To celebrate International Homebirth Day I would like to share Arlo's birth story with you all today! It's only 4 months late ha!
Cast your minds back to the evening of January 31st 2016. Apart from having an extra long nap, I wasn't feeling any different than usual or showing any signs that labour might be near. I was frantically messaging a lady on facebook who was selling her wardrobe and trying to get Rikki to measure the bedroom to see if it would fit. I just felt like we needed this wardrobe! We had dinner and went to bed but I wasn't able to settle my mind and was having the usual braxton hicks. Around 1am I realised that the braxton hicks weren't fading away like they usually would, and so I got out of bed to sit on the birthball and see if that helped. I thought to myself that this could be early labour and early labour can go on for a few days really and so it was unlikely that baby would be making an appearance. I didn't want to get my hopes up or put myself on a clock. The birthball didn't help fade away the "braxton hicks" (Erm because it was labour!) so I ran a bath and relaxed in it for a while. Around 3am I woke up Rikki to tell him that I'd started early labour but that it could be days before we had any action. Like a great daddy to be, he didn't think it was weird when I asked for a hotwater bottle... in the bath. I spent the next while in and out of the bath and unbeknownst to me, Rikki was timing everything. Around 8am we called the midwife, and she came around to monitor me. As per my wishes, I had no examinations and my lovely midwife sat in the hallway timing my contractions and reading my birthplan while I stayed in the bath and put on the hypnobirth music I had been listening to throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy. At some point I felt like the bath wasn't helping any more so instead I spent time in the bedroom and bathroom. I remember asking the midwife "Am I going to have a baby today?" She smiled and said yes! The hypnobirthing music was really doing it's job as I started to fall asleep in between the surges. My second midwife arrived and also stayed in the hallway and let me do my thing. They listened in to the heartbeat a few times throughout the labour. Things got kind of pushy as I kept going with my hypnobreathing. I didn't realise but my body was doing the pushing for me and I just tried to let that happen and stay relaxed.
The midwives said: We think baby is going to be here very soon-
Me: How soon?
Midwives: Really soon.
Me: How do you know?
Midwives: Well, you're showing some signs-
Me: What signs?
Midwives: You're making some noises and-
Me: What noises?
Bless them, I wasn't about to take it lightly that baby was almost here unless he absolutely was. I wasn't in the pushy stage for very long and Arlo's water burst before his head. It felt like a proper pop! Pretty soon after his head was born and I switched positions for his shoulders and body a few minutes later. He was passed up on to my chest where he let out a little screech like a velociraptor! The time was 14.17. We all just stared at each other for a while! I couldn't believe he was holding his head up by himself! We had skin on skin for a long while and waited for the cord to stop pulsing before Rikki cut it. During that time I tried nursing but he wanted to look around and take in the world! The midwives were amazing, letting us bond and cuddle in between weighing him (8lbs 10oz!!) and measuring him (53cm!!). Somehow we used every towel in the house, bar the stash I had specifically put aside in my homebirth basket. But they cleared everything up and stayed until around 6pm. Then we made a few calls to our families to let them know! As it was Rikki's birthday we played a little joke when skyping my brother. "Here's the birthday boy!" I said with the camera facing away. "Yes, Happy Birthday Rikki!" he said. "No, not that birthday boy... this one!" and held the camera around to show Arlo. The midwives came back to see how breastfeeding was going before we settled in to bed for our first night at home as a family.
We loved having a homebirth. Here's Arlo an hour old, taking it all in.