Claire's Story

Hi Nerissa

Here is my birth story for your website...

I planned a home water birth for my first baby and laboured successfully at home and in the pool for a long time. Unfortunately, due to concerns with baby's heartbeat I was transferred to hospital which was very stressful. I felt that we lost control of the situation, the birth became very medicalised and I ended up having an epidural which I'd not really wanted...

When I fell pregnant again I was very anxious about the birth and wasn't going to try for another home birth incase it went wrong again. Then I found out about the Leicester Home Birth team so it became a consideration. I attended Nerissas yoga classes and I really felt I was able to address my anxieties. Nerissa taught me to stay in control whatever the circumstances and I decided to try for the home birth again but felt more prepared to remain in control if things did not go to plan again.

After a few nights of false labour, I woke up at 2.30am the day after my due date with a pain that felt a bit different... Five minutes later I had another and thought this could be it. The pains continued coming every 3-5 minutes so I got up to see if changing position made them stop as it had before but they continued so I knew this time it was for real and things seemed to be happening quite quickly. I called the midwives who came out straight away with the pool for my partner to set up but at that point the contractions were quite short and very manageable. Within an hour things had progressed and I put the TENS machine on which I found really helpful. I then called the midwives again who arrived at 6am and agreed I was now undoubtedly in established labour. By this point I'd started to use noise with every contraction. I started humming with my mouth closed but found I needed my mouth open to breathe out more deeply so I was alternating oooh and ahhh sounds and moving lots - leaning over sofa standing and on knees, leaning over ball on knees and standing holding on to my partner. I put Nerissas music from the class on and her familiar voice comforted me and reminded me to keep breathing, moving and that each contraction would end!!

I continued this way for a couple of hours, moving breathing humming and ramping up the tens to level 8. I then got into the pool which was lovely. By this point I was having 'double contractions' so 2 back to back with no break and even in the break in between I was in pain due to my waters bulging and being unable to wee so it was pretty intense but I kept going with the breathing and it got me through. At one point I decided in my head I was going to go to hospital for an epidural. I then realised I might be at transition as nerissa has said women often feel like this so I pushed through and sure enough my waters broke and I began wanting to push.

As the second stage began I felt the urge to bear down so I started huffing at the start of the contractions which I could feel helped to move baby down. I then felt my body kind of take over and I wanted to make a loud noise. I thought of nerissa saying some women moo but I decided I wanted to be a lion and I roared! It felt amazing. The midwife told me to put my hand down and see if I could feel babies head. I could!!! I continued huffing and roaring through each contraction feeling more and more of my babies soft hair covered head until I finally got him out. Two more pushes and I was able to pull him out of the water onto my chest with a quick glance down to be able to announce to the room that he was a boy. I could not believe that I had done it. It really was MY birth and MY baby!

I wanted to breastfeed straight away but baby was a bit cold in the pool so we moved onto the sofa where the placenta was promptly delivered. Baby latched on quickly and we had skin to skin cuddles which was lovely. The whole experience was extremely calm and peaceful and we seem to have a chilled out little man so far! I felt in control and stayed in my birthing zone the whole time blissfully unaware of what was going on around me (my poor fiance had several issues filling up the pool with the tap and a holey bucket!). Thank you to Nerissa for teaching me the techniques and giving me the mindset that I could do it. It was absolutely amazing and I feel so proud and empowered.