Photo Credit: BadassBirthPhotography|www.badassbirthphotography.com
"I got Georgia and Sheridan on board early in my second pregnancy as I wanted to know my options. I’d had GBSS in my first pregnancy and my son was admitted to hospital with Sepsis at 14 days old. It was lovely to have a midwife available for all my questions and also to help me guide me with my GBSS research in which I ended up deciding to not be consultant led. I needed to make a decision on whether I would have Intravenous antibiotics during this birth, which would’ve meant a hospital birth. My pregnancy was fairly straightforward and the scans and diabetes test was all done with support.
My surges started at 05:17 on my due date, the 17th of October. I texted Georgia at 06:30 and she called to say that she’d check on me later but to call again if I needed. I had a relatively quick birth with my first born and was worried I might be even quicker this time. My Mum travelled from Nottingham to come and look after my 1.5 year old son. Despite me telling her not to rush on my text at 6am, she’d completed the 2 hour journey and was at our house by 9am! We had a semi-normal day and my husband nipped into work to tie up some loose ends. Once he was back my Mum took Theo to the park and I tried to keep things progressing but stay calm. My son was really good and wasn’t too concerned when I was having contractions and even for a couple of surges he tried to breathe with me which was super cute. Having his fun Nan there to keep him busy was enough distraction for him to not get upset. Eventually it was bedtime and I was breathing through surges whilst the bedtime story was a team effort. I still managed to put my ‘baby’ to bed for the last time as an only child. I’m not going to lie…I cried a little bit when I was outside of his room.
Once downstairs I composed myself and it was like my body knew. I must’ve been subconsciously waiting for him to go to bed and then my body just let me go. It was like it knew we had a job to do and might as well get on with it now before morning comes and it’d be harder to do with a toddler around! Theo went to bed at 19:00 and I had my husband inflating the pool and calling Georgia again at 20:30. I was staying mobile using my birthing ball and my tens machine and I felt like I needed some medical support to accompany the emotional support coming from my Mum and Husband.
My Mum was saying that it was the worst thing as a Mum herself seeing me going through something so tough and not being able to help, but she doesn’t know how much she did really!
My husband was amazing like last time. He got the music on (highly recommend Sigur Ros for anyone who doesn’t want distracting music with lyrics!), sorted the pool and kept me hydrated.
Georgia arrived at 20:50 and we’d already discussed about not having any examinations so I didn’t know how far dilated I was, but she checked the position and heartbeat of baby and left me to it. I was having contractions that made me lower to the floor so I knew I was getting there. I must’ve been putting calm vibes across as Georgia asked if I was always this calm as she was deciding whether to contact Sheridan to make her way over. Eventually I took off the tens and got in the pool at around 21:30 and asked for Gas and Air not long after. This helped me take control of the situation again. I think this is when Georgia called Sheridan. She arrived at 22:30 but I was already in the pushing stage so said a quick ‘hello’ and then got back in the zone, my Mum had also gone upstairs to make sure Theo was okay and so she was close if he did wake up at all.
It was so refreshing not having any intrusive examinations, not one person said ‘push’ at any time and I was just left to go along with what my body was feeling.
Weirdly, it was my legs that felt it the most in this birth. Eventually I realised that I got a sensation in my legs before a contraction was coming so I had time to get on the Entonox before the surge reached its highest point of the wave. It gave me a little head start on the pain relief and I feel that it was the time and space I’d been given by everyone that helped me to figure this out.
I wasn’t pushing for very long and our son arrived at 22:57 on his due date and was almost born in his amniotic sac! I picked him up from the bottom of the pool and held and rubbed him to get him to take his first breath and make some noise! I will never forget that feeling of picking him up from the floor of the pool along with the (really, really long) cord and what felt like a bundle of floppy limbs. I dreamt about it for a few nights after until my brain processed it fully.
Georgia and Sheridan did their checks while I held him. They had done the ‘hands off’ approach the whole time and this was the first time that anyone had touched either of us. I held him and I fed him straightaway, still in the pool, still with everything intact and I’d not birthed the placenta at this point either. They left us to do the first feed in peace (and for them to brief each other on what had happened, fill in their notes etc). My Mum popped down at this point to come and meet her newest grandchild, but again she scurried off into the kitchen to offer drinks etc.
