I decided to have a home birth for my second child after having a hospital birth for my first child in which I'd laboured mostly at home and showed up 10 minutes before my son popped out.
That's not to say it was a quick labour, it was probably about seven hours, but afterwards I felt as though I could have comfortably stayed at home and delivered my son without having to trek down to the cold and sterile birth facility of my local hospital.
So for my second pregnancy, my partner and I decided early on that we were keen to stay at home for this delivery. We got prepared, bought a pool, did a couples' massage program, I did yoga, we got homeopathy products, and we had a couple of great midwives on board so we felt quite prepared.
On the day I went in to labour, it was about 2pm when I started to have twinges. My partner was not working that day so he started setting up the lounge as our birthing suite with bed, pool, everything I would need.
About 7.30pm we contacted the midwife and she came over. I was in a lot of pain, having contractions one on top of the other and there didn't seem to be any respite. However, I was only 3cm dilated, so my midwife decided to go home and check on us later.
I continued to labour and about 1.15am I got into the birth pool for relief. At that point my waters broke and I felt a massive pressure had been released. I knew my daughter was on her way, and soon.
I told my partner to call the midwife, knowing full well she wouldn't be there in time.
I asked my partner to get into the pool with me as I could feel the baby pushing to get out. In between contractions I told him to get her as she came out.
I swear she swam like a frog as she popped out and came up to the surface. I was exhausted and for about 10 minutes or so the three of us floated on the side of the pool with baby asleep on my chest until the midwife arrived.
It remains the most incredible and intimate moment of my life and I don't regret for a moment that we chose to have her in the comfort of our own home.
I recommend a home birth to anyone, though possibly with a midwife on hand!
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