hypnobirthing relaxation and affirmation tracks, which really helped me to cope with the surges.

I asked Debbie to examine me, as I wanted to see whether this was another false alarm or whether I could start to get excited about meeting our babies! My cervix was still posterior, although Debbie could feel Twin 1’s head very low in my pelvis. She advised me to keep bouncing on my ball to try and move things along. At this point, we all decided that the two Debbies should get on with their afternoon visits while Lisa and Katie stayed to observe me, as it did not seem like my labour was moving very quickly.

Shortly after they left, I suddenly started feeling very different – the surges became very difficult to cope with and I began shouting during them, partially due to fright I think! I decided that I wanted to get into the birth pool, so my husband, Lisa and Katie started to fill it – luckily, we had already inflated it! I was still listening to my hypnobirthing tracks, but was finding it very difficult not to focus on how much pain I was in. I told Lisa and my husband, “It’s not going to be long now,” as I remembered feeling the same way when in labour with my son two-and-a-half years ago. I kept asking if the pool was ready; I was desperate to get in as I believed I’d feel some relief when I did!

At about 3.30pm, the pool was full and I couldn’t get in fast enough! I stripped off and practically dived in and the relief was instant. Unfortunately it didn’t last long – only about two surges – and I began vomiting and feeling the urge to push. I felt scared at this point, because things were moving very quickly and I was worried it meant something was wrong. I started to panic, saying I needed to push, that I wanted to get out of the pool, that I needed pain relief, that I couldn’t do this. Katie, Lisa, and my husband were so supportive at this point, telling me to calm down and focus on my breathing, to listen to my body and push if I needed to. I begged for gas and air but Katie told me she didn’t think she had time to get it from the car!

Ellie and baby Aurora moments after birth

Ellie and baby Aurora moments after birth

All of a sudden, my body took over and my mind quieted. I was able to focus on my breathing and didn’t make a sound during the next few surges, while my daughter’s head was born. It was amazing and so empowering! Once her head was out, it felt like forever until her body was born and I got a bit agitated again, then there she was. She was born with her membranes intact and Lisa and Katie kept telling me to pick her up and I said “I can’t see her! Someone get her!” (My husband told me afterwards that he was afraid I would sit on her…!) She was passed to me and I sat back in the pool with her on my chest.

I immediately began to feel surges again and felt like I needed to push. I felt panicked and asked someone to take the baby, so Lisa and my husband quickly clamped and cut the cord. I leaned forward to focus on my breathing again and suddenly our son was born, with his membranes also intact and the babies’ placentas on his head! I will never forget how beautiful my babies looked in their membranes and I feel incredibly lucky that I got to see them as they were in my womb. There were only three minutes between our babies’ births! It was so fast that the two Debbies did not get to us in time – we had planned that there would be at least three midwives at the birth, so I imagine Lisa and Katie must have felt quite stressed! They did an amazing job and I never felt unsafe in their hands – completely the opposite.

Twins Jake and Aurora

Twins Jake and Aurora

Our son was born white and unresponsive, and he needed some assistance breathing so an ambulance was called. This was very scary but the midwives handled it very professionally and kept talking to my husband and I to let us know what was happening. He recovered relatively quickly and had skin-to-skin with me while our daughter had skin-to-skin with her dad. The two Debbies arrived just after the paramedics and were gutted to have missed it all!

When I was ready, I got out of the pool and lay on our sofa with the babies. Lisa and Katie completed all the checks (the babies were 5lbs 13oz and 5lbs 14oz respectively) while Debbie and Debbie made us cups of tea. It was amazing being at home and I felt so relaxed, yet so empowered! After a couple of hours, my husband’s parents brought our son home to meet the babies. My husband made our son dinner and put him to bed; it was great to be able to maintain his normal routine. During the evening we all chatted, I had a bath, I gave the babies their first breastfeeds (and expressed some colostrum to syringe-feed our son as he was struggling to latch), we ate pizza and salad, and I did FaceTime with my parents to ‘introduce’ the babies. I felt so relaxed and happy to be in my own surroundings, and so well cared-for by the midwives.

