‘A beautiful experience and one we had all worked hard for’
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child my joy was swiftly taken over by the fear of the birth to come, due to my previous bad experience with my daughter Zayneb two years earlier. I was keen to have a more positive birth this time around and after some discussion with my husband Wasim and a bit of research we decided to hire an independent midwife. We felt this would ensure we had the one to one care we were after and the same midwife with us during my pregnancy and birth.
I remember the first time I spoke with Andy (Maya Midwives) on the phone and immediately feeling more reassured about what was to come. Over the weeks we formed a great bond with her. Andy also introduced us to Ruth who we completed two wonderful hypnobirthing workshops with. These were key to mine and Wasim’s preparation for birth and how to navigate it physically and emotionally together. As the months passed I began to look forward to my due date.
I did not initially plan for a home birth, but after researching our options and educating ourselves once it was time for us to write up our birth plan Wasim and I agreed upon a water birth at home. A few days before my due date Andy kindly organised a mother blessing for me and I felt more than ready to welcome my baby.
At 40+1 weeks I woke up at around 11.30pm and felt the beginnings of some mild surges. I was excited at the prospect of finally being in labour as I had been feeling very impatient the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I decided to have a bath with clary sage oil, as I had been doing for the past three weeks. I then spent the next few hours on my birthing ball or walking around my house.
Around 4am I called Andy and when she arrived we agreed I was still in the early stages of labour and that she would come back later on. She suggested I get some sleep as I would need rest for the later stages. I managed to fall asleep waking at around 7.30am when almost immediately my waters broke. After a shower I was unable to fall back asleep so I kept switching between sitting on my Swiss ball and standing. I distinctly remember watching Beauty and the Beast for around 10 minutes with my daughter before she went off to her grandparent’s. From then on it was a bit of a blur, but I do recall the surges gradually becoming more intense and around 9am asking Wasim to call Andy. At this point I was mostly on my hands and knees whilst balancing my arms on my birthing ball. I had been using the hypnobirthing techniques Ruth had taught me throughout labour but at this stage I had to really concentrate to ensure I was breathing through each surge. Somewhere around this time Andy arrived and Ruth shortly after. At some point Wasim must have set up the birthing pool but I was none the wiser as the time between each surge became shorter
When I got into the birthing pool I immediately felt some relief with the warm water. The surges however began to intensify even further and if it wasn’t for Wasim reminding me to breath through each one I may have forgotten to do so.
I’m not sure how long I laboured there but at some point the intensity of the surges seemed to pause and Andy suggested I check to see if I could feel anything and to my surprise I could feel my baby’s hair which meant his head was very close. At this point I felt completely focused and calm. My mum arrived just in time and in what felt like a few minutes I was able to pull my son up out through the water and on to my chest. It was a beautiful experience and one we had all worked hard for. I felt so empowered as a mother and as a woman. I was in my own home and in control with my amazing support system, which has made it all the more memorable.