My second child, my beautiful daughter, Emeline was born at home. I had my heart set on and planned a wonderful homebirth with a pool and hypnobirthing. I dreamt and daydreamed about it in the lead up – who says they can do that about labor! I had such a wonderful experience with my first child that I wanted the second to be the same. I think so fondly of my labors and remember them so well. 

I had the wonderful support of 121 midwives – a NHS funded midwife service which provides you with amazing one to one support. 

My birth story – http://www.onetoonemidwives.org/_stories/perfect-homebirth

It took quite a bit of persuasion to convince my husband it would be a safe birth for us both but he listened to the advice and read reading with me and I think he eventually understood how important it was to me. Thankfully, everything was textbook and amazing. It really was spectacular.

As expected, it needed a lot of preparation:

I wanted a birth pool, I hired one from http://www.waterbabybirthingpoolhire.co.uk. The staff and service was first class, they were so helpful and communicated extremely well. I chose the largest pool – we are fortunate to have a large dinning area and the plan was to take the table down.  It also had a stall in it for sitting or helping get in an out. It is never easy to get out of a birth pool once you’ve given birth!!!The birth pool came with a brilliant set of accessories:

  • Sieve – I’ll leave that to your imagination! 
  • Torch
  • Angled mirror – my midwives loved this and preferred it to their own. 
  • Electric Pump – this is needed to inflate quickly 
  • Water pump – helps when emptying 
  • Pool liner 
  • Tap adapters – it came with two and a set of instructions to match your tap. Typically ours didn’t fit but we managed to get one from B&Q to fit our tap. 
  • Groundsheet 
  • Themometer 

There were also some essentials advised by the midwives:

  • More sheets for the floor, including mats for walking upstairs after delivery. Very good idea. 
  • Towels – standard delivery requirement, you see it on all the soaps!! 
  • Baby towels – we were told to put them on the radiator to keep the warm for the baby’s arrival. 
  • A packed hospital bag nearby, in the event of an emergency, they wanted to know where everything was ‘just incase’. It really isn’t work taking any risks and not being prepared. 

Something that I had in preparation:

  • Docking station – this was also in the form of our blue ray player and making sure the Bluetooth worked. 
  • Candles
  • Fairy lights 
  • Lavender oil in a spray bottle
  • Oil burner 
  • Clary sage oil – to really get those contractions going! 

I find the water so calming and helpful during labor, I really rely on it. I used my tens machine last time but I mostly used water this time and eventually gas and air. I also had hypnobirthing classes – they were fantastic. I found them so positive and relaxing and I enjoyed the meditation side of it. I listened to the songs and the scripts in labor and they really helped. My husband was so positive, it was lovely. I wasn’t totally silent during labor like hypnobirthing promotes, I spoke about how I was feeling and my wants and wishes but I didn’t get angry or aggressive at all, it was very calming and being at home definitely helped that. 

After the birth, the midwives cleaned everything up – you’d never have known I had had a baby! I relaxed in a bath and waited for our son to come home, it was amazing and perfect!   

I can’t recommend a homebirth enough although I understand it can have it’s risks and people have there reservations. Ultimately, it is no different to a midwife led unit which is where I had my son but instead I had the support of two midwives at home. Definitely speak to your midwife, do your reading and research and if in the 121 working area – get in touch!