Ellie relaxing with her twins at home after their birth

Ellie relaxing with her twins at home after their birth

My friend Sarah came round to make me two placenta smoothies and to begin the process of encapsulating the babies’ placentas (which were fused and quite small, especially our son’s). The smoothies were amazing and really helped me to get through the first night on no sleep at all!

I feel so happy, empowered and positive whenever I think about the babies’ birth – totally different to how traumatised I felt after my son’s birth. I would highly recommend home birth to anyone considering it – even in cases where it might sound unusual, for example with twins. It is possible, and in most cases it isn’t any more dangerous or risky than hospital birth. Know your options and remember – it’s your body, your baby/ies, and your choice.

Eliie – Davenport, Stockport

Natalie’s homebirth story

My first birth, at hospital, was great. I was fully dilated at arrival with the triage nurse and was comfortable throughout the birth despite a back to back presentation without pain relief just breathing through the surges. After 3 hours of comfortable second stage I had an assisted delivery with ventouse and episiotomy as the consultant felt it best due to position and heart rate dropping.

This time I wanted to be more comfy after the birth and avoid episiotomy. I spent time involving chiropractic care, yoga and reviving my Hypnobirthing beliefs to help prepare me and optimise baby into the best position. This helped keep me significantly more comfortable whilst carrying too.

At 40+2 I woke up at 5:15am ish and had a show, I had some tightenings low down but managed to get half an hours sleep listening to Hypnobirthing MP3s. I text the midwife about 7am saying something might be happening, by this time my daughter was up and my hubby went in the shower, during this time I had 3-4 surges. I had a shower and again had a few surges, but still thought birth could be a while off.

By 7:30am I’d told hubby to carry on getting dressed for work & he could come home if I needed him. About 7:45 am I found myself sat on the loo not really managing to move which made me think things were definitely in motion but still I was quite comfy. I suggested hubby not go to work and just take daughter to nursery.

Things then started to crank up a notch. The sensations were coming thick and fast, quite intense and I felt I wasn’t managing so well, I started to feel sick too. When I said to hubby I thought this was transition he thought I was being a bit daft!

By 8am I managed to get downstairs and kneeled leaning on the sofa, at this point we rang mother in law to collect my daughter and hubby started filling the pool. I was certainly in the zone by one and was repeating the affirmations to myself until hubby played the MP3. He was running round still in his suit doing all sorts bless him!

My mother in law collected the little one about 8:25, by this point I felt my surges had changed, they felt as though I was bearing down and I had begun to make a noise/ moan at the end of each one, it felt good to let some noise out to help release the feeling. My lower back was feeling uncomfy, like there was pressure there, this part was really intense but I felt I could manage happily as I knew this was second stage and baby was nearly here. It still wasn’t painful and I was still calm just going with the flow.

Once my daughter had gone I felt I relaxed a little more. I crawled over still fully clothed to the inflated but almost empty pool worried my waters would go on our new carpet and leaned on the side of the pool, baby felt really low down.

8:40am the midwife arrived, at this point I called out to her that I felt the baby was coming.
She came in, helped me off with my clothes and turned to hubby to say “do you want to see this?.” Baby’s head was just visible! I kept visualising the blossom flower and kept my J breathing going, she helped remind me to relax and breathe baby down.

Baby Matilda Poppy, 15 minutes old

Baby Matilda Poppy, 15 minutes old

I could feel the head coming down and felt things ‘stretching’ again. I tried not to push and relax, my body certainly took over and did its thing. Then I felt some relief as the head emerged. At this point my waters finally went. Two more surges and the body slipped out. No stitches needed but a slight internal graze. Baby arrived at 8:53am! And was 9lb 1oz. She didn’t cry and was calm and alert. I had some bleeding so had assisted placenta delivery. This was the best feeling.

By 9:30am I was on the sofa having a cuddle and a piece of toast. 10:30am I had a shower and we spent the day chilling out having cuddles before introducing big sister to the new addition.

It was the most amazing delivery and I’ve felt so well since. I wish everyone could have an experience like this. I would certainly do it again. Matilda is a lovely chilled bundle of joy calmly breathed into this world at home.

