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  • Writer's pictureerinbetterbirth

Charlee’s positive birth story

Charlee and Conor came to me to prepare for their first baby in September. Charlee wanted a home birth but her local hospital didn’t have the midwives available to send someone, so she waited to see how she felt and decided to go to the birth center. The birth of Isla is a perfect example of informed decision making, and is just wonderful. I’m so happy they had such an empowering and positive experience.

Charlee says:

We had been having feelings for a week that we thought something was going to happen soon and although we had talked about it we decided to brush it off as all the way through the pregnancy we thought baby would be 2 weeks late. Connor was at the chiropractor and had messaged me to say his phone was going to die so if I couldn’t get hold of him that’s why. About 10 minutes later whilst I was laying on the sofa I felt a trickle so jumped up and a gush came, at this point I checked my PJs and ran upstairs to put in a pad. Phoned Connor and luckily he still had his phone on. Told him not to worry and don’t drive home in a frenzy just pop home and we will get things sorted. Called maternity triage to let them know and they asked if I wanted to go to Pembury hospital to check it was definitely my waters. I think I knew that it was but was happy to go in and for them to check baby’s heartbeat.
Connor came back, had a shower and ate his dinner. My mum dropped in and couldn’t believe how chilled I was walking round the living room singing and dancing. Then we made our way to the hospital. The midwife looked at my pad and said straight away ‘yep that’s definitely your waters I don’t need to check anything else’ we checked baby’s heartbeat and I was sent home for things to get moving. Once home Connor got everything set up in the living room whilst I listened to music and we chilled out for a while and watched Grease.
We went up to bed at around 11pm and tried to get some rest. My contractions started coming regularly at around midnight and I spent an hour in the bathroom as the most comfortable place to be was on the toilet. I started using the TENS machine which was really helpful. Connor called triage to see if there was any chance they would send someone out to us but they unfortunately couldn’t. We asked if we could request or call a paramedic instead and they said they wouldn’t be able to advise it as they’re not trained in midwifery. At this point we knew our options were free birth or head to the birth centre in Maidstone as I was registered there for my 2nd option. We said we will wait 20 minutes then make the decision once we know how we feel.
After the 20 minutes had passed we decided together we would feel much more comfortable with the support of midwives so Connor got everything packed into the car ready for us to leave. I wore an eye mask in the back of the car and by this point the contractions coming were intense and closer together. I kept my jaw loose and breathed through them. I could feel that baby’s head was starting to move down when we had 7 minutes left of our journey.
We arrived at the birth centre at around 2.45 and our midwife Zoe took one look at me and said ‘okay, we need to get you in the pool as soon as possible’. Whilst she filled the pool, Connor got the birth space ready exactly how we had it at home and I spent some time leaning over the sofa breathing through the surges. Our midwife was amazing and read our birth plan carefully. She knew exactly what to do to make sure I had the experience we so wanted for our baby. A VE was not necessary at this point as I knew baby was going to be here very soon I think because the midwife read the birth preferences fully she was aware of this and didn’t offer. I got in the pool which felt amazing. I had Connor one side of me and our midwife the other coaching me through my breathing. Connor was so encouraging and advocated for our choices the whole way through. I breathed baby down and with the help of 3 pushes our little girl Isla entered the world at 3.25. I caught her as she came and slowly brought her out of the water so me and Connor could see the gender. The cord was in the way and we thought she was a boy at first. I placed her on my chest skin to skin and we all sat together for 10 minutes in shock. I think even our midwife was shocked at how quickly things had happened. Apart from the TENS prior to getting in the pool I had no further pain relief during the birth.
I started losing a bit more blood and the midwife offered me the injection for the placenta to come away. Connor was able to discuss this with her asking what the benefits and risks are etc Connor asked if we could wait another 10 minutes to see how things go then we could decide if it was needed which our midwife was happy for us to do. After a while I started to bleed a bit more heavily so we decided we would go ahead with the injection as we felt that our midwife was offering it based on what she knew was the right thing to do. Connor cut the cord and I got out of the pool to lay down with Isla on my chest to feed. Our midwife used controlled cord traction for a couple of minutes but Connor watched like a hawk to make sure she was very gentle and I have no doubts that she did the right thing for me. My placenta was placed in the equipment ready to be collected for encapsulation.
We sat for an hour just the three of us in our own world. One of the midwives brought us some tea and toast and once we was ready Connor took Isla for skin to skin whilst I showered and got into some fresh Pajamas. We made our way to our room for some rest but I was so buzzing I just could not sleep. I spent the whole time staring at Isla in awe and in shock that I had actually done it. Isla fed again but the midwives had not seen this feed so when we asked if we could make our way home soon they did want us to stay so they could see her feed. We waited a few more hours but she just wasn’t hungry yet. I was confident that we could go home and establish feeding at home so they completed all our notes and gave us all the paperwork we needed.
It wasn’t our home birth but we got everything exactly how we wanted it to be just in a different place. I have no regrets that we made the decisions we did as the extra support was amazing. Our midwife was incredible with ensuring everything was how we wanted and fully supported any choices we had made. It was the most magical experience and I wouldn’t change a moment. Isla had the most perfect birth and we are so grateful that everything I manifested and visioned came to life 💗
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