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Hayley and Daniel Millbank - Homebirth of First Baby

Hayley gives birth to Adora-Boudica, brilliantly supported by Daniel

Beautiful Homebirth of First Baby

I wasn’t even pregnant when I began preparing and researching. I knew what I wanted in a pregnancy and birth, but I had no idea just how possible it would be for me to have. Unfortunately what I did know, was that I was unlikely to get what I wanted if I went through the NHS. I madly Googled my way through the internet when I stumbled across Wessex Independent Midwives – I had finally found what I didn’t even know I was looking for!!!
I emailed them immediately with a list of what I wanted from pregnant and birth – That I wanted it to be as natural as possible, at home, no drugs or interventions – I wanted to feel the birth, I believe it to be an initiation into womanhood. Be proud and privileged to experience every sensation and feeling. There would be no ‘P’ word used.. For it is not ‘P’ just merely sensations bring your baby closer to your arms. Caroline’s positive email response let me know instantly that this is how I will get the pregnancy and birth I wanted. It didn’t take much to convince my husband Daniel, although he only held back on the usual hang ups – What If….. Something goes wrong….? Home – Isn’t as safe as a hospital full of nurses and doctors!
After talking about it, and allowing Daniel to research himself – He was soon on the same page as me and understood there is nothing that is likely to ‘go wrong’ and home is just as safe, and should we need to go into hospital… it’s a short distance away.
We were soon pregnant and meeting with Caroline for the first time – We both were delighted at the connection we had with her. I say ‘we’ because Caroline so heavily involved Daniel – I believe many partners get left behind, through their own choice or from feeling like a spare part. But Daniel had his own ideas and questions and I so enjoyed our conversations that so deeply prepared us throughout our pregnancy and constantly kept us up beat and excited about the birth ahead.

Our appointments were more like friendly catch ups, in the comfort of our own home, never rushed, and free to talk about anything allowing a genuine relationship to be created between all three of us.
Caroline listened to our ideas, interests and curiosities and offered her knowledge, expertise and experience allowing us to open our minds further.
All our wishes were taken on board with positivity, as was praise to keep up hypnotherapy techniques and pregnancy yoga, as well as my continued training at the gym and Caroline’s recommendations on Perineal Massage were greatly received by myself from 35 weeks of pregnancy.
This is very uncomfortable – and best if your partner is willing to assist you… Stick with it, as it does get better, the more you relax and I believe is well worth it in a bid to prevent tearing during the birth!!
My due date came and went – But we were calm, as our time with Caroline allowed us a very relaxed and healthy pregnancy – a due date is just a date pluck out of the air.. Always give 1-2 week window either side of it.
So when things started to happen, I really wasn’t very certain… I thought I had a show, but it didn’t really seem like a ‘SHOW’ haha.. I let caroline know.. Excitedly informed it was possible baby would be with us in the next few days..
I went into a kind of denial – Not anxious or worried denial.. Just happy, pleasant, cool as a cucumber denial.
I was having very small cramps… so Daniel and I went for a big walk (looking back now.. we probably should have gone for an afternoon nap, as little did we know.. we’d be up all night!!!)
On our walk we bumped into friends, who came back to ours for a cuppa – all the time I was having twinges… smiling and chatting, continuing on with our day.

We made dinner – Tacos!!! Yum… Although, with slight difficulty.. Now the twinges had me needing to drop to the floor on all fours and sway until they eased… I took bites of my Tacos in between these moments.
It was my brother inlaws 40th Birthday Party, my mother called and instructed me to call Caroline immediately as it didn’t sound like I’d make the party if I was having to drop to the floor every 5 mins.
Sure enough, Caroline said baby is on the way. 7:30pm Daniel began preparing our birthing pool – which was set up in the dining room as I lay over the sofa arm breathing out the sensations.
Little did I know our boiler decided to break.. We had no hot water and heating – Daniel kept it very quiet from me, as knew I needed to remain relaxed and calm. Early November, and the winter chill was under way…. Daniel did a fantastic job of filling saucepans on the gas hob to heat and filling the kettle goodness knows how many times.. he lit the open fire, put up fairy lights and even spa lights into the birthing pool.. at 9pm when Caroline arrived and it was time for me to go in the pool – My heart melted at what a beautiful job Daniel had done to make my birthing cave so special. Brings tears to my eyes as I type.
Stepping into the birthing pool and sinking my belly down into the warm water felt like absolute bliss – all the pressure was suddenly lifted!
I had only one requirement that I could not do without – I needed pressure applied to my sacrum. If Daniel had to leave to refill the pool with warm water – Caroline had to take over.. I could not be without pressure on my Sacrum.. All other sensations I found I could breathe through and use meditative techniques to remain calm and in the zone.
It never crossed my mind, as I was certain I didn’t want drugs – Caroline kept me hydrated with sips of coconut water and drops of Bach’s Rescue Remedy, and Daniel fed me Honey to keep my energy up.
Daniel eventually got into the pool with me as was more comfortable for us both as he applied pressure to my sacrum.
I soon got to the point of needing to push – Sitting in the pool wasn’t working for me.. As much as I had wanted to birth in the pool – my body took over – I need to stand up….. standing I wrapped a towel around Daniels neck as hung off him – luckily he is a strapping muscular chap!!! Nope nothing.. Something was up..
I hadn’t been passing urine – Not since before dinner.
I can’t say if it was the fact there was no way I could walk up our flight of stairs to the bathroom, or the stage fright of doing it in the pool in front of everyone, or if I just couldn’t go… but the fact was, I had a full bladder and needed to go – as was no room for babies head to come down..
I tried but to no avail…

