Noah’s Birth Story

Noah’s Birth Story

After 4 weeks of testing and difficult latent labour (difficult as DH was working 10 hours a day and I had 2 others under 4 to look after), I point blank refused to believe I was in labour when I was awoken at 7 am on Monday 4th April with a huge contraction. Rationally I knew this was different from the previous few weeks, however, I was not prepared to let myself believe I was in labour, after all, this could all fizzle out, couldn’t it? So we went about our day. DH was now on holiday for a month. We had just had a lovely weekend where I had been thoroughly spoiled with lunch out on Saturday and then a trip with the children to the fair on Sunday (mother’s day). While I was there I had a couple of goes on the gallopers and returned home Sunday evening feeling unwell, so much so I slept on the sofa for an hour while DH put the children to bed. I suspect this was my blood pressure rising up in preparation for labour.

in labour

Monday morning and I was up at 7 am, mooing around the house every 8-10 minutes. I was very taken aback by how strong the contractions were, however, I didn’t think they would be doing anything as they were still so far apart. It was all so different to Felix’s labour and birth! DH set off on foot with the children to take our eldest to pre-school while I went and made a nest in the children’s room in the dark (hooray for blackout blinds). I then decided to check in with our doula just in case she had plans to be a bit further away than I felt comfortable with. 😉

“I think we might be having a baby today but I’m not sure” followed by a huge contraction and much more mooing. DH returned from pre-school with Felix and kindly asked me to accept that I was in labour and we would be having a baby today. I decided to phone my mum to let her know things might be happening as she would be having Lilia and Felix while I gave birth. We then decided to go to Sainsbury’s to stock up, before then picking Lilia up from pre-school. Being in the car did not feel good! Contractions were still 8-10 minutes apart but raging. Thankfully Sainsbury’s was quiet and no one took any notice of me holding on to shelves now and again whilst groaning. We arrived home just after 12 and I went straight back upstairs to my nest while DH got the children ready for Nanna’s house. I had told my mum she was fine to come over at about 3.30 after her shift had finished. I decided to have a bath to relax and thought that if things were going to stop, the bath would fizzle everything out. It did the opposite. Although they were still 8-10 minutes apart they were getting stronger and I was mooing louder and louder. After a particularly loud contraction I announced to DH I couldn’t wait for my mum any longer and he needed to ring her NOW!

I got out of the bath and went back into my dark nesting place. I was listening to music on my mp3 which was a brilliant distraction and really helped me relax while I laboured quietly alone. The children’s bunk beds were brilliant for hanging off while I contracted and the baby would kick me in between contractions letting me know he was ok and I was doing a brilliant Job.

My mum arrived at 2 pm and took the children off to her house. DH then busied himself setting up the pool and getting the front room ready. We closed all the curtains in the house and I felt comfortable enough to venture downstairs and pace around. At about 3 I suggested we went for a walk. Contractions were still only 8-10 minutes apart and I thought the walk might get things moving. Just before we left the house I went for a wee and felt my waters had started to trickle.

I am very lucky to live right by the Cathedral and River in Norwich so couldn’t have wished for a more beautiful walk. DH phoned our doula to let her know how things were going and we walked a couple of times around the block. I was so thankful for this time with DH. It was really peaceful and we talked about our baby and how excited we were to be meeting him soon. Everything started to pick up the pace and within 20 minutes I was contracting every 3-4 minutes. After every contraction, I felt a gush of waters and before too long I wanted to go home.

We called our doula and asked if she’d start making a move over to ours. I paced about the house hanging off whatever came to hand whilst listening to my mp3. The music helped me to relax and to let myself go. I spent a lot of time leaning on the stair gate at the bottom of the stairs whilst rocking my hips from side to side and around as it felt so good. At about 4:45 pm our doula `Rachel’ arrived. I was in the kitchen listening to music and hanging off the kitchen work surface. I noticed her presence but could not acknowledge she was there for quite a few minutes. I am what I call `’labour shy” and am aware that people entering my labour space can really slow things down or even temporarily stop labour altogether.

