Emilie's Birth Story.

I've been wanting to write Emilie's birth story since she was born but we've had a fault with our internet which was only fixed today. The baby has been fed and is napping so here I am. After such a traumatic hospital birth with James I can honestly say that Emilie's labour and delivery was amazing. I cannot wait to sit here and write it all down so that I don't forget a thing.


I turned 37 weeks on Monday the 29th July. On the Sunday I was feeling nauseous and had back ache with some braxton hicks contractions that were pretty regular and didn't get better if I walked or changed position. I knew that if I wanted my home birth then I had to make it to the Monday. I spoke to my sister on the phone on the Sunday afternoon (she was a Maternity Support Worker before she had her daughter) and she confirmed that if I went into labour on the Sunday then I would be made to go into hospital even though it was only one day before I was full term. 

The braxton hicks calmed down and I slept pretty well. Monday came and I was still feeling nauseous and Emilie's movements had slowed down. I knew that labour was near but I thought I had at least a week left. I had no other symptoms so I carried on as normal. Around 4pm that afternoon the braxton hicks returned and again were pretty regular. I tried walking, having a bath and resting but nothing made them go away. They were about every twenty minutes and when I walked they got worse. I spent the evening lying on the living room floor with my maternity pillow. Our friend was here and we had already arranged that he would watch James when the time came. He said that he would come back in the morning and if things were progressing then he would take James for the day. I ended up sleeping on the floor that night. I didn't want to move after I'd found a half comfy position. I slept on and off.. Occasionally the braxton hicks would wake me but all things considered I slept quite well. 

The next morning James woke me up and as soon as I stood up I had a contraction. I was pretty sure that I was in early labour so I rang the hospital and told them that I was due to have a home birth and asked if they could send the on call midwife over so she could check to see what was happening. About thirty minutes later the midwife called to say that a women had just had her baby un-planned at home and that she had to see her first but she'd be with me in about an hour. In the mean time my sister called and asked if she could pop in. It was already arranged that her and my Mum would be here for the birth and she wanted to know how things were progressing. She arrived before the midwife and we went for a walk to the bottom of my road. My contractions were irregular and I wanted to try and get them going a bit more. Aimee had me doing squats at the end of the road! I felt pretty stupid but she assured me it would help. 

The midwife, Derri, arrived and she checked me and I was 3cm's dilated. She measured my bump but I was only measuring 31cm's, the week before I had been 36cm's so we were pretty certain that it was because Emilie had dropped but she booked me in for an emergency growth scan before she would agree to a home birth. We had a few hours before the scan so Aimee arranged for her daughter to be looked after so that she could stay for the duration of the birth. 

At the hospital I was having pretty regular contractions and they made me wait nearly two hours for the growth scan. I was so worried that I was going to give birth there and then. The midwives were awful and didn't understand that I was in labour and really needed this scan asap. After Anthony complained they saw me within five minutes! The scan went well and it was estimated that Emilie weighed 6lb 10oz. I phoned Derri to tell her and she confirmed that we were all set for a home birth! She advised me to go home and to call her when I was having three contractions in ten minutes. My Mum had met us at the hospital so she came home with us.. Now we just had to wait for baby! 

Aimee and I decided to go for another walk. She decided that it would be a great idea for me to walk up hills. To her credit it did help! 

By the time we got home the contractions were more regular but once I sat down they slowed down. I was getting worried that labour was stalling so I tried to stay on my feet. About an hour later I was having three or four contractions in ten minutes and they were really starting to hurt. Aimee rang Derri back and she agreed to come and check me again. She arrived about thirty minutes later. We went upstairs, she checked and I was 4cm's.. I was so deflated! I'd been at it all day and I was only 4cm's! She said that I had thinned out some more though. She gave me a stretch and sweep. I've always wondered what those felt like and I have to say it was uncomfortable and the weirdest feeling ever. My next contraction after the stretch and sweep felt different though. It was stronger and I could feel that it was doing something. I tried to go for another walk but it hurt too much so I only made it about four houses before I turned back home. I spent the next couple of hours pacing the living room, using my birthing ball and sitting in the garden. Derri was fantastic and kept the mood light. We watched television, chatted and laughed. My other sister arrived for a bit and it felt like a party! Anthony was a bit over whelmed with all the women around but he was fantastic.. 

At 8pm Derri noticed a change in me and how I was handling the contractions and announced that I was now in established labor.. I've never been so happy to hear those words. My sister helped me through the contractions. 

Derri couldn't check me again until 9.30pm, I told her that my waters with James had to be broken and asked if she would do the same for me this time. She said that if I wasn't 7cm's when she next checked then we would discuss it then. She informed me that if there was meconium in the waters then they would have to transfer me to hospital. 9.30pm came, she checked and I was still at 4cms but Emilie was really low. I nearly cried. 4cm's still! She asked me if I still wanted her to break my waters. I knew from James that once my waters was broken, things would go quick.. I told her yes. Thankfully the waters were clear but oh my gosh.. As soon as she broke them I had a contraction that took my breath away. I tried to breath through it. This was now real labor.. I sat on the toilet whilst my sister got me a pad. The water just kept coming and coming. I had a contraction on the toilet and then another one as I was walking down the stairs. I couldn't walk through them anymore so I concentrated on my breathing. I was having one every minute now and sat on the sofa breathing through each one. My Mum and Sister breathed with me whilst Anthony sat nearby. He was there if I needed him but not in my face the whole time. 

