Nikki's home birth story
Nikki tells us her home birth story
Nikki gave birth to baby Emyrah on 11th June weighing 6lbs 11oz.
Previous birth experiences
My first birth was a 36 hour labour that resulted in an epidural and episiotomy and a complicated recovery. My second was a quick water birth in a midwife-led unit in Norfolk and Norwich hospital which gave me the confidence for a homebirth.
My birth plan was to have a homebirth with pool using hypnobirthing.
Did a refresher hypnobirthing course which was very useful and attended a ‘meet the midwifes event’ so I got to meet all the homebirth team.
My pregnancy was straightforward and low risk, I just had lots of back issues second trimester which I saw an osteopath for.
Birth of baby Emyrah
My birth summary: empowering, instinctive, loving and joyful.
I was six and eight days last due date with previous babies so expected similar length this time so was surprised when on weds 10th at 39+3my waters went at 3pm.
I contacted the homebirth team to make aware but at that point the surges were only mild. I was concerned about 6pm as baby was very quiet so my lovely midwife Donna came over to listen in on her. She was fine and Donna felt things were being quite slow and my two and four-year old were running around like crazy. She left so I could concentrate on getting kids to bed.
My hubby took them to bed and I went for a rest about 8.30pm as the surges had stopped. Once I had relaxed they started again very quickly and intensified. My hubby had set up pool and birth area so we went downstairs together and spent time looking at photos of our kiddies to encourage oxytocin.
At 10pm they stopped I napped and surges stopped. At about 20 minutes later they really intensified and I called Donna back. I had been using tens machine and it had worked well up to this point but I knew I wanted to get into the pool.
Donna arrived shortly after, and I asked if she wanted to check me to see if I was ok to go in pool, but she said to trust my own body and to get in. No examinations needed. The pool felt amazing and so relaxing.
The second midwife Maria turned up 10 minutes later and the pool seemed to have slowed down the surges but not intensity. Very quickly I felt a change and knew baby was coming and asked for gas and air.
Throughout the labour my husband reminded me to relax my shoulders and jaw and to breathe. He also set up beautiful scenery pictures on the TV to help me remain calm and distract me. He just held me close and kept encouraging me and cut the cord. He was also my refreshment provider and kept making me have a drink.
I never once actively pushed just breathed and growled. Felt baby’s head but no ring of fire, just breathed and two surges later she was out, a surprise girl who was born at 2.06am on 11th June.
We delayed cord clamping and the placenta came out naturally itself about 30 minutes later and I needed gas and air for that. I was examined and no tear or graze at all and only 30ml blood loss too. Baby breastfed for 2 hours.
Midwifes described it as the most perfect homebirth they had been too and text book. They said the controlled breathing made such a difference instead of pushing.
We had loads of skin to skin in the pool then two hours of skin to skin breastfeeding and just taking her all in. It was magical and holding her was exhilarating.
We are so pleased she arrived safely and feel privileged to have had it go so well.
We are truly are so grateful the amazing support Donna has given us throughout our pregnancy and especially our baby’s birth. Donna has such strong people skills and is so suited to her role, she exudes warmth and confidence and I knew that with her I had made the right decision to have a homebirth. Both Donna and Maria made us feel empowered and relaxed which meant we got our dream birth. We always felt that we trusted their instincts and decision making and we will always remember this birth with such joy and thank them whole heartedly. In one of the hypnobirthing affirmations it says "my birth partner is on my side and by my side", in this case it was also true of our midwives.
I was very lucky that no baby blues at all, I really believe that’s because I had such a pleasant birth.
I hope many more woman can be empowered to have a homebirth and that the perception of ‘you’re brave’ changes.
We found hypnobirthing very useful, and if you can use a pool then great. My advice to other people would be: try to rest and trust your body!
Midwives Donna and Maria talk about the birth:
Nicola and her partner were just amazing it really was one of the most magical and beautiful births we've attended. The birth was made more special with Continuity of Carer as we had cared for Nicola throughout most of her pregnancy. To be there for the birth of her beautiful daughter was very very special and one we will never forget.
Nikki’s message to women who are due to give birth during the Covid-19 pandemic:
You can still have the birth you want and actually post natal lockdown has allowed us to adjust as a family of five with no pressure of having to rush around. We just literally take each day as it comes which we felt has really been a positive in this crisis.