I had had an EMCS with my first child due to a rupture of membranes at 37+5 with no contractions and was pushed into having interventions that I did not want or know about and was eager to avoid it second time around. I also knew that I would have to fight for a HBAC so armed myself with as much information as possible. Leah Freeman was such a great support but how I wish I had done her course myself! I had however been practicing my hypnobirthing for weeks and sitting on a birth ball for months as I had a feeling my baby was back to back but no one would confirm this!
I spent so long thinking that I would go early again that when I got to 39 weeks I was miserable. It was June and very hot and I had a toddler to run after too.
I had decided to have one sweep at 40 weeks despite being asked to have them from 37 weeks! Again I did my research and decided to wait. I had been having braxton hicks for weeks so thought the sweep would help. Alas, the sweep couldn’t be performed but I was told my cervix was not high and closed so that was something.
Just three days later however I woke feeling very emotional and took my son to my mother in law’s for the day. I had a lovely long nap and when I woke at 4pm I could feel mild surges. My husband arrived from work and we immediately packed up and set off for home whilst they became more regular. We made a big bowl of pasta, got the tens machine going and tried to rest but when my waters went at 11pm the pain in my back ramped up. I did my breathing and listened to my hypnobirthing tracks and just focused on each surge. I managed a bit of sleep and my son came to sway with me in the morning and stroke my back which was very sweet. We sent him off to my sister’s whilst the homebirth team came out with gas and air. I was checked and was 6cm then when I got to 8cm I got into the warming waters of our pool which was just bliss and managed to roar through most of my surges.
My husband was amazing whenever I had a wobble and got me back to my breathing. I got to 10cm and started pushing but I just couldn’t feel baby descending – I had always had a suspicion baby was back to back and this turned out to be true – but it was so wonderful to be able to feel the baby’s head, and hair.
We listened to our midwives and made the decision to transfer in to deliver baby by forceps as I had been pushing for so long by this point and was exhausted. Our beautiful son was delivered safely on 13 June 2017 with lots of black hair. I had a third degree tear and had lost a lot of blood but I was still insanely happy that I had done it, with lots of assistance but I had done it!!
Ultimately I didn’t get my perfect home birth but I was listened to. I didn’t have any unnecessary interventions and I felt in control. I had prepared as much as I could and gave it my all. I had prepared birth plans for all scenarios: planned C section, EMCS, transfer in, home birth. I knew that whatever happened, this time I would be prepared and would question everything. I even made sure that my wishes were still followed after transferring in such as having sensor pads on my back and not front so that I could have baby on me immediately and for my husband to reveal the sex.
My one regret is not having pictures of me during labour. Who knows, if I can ever do this again… perhaps third time’s the charm!!