Joanna Green opted for a home birth, but she didn't think she going to end up basking in the summer sunshine! Here she shares with us her second birth experience.
Why did you opt for a home birth?
My first birth had gone smoothly but I didn't really enjoy the hospital experience. So the second time round I felt confident enough to try a home birth - and I'm pleased I did!
Where had you planned on giving birth?
My midwife advised that the best place for us would be the master bedroom. We live in a bungalow, so no need to worry about being stranded at the top of the stairs if things started to get a little difficult! However, on the day, I changed my mind completely.
How did your labour begin?
I woke up at around 7.30am with cramps. I was fairly sure it wasn't Braxton Hicks as this was my second time around and I felt much more in control this time. I decided to walk around for a bit and have a warm bath. By 9am I knew for sure that I was in labour. So my mum came to collect my son and I phoned the midwife. She arrived quickly and I was delighted to discover that I was 4cms dilated.
Did you ask for any pain relief?
No - I really wanted this to be a natural birth experience. I was relaxed, comfortable and progressing well so I decided against trying gas and air. The contractions were of course extremely painful, but I can honestly say that familiar surroundings combined with a midwife with you at all times make the process so much more manageable.
When did you decided to move into the sunshine?
By 11am things we getting really painful and I just had an urge to labour in the sunshine - I have no idea why. I was looking out of the windows and the July day just looked wonderful, sunny and hot and I knew it was where I wanted to be. So I moved into the conservatory, which is south facing, and spent some of my labour transferring from the conservatory to the garden. Just small steps in and out.
Was the midwife comfortable your need to be outside as well as inside?
The midwife was said it was fine as I was 7cms and not ready to push. This is the thing about a home birth, you really are able to do whatever it takes to help with the pain of contractions. Also, the midwife wanted me to keep as active as possible. In the end I managed around 90 minutes of active labour. Also, my waters broke in the garden which was good timing!
When did you start to push?
By 1pm I was ready to push. I was on my knees, leaning against a sofa. The sun was streaming in and was centered on my back, which felt wonderful. I pushed for exactly 20 minutes and our daughter Bryony came into the world, basking in the glorious sunshine...although I'm not sure she saw it quite like that, judging from the screaming!
And what was it like to meet baby Bryony for the first time?
Just amazing. Totally amazing. And just as wonderful the second time round.
Would you recommend a home birth?
I had a great experience from beginning to end so yes, I would thoroughly recommend going for it!