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Katie and Lucy’s Birth Story through my eyes – by Katie

Katie and Lucy’s Birth Story through my eyes – by Katie Hatch

Baby Hatch was ‘due’ on 20th January but I had been cramping on and off from the day of my little boy A’s birthday party on 7th January. The cramps had almost become a part of every day life. Kat supported me amazingly throughout this period, particularly once I had passed ‘due date’ and was feeling lots of pressure from the outside world as to “where was baby?” and to intervene medically. I was determined to have a home birth and also for things to take their natural course with my birth rather than there being any medical intervention (unless this was necessary for mine or baby’s health). My body had grown this baby and my body and baby would know when it was time for him/her to make their way into the outside world. Kat fully supported my choice and helped me immensely, checking in just enough on me but not too much, giving me a safe space to rant as required and helping me to keep my positivity towards my birth, particularly as I had never got to this point with my little boy, who had arrived at 39 weeks +3, so it was new territory for me.

I had begun to wonder whether my January baby would instead be a February baby, but after keeping us waiting, on 30th January our little double rainbow baby decided that it was time to enter the world and meet us very quickly, she was ready to meet her Mummy, Daddy and big brother and complete our little family.

The build up/latent phase

I had been cramping again on and off on both the 28th and 29th January and on the morning of the 30th January I had woken up to my usual thought as I got up out of bed “I’m still pregnant!”...bed was my main comfy place by this point and as I got out of bed each morning I felt so heavy and cumbersome...however this particular morning once R had left to drop A off at nursery, I had a massive surge of energy and my nesting instinct massively kicked in with me spending a good few hours cleaning every inch of the house....this should have given me a slight inkling as to what was to come since I had had the exact same thing the day I went into labour with my little boy.

Kat had as usual encouraged me to do something for me that day. I finished all the housework/jobs I had wanted to do by lunch time, and although I had had a couple of offers/messages from friends for a meet up for a brew, I very much felt like I wanted to be alone. It was a beautiful sunny day and I felt like I wanted to go to my favourite spot for my favourite Ice Cream Hot Chocolate at Snugbury’s ice cream farm and go for a walk. I also planned to have a chat with my Mum once I was there for a catch up. Shortly before I left, I sat down on the stairs at 1.40pm to text my Mum with a rough time for our chat once I arrived and also R with my plan and remember thinking, ooo the cramps are back again.

I went for my drink and chatted to my Mum, went for a walk to the giant bee and back and took some pictures and selfies in the gorgeous sunshine, all the while aware of the cramps in the background. I left to drive home at 3.15pm and remember thinking on the way that I may message my yoga teacher Sarah to let her know I wouldn’t be attending the class in person that evening as it felt a little uncomfortable driving home with the cramps and also the size of my bump by that point too.

I finished off a few more jobs once I arrived home, R arrived home and we popped to the shops and then on to pick up our son from nursery as usual and also a takeaway curry for tea. I remember saying to R about my cramps and saying “It could be tonight!”.

We put our son to bed as usual by around 8pm and the cramps were still there in the background. I had messaged Sarah to say I wouldn’t be attending yoga but was planning to do an online pre-recorded class instead. I remember that I did the online class from 8.30-9.30pm in the front room with my yoga mat and birthing ball, all the while the cramps continuing and getting a little more intense. After I had finished yoga we settled down with some pudding to watch a little tv before going for an early night just in case things did develop that evening and started to watch a Friday Night Dinner.

I had messaged Kat at 6.10pm to let her know that I had been quite crampy over the weekend, as well as more consistently that day and also that I had had a few bits of green mucus discharge too and that it felt more promising that baby would arrive soon. I messaged her again at 9.50pm to say that I thought it was definitely going to be that night that baby arrived as I had just finished yoga and things were ramping up and that I was off to bed soon.

Active Labour/the birth

I ate my pudding and remember whilst watching Friday Night Dinner that it sort of faded into the background, that I wasn’t paying attention to it and that my cramps were getting closer together and a lot more intense. I think it was around then that I realised that these weren’t just cramps anymore and were in fact surges, I was in labour! I asked R to switch off the TV and he encouraged me to have a drink and go to the loo. I remember our dog Honey coming over to me and snuggling into my leg and putting her paw onto my knee after I had just had quite a strong surge, as if to comfort me and say “It’s time Mum”. R asked what I wanted to do and I said that I thought we should call the MLU number and Kat to let them know that we would need them tonight. We rang Kat at 10.20pm to let her know that things had ramped up a lot and asked her to make her way over and then rang the MLU straight afterwards at 10.30pm to ask them to let the Oak Team midwife on call know that we would need them to attend our Home Birth that night. I was having surges whilst on the phone and remember the lady we spoke to saying that my surges weren’t too close together or intense yet, to have some paracetamol and a bath and that she would let the Oak Team midwife know but that she thought she was already attending a home birth.