Natalie – Cheadle Hulme, Stockport

Kathryn’s homebirth story

Kathryn and baby Isaac at home

Kathryn and baby Isaac at home

I wanted to share my story of homebirth for those of you who are feeling unsure like I was.
I have to say prior to getting pregnant with my second child I was one of those people who thought that homebirth was a bit out there and hippyish but when I got pregnant anxieties about being in hospital and leaving my 6 year old meant I started to look into it.

I personally didn’t find the community midwives very supportive or informative (probably not helped by the fact I never saw the same one more than once.) So I decided to switch to One to One Midwives care and met my lovely midwife Sarah who spent time going over everything with us and was great at answering questions both me and my partner had reassuring us about any fears we had. She also booked us on to a hypnobirthing course which was a great source of information and a real change from the antenatal classes we had with our first. They focused on the positives of birth and how your body works during the process as well as the hypnobirthing techniques.

We got to 40 weeks and still no sign of baby coming. At 41 weeks I woke with a few niggles and I felt a bit odd. I carried on with my day as normal. At lunch I had the start of my show and had a bath then we went wallpaper shopping. At 5pm I noticed my surges were pretty regular, every 5 mins or so and decided to text Sarah just in case. We got home around 5.30 and got my son ready to go to his grandmas. I was managing everything fine so wasn’t convinced I was progressing and so we went for a walk on the field behind my house just after 7pm. 2 laps and I was done. We went home and my partner pumped up the pool while we timed the surges for a bit to see how often they were coming. I text Sarah to say James (my partner) was filling the pool as I wasn’t sure I could manage much longer with just breathing and rocking so she said to get in the pool and let her know when we needed her.

Baby Isaac Joseph 8lb 12oz

Baby Isaac Joseph 8lb 12oz

I got in the pool and not long later the surges were coming one on top of another even though I was still not convinced things were happening, James decided to call Sarah and ask her to come over. It’s a good job he did! Sarah arrived at 10 pm shortly followed by her colleague Debbie and checked me and baby over while I was in the pool. Not long after she arrived I felt things change. I knew baby was on its way and although I wanted to tell Sarah what was happening I couldn’t talk at all but I didn’t need to, she noticed the change and realised what was happening. I did manage however to say when my waters had popped. Baby came pretty quickly after that with his hand by his head and when I felt like I couldn’t do any more, with the amazing support of the midwives to get me through those final pushes, he came out at 10.34pm, all 8 lb 12 oz and I spotted we had another boy!

Kathryn's eldest son meets his little brother

Kathryn’s eldest son meets his little brother

We waited for the cord to stop pulsating before it was clamped and cut. Baby was passed to dad while I got out the pool to wait for the placenta to come and get warm (I was rather shivery). We had skin to skin and once all was sorted Sarah and Debbie helped me and baby upstairs and we got into bed so my son could come and meet his baby brother.

Being able to relax at home was the best feeling ever and the mess that I was worried about was no where to be seen the next morning. I can’t fault the care we received from the One to One midwives during our birth and will always be grateful to them for being there to support me and enable me to have such a positive birth experience. It’s certainly something we will never forget and for those of you who were like me, had doubts and find it a bit out there, I say embrace your inner hippy – I’m certainly glad I did!!

Kathryn – Davenport, Stockport

Sam’s homebirth story

River’s Home Birth Story 16th May 2013.

I was coming up to two weeks ‘overdue’, I felt huge, in so much pain with SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) and the midwives were starting to talk about induction, sweeps, monitoring etc (why couldn’t they just leave me and my baby alone! I was thinking) anyhow, to show willing I let them do a sweep.

Sam's mum helps look after her 3 year old daughter

Sam’s mum helps look after her 3 year old daughter

I had realised I had worked my dates out wrong and I was actually more like 3 weeks ‘overdue’ , but I knew by now that was best kept a secret!

I found the sweep incredible painful! And started contracting straight away, low, deep, grating period pain style cramps which went on and on into the evening and through the night. By 5am they were getting stronger so I decided to have a bath (as people always seem to in birth stories!) while everyone slept.

