Jodie had a home birth and water birth with her second son, and here she tells us about it in her own words
"It was Wednesday 4 April 2018, I was 40+4 with our second son. Our first son, Charlie, who was 2 years old, was busy playing at nursery, whilst we had a routine appointment with the midwife to get to. Charlie arrived at 36 weeks, and quite dramatically, so going overdue this time was physically and emotionally gruelling. With that, I had decided to have a stretch and sweep during the appointment at 1pm that day,. I can’t deny that I had well and truly had enough of being pregnant!
"The sweep went to plan and the midwife was confident that over that next week, things should progress. So off we went, feeling hopeful. I went home for some lunch and my husband Ben went back to work. Well, 1 hour later, at around 2pm, came the contractions, hard and fast, with little break in between. I called the midwife for her to arrange some back up.
"I couldn't quite believe it, it was finally happening, with my instincts kicking in, it was time to call Ben to come back home, lay out my affirmations, put some relaxing music on, and get into the zone.
"It took me a while to settle into it all because it had started so soon after the sweep that, honestly, I didn't feel at all mentally prepared! So I paced around for about an hour, up and down the stairs, kneeling against Charlies’ bed for some form of comfort along with some rocking and swaying in the bath tub. None of which seemed to be easing the pain of the contractions. By this point, Ben was home, setting up the birth pool in the living room, and two wonderful midwives had arrived.
"At around 3pm, Ben helped me down the stairs into my birth space, where I spent the next 90 minutes on all fours against the sofa, roaring like some sort of wild animal. I honestly thought that a home birth would/should be quiet and peaceful, but I learnt quickly that in the moment, when your instincts are taking over, you do what feels right, and letting my inner lioness out (excuse the cheese but it’s the only way I can describe it!) during the contractions gave me some sort of relief and enabled me to focus on what my body was doing. It felt powerful and gave me a sense of being in control.
"By now, Ben had managed to get the pool to the right temperature, so at around 4:30pm I hopped (but more like flopped!) in and felt an instant release. My shoulders dropped and it all felt much more manageable. The warmth of the water took most of the pain from my contractions away, just a shame it couldn’t take the lower back pain with it though! I trusted my body and went with it, nothing forced, no medical interruptions, just wave after wave, breath after breath, roar after roar. I felt every stretch, every inch that our baby was moving down, and it was great to feel the progress that my body was making.
"And that's exactly where I stayed, on all fours in the pool until 6:04pm when our gorgeous baby boy, George, was born, weighing 8lb 4oz.
"And at 6:15pm, arrived my mum and step-dad with Charlie. And there it was, our family complete and finally all together in one room.
"Writing this story, feels like I'm writing some sort of a fairy tale, one which I was desperate for, but never thought I would experience, not me, with my head full of doubts for the last 6 months, I wondered if births like this only happened to women in America on YouTube!
"But it happened, after a pregnancy with plenty of hurdles, lots of people telling me I was crazy to be considering a home birth, and with a previous labour which made it seem impossible...it happened, on its own time, and in its own way.
"And for anyone interested/feeling self doubt/just unsure on having a home birth, here are my stats:
assisted delivery, stitches, the lot
fully dosed up on diamorphine
14 hour labour
5 day stay in hospital
6 week recovery
natural delivery, no tears or grazes
no pain relief
4 hour labour
my own bed a few hours later
48 hour recovery
"I had a really specific birth plan which I think is important to mention because I think that it was part of the reason why things went to plan for me/us. It was stuck to our kitchen door for the midwives to refer to.
"I wanted to feel in tune with my body, so 'please don't offer gas and air' was on the birth plan. Along with, no vaginal examinations, to be discretely observed from a distance, and not to have any coached pushing.
"I also requested for the cord not to be clamped and for us to be left alone, Ben, the baby and I, immediately after the birth to bond (of course as long as everything was okay).
"And thanks to our two wonderful midwives for being so respectful and supportive and to Ben for being my rock, we did it and I got to experience the home birth I had dreamt of."