After the calls R asked me where would I like to go, I said I thought that I might like to go and lie in bed for a rest but then wasn’t sure how comfortable I would be and also if I may wake up A as my surges were feeling quite intense by this point. I then just sort of gravitated back to my yoga mat which was still out on the floor and knelt, leaning over my ball, which incidentally had been my go to position during my later stages of pregnancy as it was the most comfy I felt as I got bigger, I used to watch TV in this position a lot too..maybe it had sort of become muscle memory or ingrained into me subconsciously that this was where I was comfy. R was round the front of my ball, holding my hands through surges and encouraging me to breathe and to drink in between. I remember Honey being there too and coming round the ball to check I was okay after a surge, but at this point R then sent her to the kitchen so she wouldn’t be in the way or a distraction. R encouraged me to go to the loo again and asked if I wanted to eat anything.

Very quickly after that I remember feeling like I was weeing myself and realising that my waters had just gone. I calmly told Ricky that they had gone and that we needed to check they were clear. We rang the MLU back at 10.42pm to let them know that my waters had just gone and that my surges were very close together and strong only to be told that Shereena the on call Oak Team midwife was at another home birth, that there was nobody to come out to us and that we should either make our way into hospital or call 999. I remember Ricky’s face as they said that looking quite worried/panicked and when he was holding my hand that he was shaking a little. I also remember at this point firmly stating that I wasn’t going anywhere and wanted to stay at home. We rang Kat back at 10.46pm, who was on her way, to let her know what we had been told and she said that she was nearly there and suggested we ring our named midwife Lindsey, who had always planned to attend our Home Birth, having cared for me throughout this pregnancy and having been present at the birth of our little boy too. She was on annual leave but earlier in January had given me her personal number to contact her when she was not working so that she could attend, as she cared that much about being there to support me and welcome our new baby into the world.

We rang Lindsey at 10.50pm who answered after a while, saying she was sorry that she had missed my message from earlier in the evening but she had been asleep and was really poorly with flu or even Covid. We explained the situation to her and as well as sounding really poorly you could hear in her voice how upset she was at the situation and she said that as much as she wanted to she wouldn’t be able to attend but would ring round the whole team to see if anybody could.

Kat arrived at I think about 10.50pm and knocked at the door which R had unlocked and we shouted her to come in. She came straight in to the front room and I immediately asked her to help me with my breathing and R too as the surges were coming very close together and strongly by this point. I remember discussing the options and again confirming that I wanted to stay at home and didn’t want to go anywhere. R rang 999 at 11.10pm and was on the phone to a woman who I remember was going through a standard script with silly/irrelevant questions and the next thing I remember of that call was him being put on hold with some bizarre hols music coming on!! I was well and truly in the zone by this point and only have a

vague recollection of all of the events, but I do remember Kat starting to intermittently feed me Jelly Babies (best labour food ever!!!!) and Kat and R asking me if I wanted to move and where to, I said that I wanted to go in the birth pool and remember R going off to start it filling up.

Also around the same time I remember feeling as if I was having a poo. Kat at this point encouraged/helped me to take off my pyjama trousers and underwear and cleaned me up. I remember starting to have pushing sensations and a lot of pressure, but I didn’t really do anything but breathe with the help of R and Kat, R holding my hands and Kat massaging my lower back in between surges which felt amazing. Next thing I remember was Kat telling me that she could see the head and did I want to feel, I said not as I felt like to move to be able to feel would have been hard to do and uncomfortable and also that it would have distracted me somehow, I was happy with where I was and my body sort of told me not to move. R went around to see the head after Kat asking him if he wanted to.

Kat and R were then both really encouraging me and I think that gave me an extra boost that I could do it and was doing it after knowing baby’s head was already there. I remember some of the surges being so intense and strong that my entire body was shaking and also remember being mega sweaty and keeping apologising to R and Kat for being so sweaty! Also Jelly Babies keeping being popped into my mouth! I think I was in awe at what my body was doing and I felt that if I just kept breathing with R and Kat’s help that was all I needed to do.

