An Unplanned (And Very Quick) Homebirth

When one of our lovely readers, Lucy, sent us her birth story we just had to share it with you. Not at all as she planned, but so perfect, and she was surrounded by the people she loves. Sometimes it’s not as you imagined but exactly as it should be.

Second babies come quicker. Everyone I ever spoke to while pregnant with my second child told me that. Ladies in the supermarket, my midwife, my friends, my mum. Brilliant, I thought. My daughter took 3 days and needed forceps to haul her into the world. Any advance on that would be good.

I did not expect a labour that lasted just under an hour.

I was 6 days overdue, and every one of those days felt like an eternity. I had tried everything- clary sage baths, bouncing on a birth ball (and a trampoline on a day out with my toddler…), spicy food. I had daily treatments from my acupuncturist mum. I put up and shut up when people I barely knew told me to get busy with my husband. I had had strong Braxton Hicks every evening for 3 weeks. Every night I got my hopes up. Every morning I woke up and nothing had happened.

Until that morning. My daughter woke me at about 5:45. She settled quickly back to sleep, but I felt strange. I had some strong twinges. I decided against going back to bed, and went to get a drink and something to eat. By the time I had pottered about for 20 minutes I realised this was the real thing, and woke up my husband and my mum, who was staying to take care of our little girl. We both had no idea she would soon be taking care of her big girl instead.
I was already having to breathe through the contractions, which made Mum nervous, although I was adamant that it would be hours yet. I dispatched my husband into the shower while she nervously pointed out I could be further on than I thought I was. To satisfy her, I phoned our local midwife-led unit where I planned to give birth. Nobody could answer the phone, so it was transferred to another unit, who promised to get someone to call me back. I got off the phone and needed the toilet.

While on the loo (sorry, this story isn’t glamorous… but then what labour is?!) the contractions became much more intense. My toddler woke and called for me. I couldn’t keep the discomfort out of my voice as I stumbled out of the bathroom. I couldn’t handle the return phone call- we would have to go the regional hub as the local unit had both rooms occupied. I began to strip off, complaining I was boiling hot. I also began to freak out a little- my hypnobirthing visualisations and borrowed TENS machine weren’t doing anything. Cue Mum’s horrified realisation that “shit, love, you’re in transition.” When your mother swears, you know things are serious.

I got onto our bed on all fours, as we hurriedly bundled the duvet out of harm’s way. The irresistible urge to bear down came over me- I felt the pressure of his head and body moving down. It was incredible- my epidural with my first had worn off at this point and I’d screamed and panicked from the pain. I felt none of that fear or pain, only intensity and excitement. I went inside myself, barely aware of my daughter’s wails from behind her bedroom door gate, or that my poor Mum and husband were playing a terrifying game of Chinese Whispers where he spoke to the 999 dispatcher and she stood ready to catch baby. Having taught NCT classes, she had enough knowledge to be very frightened by what was happening: what if baby’s shoulders got caught? What if I began to bleed?

Thankfully, neither of those things happened. Paddy steadily emerged into the world, caught by his Nannie with Daddy supporting his slippery body. I was ecstatic to see him, as his little body flushed red- he was so peaceful and relaxed, my rainbow baby. I held him close, amazed that I’d had the kind of birthing experience I had thought was bullshit. I genuinely felt no pain, only euphoria as my little boy latched onto my breast. It was just an hour since I had woken up- 6:45am.

The ambulance turned up about ten minutes later, and clamped his cord so my husband could cut it. They tried to give me gas and air to deliver the placenta- I took a couple of gasps to be polite but was high as a kite on endorphins anyway. As soon as it was delivered I demanded a shower- everyone was too nervous to stop me as I trashed the landing carpet and came back to feed Paddy again, just as a lovely midwife arrived. As it turned out, my old scar had opened and I needed stitches, but as soon as baby was checked and they were finished the ambulance was sent off and I was able to settle into newly changed bedlinen in my own bed with my precious baby beside me. Our toddler came in to see me, hold her new brother and steal my toast. Our world had changed.

I feel incredibly lucky to have had a birth like this, especially after my first experience, which left me with a dural puncture in the short term and nightmares and anxiety in the long term. Paddy is incredibly lucky to have the best Nannie in the world, the first face he saw as he entered it.

I think Mum, my husband and I would all prefer a professional midwife and planned homebirth if there’s a next time, mind.