My original birth wish was to birth the placenta so that everything was out before we cut the cord – this was not to be as we were getting a bit cold and so I called everyone back in and I was going to try and attempt to get out of the pool. My legs did not work and I couldn’t lift them over the sides of the pool. I asked for the cord to be cut early and meanwhile the pool was deflated enough for me to get out (all the while I was still holding baby).
It was only then that Georgia suggested that Daddy took over skin-to-skin whilst they did baby weighing (9lbs 1oz by the way!) and then I delivered the placenta.
After that I was helped back to the sofa as I was still experiencing jelly legs, and for the first time in the whole experience I was examined below. I had a second degree tear and was given the option of stitches if I’d like, but didn’t have to – so I declined. This turned out to be one of the best decisions for me and made my recovery so much quicker.
After this there was a flurry of activity involving Georgia and Sheridan, my mum and my husband of emptying the pool, deflating the pool, paperwork…but I was oblivious I think… just staring at these new tiny hands and tiny feet.
Georgia even bought me tea and toast like they do in hospital – what absolute heroes!!
It was now about 2am and Georgia asked if I wanted them to stay whilst I had a shower and got in bed. As my Mum and Husband were there and I felt fine I said they could go as they would be coming back to me later that day anyway for my ‘next day’ checks. It was so strange when they left, as it was just how it was before they’d arrived but it was now us plus this new tiny bundle.
My Mum came with me whilst I had a shower and my Husband had some lovely one on one time with baby. I then fed again and put him in the moses basket and went to bed myself. My Mum and Husband carried on sorting things a little while longer and apparently they came up to bed after 3am but I was fast off!
I was up feeding around 6:30am and my toddler must’ve known something was going on as he woke up just after and shouted for us. My Mum came in and my Husband went to get Theo. He explained on the way down the hall that he had a little brother that had arrived in the night and that he was now a big brother. He didn’t really know how to react and was quite shy with him.
It was so lovely that I hadn’t had to go anywhere and there wasn’t having to be an explanation as to where Mummy was or waiting for us to come home with baby. In his mind he went to sleep, then Kit was here and he woke up a big brother – as easy as that!
I obviously felt the benefit of not being on a noisy ward and got some decent rest in my own bed. I hadn’t realised just how great having my home comforts around me during and after birth would make me feel. It was an amazing experience and even though my first labour in hospital was absolutely fine too and straightforward, I never thought I would say that labour was amazing and empowering and with this one I’d go as far as saying comfortable. My husband loved how calm everyone was and he said it really had an impact on the whole experience.
Kit is a really chilled, relaxed, smiley baby so far (touch wood!) and I honestly think that some of that is down to the way I felt during the birth and the way he entered the World. Calm, quiet and chilled out.
I would really love to do another home birth but I think I’ve got some convincing to do with my husband for the 3rd one!
Georgia and Sheridan were my absolute angels and the post-natal care I received afterwards was the best. All my appointments were relaxed and in my own home. The only appointment we had at the hospital was the hearing test, but it meant that Kit could wear his ‘first time leaving the house’ outfit, rather than a coming home one!
I had a visitor ban for a couple of weeks (also a wonderful decision) and so some days Georgia was the only person we saw. I felt really cared for and it was so personal that I didn’t feel uncomfortable asking Georgia for anything. The main thing for me was that I felt supported around the 14 day mark because of my eldest son being admitted to hospital the first time around. I still get emotional thinking about that time and I mentioned that I would like support around then. Georgia made sure she was there for me on that day and checked in after then too. I had postnatal care for 6 weeks with Georgia and it was the best experience. I wished that I’d known about this the first time as I feel like those first few weeks as a new Mum would’ve been very different.
Georgia and Sheridan are experienced, professional, friendly, kind and supportive. They made me feel confident and empowered every step of the way, through the antenatal stage, birth and postnatal appointments. They are very much in the mind-set of ‘your body, your baby, your experience’ and it is such a refreshing way to bring a baby into this World."