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Hazel’s Birth Story, Born at Home in the Pool.

NHS due date 23/10/2023
Actual due date 31/10/2023
Weight 5lbs 10ozs 
With our first baby I had a lovely hospital birth, spending most of my labour in the pool, but the final pushing stage was very quick and I suffered a third degree tear. I healed well, but with our next baby, 2 years later, I was concerned about a possible repeat tear, or potentially a worse one so opted for a c section, which all went well and I made a good recovery.
Fastforward 4 years, pregnant for the third time, I felt that a repeat vaginal birth would be the best option long term for me, and I still had ‘unfinished business’ with natural births – you cannot recreate the high of meeting your baby with all of those hormones, and the recovery is clearly easier. 
I was set on recreating all of the loveliness of my previous birth, hopefully without the tear, but it was clear that the hospital system were not happy with this and I was labelled ‘high risk’ due to the previous tear & c section and would be subject to all the extra monitoring which I was not willing to do. I even changed hospitals but this was still going to be the case. After a frustrating phone call with one consultant who laughed at me and told me I was ‘very funny’ when I said I didn’t believe myself to be high risk on the basis of one previous c section alone.
I needed to get out of that system.
I started researching my options & found an amazing independent midwife who I clicked with from our first zoom meeting. All of my care from then on was done by her during long & comfortable home visits where we got the chance to discuss everything and anything, including our kids, who are the same age. 
I had been given extra growth scans with my other two pregnancies, which caused a lot of worry, and both babies were on the 20th centile. I was expecting the same this time and declined extra scans and fundal measurements – I was happy with movements and had no concerns. I am so glad I made this decision as it could have scuppered everything! Bailey supported all my choice without judgement.
I took a couple of weeks off before my due date and enjoyed spending time with the older kids. I expected to go ‘overdue’ by at least a week and was very chilled about letting things happen in their own time.
I had been having braxton hicks for a few weeks and these intensified into contractions on the 30th Oct, but I carried on with my day and even took my 4 year old to the cinema at 4pm, I had 8 contractions during the film and I was wondering about a plan B! Things continued in the same way all evening, but I didn’t make a big deal of it with my partner as I didn’t want to be pestered and was aware this could go on for some time.
We went to bed at 11pm, but I was breathing through contractions every 10mins so I couldn’t sleep, and I came downstairs on my own at about 1am. I  timed my contractions alongside getting the living room and birth pool ready, which was not easy, but I really just wanted to be on my own.
I woke my partner up at 4am so he could call Bailey to come, I have never seen him move so quickly so he must have been expecting something to happen! She arrived about 30mins later with gas and air (I had one puff and decided it wasn’t working for me, it was taking me away from my breathing which had been working so well). She knew things were progressing as I was on my tiptoes with every contraction and she barely got chance to do much as the contractions were so close together at this point. My partner had been madly filling the birth pool (with buckets in the end he snapped the kitchen tap in the process!)
The pool was finally filled and ready at about 5.30, it was such a relief to get in and my contractions stopped for a couple of minutes which gave me a lovely rest. My body started to push and I was just trying to relax and breathe through it – it was very intense, not necessarily painful, but I promised myself in that moment that this would be my last baby!!
I could feel the baby’s head a few inches inside. She emerged at 5.45, head and body in one and Bailey told me to bring the baby out of the water. Her body felt impossibly small and she still had some vernix on her. She was alert straightaway but didn’t cry, she was calm. We found out her gender at that point and I stayed in the water to feed her for the first time and wait for the placenta. The water was clear initially, which made me suspect that I hadn’t had another bad tear. Some clots came away before the placenta, but it did come away on its own after about 20mins, which was a big relief. I moved to the sofa to feed baby again and be inspected for any damage. I had a very small labial tear, which required one stitch with gas and air – I was amazed at this outcome – I had been preparing myself for a hospital transfer to be stitched up. 
We weighed baby in a fabric sling (so much nicer than scales!) and she was a tiny 5lbs 10ozs, with a head circumference of 34.5cm, completely healthy and happy. 
Shortly after this our older children came downstairs as they had heard crying and they met their sister for the first time – they have been besotted ever since.
It was the most perfect and incredible experience. After hot drinks and the obligatory buttered toast, I went up to my own bed for a nap. We had some visitors later that day (to take the kids trick or treating!) but i didn’t leave the house for 5 days, which was amazing. Physically the recovery has also been incredible and i was back to usual activities very quickly. 
I am so grateful to Bailey @ Your Private Midwife for this experience. Thanks must also go to the inflexible NHS consultants who ‘guided’ me towards this decision…! Baby Hazel has been a lovely and chilled baby from day one, and I credit her birth with this. 
We wish we had known about Bailey for our furst two births!
VBAC Home Birth 41 weeks.

Full Care Bundle

Faye, Tom & Baby Hazel 2023