Faith, Trust and Jelly babies.
The positive birth story of K&R by Kat - Doula.
30 January 2023 - Birth plan – Home Birth, water/pool, hypnobirthing with doula support.
I had already worked with this lovely couple during their first pregnancy teaching hypnobirthing a few years ago. This pregnancy they attended a Positive Birth Preparation Workshop that I ran with my yoga buddy Sarah and we had a hypnobirthing refresher. It was an easy yes when they asked me to be their doula for birth support.
After Christmas we worked on creating a beautiful birth plan for this very important double rainbow baby, with home birth being the ideal for K and R. K already had a really positive attitude towards her birth and pregnancy, the home was her safe space and her birth team were all on board with her plans.
From 7th January K had many on/off cramps and feelings but remained super chilled and positive. K was also very active, walking, attending pregnancy yoga and following all the normal ways to get her baby into the best position for birth. As time went on, I felt K would birth quickly when labour progressed, her body was doing lots of super work. K was feeling pressure from the outside world to go for a sweep or induction and intervene, but K trusted herself and her baby and made an informed choice to wait, this was fully supported by R and myself (babies come when they are ready).
At 41 weeks and 3 days K sent me a message saying – “potentially exciting news…. I’ve been more crampy and I had some discharge today, it feels like it has been more consistent over the last 3 days (K had been busy with dog walks, trips to the zoo, housework/nesting and more yoga on her ball), I’m going to have a curry, do some pre-recorded yoga online and get some rest.” - wonderful, I'm going to a birth tonight and I’m too excited to sleep. I make plans for the school appointment I know I won't make in the morning, get my leggings and comfy jumper out, double check the car (it was a new one, I had picked up that day and I’d needed to make sure I could drive it!) and I made sure I had my bags and jelly babies ready.
At 21.51pm K messaged: “definitely going to be tonight, just finished yoga and things have definitely ramped up.” I knew this was a definite and I thought I may get an hour or so sleep, so I needed to go to bed quickly. I rushed about and got into bed, and was just dozing off when my phone rang - it was around 22.20pm, I was out of the house at 22.30pm whilst still on the call (I put them on speaker and was getting dressed while they spoke!). R was talking and K was having really strong surges in the background, I knew this baby was coming soon. There was no time to make my normal brew to take, I just left.
Whilst on the drive over, R called me back at around 22.45pm to tell me that they had rang the hospital to get the midwife out and that they didn't have one to send and they had 2 choices, either drive into hospital or call 999. I suggested that they call their midwife on her personal phone as she had said she would attend them. I arrived at 22.50pm and K and R were in the living room, K was on her knees over her birthing ball (a perfect upright forward and open position) breathing and talking her way through surges, I could tell she was in her birth zone. R was calm, although I could see some panic in his face as it wasn't the plan to have no midwife in attendance and this change could have really affected them but K said she felt safe with us. I explained to them her choices and K felt she couldn't move and wanted this baby to be born at home, okay - so fill the pool, and we can call 999.
K said she would like to get in the pool and so R went to start filling it whilst I stayed with K. K also asked for help with her breathing, K breathed the strong surges so well and they were nice and close and strong. I didn’t time them but I felt that they were getting closer together and she was in active labour when I’d arrived and likely when they had rang me too. K was completely listening to her body.
R then called the paramedics at 23.10pm and we were not given any time frame for when they would come out to us, they also then put us on hold after reading a script out which wasn't the most helpful thing (every birth is different and each woman will be different during birth).
K was doing so well with the surges, but I wasn't able to see any outwards signs until K said she felt like she needed to poo. I then said “I dont think we have time to go to the pool, you can birth here.” K was on her yoga mat in an upright forward leaning position over her birthing ball, the best position to birth in. R went to grab me the towels and puppy pads. Earlier, before I arrived, K’s waters had gone - this was all clear. Next, a good bloody show came away and then slowly and super controlled by K’s amazing breathing, she breathed her baby gently down and out. I checked if K wanted to feel the head as I could now see baby's hair but she didn't, so I asked if R wanted to see, he did and the look on his face was of complete amazement and awe at his strong powerful wife just breathing their baby out on the living room floor.
We worked as a team supporting breathing and I tried to explain to K what was happening, baby's head was born perfectly slowly and calmly. Lots of fluid poured out from the baby's nose and baby opened one eye and seemed to wink at me! I gave baby a come on look in return, chatting in my head she can do this. The pause happened and K said I can feel baby moving/wriggling inside - the baby was turning. A little hand slowly came by baby’s face and some cord, then baby's head didn't seem to move much more. K wasn’t having any surges so I asked her to lift her right leg a little to allow a little more room and then baby could be passed forwards rather than birthing more behind. I have seen births many times, but never this closely, never have I been quite this involved. For me it was just amazing, empowering and beautiful.
Everything looked normal, baby's colour etc and the baby came out nice and gently - K still just breathed her way through, she is a goddess, she felt safe and had her own little team around her, she knew she would do this. We caught the baby and I asked parents to help pick baby up and support baby on to K’s chest. I supported skin to skin and watched for baby’s, colour, breathing and tone - baby began to cry, a really good loud one at that to say I’m here and I’m fine. I dried the baby and kept them warm. WHAT IS IT…. R said “It’s a girl, I think?”. K checked, yep they had a beautiful perfect healthy baby girl. The person came back on the phone, congratulated and explained the ambulance would be there - I could see the lights. Two paramedics came in initially and then a third - they checked in but were quite respectful and both R and I worked to keep this little bubble safe. We didn't really need them, K smashed it. We waited for the placenta and K also achieved a true physiological third stage of a large, healthy placenta. The cord was cut after the placenta was birthed. K was force fed jelly babies throughout and drank well. K & R’s little boy remained asleep upstairs throughout all the action downstairs.
The paramedics tried to get a midwife to attend but they had no staff. Policy was that they advise K to go in to have baby checks, and be checked over herself. K made the choice to do this rather than wait for a midwife to attend at some point the following day and the ambulance would take her when ready. R dressed the baby and collected up the things K would need at the hospital for herself and baby, K got changed and ready to go. I followed K to the hospital in my car whilst R rang his parents to come and watch their sleeping toddler. During the few hours in the MLU, Maddie the midwife attended and checked K who didn't need any stitches. She also checked and weighed the baby as well as completing newborn checks, to save K & R coming back to the hospital, and the discharge paperwork so that they could go home. They were both perfect. K breastfed a hungry little baby girl and I couldn't wait for her to be able to get home back to her skin to skin and bonding bubble. K and I ate some yummy toast and had hot chocolate/tea, and she just glowed. I think she almost couldn't believe it. R turned up after a quick clean up at home and once grandparents had arrived to watch the little sleeping toddler. When R arrived he said “You did it!” - they kept saying this to each other and I could see just how much this meant to them, the love and support they have for each other and faith and trust.
This birth won't ever be forgotten by them, or by me. I will never grow tired of how amazing the woman's body is and after all a double rainbow baby is something quite special.
It was an honour to support these guys and be allowed in this birth space. They really didn't need me though they would have smashed it without me.
Check out the next blog post the birth story from K's eyes.
For more information on hypnobirthing doula support for pregnancy birth or postnatal support drop me a email firstname.lastname@example.org or a message 07951647387