I started getting pains on 16th December the day after going onto maternity leave at 37 weeks pregnant. The pains were very mild though and I thought it was just my pelvis feeling achy, they got a bit worse through the day on the 17th but were constant rather than coming and going and I was able to carry on as normal, walking the dog and doing some housework. I had a routine midwife appointment late afternoon that day, where we went through my birth plan and she had a feel of baby's position and I was pleased to discover baby was in the optimum position. The midwife said I may or may not be in labour and to call if things got going. My husband went to get us some dinner and snacks in case this was labour as our weekly shop wasn't due till the next day! We had a nice evening, I still had mild pains and they had started coming and going. We put on a nice Christmassy film and at 22.30 I felt (and heard) a sudden pop. My waters had broken. We called the labour line to let them know and they said to call when contractions got closer together. We also called my mum, a retired midwife, who came over. My contractions really ramped up suddenly, close together and very intense. This initially frightened me, as I had been a long labour with my first baby and was concerned that I wouldn't be able to cope with the pain at that level if the labour went on for hours. I started using the hypnobirthing techniques and got into my own zone. My husband called the midwives back and my Mum told them she thought I was moving along quickly. My husband started getting the birthing pool we had hired ready and filling up. Within about an hour and a half of my waters breaking, I was feeling the need to push and the midwife still hadn't turned up. I was managing the pain using the breathing, visualisation and anchoring techniques I had learnt on the course, but there was no time to get in the pool! The midwife finally arrived to find me nearly pushing, she examined me and found I was fully dilated. I started pushing and Grace was born within half an hour, weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces. She was born on the floor in our living room with no complications and my Mum and husband present. The placenta was delivered naturally 20 minutes later. The second midwife turned up about an hour after she was born!
It felt amazing afterwards to have had the home birth that I had hoped for, even though it was a bit quicker than expected! I'm sure using the hypnobirthing techniques and learning so much about the birth process on the course enabled me to cope with the situation and to cope with the pain. I think learning about the hormones involved in labour and how to optimise the environment to aid this natural process also really helped to enable me to have the birth I wanted.