Next thing I remember was what I can only describe as a really strong stinging sensation down below and then with the next surge a big pushing feeling and then Kat saying that baby’s head had arrived and that lots of fluid was coming out of baby’s nose...I felt such a massive sense of pride and achievement at that moment as I remember thinking I’ve done it, birthing the head is the hardest part and baby’s body will just follow out. At that point I remember Kat keeping asking me if I was having any more surges coming, I didn’t feel like I was at that point but remember feeling baby moving and wriggling inside and telling Kat that, she asked me to lift up my right leg to give baby more room to move round and as soon as I did that I felt another surge come and baby’s body was born.

I remember Kat saying that baby had arrived and between the three of us we lifted baby up and onto my chest...I remember seeing that we had had a girl as we lifted baby round and up onto me but for some reason not saying anything to anyone at that point....I think I was simply too in shock/amazed/in awe at what my body and the three of us as a ‘dream team’ had just done between us. I felt like there was a little triangle of love and safety around me and that this was exactly how our baby was meant to have arrived into the world, despite it never being the plan that there would not be a midwife there.

I remember Kat announcing the time of birth as 11.26pm and asking if baby was a boy or a girl. Ricky said he thought it was a girl and I then double checked and it was, we had a beautiful baby daughter. I remember the crazy feelings of elation and also love that I felt at that point towards both baby and R and also to Kat. I also remember Ricky saying to me that “We did it” and giving me a kiss. I know I also couldn’t believe that I had just been watching tv and then a couple of hours later had given birth to my baby daughter, just on my yoga mat in the front room and with no painkillers whatsoever and not even the pain relief of the water in the birth pool that I had felt when birthing my son (which I had then asked R if it had been filled in time and he had actually left it filling and ran through to switch off the hose, it was not far off full!, as things had progressed that quickly). It didn’t feel nearly as painful birthing baby as I had imagined in my head/been led to believe by outside influences, and being able to fully feel her coming out of me was really really amazing, I don’t really know how to describe it, especially not having had that with my son, as I had ended up having an episiotomy and forceps delivery. In that moment as I knelt there holding baby, feeling suddenly very very tired I also felt like a superhero!!!

Paramedics arrival and physiological third stage

I then remember sort of coming round and out of my birth zone and the paramedics all being there in the front room (looking back at my phone it looks like they must have arrived at about 11.35pm, ten minutes after baby arrived) and chatting to each other and to Kat and R and it feeling quite crowded and noisy suddenly. I also remember feeling grumpy seeing them stood on my nice carpet in their big black outdoor boots...which looking back makes me chuckle as that is so me, and as if that was my first thought about the situation when I had just given birth on my yoga mat on that same carpet!! They checked my blood pressure etc and also baby’s health and then we all waited for the placenta to birth. Ricky rang the MLU back at 11.40pm to let them know baby had arrived and then Kat rang Lindsey off my phone too to let her know shortly after. I was very thirsty at this point and felt super tired and like I had no energy and remember guzzling lots of water and having lots more jelly babies fed to me by Kat too. I actually found this bit harder than the birth believe it or not as I was aware of my surroundings again and suddenly felt as if I was in an uncomfy position (baby’s cord was quite short so I was sort of knelt but stooped forwards with no support to enable me to hold her but not tug her cord) but also felt like I couldn’t move and Kat had encouraged me not to too as I had felt like I had weed, which I had assumed was blood.

As I had said that I was uncomfy and wanted to move, I was helped by R and one of the paramedics onto our couch which was covered in puppy pads, but as soon as I sat down it felt like the most uncomfortable place ever and I asked to be helped back down immediately and was then knelt back on the floor again but near the coffee table. I remember having strong crampy pains now and again and then the feeling of something almost falling out of me, although quite easily and remember seeing the paramedic’s watch that it was 12.10am and the placenta had been birthed.

I was helped forwards away from the placenta and towards the couch to lift baby onto there and Ricky then cut the cord and one of the paramedics put a cord clamp on and our rainbow cord tie too. I then felt a lot more comfortable and could get up and sit onto my birthing ball where I had more to drink and another little snack. I had a look at my placenta, which looked huge, as I remembered my son’s looking and Kat took some photos before it was bagged up to be taken to hospital. How crazy and amazing that a woman’s body grows a whole organ just to grow and support baby and then expels it afterwards!

