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Hayley and Leigh Brown

My perfect VBAC birth

I stumbled across Wessex Independant Midwives by chance really, and WOW it changed my world.
Let me tell you about my birth story...
My 1st Pregnancy wasn't the easiest, under the care of one hospital and then we moved counties and my care was then under another hospital. Staff didn't understand my medical condition called Ulcerative Colitis, or the drugs I was on to control it, and because of the drugs I knew from the start I wouldn't be able to breast feed and I was at peace with this. It went downhill from there. My baby was breech and I had low fluid. They performed 2 ECVs which failed, so I was booked in for a c-section. My baby decided she couldn't wait and decided to come sooner and rather fast which resulted in a emergency c section.
I wasn't allowed to hold her straightaway due to excessive shaking.
I couldn't do anything for my baby. After having my first child, my colitis flared and I was put on a new drug and was told at the time if I have another child I would need a c section and I can't breastfeed. Sound familiar??? Yup same as my first pregnancy.
So when I was 20 weeks pregnant and i had already seen 5 different midwives and was sick of explaining my last pregnancy and health issues, so i began searching for private maternity care and I stumbled across Wessex Independent Midwifes and straightaway I contacted them. Caroline got in contact with me, and we arranged a meeting to talk through her services etc. My Husband and I didn't need persuading we booked her 2 days later.
Caroline was amazing, all my antenatal visits were at home, she became part of the family, my daughter (4) loved Caroline and constantly inundated her with drawings and gifts, Caroline came with me on a tour of another local hospital, to which she then transferred my care from my original hospital which I was not keen on (personal reasons) to the one I had a tour of. She booked me in with a new consultant who was lovely and very understanding of my wishes, and concerns. I was told I could have a natural birth (VBAC) with my condition even after having a section the first time, well I was absolutely elated :) every scan and appointment after that Caroline was there.

I had always wanted a water birth and again I was told this wouldn't be a problem. Caroline also got in touch with a top pharmacist who emailed me a lot of research/trials and studies that had been done on women in Pregnacy on my medication. There was no evidence to suggest it would cause harm by breastfeeding. So I was beaming by this point, like a Cheshire Cat :)

Then it almost went completely wrong. I was 26 weeks pregnant and having contractions so I went to the hospital and was kept in for 3 days. Again Caroline visited everyday and supported me and my husband through a very scary time. I found out then I had group B Strep.

Everything died down again until 37 weeks and I had contractions again, so I phoned Caroline and she met us at the hospital, I jumped in the birth pool for everything to stop. We ended up going home.

The early hours of the morning on the 17th September (38+4) I woke up with pains again, this time I delayed jumping on the bandwagon and waited for a bit. I paced about the house for ages then all of a sudden my waters broke and I made lots of small puddles on my tiled floor. Even then I still wasn't sure if this time would be the real deal. Anyway I phoned Caroline and we went off to the hospital again.
I got in the birth pool for about 1 hour, and I had to get out, I was getting too hot and prune like and I didn't like it. Even though I was dead sure I wanted a water birth.
I sat on the ball for about 6 hours, connected to a drip with anti biotics for the group B strep as they found it in my urine. The ball was amazing I bounced, And bounced.... And bounced.
About 9am I was 4cm and asked for gas and air (amazing stuff) felt like I had one too many sambucas :) although it made me sound like a man when I spoke. No one else thought so. My husband went off to get some Lavender essential oils to keep me calm. I was completely away with the fairies I couldn't really smell it, but my husband said you could smell it down the corridor.

Then all of a sudden I felt myself starting to get all emotional and lose the plot. Caroline said this was normal and not to worry.
I got on the bed to be checked and well I didn't get off, that was it. (I always said I wanted a water birth and didn't want to be on the bed) but it just goes to show how things can change.
I was so high on this wonderful stuff... I started to push, my word it was an odd feeling. 20 minutes later my baby girl was born straight onto my chest... 'I did it, I actually did it' she weighed in at 6lb 9oz. I had delayed cord clamping, I tried to deliver the placenta without the injection but it took forever and I didn't like the umbilical cord between my legs so I asked for the injection.
Caroline knew I wanted to see the placenta and she showed me, it was amazing to see what keeps your baby alive. I wanted to live and breathe every part of delivering my baby. I never got to experience it the first time. I managed to get my baby latched on to my breast with Caroline's guidance. Everything felt perfect. The sense of achievement I got from delivering my baby was so overwhelming, and I still feel those emotions to this day.

After 24 hours I was discharged, Caroline came to see me at home over the first month, very regularly which really was lovely.

Caroline was a godsend. I don't know how my pregnancy would of turned out if I hadn't found Wessex Independent Midwives. Thanks to Caroline, I gave birth naturally, I was the first to hold my baby, and I breast fed her too :) remember earlier I was told I couldn't do any of that...

Saying goodbye was hard, just saying thank you didn't seem enough.

Best money ever spent, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you Caroline xxxx

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