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Lottie loves teaching her girls to be cake baking and crafting supremos. It may be messy but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Follow Lottie on instagram @buttercreamanddreams

46 Comments. Leave new

Oh wow what an amazing and wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. What an awesome way to enter the world. I really enjoyed reading this 😍

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Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it. Just been and had a nosey on your website and my goodness your photos are incredible! Xx

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This gave me goosebumps! Amazing, Lucy. Well done all of you x

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Thanks lovely, you were the person who encouraged me to write up and send in so it’s all your doing! Love to you, L and J. And you are SMASHING it over on RMS this morning too. Xxx

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I’m so glad I did! Amazing story and so beautifully written x

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Wow, amazing story! I am planning a homebirth this time round (baby 2), but if she wants to pop out in an hour then I’ll be very happy!!

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Thank you- fingers crossed for you. It’s so lovely just being in your own space xx

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Love your story Lucy and hope you’re all keeping well. 😘
My first was long and a little like yours (although no forceps or epidural) at 3 days with 15 hrs in hospital before delivery and a wonderful cocktail of drugs… hoping for a second one a bit like yours too!

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Ahhh these first babies Zorena! So much trouble, bless them. Hope you are all doing well, loving your Insta pics xxx

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This is such an awesome and heartwarming story. Congratulations again on the safe arrival of your lovely little boy! Xx

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Thank you so much lovely xxx

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My first was like this; less than two hours, no pain and only two pushes! Thankfully my husband was there to play midwife!

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Only two pushes! That’s incredible! Hope your husband was ok- I’m not sure how mine would have coped solo xxx

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Wonderful story and congratulations to you all! I too am pregnant with my second and planning a homebirth… fingers crossed it’s this quick!! X

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Thank you- and really really hope you get your homebirth. I had dismissed the idea beforehand but it’s totally magical xxx

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Wow what a lovely story. I’m sure it was a bit scary it all happening so quickly but the post birth part sounds magical. All being together at home must have been lovely.

I also had a quick second labour but thankfully I was already at the hospital in maternity triage as I had gone in to be induced (and sent my husband home as I thought it would take days). I didn’t realise that I was in labour as I only had a bit of period type pain and with my first labour the contractions were very strong. After about an hour of wandering about and drinking a coffee from the hospital branch of Costa (yep I really didn’t know I was in labour) the period pain escalated into proper contractions I was pleased that things were finally ‘starting’. From that point it look 20 mins for my baby to be born. I never made it to the delivery suite and instead gave birth in the triage department only a few minutes after my husband arrived. Needless to say if we have a third it’ll be a planned home birth and I won’t leave the house if I have even the slightest twinge!

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Loving the Costa labour- do you reckon if you’d had baby there you would have free coffee for life?! Very lucky your husband made it in time.

Funnily enough I wasn’t scared at all… although everyone else was petrified! I think my brain just turned off…!

Fingers crossed if you decide to go for number 3… a contentious topic here 😉 Xxx

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Kat I was also in the hospital Costa in the early stages of labour, totally fine, then all of a sudden it ramped up massively and I was bent over a chair trying not to shout while my husband was paying for his breakfast panini 😂 Baby arrived pretty soon after that! I also have a friend who headed to the hospital costa having been told to go for a walk and while in the queue she suddenly felt the babies head and had to get straight to delivery! Maybe Costa is the place to go while in labour! X

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Ha ha that’s brilliant Sarah. Who knew costa could bring on labour? We should write a medical paper, we could save the NHS thousands on induction medication!

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This is such an amazing birth story, I love it! My second was also much quicker but not THAT quick! So pleased you had your mum there as well as your husband! Do you think the hypnobirthing helped in the end as you say you didn’t feel pain while pushing? I actually found my quicker labour more painful (both just gas and air in a birthing pool) but I think I panicked at the speed of it all and the fear made the pain more intense. If I was to have a third I think I’d try hypnobirthing in the hope I could control that panic and fear better x

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Thanks so much glad you enjoyed it.

I’m not sure if it was the hypnobirthing as I wasn’t in the sleepy trance state and was aware of everything. But maybe the conditioning beforehand helped? I can say it was amazing for my anxiety and got rid of the labour nightmares I was having regularly before starting. I guess a question of nothing to lose and everything to gain?

I’m a little jealous of your pool births- I think I’m doomed to never have one and they sound so amazing! Xxx

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Fern Godfrey
20th June 2017 9:40 am

Lucy this is just wonderful. Such a lovely story to read on a sunny morning 🙂

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😘😘 Have a lush day! Beach later? I hear we are due thunderstorms in Devon and Cornwall tonight!

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Fern Godfrey
20th June 2017 4:28 pm

Most definitely! We have truly been making the most of it 🙂 it looks like we both have proper beach babes!

