After having a text book induction with our eldest daughter Grace, induced at term +10 and being pumped with drugs and hormones for 3 days she finally arrived after being dragged out by forceps. With our next pregnancy we knew we wanted a different experience as it took me a long time to recover physically, and even longer psychologically.
When I found out I was pregnant, I self referred to one to one midwives, which turned out to be the best decision of my life. Everything for me was stripped back, and I saw pregnancy and birth as a normal, natural event that in most cases didn’t need interfering with (especially in my case being classed as low risk). I started to explore hypnobirthing, home birth, water birth, and ultimately believing in my body and in the natural process of birth.
My amazing midwife Sheridan, has been a total dream! I felt like she got me from the first time we met, she never pandered to me when I had an irrational worry, or was getting fed up being over due, she was the strength I lacked and centred me every time I needed it in the run up to labour.
My due date was the 4th July (my dates are very accurate, I just like to cook my babies “well done” apparently), the weeks went by and our baby really made me practise what I had preached for the past 9 months about how I was going to do everything naturally and wait for my baby to come in it’s own time and trust my body.
Then finally on the morning of 22nd July (42 +4 Weeks pregnant), at 3:30am I woke my husband up and asked him to put the tens machine on me (which stayed with me for 12 hours and became my best friend), my contractions were coming quite strong and we thought the baby was going to arrive first thing in the morning. Then our daughter got up for the morning and all progress seemed to halt, I then fell asleep, and Sheridan rang my husband and said it may be best for our daughter to go to my mums for the day. Sheridan struck again (we swear the women is always right), within 20 minutes things started up again, Sheridan popped in to check how I was doing, and then left us to it. Me and my husband (who was my absolute rock) spent the day together swaying through the contractions, watching films, eating and drinking and just letting my body do it’s thing. I would continuously in the lead up to labour ask Sheridan when will I know when to call you? Put up the pool? Etc. She would always reply with, “You will just know”. Well at around 3:30pm I told my husband to ring Sheridan and put the pool up, I just knew it was soon going to be time. The rest for me is a blur, like a wonderful out of body experience as I just went within myself, and found a strength I didn’t think I had.
I was in the pool in our lovely little home from around 4:30 and I breathed and roared our beautiful baby girl Thea Millie Hayes into the world at 7.29pm weighing 8lb 10oz. Within 10 minutes my mum had dropped off Grace to come and meet her new baby sister whilst I was still in the pool soaking in every bit of Thea, she then went on to cut the cord and learn all about the placenta and the one to one girls made Grace part of the whole process (which she now loves telling people about). We were so honoured to be surrounded by such amazing midwives supporting us through it all (and taking the most insanely raw and beautiful pictures of Thea’s birth), I cannot thank Sheridan, Debi, Sara, and Kim enough. I felt totally empowered to birth my baby, my way, and to trust my body. That feeling of pulling my baby up by myself and placing her on my chest was the most exhilarating and life changing moment of my life and I am eternally grateful to one to one (and particularly Sheridan) for all you have done for me and for us as a family. The level of care and the experience we have received from the service has been something I could never even have dreamt of.
I am sorry for how long this birth story/post is, but I want to shout from the rooftops about one to one, as I’d love every women to feel empowered with any decision she’s makes regarding her birth choices, like I have been. I have attached photos of my birth - again, precious frozen moments that all the girls took turns in taking during my labour and they are so special to me. We will never forget what our midwives did for us. They will be etched into our family’s story forever.
Until next time... Love from the Hayes Family - Lauren, Andy, Grace and Baby Thea. Xx