Rachel was great. We had talked a lot about how I feel in labour and she just stood quietly near me for a while until I eventually said hello to her at the end of a contraction. Even after that though I felt I still had to go upstairs again for a while on my own to readjust and focus myself. I came down after about 10 minutes and felt much more relaxed. I was feeling tired so decided to sit on my birth ball for a bit (something I had said I wouldn’t be doing. Just goes to show every labour is different and you don’t know how you’re going to feel until you’re there). However, this position didn’t suit for long. Contractions were still every 3-4 minutes but they were increasing in intensity and the birth ball felt uncomfortable. Even the music was failing to distract me from the intense surges rushing through my body.

I asked Rachel to call Medicom at about 6:30 pm just to let the on-call midwives know I was in labour however made it clear I didn’t want them to come over yet. A very calm and relaxed midwife wanted me to know that she could come now if I wanted her to, but she was more than happy to wait until I felt I needed her. Rachel assured me how calm and lovely she was which was very reassuring as my only worry about my homebirth was whether the midwife would be able to hold it together. Luckily she was from my actual team of midwives who had all been incredibly supportive of my choice to homebirth and already knew me. It was at this point I started to feel a bit scared and unsure of myself. I announced I wasn’t comfortable with “this stupid birth ball anymore”. I got on to my hands and knees on the floor in the corner of our sofa and was muttering to myself in between contractions. I felt restless. Rachel sat on one side of me and DH the other. I then stopped talking and my contractions paused for a few minutes. I told Rachel I felt a bit scared and felt I was too in my head. We started to explore what I was feeling. I then said:

“I know what it is. I don’t trust myself to do this, this time. My body let me down with Harry” (the baby I miscarried at 12 weeks in may 2010).

“How can I trust myself to birth this baby?”

Rachel told me how wonderful I was doing and that I could birth this baby. She then suggested we made a nest on the sofa in the corner with all the scatter cushions so I could lean on them whilst facing the wall.

I climbed onto the sofa and Rachel and DH made me comfortable. I sighed with relief and said I felt better and that I had needed to let go of those feelings. I had been feeling distrustful towards my body for my entire pregnancy- not because of the HBAC as I had already VBAC’d with Felix but because I was so scared I would do something wrong and lose this baby too. The relief to have shared those feelings and let go of that mistrust made my whole body feel ten times lighter.

My contractions started again and picked up. They were coming every 2-3 minutes and I was having to work very hard. It felt so wonderful to be leaning into the pile of cushions and I could bury my head into them with each rush. I started to cheer up and would occasionally make jokes while I ate grapes and chatted to DH and Rachel. DH had to keep rearranging cushions around me as my knees hurt in that position but it also felt very productive. At about 8 pm I said this isn’t fun anymore at the end of a couple of contractions. I then asked to get into the pool. Instant relief greeted me and it was a welcoming reminder of the same relief when entering the pool for Felix’s birth. I thought to myself when I get out of this pool he’ll be here.

At 8:30 pm someone asked if I’d like to call the midwives to come. I looked at the clock and said no, we’ll call them at 9. I then had a huge contraction followed by a huge gush of the remainder of my waters. Instantly I said perhaps we should call them. I then had a little feel inside and thought I might be about 7cms dilated.

Things then started to get hard. The midwives didn’t call back until 9 pm by which time I was labouring really hard.

“Is it me or am I not getting much time between these contractions any more?”.

“No you’re not but you are doing beautifully” replied Rachel.

I started to feel a bit pushy at this point and occasionally asked:

“Where are the bloody midwives? They’re not coming”.

Both DH and Rachel assured me the midwives were coming however by 9.30 when they still hadn’t arrived and I was asking for gas and air and announcing that I wanted to push. I think they were feeling a little concerned. I remember Rachel saying that she suspected the baby was coming round the bend which made me feel great as I thought I’m doing this all by myself. But then when the contraction finished I’d say

“Where are the bloody midwives with my f****** gas and air!?”