Ohh I hope so, love a good thunder storm!!! xxx

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The most beautiful story! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 x

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Thank you lovely so glad you enjoyed reading it xxx

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Just amazing Lucy. I think I’d be terrified! x

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If you had said to me this would happen I think I would have felt that way but on the day my body just did it for me! No fear at all, but I had it easy- Mum and husband are both still slightly traumatised by the whole thing. Xx

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It’s stories like this that make me want a homebirth next time around. Love it!

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Go for it Sarah! When it works out it’s amazing xx

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My first labour was very quick and afterwards all the midwives kept saying ‘you better plan a home birth with the second, as they come even quicker’ and I had thought no way never to a home birth but actually your story may have changed my mind!

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I wanted a home birth all along but was persuaded against booking one by my husband who was very much against the idea- he was worried about mess and the distance to hospital. But if all is smooth then it is just bliss to be at home in your own space, especially afterwards- no wards, no communal bathrooms, no visiting hours etc!

Glad you enjoyed the story xxx

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Such a lovely story! Love that your little one was welcomed into the world by his nana!

All three of mine were born at home (planned!) and after 15 hours with my first boy, my daughter made an appearance in an hour and a half! it was a good job that we were planning a home birth as I’m not sure we’d have made it to the hospital if not! I had a midwife with me for the last ten minutes! My husband was so scared that the third would be even quicker that he you tubed and googled clips on how to deliver a baby just in case the midwife didn’t make it in time!

And completely agree about getting into your own bed afterwards! Being at home and in your own space after the birth was the thing that sold it to me!! Xx

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Dying to know how fast #3 arrived Rachel, and you’re so right- it is brilliant to just relax at home afterwards. Amazing to have had all three at home- very special indeed xx

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Number 3 was a much more stop start affair! Ted kept us waiting and went 8 days over (😡) and I had lots of evenings when we thought we were off and then fizzled to nothing! Contractions started properly at 9am and he arrived at 12.12! Although right up until 11.30 I refused to believe I was in actual labour or acknowledge the contractions that were every minute and a half for fear that it would all stop again! 3 hours in total but a much more controlled experience than the middle one! And he weighed in at a whopping 9lb 11oz!!!

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Congratulations Lucy! This is such a lovely birth story, I’m sobbing here (although that could be the hormones!) I had a pretty fast first labour and I’m currently 28 weeks with my second and planning a home birth. I hope it’s as amazing as this. Just lovely!

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Ahhh Kat sorry to catch you! Damn those hormones. I’m sure your birth will be incredible, it’s really so good to be at home. One thing I learnt the hard way- buy some of that sticky plastic floor covering decorators use (Screwfix sell it) and cover any and all floors you might encounter! Our landing carpet is pretty much ruined from my determination to shower…

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B and q sell massive plastic dust sheets which are really good to put under layers of towels and protect carpets! And start gathering towels! When you think you have enough get another ten! They don’t have to be lovely and new but even if you’re planning a pool birth you’ll need somewhere to sit or lay when you get out and the last thing you’ll want to be worrying about is your upholstery! Cover everything in towels with the dust sheet underneath and you’ll be fine on the mess front! X

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Thank you both, I will get collecting towels and plastic sheets! Good to know the less glamorous details 🙂

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Wow Lucy what an amazing story. I have always thought a home birth seemed a scary prospect but I might think again if we have a second (I was induced with my son so my plan for a water birth in a midwife unit had to go out of the window) – not sure what my husband would think though! Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story x

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I think it all depends on where you are and how you feel- we are a long way from an obstetrician staffed labour ward which made my husband really anti home birth as we might have needed air ambulance in an emergency (can you imagine?!). But when all went well it was just so lovely to feel relaxed and comfortable and not worry about my bigger one. Very best of luck with number two xx

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Gosh I am jealous! What a great story though. I am very happy for your amazing experience!

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Haha Anja I was feeling exactly that jealousy in the days before- lots of people I know in real life and on IG had these dreamy idyllic water births and I was consumed with jealousy and convinced I would end up being induced and history repeating itself! You never can tell I guess xxx

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Wow great story!! So good you were at home and were able to share the experience! My second also came incredibly quick- I ended up giving birth in the car on the side of the North circular!! 2 pushes and no time to stop! Luckily my husband caught him! And agree with the excitement taking away the pain!!! Imagine how fast number three will be for you! Xxx

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Alice Rimes-Bowen
27th June 2017 12:24 pm

Another major homebirth advocate here too 🙂 http://www.rockmyfamily.co.uk/calming-home-birth-alices-story/ loved every single second of my homebirth, my absolute greatest achievement. Will most definitely do it again if we have a second.

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