We changed healthcare late in pregnancy due to our move from Dubai to the UK where we had little to no resistance of our request for home birth. I was always set on the idea of home birth since my friend had epically explained how her partner (a relative of Nat King Cole) had sung their beautiful babies into the world at home... I didn’t even consider having bambinos then, but knew that if it was ever on the cards, that was the type of opening scene that I wanted for my birth journey. I truly believe that we are wired from birth so to have that type of calm and warmth welcome Jude into his first moments on earth, felt really important and was what kept me focused through the process.
I signed up to a hypnobirth course which myself and Adam attend for three weekends. Firstly I have to send you to Strong Like Mama because she is epic! She helped convert my slightly sceptical husband into a total advocate for calm and informed birth and strengthened all of the things I naturally felt about child birth which guided me through my whole journey (and still now) with absolute kick ass confidence and a wild connection to my Devine feminine.
At 6am on Saturday 5th Dec, my waters broke on my walk back from my 8th bathroom trip that evening. After a short ‘oh sh*t' moment, Adam and I got set on our usual morning dog walk to soak up some cold winter air in our local park for the last time as non-parents.
At 12.15 my surges started in an Uber ride whilst on the way to the hospital.
We was admitted for a final once over before we could be given the OK to birth at home as there were no available midwifes to come out to us at the time. The experience at the hospital was the only slight negative in this story. I remember the dread of leaving Adam (Covid rules won’t allow for birth partners to attend labour until the later stages), the panic of ‘what if I face resistance’ and then the distraction of the lights, sterile atmosphere and the noise.. (jezzzz the noise). The appointed midwife mentioned the booking of an appointment for the next day if I didn’t go into labour - I calmly replied ‘I am in labour, I’m having a surge now’… She didn’t believe me and booked my appointment in. Just FYI, I am not the exception and I do not have a ‘high pain tolerance’ I just knew that I had to keep calm and breathe. I was planning to avoid the assistance of medical intervention where possible and knew that this was the best way for me to progress things to achieve that.
Once home, Adam started to set up our space with a birth pool, candles and music whilst I sat in the bath as my surges progressed. Our midwives arrived and asked me to get out of the water as it could slow things down so I did, and with the support of a TENS machine and movement on my yoga mat, we continued our journey on dry land. Movement was a huge part of my pregnancy and life even before bambinos and bumps so it almost felt like a comfort that my body was familiar with - I also knew that keeping active would move things along.. Oxytocin, gravity and all of that good stuff.
After what felt like not long at all, I had the urge to rip off my tens machine and get into the pool. Unfortunately the water was too cold so whilst Adam ran back and forth from the kitchen with pots and pans of boiling water, I transferred back upstairs into the bath. I would say that this is the part where I transitioned ‘inward’. I remember rocking on my hands and knees and sitting in lotus pose (yes LOTUS POSE WAAAA) as laying or staying still would cause too much discomfort.
As I felt our bambino start to bare down, I began to roar. This moment and until Jude had arrived felt like a natural wave of vibration that powerfully moved through my body and voice box which created this crazy animalistic roar. Each time I came down from a surge I would whisper to my midwife who was sat by the entrance of the bathroom door stoking my dog, that I knew we were close. I knew my body and trusted it completely. I know that this part makes me sound like I’m nuts but there was something so powerful in just surrendering to what my body was doing and being in the moment. I knew that every roar would get me closer to meeting my baby which kept me focused. I visualized the power being aided by Judes movement down and out into the world which kept me connected to him and weirdly excited that we were already creating this epic bond as a team.
Once the pool became warm enough, I moved back downstairs to complete the last stages of our labor journey in the water. Hugging my husband over the side of the pool and listening to my mediation music in candle light, whilst my body brought baby Jude into the world at 7.25pm. I lifted him out of the water with my own hands and Adam cut the cord that had connected us for the past 9 months.
Our new family hugged it out on our sofa whilst mine and Adams mums made us tea and talked us through our very first (first of many) nappy changes - Complete Bliss!
Our midwifes sat in the conservatory as per our request throughout the whole journey until I was in the last stages of active labour where they sat behind me without much communication and allowed for all of my cues to be taken from Adam. We both wanted for our hands to be the first that Jude felt, our faces to be the first that he saw and, aside from Rachel's, our voices to be the first that he heard. With the power of trust and team work, we was able to achieve this.
I have to say a HUGE thank you to our team of NHS midwives for respecting all of our requests, Rachel of Strong Like Mama for being the anchor, all of the epic women that I met on my journey of pregnancy that only encouraged and built my confidence and of course my power house of a husband who was every part my strength throughout the birth of baby Jude. FYI, You have never experienced true relationship trust until your husband tells trained medical staff that he has got this and helps you birth your child almost single handedly.