The most uncomfortable I was all that evening, was having to lay down – and to think this is how many women were (and still are) told to give birth… I couldn’t do it, felt like I was being broke in two.. i managed to go sideways, with a leg up over the birthing pool, as caroline emptied my very full bladder – I could sense Daniels anxiousness at this time, as I could Caroline’s and I know this needed to be done – as she didn’t want to let me down, knowing how desperately I wanted an all natural home birth.
It was all go after I passed urine.. i didn’t make it back into the pool – I instead stood and held onto the handles at the side of the pool and squatted beside it. This was the toughest part – I am a young, fit and healthy woman, but when it came to pushing… i ran out of puff. Chrissy was fantastic at reading me, and got tough on me – The times I ran out, she told me I have more.. and there it was ‘I can’t do it… I have no more’ came out, the inevitable self doubt appeared… Push, push, push…push, push.. and I did.. she was right.. hidden, buried within me, i did have more!!!!
I remembered what I had read about this stage – 2 steps forward, 1 back.. feels like a Chinese burn sensation… because I knew what the sensation felt like and meant (baby is on the way) I remained calm and in control.. never fearing it as ‘pain’.
At the time I was oblivious to the fact my husband was with caroline on the floor looking up in anticipation of babies arrival – we had not discussed his front row seat.. but all was a bit late now haha!
At 4:30am our baby fell into the hands of her father, who passed baby up to me ‘You’re such a pudding!!!!’ being my first words spoken, surprised at just how heavy the baby was!!!
I was helped to the floor and as i held baby to my chest, baby went straight to feed from my breast – another amazing moment!
Oh wait… During the end of my pregnancy I was convinced I was carrying a boy… as were many in the family and of our friends, even during the labour and birth I believe Caroline and Chrissy assumed baby was a boy…
But we need to check, to officially confirm.. ‘it’s.. that is.. it’s a GIRL!!!’
Delighted – Adora-Boudica (Boo) our most precious achievement!
We didn’t want baby to be ‘cleaned’ and for baby to remain in their vernix, but baby didn’t really have much of it. We also had requested that baby’s cord was not to be cut until it had stopped pumping blood from the placenta, so all goodness was received by baby first.
Once this was done, Daniel cut Boo’s cord. Boo weighed in at 10lbs!!!
All that steak and spinach and weight training I had done whilst pregnant I believe!!
I wasn’t showing much signs of shifting the placenta – So I was helped upstairs, as sitting on the loo was supposed to be a more natural and comfortable way to help birth it and it helped immensely – Caroline then took the Placenta. She took apiece to put into a smoothie for me to drink immediately, and the remaining placenta she would take with her to Encapsulate for me to take daily.
Due to no hot water, I was not able to soak in the bath… but Chrissy helped me with buckets of water provided by Daniel to refresh myself.
Caroline gave me a check over and pleased to say no tearing – I put credit down to perineal massage for that, as well as controlled pushing – as Boo was a big girl, so I was so thankful at not tearing!
By 6:15am Daniel had found an electric heater in the garage that he set up in our bedroom to warm it through.. and Chrissy and Caroline had all three of us tucked up in our own bed – Boo fast asleep from her big adventure.
I was woken at 8:45am to the beautiful sound of Boo’s cries – I picked her up and I don’t think I have put her down again since.
Breastfeeding was successful, but by day 4 I was in a lot of discomfort – to the point of dreading Boo’s next feed…. Which was not a nice feeling.
Erika confirmed Boo had tongue tie, and with a quick snip it was all sorted – and we have been breastfeeding successfully since! 10 months strong now!!!
We spent a few weeks, all three relaxing at home – lots of skin to skin contact cuddles, not just myself and Boo, but Daniel and Boo also.
I continued to take the Placenta Encapsulation tablets Caroline provided – I felt wonderful and healed very well and promptly.
It is important with anything in life to surround yourself with positive people – so why should pregnancy be any different! Your positivity continued right up to the birth – We knew with you I could do it and my golly I did it!
Thank you for your genuine support, for your confidence in me and your trust in my body, because of that you allowed me the proudest achievement of my life- To birth my 10lb daughter, at home into the hands of her father. No drugs and no interventions, just complete love, confidence and trust from Daniel, Caroline and Chrissy.
You helped to not only prepare us for the birth, but prepare us as a confident family for the future! We are forever grateful. Please do not retire until we have finished our brood!!!!xxx

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