The Paramedics/journey to hospital

Around this point, the Paramedics talked to me and advised that I go in to hospital to be checked over and also baby too as they could not get a midwife to attend. I remember speaking to R and Kat about it too and deciding that it was best to go in to be checked over rather than declining, given the time I had given birth and how long it could potentially be before a midwife came out to us the next day.

R got baby dressed and got the things baby and I needed to go to hospital with the help of Kat too. I also got changed into clean pyjamas and we were helped into the ambulance and put on a stretcher. Kat asked if I wanted her to go to hospital/I asked her if she would mind coming so I wasn’t alone as R had to stay and call parents to come over as our son was asleep upstairs and then he would follow on to pick me up. The paramedics said we should only be there a few hours at most.

I remember snuggling our brand new baby daughter in the ambulance and keeping staring at her in awe that she was here and at what had just happened. I also remember speaking to the paramedic in the back of the ambulance all the way to hospital about babies and children, the birth and also the ambulance strikes.

Once we arrived at Leighton Hospital, I was wheeled out of the ambulance to the sight of Kat waiting for me, she helped by carrying in mine and baby’s bags and we were taken straight through to our own room in the MLU which was quiet and dimly lit in a kind of purple colour and I remember being so happy that we were in there rather than the main labour ward.


The paramedics handed over care to the midwife Maddie who was on duty and let her know some of the timings of the birth and placenta which Kat and I corrected. She first checked my placenta and blood loss from the pads that the paramedics had brought and had an initial look at baby too. I popped to the loo and then was checked to see if I needed any stitches. I was offered gas and air but didn’t use it and Kat held my hand, as she had promised she would, as well as holding baby for me. I was super happy to be told that I only had a Grade 1 tear towards the back of my perineum and that I wouldn’t need stitches as it would heal better without them. After my experience of an infected episiotomy wound with my son I was so happy to hear this and I remember Kat again saying well done to me and that it was because of how I had breathed through the surges and birthed baby so gently that I had stretched slowly and again I felt such a sense of achievement and pride.

We then undressed baby to be weighed and her head measured and I remember how tiny she seemed and how hard it seemed to undress her compared to our son, who suddenly seemed massive! She had also pooped so a first dirty nappy to deal with! She was confirmed as 7lbs 2oz heavier than my little boy had been. She was so small and perfect, I was so in love.

We discovered that the paramedic had put the cord tie on the wrong side of the cord clamp that he had put on and so Kat produced a new cord tie for us, Maddie tied the cord tie in the correct position and I also got a chance to cut baby’s cord, which was also magical – I couldn’t believe how thick it was and quite tough to cut through even with the special scissors.

I got baby dressed again and I remember Kat asking Maddie if we could have some toast, Maddie then offered to make us some and also asked us if we would like a drink too, I asked for my standard favourite of hot chocolate and Kat asked for tea and Maddie came back shortly after with toast and tea for Kat and also said that she had managed to find one hot chocolate sachet too, result!

Maddie disappeared to do the discharge paperwork and I then remember Kat and I happily eating toast together and having a drink and a chat whilst I breastfed baby and then I thought I best check my phone and see what time it was and if R would be there soon. I had two texts off him saying “LOVE YOU BILLIONS XXXX” and “You did it.xxxx our gorgeous little girl xxxx” – I felt quite teary reading them, we had wanted and waited for this baby for so long and she was finally here.

R arrived at hospital around 2.45am and rang me to find out where I was, and a few minutes later he was knocking on the door of the room. R, Kat and I then had a chat together about the amazing experience we had all just been through and I made sure R had some of the toast too. Kat asked us if we had any names in mind for baby...we had had a shortlist in mind for both a boy or a girl as we had with A, but had also looked up some names with special meanings following the miscarriages we had sadly been through. We both looked at each other and I think we both already knew that she was going to be Lucy Rose...Lucy as it meant ‘light’, and she was our little light after the pain and heartache of the miscarriages and then Rose as it is just such a pretty name and my Mum is also ‘Roselyn’ in the middle, so after her too. Kat agreed that it was the perfect name for her and took a few selfies of the four of us together, the dream team as we later called ourselves!!

