Amy’s First Homebirth

Day 1. Early Labour

Somewhere around 4am I awoke with cramping, no stronger than period pain but quite obvious that this was the beginning. They kept me up with half hourly hits until I gave in and got out of bed. This was the day of one of my dearest friends wedding. I had been asked to give a reading and I was determined to do so.

As we are all warned, early labour can keep us on our toes for quite some time and the advice is to continue normally. With this in mind and a planned home birth on the cards I felt little stress at the thought of driving to the wedding an hour away.

I had a contraction mid way through my reading but apart from a big deep breath in and a grasp of the bump I think it went relatively unnoticed.

Minutes between contractions closed up to 15 and I began losing my plug. The next goal mark was to leave after the first dance, I had made it this far I thought. They danced, I cried, we left.

The journey home was interrupted by a McDonalds stop with friends we were taking home. I needed to wee and this McDonalds had a bouncer! I had to convince him that I was actually in labour. There in the toilet of the McDonalds, opposite the remains of the dodgy club we all used to frequent, I lost the last of my plug. Classy.

I went home to bed and tried to sleep as best I could.

Day 2. Labour

Awful sleep, the contractions were only 15 minutes apart but the pain had upped a level. I remember a blurry call to a friend “am I in Labour?” er yes Amy, yes you are. It was so great not having to leave for the hospital. Both my family and Andy’s family popped in and out throughout the day, bringing lunch, snacks and well wishes.

We watched a Sex and They City boxset until I started to struggle more and more. My lovely, amazing, total don of a Midwife, Marie, had been giving the flu jabs all day so another Midwife had popped over during the day for a little examine. It was literally that, she examined me and put me at 3cm and then left, ace! I loved this relaxed approach to the fact that a baby would soon be tunnelling it’s way out of my body. They were chilled so I was.

For those that don’t know, the ideal position for baby to be in during labour is an anterior position. This is the position where the baby lays head down, back to mums stomach where they are able to curl up, tuck their chins in and make their escape in the easiest way, they are born looking at your bottom basically.

When a baby is back to back, sunny side up or the technical term in a Posterior position baby is head down, but their back is along your back and the back of their head is against your spine. They are born looking up at the world, not at your bottom. The most common analogy is that giving birth to a back to back baby is like putting on a polo jumper with your head facing the sky, not with your chin down and it totally is!

My baby was back-to-back and had been since my last appointment. I was given some exercises to try and naturally encourage the movement of the baby that I carried on doing during the day. 

Often with a back to back labour the pain is focused in the back, this actually wasn’t the case here. 

A later drop in from the on call Midwife did involve her trying to turn the baby. What started as some pushing on the tummy that was uncomfortable enough did end with an internal attempt at turning the baby. I’m not going to lie, it totally hurt but eyes on the prize people.

6pm’ish Marie arrived, after a full days work love her, all hail the Midwife life, Andy began to fill the birth pool. The pool we used for this birth was a community pool so was free of charge. We had to buy a liner for it obviously but it was all of £20, if memory serves.

About the same time I made a phone call to my Mum. We hadn’t really discussed her being there at the birth but the time was here and I’m not ashamed to say I wanted my Mum. She came over, camera in hand and was absolutely wonderful.

I climbed in the birth pool with Andy and we laughed, joked and munched on ice pops. As the pain intensified and contractions became more frequent Marie allowed me to use the Gas and Air – Hallelujah. I inhaled the absolute crap out of it. So much so that we actually ran out and Marie had to venture to the nearest hospital to pick up some more! My Mother was nervous at this point as labour was well under way and I was almost at transition.

When you have a home birth you receive the attention of two midwifes, totally the VIP treatment. The idea is that when baby comes there is someone to look after Mum and someone to look after baby. Our second midwife arrived shortly before our baby was born. Marie had unsuccessfully tried to break my waters and the pool was actually slowing down my contractions. After some failed attempts at pushing we went into the bedroom. My waters lovingly broke on my mothers converse as I climbed on the bed, sorryyyyyyy Mum.

Under the instruction of Marie, Andy had one of my legs as my Mother had the other. I pushed. After little time I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, at 1.10am, my Due Date baby, Max Campbell Cooper, 8.13lb. He was born sideways so the grizzly turning had helped. He had a bruise on his head from being stuck in such an awkward position but he was here! Our lives were changed and it was amazing. The placenta followed shortly after and I was given a quick stitch.

Andy and my Mum drained the pool, hose out of the window into a drain. The hose came flying back through the kitchen window and was hurling birth water all over the place. I imagine it was equal parts horror and entertainment but I was none the wiser from the bedroom.

I was in the bubble, the blissful, proud as punch, smug as you like, teary eyed baby bubble. I was in my bed alone feeding Max as the make shift labour ward was returned to lounge.

My poor Mum was drenched from the lovely hose experience, the waters breaking on her feet and from me holding her so tight I was basically pulling her into the birthing pool. She changed into some of my clothes before speeding home to tell the family.

At 3am Andy and I were alone in our home, with our baby and it was sheer perfection.