Rachel said that she was sure that whatever was meant to happen in this baby’s birth would happen and that everything would be fine. At 9:35 pm the midwives phoned the house to say they were in the car park. Rachel went out to greet them while DH stayed by my side. DH has since told me that while Rachel was showing the midwives in I had a huge and very loud contraction to which he thought Christ this baby is coming in the next couple of contractions. Rachel informs me she was trying to hurry them along into the house telling them “I think she might be near” however they were quite relaxed about the situation while she was thinking ahh please hurry up! At 9:40pm the midwives walked through the door. I instantly started contracting and pushing. I had held off pushing hard for 40 minutes and I couldn’t wait any longer. I reached down and said I could feel his head.

The lead midwife came behind me as I was on all fours in the pool and asked if we had a torch. She was so lovely and I felt totally relaxed with her. I knew she was the same midwife we had talked to earlier and therefore from my amazing CM’s team. I trusted her. The second midwife was faffing about in the dark trying to set up the gas and air that I was asking for quite loudly and setting up a delivery pack.

water birth

With the next contraction, he crowned.

The contraction after that I was finally handed some gas and air of which I had about 2 gulps of and then his head emerged slowly, forehead, eyes, nose, chin and finally head out. I have been told I did this so perfectly and gently however I have no idea how. I do remember not being afraid to push this time though unlike with Felix. With the next contraction at 9:48 pm baby Noah was born only 8 minutes after the midwives entered the house and weighing 9lb (1oz less than Felix). I looked behind over my shoulder sat on my thigh, swung my leg over the umbilical cord and he was in my arms.

“I DID IT, I did it all right”.

DH didn’t have time to get in the pool and catch the baby as planned. Instead, he was right by my head letting me squeeze the life out of his hand. He did pass the baby from the midwives hands onto my chest, though, which was beautiful. The midwives listened to the baby once when they arrived, other than that and 2 puffs of gas and air I had no intervention. We had 4 midwives with us at one point as it was shift change although 3 of them stayed in the kitchen to give us time to enjoy our new baby quietly.

We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before DH cut the cord. I had planned to hold Noah while I delivered the placenta however just as with Felix the after pains were excruciating so Noah went onto DH’s chest for skin to skin while I had a natural 3rd stage. It took a while about 35 minutes and I did have some gas and air. However, I was urged not to feel too upset about this as apparently my placentas are huge and it did take some pushing! DH reckons Noah’s was even bigger than Felix’s so I am quite proud of having had 2 natural 3rd stages as well as 2 water births.

I cannot describe to you the feeling of not only giving birth at home but to (almost) do it all by myself as well. I still feel on such a high and can honestly say that since Noah’s birth I think I’ve had about 30 minutes of baby blues. Not bad for someone who twice before has suffered postnatal depression.

Myself, DH and Rachel barely noticed the transition and only on reflection now realise when I was saying that the midwives aren’t coming and wanting gas and air that must have been it. I put transition at about 30 minutes in length.

My pregnancy and birth with Noah was so enjoyable, a completely new experience for me. It was an emotional journey (mostly filled with joy) and the strength his homebirth has brought me is indescribable. I was listened to, respected, cared for and supported. All things which every pregnant woman should feel at such an important and special time of her life. Felix’s birth was a very healing experience and as hospital births go a good one, however, having now given birth at home there is no comparison. I know this is the best way for my husband and me to bring our children into the world. Switching community midwife teams after 2 dreadful pregnancies where I was bullied, lied to, not supported and terrified into every decision was the best thing I did for myself in this pregnancy.

Both my labours were very different. Felix’s was 18 hours established labour and despite giving birth in the water I tore badly. I used a tens machine for 15 hours and gas and air for the last 3 in the pool.

Noah’s was 6 ½ hours established labour and I didn’t have a single tear or cut even though the boys were the same weight bar an ounce.        


Visit here for more successful home birth stories.

Millie Parker, mum to Noah


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Millie Parker (1 Posts)