As hubby woke I informed him of my progress, but he didn’t really believe me it would be today and went to work anyway. By lunch time I had called him back, I knew it would be today and with 2 kids to look after and a birth pool to fill, I wanted him home. I called my mum too to come and help with the littlies. She brought roast lamb for after.

Sam smiling between contractions

Sam smiling between contractions

It was a sunny day, I took some time out in the garden barefoot, feeling very alive, connected, real, excited and so so happy my baby was coming and I was in my comfy track suit at home!
It was green and bright and warm and wet and full of hope I was so desperate for this baby to come out safe and well. I remember posting on Facebook that I was in labour and please wish me well.

I contacted my doula to let her know things were picking up about 4ish, and that I’d let her know when it started getting heavy. By 5ish the rushes had started to get strong. I had to stop to breathe through them, and was cross with hubby for doing stuff instead of being with me through the surges! By 6 I was stressed that the doula wasn’t answering and hadn’t arrived, and I was snappy with everyone, then apologising for being snappy between contractions.

Sam's daughters having fun in the birth pool

Sam’s daughters having fun in the birth pool

The photo of me smiling on the sofa was between 2 strongish contractions. My mum was feeding my 3 year old on the other sofa and I took a picture to capture the moment. The girls were excited and happy helping fill up the pool and having a splash in it. They didn’t want to get out!

As it got stronger I wanted attention and help! I felt I needed the pool, the doula (who still wasn’t answering!) and I knew I couldn’t get in the pool without the midwife telling me I was ‘far along enough’ although I knew I was…

So we called the midwives who arrived in a flurry and started to irritate me straight away! The doula arrived too, full of apologies her little boy had switched her phone off, and suddenly there was a lot going on.

The rushes had gotten intense and I was trying to find a comfy place to cope with them, while the hullabaloo of the midwives setting up in my living room went on. Lauren (doula) took me outside, I had liked it earlier.

It was no good any more! I stayed for 1 or 2, then we went back inside. I wanted to lean on something so leant forwards onto the table while Lauren rubbed my back and pushed on my hips. This really helped. I liked it there for a bit.

I still wanted to get in the pool though, as I was sure it would help (it had been immense relief in my last labour).

Sam is monitored in the pool

Sam is monitored in the pool

Finally I was allowed in the pool, and although nice it wasn’t as lovely as I’d expected it to be! Perhaps as it was a summer labour instead of winter like my last, but I couldn’t get comfy, found the rushes hard to deal with and kept feeling too hot. The nurses were annoying me with their constant chatting/questions/wanting to monitor me and baby, and nattering about the water temperature/ height. I wanted them out!

My doula was lovely, helping me, talking to me, telling me I was doing so well, I was so beautiful etc. but I remember her words were not soothing. I just felt uneasy and impatient that it wasn’t happening quicker. I had an underlying worry about something going wrong and me being transferred. Perhaps I was in transition. I kept saying, why is it hard? Why isn’t she coming out? I’m doing all the right things! It felt like ages, but in reality was less than 3 hours from when I got into the pool to her birth, so I guess I was just feeling anxious.

Sam's 6 year old holds her hands and helps her through contractions

Sam’s 6 year old holds her hands and helps her through contractions

The nicest, calming part for me, was when my 6 year old came to help me. I straight away got a grip and stopped panicking. Her hands were warm and sure, and she said well done mummy, there you go it’s ok, just breathe. Talking me through each contraction like a pro!! I was stunned, amazed and grateful all at once, she was way more soothing than hubby or doula!

Eventually she morphed back into a 6 year old and with a grumpy, why is it taking so long?! Stomped off upstairs to watch the iPad, not to return until her sister was born.

The midwife kept insistently monitoring us, kept making me move into different positions to check baby’s heart beat. I like to be only on my hands and knees, leaning on the side of the pool, breathing through each contraction with my partner in front of me to tend to my every need! They kept making me turn over, sit up, get out…so annoying. I kept refusing and quietly telling the doula they were really annoying me and I wanted them to go out the room!

I was finding the labour really hard going and couldn’t understand why. My previous labour had been so lovely! This felt like tough, overwhelming hard work. Why? I kept asking everyone…Is it because I’m older? Are 3rd births harder? Why isn’t she coming out? They didn’t really answer me!