Derri called the second midwife and filled her in on what was happening.. I knew that the birth was close because the second midwife was being alerted. It seemed like she was there within five minutes but I know that it must have been at least half an hour. I stayed exactly where I was on the sofa and breathed through every contraction.

After Karen (second midwife) arrived, I heard Derri bring her up to speed. I had a contraction and moaned that I felt loads of pressure. I saw Derri look at Karen and say quietly 'transition'.. Part of me was so scared but also so excited that I was going to meet my daughter.

Originally I was planning on birthing upstairs but just before things picked up I stated that I couldn't do it in the bedroom. I wanted to stay in the living room so my Mum and Sister got all the stuff from the bedroom and placed it on the floor and sofa. Derri asked Aimee if she wanted to assist. They all know her from when she was a Maternity Support Worker.. Aimee jumped at the chance and all three of them put their gloves and aprons on at the same time that I suddenly announced that I wanted to push.

I tried every position possible to push.. Nothing seemed comfy and every time I pushed I had a searing pain in my stomach. With James I had to have a ventouse delivery so it was quick and I only pushed a few times. With Emilie I had to do it all on my own and I can remember pushing and feeling like nothing was happening. Aimee was telling me when to push and for how long. All three of them were telling me that her head was coming down but I thought they were lying because I couldn't feel it!

Anthony was at my side and didn't move. Every time I changed positions he moved with me. At this point I was lying flat on the sofa and had started to feel really nauseous. I was so scared that with the next push I was going to be sick. I started crying and telling them all that I couldn't do it anymore. Derri looked at me and told me that I had to. My daughter was coming and only I could get her out. She also told me to 'get a grip!'

I announced to the whole room that I wasn't pushing on the next contraction. I was going to breath through it. Off course Derri, Karen and Aimee knew that I would have to push but they humored me anyway. I sat on the sofa in the same position I had been in when I had my contractions. Just like I was having a cup of tea. The contraction came and I started to breath.. Before I knew it I was pushing. I wished I had pushed the whole time like that. I could actually feel it doing something. Aimee told me she could see the head and to keep the pushing going. Derri and Karen were either side of my legs whilst Aimee was front and center leading me through the contractions. After each one Karen was checking the baby's heartbeat. I pushed for about four contractions like this until all three of them told me to pant. The head was coming out and Derri wanted to control it so I didn't tear. I tried my hardest to pant but my body was pushing without me doing anything. I kept trying to stop it. I could feel Derri's hands controlling Emilie's head whilst Anthony was next to me. Someone, I can't remember who, asked me if I wanted to feel the head but I refused. It was taking all my energy to try and not push. Then Aimee told me the head was out. I looked down and saw a mass of black hair. Derri let Aimee take over then and told her that on the next contraction the baby would be born and reminded her of where to place her hands to catch the baby.

That contraction came at 11.40pm and Aimee delivered Emilie right onto my chest. I couldn't believe it. I had delivered my daughter, at home without pain relief.. And my Sister had been the one to deliver her. I announced to the room.. 'I done it! I've really done it!'

I held Emilie whilst I was given the injection to deliver the placenta. Poor Anthony couldn't get close to me or Emilie because my Mum and Aimee were so excited. In the end he asked.. "Can I see my wife and daughter!" I handed him Emilie whilst Derri tried to deliver the placenta but it took a while and didn't want to come out for quite a bit.

Emilie was then weighed and checked over her apgar scores were brilliant... 9 and 10.. She weighed 6lb 3.5oz and was perfect. I felt like I was on cloud nine. After about an hour her body temperature dropped. We had to dress her, wrap her in a blanket and put her with me under a quilt with a hot water bottle to try and bring it back up. It took a while but thankfully it did because I really didn't want to be transferred to hospital after having the perfect home birth.

The midwifes and Aimee ended up staying till nearly 3am. It was so nice to not feel rushed like it is when you're in a hospital. Everything was relaxed and calm. I managed to get Emilie latched on and she then promptly fell asleep. After everyone left, Anthony and I tried to get some sleep too but I was on such an adrenaline high I managed forty five minutes. I couldn't wait for James to come home that morning and meet his baby sister.

It's been two weeks and I'm only just starting to feel normal again. We've had a few problems with feeding, weight loss and a two night hospital stay but this has turned out longer that I had intended so I'll save that for another post tomorrow.

After all my worries about whether a home birth would be the right decision I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. If I had to make the same decision again, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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  1. Congratulations! She's adorable! And good for you on the home birth. I don't think that's something I could do so kudos to you!

    1. Thank you! It took me ages to decide whether to try and deliver at home or to just go for a hospital birth. I'm so glad now that I made the decision that I did. It was scary but totally worth it :)


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