I had a planned home birth and was due 1st April 2020. I went in to hospital on the 3rd April to monitor her heart as I was unsure if movements had changed and for peace of mind. I just panicked with everything (Coronavirus) in the news, but the hospital reassured me movements were back to normal and heart rate was healthy. What I wasn’t aware of was that due to my visit to the hospital they had upped me to high risk which would prevent me having a home birth, and the doctors wanted me to book me in the next day for an induction. They also advised that I could only birth on the delivery suite and not the Midwife led unit.
I was shocked, worried and didn’t want this at all. I spoke to a consultant (on my own as partners understandably not allowed in hospitals) the consultant made me aware of all the risks of refusing induction (still birth etc). I asked about alternatives and percentages of these risks, and declined after signing some disclaimers. I fully understood the hospital had a duty of care, but after I declined the induction they insisted I went in every day for movement monitoring and had me speak with different consultants each time, all telling me about the same risks and trying to persuade me to have the induction. After speaking with my midwife she reassured me she would support me if I still wanted a home birth.
On Sunday 5th April I went into hospital as they requested and said I wouldn’t be back after that as it was causing me too much worry and stress, I knew my risk and was happy with baby’s movement. I agreed to a sweep and said I would go back the following week if I hadn’t gone into labour on my own.
Sunday evening I got home and started getting surges around 6pm. I got into bed, listening to my KG hypnobirthing audio, using my up-breathing techniques with my husband massaging my back during surges, and tried to eat snacks every couple of hours. Between 1am and 3am my surges lasted 1 minute and became stronger. I called my midwife, she arrived at 4am. The Midwife gave me gas and air whilst my husband set up the birth pool in the living room, he put some music on, lit candles, opened the balcony doors, and prepared drinks and snacks.
Around 5am I got into the pool, words can’t describe how relaxed and in the zone I was with the warm water! I was in and out of the pool when I was too warm, too cool or wanted to change positions. At 7am baby’s head was coming down, I changed to down-breathing and from 7am – 9am breathed baby’s head out (this was the biggest challenge for me) but I’m so glad I only pushed during surges as this enabled me to stretch out and prevented any tearing.
At 9.36am our beautiful daughter Maya Rey Robinson entered the world at a healthy 7lb. I picked her out of the water and put her on my chest. Without my husband, midwife and KG hypnobirthing techniques I wouldn’t have had this amazing positive, empowering experience. Practicing my breathing, muscle massages, peri massages every night all seemed like homework at times but all paid off, trusting my gut and not having an induction was the hardest but best decision I made. If baby was distressed I would have considered having intervention but I felt strongly we were both ok. I know home births have been stopped in most places but hope this helps and gives mums the confidence that we can get through this and still stick to our plans as much as possible! – Jasmine