Naomi's story

When things began with my second labour, I had mild cramps throughout the course of the day, and I was home with my two-year old.  I lent in doorways and on kitchen surface/furniture in between playing with him. He asked me what I was doing at one point and I said I have a special pain in my tummy as the baby is getting ready to come. For me, giving birth is an intimate life event, so to have him there at this point all felt quite natural and normal. 

Once he’d left with a close friend, things built up. I had a shower listening to music and had two contractions in there, leaning into the wall with the hot water on my back. It felt enjoyable and as I dried my hair in my room - recalling memories of getting ready for a night out - I felt a sense of calm.

I put on some joggers and went down to have some soup that my partner had just made. I stopped every few minutes  to lean on the birth ball, then carried on with the meal. Just us two, before we met our new baby. 

I then took myself off upstairs without saying much. I had made our small spare room into a birth space and the pool was there. I moved around there and in the hall alone. My partner came up and I would go to him for a hug/some pressure on my back/ a quick kiss whatever I felt. I swayed my hips.

As it was dark, I put on my fairy lights and shut the blinds. 

My waters broke and things intensified. I ended up on the sofa standing up and leaning on my partner saying I was sorry and feeling a little overwhelmed. I think that was probably transition. Very soon after this I felt pressure and my baby crowning - the pool was just on minimum and I knew how much a relief the water would be from my first birth so I quickly climbed in. 

My baby’s head came with the next surge and then I flipped onto my back and her body came - so fast I couldn’t organise my arms to get her so I asked my partner to get her out the water. 

I stayed skin to skin with her and the placenta came away about half an hour later. 

We sat and had cups of tea and I got changed and we all went to bed together. 

We had asked the midwife to come and they had advised us to come into hospital due to staff shortages.  But it all accelerated so quickly, there wasn't time to. It was so fast and if we had done what they'd said, she  would have been born in the car in November!

Feeling safe is fundamental to a good birth experience, I personally do not feel safe in hospital so being told to come to hospital is a big deal. I feel this is so little understood, the way in which a birth place you don't feel completely comfortable in can be an intervention in itself.

me, giving birth at home feels like anintimate life event...