Pregnancy Diary – 37 weeks

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This series of pregnancy diary entries are written by Siobhan, mum of one and now almost ready to meet her second baby due in 3 weeks time! Siobhan’s first birth 7 years ago left her feeling like she would never be able to have a natural birth again, but with a bit of prep work she is now preparing for a home water birth. Here she explains how her views have changed about birth, and hopefully install some positivity into any of you who may be in a similar situation.

‘I remember attending a series of ante-natal classes before my son was born and one being called ‘complications in labour’. The midwife assured us that we were unlikely to experience any of these complications and if we were unlucky enough to, then it would just be the one. Nobody would experience all of the complications discussed. Well, my birth ran like a checklist of everything covered that day, bar the c-section, which I narrowly avoided (my son was delivered vaginally on the operating table in theatre, after I’d consented to an emergency secton).

Fast-forward 8 years and I’m feeling a little older, not so much wiser, but certainly less nervous and more confident in my (now surely looser?) cervix’s ability to dilate spontaneously. Also having educated myself through attending some amazing hypnobirthing classes (more on that later), I now believe a lot of what happened with my son’s birth was due to a domino effect of fear, tension, pain, fetal distress and intervention, a pattern which then just continued throughout my 2-day Syntocinon- induced labour.

So determined to make this birth experience memorable for all the right reasons, my partner and I signed up for hypnobirthing classes with Hollie of London Hypnobirthing, which we attended last month, and booked in with the homebirth team at West Middlesex hospital. Clemmie (founder of this blog) deserves a big shout out here as she encouraged me to sign up for a homebirth and I’ve not looked back since. The quality of care is superior times a million (!!) and most importantly it just feels right for me.

I used to journey to the hospital, wait 40+ minutes in the waiting room, often with my impatient child, finally see an unknown-to-me midwife for a quick 5-minute check-up and then leave fraught, having forgotten to ask most of the things I’d wanted to know (sound familiar?). I now have a lovely midwife called Natalie who comes round to my house, we have a cuppa, she spends at least an hour with me, responds to text messages with a kiss and generally feels like someone who is my friend and who genuinely cares about me and my birth. I cannot rate the service highly enough.

I will admit when I initially signed up for a homebirth I was thinking I’ve got nothing to lose as I can always change my mind closer to the time. However I am now so committed to my beautiful, romantic, waterbirth at home that I can no longer remember a single reason why I thought hospital might have been a better idea. How things have changed!

But however calm and tranquil I’m imagining the birth will be, the reality right now is quite different! Almost 37 weeks pregnant, still working full time, juggling hypnobirthing homework with birth pool research and with outstanding ‘to do’ lists everywhere, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. But as we prepare to meet our water baby, Clemmie has invited me to share with you what’s going through my head and my heart and what we’re doing to make our birth a positive one.’

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Next week Siobhan reveals how she preparing her body and mind with hypnobirthing techniques for birth and why it’s always worth doing a ‘dry run’ for the birthing pool!

5 thoughts on “Pregnancy Diary – 37 weeks

  1. Good luck Siobhan! I’m 30 weeks pregnant with my first and starting to wonder if a home birth is the way forward. So far I have found the midwife support less than great. At my last appointment I was told she barely had time to talk to me as she was so busy. And I never get to see the same midwife twice. It’s not the best experience for first time mums, especially those like me who’ve suffered a number of losses and are perhaps even more anxious if that is possible! Makes me very nervous for the birth in hospital. Great blog x

    • Thanks lovely! I would definitely recommend switching to your home birth team as soon as possible. The antenatal care alone is so, so, so much better. Good luck with everything x

  2. Reblogged this on RealGirlRamblings and commented:
    Loving this blog about a Siobhan’s decision to have a home birth after a traumatic hospital experience first time round. I am already getting anxious about a hospital birth and the possibility of unnecessary intervention, especially as my midwife care experience has been less than positive so far.

  3. I also attended Hollie’s course after hearing so many horror stories about birth and being quite anxious about experiencing it for the first time myself. I ended up having the water birth at home that I wanted and it was an absolutely amazing experience which I know was down to the relaxation techniques I’d been taught on the course (and fantastic home midwifery team!). I would definitely recommend it to anyone and I have no doubt you’ll have a much better experience this time round! Enjoy the remaining weeks of pregnancy x

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