The doula was great, pressing on my hips constantly during each surge as it was the only thing to relieve the pressure. Feeding me energy drinks and water through a straw.

Soon I gave in to the gas and air. It was good! I’d hated it in my previous labours but this time it took the edge off and got me through the blurry, crazy, painful animal bit before birth! By now I was mooing and moaning through the rushes, I knew it was soon.

Head midwife was obviously getting impatient as she ‘unintentionally’ broke my waters as she checked me. I didn’t care though, I’d had enough! I was ready for it all to end. There was meconium in the waters. This resulted in a huge change of atmosphere, I was instructed to get straight out of the pool. There was an air of panic, which I knew was totally unnecessary, but went with it anyway.

Sam meets River for the first time

Sam meets River for the first time

I dutifully went over to the sofa (thinking to myself, I need to get this baby out now or they’re going to start interfering with me (trying to get me to go to hospital!) so I sunk into deep, dark pushing. Once it started my body took over and I couldn’t stop. I pushed and pushed and I felt my baby move down and out of me. I pushed so so hard and out she came, head first. Then another push and fast! Out she burst.

Apparently I bled quite a lot so by the time they passed her to me and I managed to wrap her in a towel and turn us over (a matter of seconds!) her cord was cut! I was a bit disappointed, it was done so quick I didn’t even know! But apparently was necessary due to my blood loss. (I still don’t know why)

I had to sit in a wierd position for a while, bright lights on, on the edge of the sofa, holding my new born, shocked and getting shaky, naked and covered in blood while they all worked on my nether regions trying to stop the blood and ascertain from where it was coming! (I still knew everything was fine and I wanted to lie down!)

Eventually it was decided it was just a little tear! And I was allowed to lie down and cuddle my babe. They were bugging me about placenta, so I think I had the injection and it came our pretty easy although I don’t remember much from this point.

They all fussed and nattered as I wished they would go away, someone would feed me and I could go to sleep!

Sam snuggles up with River

Sam snuggles up with River

Baby latched straight on and was happy and snuggly, before they decided they had to take her off me to measure and weigh! I wish I’d said no to this. I remembering them being shocked I was already feeding her under our birthing blanket a few seconds after she was born, they were all “oh! She’s Already feeding? Oh!” Like they expected me to wait for them to tell me to!

They also hung around for hours after cleaning up and wanting to keep doing checks on me. Apparently I didn’t look too well! (Yes I was shaky and wheezy, but I always get like that when I’m tired and I was absolutely knackered!) Cheekily they confessed to hubby they didn’t want to go back to hospital before the end of their shift as they’d be given more work to do!

Eventually (around midnight and River was born just before 10) They finally all went away and left us all to go to bed in peace. Thank goodness my mum presented me with a roast lamb sandwich in the middle of all the fuss! Just what I needed. And energy drinks. Thanks mum.

I felt ill and shaky, very drained, but in time it got better. River was 8lb 13oz, and a dream baby from the start. She was heaven. The next day life carried on as normal! No hospital, no stress. She breasfed well from the start.

Even though I found it really hard with 2 older children to look after, and I couldn’t walk properly for a couple of weeks And Hubby went back to work after 5 days!! I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Looking back it was a good home birth, about 5 hours in total from when it really started to kick in. If I did it again, I would hire a more experienced and competent doula, and refuse any interference from midwives, or get my own 121 one that knew me and what I wanted. I think this would have stopped a lot of anxiety and helped things progress quicker ; It’s outside interference and stress to the mother that slows or complicates labour. It really is just a natural process that needs to be left to it!

Sam – Bramhall, Stockport

Spreading homebirth awareness throughout Greater Manchester

We had a really inspiring homebirth meeting this afternoon with some awesome women. Today we were discussing the future of the group and how we hope to expand our reach to support parents-to-be across more areas of Greater Manchester. This group has always been based around Stockport and we are planning to add meetings in Oldham and Bolton. We’ve also got some exciting promotional material in the pipe line which we hope will open more peoples’ eyes to the wonderful childbirth experience that is homebirth. Watch this space!