Little things…

  • My decision for a home birth was based on research and requested by myself at 7 weeks pregnant.
  • I was 25, healthy and low risk.
  • Little to no-one agreed with my decision, including my Mum – Post birth she said it was a wonderful experience and it changed her view on home births.
  • Everyone told me I was mad and that I wouldn’t be able to do it.
  • It gave me a sense of control over my ‘surprise’ pregnancy.
  • Throughout labour I had Lavender oils burning to relax me.
  • Ice pops, frozen Jaffa cakes and Lucozade energy drinks were my labour snacks of choice.
  • I had a panic attack at about 4am after waking up and had to ring my midwife who talked me down from blind anxiety.
  • Our neighbours delivered bacon sandwiches in the morning.
  • Our families didn’t have to wait for visiting hours to come and see us and Max met his other Grandparents first thing.
  • I did it.
  • I did it again.

Image from Charlene’s Home Tour on Rock My Style.

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Follow Amy on instagram @amycampbellcooper

22 Comments. Leave new

This was lovely to read! I’m very tempted by a home birth if I have another. My first labour was very quick and we only just made it to the hospital in time and all the midwives suggested a home birth next time. I was initially very against it but the more I think about it the more I like the idea!

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Oh wow, close call. They say second comes quicker too. I would agree, my second was a much faster labour – thank goodness hahaha. I have had two homebirths and my third labour would have been but we were blue lighted last minute. I still got to enjoy (maybe wrong word ha) the most part at home, she too came pretty much immediately on arrival xx

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Thank you for the wonderful story! My EDD is Saturday and I’m booked for a homebirth. My first was born in a birth centre but the hospital environment wasn’t ideal and I’m sure slowed things down. I’m 29, low risk and managed with gas and air/water last time so I’m confident (ahem, ish) I can manage at home. Mostly I’m looking forward to getting into my own bed with my baby and her big brother coming home to meet her without having to wait for visiting hours/discharge etc.

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Eeeeeeeeeek so exciting for you! The moments you are describing are so true and you really can’t beat your own bed can you? All the absolute best with it, let us know how it goes x

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This is awesome! Isn’t it just the best not having to deal with wards or hospital food or rules?

After the Paddy fiasco if we have a third it will definitely be a PLANNED homebirth. Which is now the only option in my area apart from a 50 minute drive to the big city. While I’m all for homebirth I felt the local birthing centre offered a great halfway house and it’s a shame it’s gone- I suspect many more women will choose the drive over homebirth which is a real shame as it’s amazing!

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50 minutes! That just sounds far too stressful. My lovely friend gave birth in the car on the way to the hospital! haha can you imagine. After is amazing! so nice, so normal and to be in your own environment when you are so vulnerable is just fantastic. I agree, birth centres offer a great halfway house. Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment xx

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What a fantastic birth story. It’s so refreshing to have someone talk about how long labour can take from the start. I spent the first 12 hours of my labour nipping round Tesco and B&Q, and making sure the car had petrol. Kudos for making it to a wedding! xx

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Isn’t it such a drag! Hahaha loving that, errands to be run, life doesn’t stop. Ha thanks xx

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This sounds amazing. I’d be too scared to try a home birth, especially after needing an assisted delivery the first time, but the idea of being able to snuggle baby in my own bed is so tempting. On a totally separate note, frozen Jaffa Cakes? I need to try that!

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YOU NEED TO! So good xxx

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That was so lovely to share Amy, I have to say I would have loved to have done the same but was too scared.The car journeys were awful.
People sharing their experience like you may encourage others. I didn’t enjoy the hospital at all although NHS are brilliant considering their lack of funding. The first time I couldn’t leave because they didn’t have the right paperwork to discharge me so the second time I made sure it was all in place so I was home a few hours after the birth but to be in the peacefulness of home would have been bliss especially for the baby.

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Thanks Jane x Aren’t they wonderful. I spent two nights in hospital after having Meade and hated it. I don’t feel like I connected with her straight away either. You just can’t beat coming home can you? xxx

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Aww, this is so lovely Amy! Yay! What a fab, relaxing way to have a baby. 🙂

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Thanks Kate. It really was, I loved it. My advise to pregnant mothers is always “enjoy it” it seems silly doesn’t it but it’s life changing and one of the best stories you will ever tell xx

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Oh Any what an amazing story! I actually really thought about a home birth with Tayo but hey ho… you can’t win them all. Can’t wait to read the second one 😘

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We are all warriors however they come out, come to be or are born xxx

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Amy this has convinced me – next time round I’m aiming for a home birth!!! Ekkkkk I’ve said it out loud and written it down now, it has to happen!!!! What a lovely way to bring Max into the world 🙂

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Paper trail! hahahahaha Can the team be there? hahahahaa xx

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Love love love that you made it to the wedding! xx

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Yay! I’m such a massive home birth advocate 🙂 My boy Franklin was born at home, here’s his birth story if anyones interested:http://www.rockmyfamily.co.uk/calming-home-birth-alices-story/ and I am fully intending to have another (all being well) if we are blessed with a second.

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Rebecca Fitzjohn
7th August 2017 6:15 am

I too was booked in for a home birth with my first child, Noah. Everyone thought I was mad, especially as it was my first, but I knew that this decision was best for baby and me. However, he arrived by emergency c-section, so while nothing went to plan, I totally loved Noah’s birth and I think that is all down to the control and empowerment I felt from choosing a home birth.

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