The story of Julian and his home birth
Little Julian is the third baby of ours to be delivered by Teresa Arias.
Apparently it is the most babies in one family that Teresa has delivered and a wonderful honour for us to have her present and in charge at all of our sons' births. Will, our first, arrived in 2003 then Alexander was born at home with Teresa and Tina present in 2005.
This third little baby boy of ours, due on 23 May 2007, seemed determined, despite a planned home birth with Teresa and Tina, to be born in hospital.
Although my pregnancy was very straightforward, he turned to a footling breech position at 38 weeks and had to be turned by ECV to avoid a caesarian. He was then very overdue and it seemed likely that I would be induced at 42 weeks which of course has to take place in hospital.
However, at 10 days overdue, I went to Emma Cannon for acupuncture and Teresa then did a sweep that same afternoon. On Sunday morning, 11 days overdue, I woke with period like pains - this I contributed to the sweep which had left me feeling tender and a little bruised. These continued throughout the day, at vaguely regular intervals, but never getting any worse. At 2.30 I was drinking tea on my neighbour¹s doorstep (she was making jokes about me possibly being in labour and squeezing out melons!), but by 3.30, having packed the two boys off to the park with my mum, I felt I actually WAS in labour. The contractions were getting stronger, although still mild, and were 10 minutes apart. I just knew it was time to get ready, the primal instinct kicked in and Adam and I went upstairs to our room, closed all the curtains, I set myself up with cushions on the bed and my birth ball. and started to prepare.
Part of the preparation for Adam involved blowing up a birth pool this proved a challenge. He blew it up quickly but then the attachment from the shower to the hose that we were to use to fill the pool broke. Eventually, he figured out a way and by 4.15 the pool was filling and Teresa had arrived. I was relieved as contractions were 3 minutes apart and I felt like I needed a little attention at this point rather than a husband in the throes of DIY! I stood labouring for a couple of hours this felt the most comfortable as I had pressure in my bum for all of the labour and this seemed to relieve it a bit. I am also convinced that standing accelerated my labour when I knelt over cushions on the bed to deal with a contraction, I noticed that the next contraction would take longer to come.
I tried using a tens machine as I had done twice before but took it off after about 15 minutes. I found the vibrating sensation when you turned the machine up beyond level 1 (I could have gone to level 15) annoying. So I felt that, at level 1, it really probably was not doing anything. The main thing I turned back to relying upon that we are taught constantly in prenatal yoga was breathing deeply out through each contraction. Things were getting tougher and I did wonder if I could labour like this for many more hours (and shed a few tears as well!). But I was examined and, although Teresa and I agreed that she would not tell me how dilated I was (as I felt it would destroy my confidence), she did say she was encouraged by the examination. She had had to examine me as I had had a breech baby so late in pregnancy and we wanted to check that he definitely was not breech at that point in the labour. He was head down and we could continue on...
At 7.30, after 4 hours of labour, Teresa said I could get in the pool any earlier and it might have slowed down my labour but she obviously felt I was far enough along which was encouraging. Being in the pool was a huge relief my legs were so tired from standing and it was lovely to float in the pool and take the weight off. The warm water was relaxing and I definitely coped with my contractions better in the pool. I was kneeling, holding Adam¹s hands over the side and we knew the contractions were getting stronger as I could see I was hurting him when clutching onto him while contracting! This went on for about 45 minutes.
Suddenly, my waters broke and almost simultaneously I felt the urge to push.
It was a huge relief to have got to this stage as, now I knew, it could not be too long and that every pain would be pushing the baby out towards us. It really wasn¹t long I pushed with all my might three times with short breaks in between, and 7 minutes later Julian was born. Teresa had made me stand for the final push as she detected a deceleration and wanted to deliver him out of the water so he came into the world into the air not the water and Teresa did have to unwind a very tangled but loose cord from around his neck and under his arm. She and Adam sat me down in the pool and there we stayed for at least half an hour.
I couldn¹t believe that my labour had been relatively short, that my second stage had been brief (with my other two, my second stage was 2 hours), that we had him at home as we had planned all along, in the water where I felt most comfortable, and most of all I couldn¹t believe that we had made a perfectly healthy baby boy.
I feel blessed, and it is all down to Teresa's care and loving attention that we had such positive birth experiences and such wonderful memories of when our sons entered the world.