We waited for Maddie to bring through the discharge papers and she also did the newborn checks to save us having to come back to hospital and then we were given the all clear to leave around 4.10am. Hooray, time to get home to our comfy bed and out of the heat of the hospital! R bundled baby L into the car seat, she looked so tiny, Kat helped with the bags and we made our way to the car and then back home for a little before 5am. R had already sorted the house out so we could just head straight upstairs and all get comfy for a couple of hours rest before A woke up to meet his baby sister for the first time just before 7am. The look on his little face when he first saw her was adorable and filled my heart with even more love than I knew I could feel...our little family was finally complete and we were blessed with a gorgeous little boy and a gorgeous little girl too. Time to start our adventure as a family of 4. We have been in a bubble of love ever since!

My timeline

Looking back at the birth and piecing the timeline together, it still seems like a strange dream and a blur and I can’t believe after making us wait a little longer than perhaps expected how fast little Lucy’s entrance into the world was...I can only have been in active labour for around 1 hour 30 minutes and a total time including the latent phase of around 10 hours from when the cramps initially started at around 1.30pm, although my body had been doing its thing and preparing for the event since at least the 7th January with all the on/off cramping.

The Rebirth

On speaking to Kat after the birth I had said that the only thing I felt a little saddened by was that I hadn’t been able to use the birth pool, it had been set up in the dining room since the 2nd January along with my mood board with positive birth affirmations, twinkly fairy lights, candles and speakers ready to play some of the 3 playlists I had chosen/made for the occasion, one of which was our wedding breakfast playlist back from when we got married in 2016.

I had happy memories of being in the birth pool during my labour with A, leaning over the side of the pool and reading the birth affirmations, holding Ricky’s hands through surges whilst listening to our wedding breakfast playlist in the dim light of candles and fairy lights and had been hoping to recreate the same during the birth of baby L – I had even used the same mood board and just added some extra pictures and mementos.

Kat suggested that as I had never got into the pool and the liner was still in that we just empty the water out and then refill it for me to essentially have a giant bath in it with all my lights on so that I still got to have that experience, a rebirth. This sounded amazing to me and so on 3rd February, when baby L was 4 days old, we did just that. R emptied and then refilled the pool for me and I sat in there with all my lights on, candles lit and the wedding breakfast playlist on and leant over the side, reading and looking at my mood board. It was a super magical, very healing and fulfilling experience and also very emotional, quite a few happy tears were shed....I spent some time in the room alone, R and baby L also sat in there with me for a while and about 5 or so minutes before I got out we got baby L undressed and she got in with was so magical, she was so calm, peaceful and happy in there with me skin to skin, and we spent a few minutes just being and looking at each other in amazement at what we had done only a few days earlier as a team together and I knew I would love her with all of my heart for the rest of my life.

I remember that Coldplay- Everglow and Kodaline - The One came on and played on the playlist whilst we were in the pool together...this memory of being in there together will remain ingrained in my brain forever and I doubt I will be able to listen to either one of those two songs again without shedding a tear or two. This experience truly completed my amazing birth story.

We cannot recommend Kat enough as a doula for your birth but also for her hypnobirthing classes and the Positive Birth Preparation Workshop that she does with yoga teacher Sarah Clover, all of which we have attended. You definitely cannot put a price on any of the services that Kat provides, but in any event her rates are extremely reasonable. She was invaluable to both me and my husband both in the run up to the birth and also during the birth itself, we simply couldn't have done it without her! We had a couple of meetings before our birth, Kat attended our home birth and we also had a Postnatal visit following the birth as well as WhatsApp support throughout. The support Kat provided was second to none, she helped me with my birth plan, answered any queries or worries we had, helped us to prepare for the birth encouraging me to include self care as well as gentle movement as I neared the birth and helped me to maintain my positive mental attitude for a natural birth in the run up to birthing, as well as providing a safe space to rant as required! In addition she answered queries we had after baby had arrived. Throughout she maintained just the right amount of contact, not too much to feel pestered but just enough to feel properly supported. She was always on the end of the phone/message/email if we needed her. Her support after the birth and up to and including our final postnatal visit was also brilliant, we felt really sad to say goodbye and a few tears were even shed. She is such a caring and attentive person and perfect as a doula. We parted ways feeling like we have made a friend for life too who we will definitely keep in touch with and baby Lucy will be growing up calling her Auntie Kat!

Thanks a million for being part of our amazing birth story Kat

Katie, Ricky and baby Lucy xxx

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