A healing birth

The decision to have another baby was not a decision that was easy to make. I was traumatised by the birth of my beautiful daughter and that deeply changed me and changed all my hopes and dreams for the start of my journey as a mum. The birth of my son healed a lot of those wounds and as his 1st birthday has just passed, I find myself reflecting on his birth with the most amazing memories. I wanted to share my journey as I will be eternally grateful to One to One for the support that they provided.

I heard about One to One before getting pregnant and it all sounded too good to be true. I think it was 2 days after getting a positive test that I called them to register and I was surprised to find that my first appointment was only a few weeks later. I first met my amazing midwife Kelly Silk at my home, I went through every detail of my daughter’s birth, I had no idea that the appointment had lasted for a few hours by the time it was over. At no appointment did I ever feel rushed or not listened to. Kelly became like a family friend. She also acted as a midwife to my 2-year-old who was also convinced she was having a baby too! When Kelly used a Doppler on my stomach she had to use it on my daughters too.

Medically my pregnancy could not have been more straightforward, the main problem was my fear of labour. Kelly spent a lot of time trying to get me to have confidence in my abilities; trying to get me to believe that it could be different. Kelly arranged appointments with an anaesthetist and an appointment with a midwife at the hospital for a birth review. From the first-time I met Kelly I told her I didn't want to have a home birth and there was never any pressure to change my mind. There was always great communication with the hospital. From an early stage Kelly told me that it was not my fault that my daughter’s birth didn't go to plan, you may think this is an obvious thing but nobody had ever said that to me before and I can remember her telling me that like it was yesterday.

As DD got closer I think I told Kelly on an almost daily basis I thought I was going into labour. It was a day after my due date that I called Kelly and told her it was definitely happening and that I had no doubts. Kelly called the hospital and off I went with my husband. I tried to practice birth affirmations but it all felt a bit too airy fairy to me! I attended hypnobirthing classes with One to One but after my first birth I thought it all sounded like mumbo jumbo! Births that women smile through and have no pain relief seemed nonsense to me!

As my relationship with Kelly grew I asked if she would attend the hospital when I went into labour. I knew she could not act as a midwife but I wanted someone to keep me level headed. I always regretted during my first birth not knowing more about my rights, about what was normal and what was not. I was never treated badly by the hospital but things could have been explained better. I know now that often the end result will not change but the journey along the way could be different. Seeing Kelly shortly after I arrived at the hospital was really reassuring for me. The hospital told me my son was back to back and they were measuring me 4 weeks big. I had so much faith in Kelly that this didn't send me into a panic. Kelly has measured me every time so I knew there was no doubt with that. My husband, Kelly and I entered the delivery room. It was in my notes that I wanted a different room to the one I started labour with my daughter as I wanted this to be a new experience, I wanted a new memory. My plan was a water birth with just gas and air but I knew if things were not progressing I would need an epidural at an early stage as this was advised by the hospital. We prepared the room with fake candles, music and snacks. When I look back on the birth it only seemed to have lasted a few hours. I got to give birth in the pool and only had gas and air. I would say take whatever drugs you need but for me I was proud that this was completely different experience for me. I owned this, I was completely in control and never felt so supported. I remember reaching for my son and feeling such a sense of joy. I cried happy tears that I had done this. I had fallen in love with my little man straight away and enjoyed every moment of life with a newborn. So many wounds had been healed. I have even managed to breastfeed something which I didn't manage for more than 5 days first time round, thank you to the amazing support of Kat and Julie. Kat knew how upset I was I couldn't feed and she fully understood the need for me to keep going one day at a time. I could never have imagined I would still be feeding at 14 months.

I can't even begin to express how amazingly grateful I am for all the love and care, not only me, but my whole family had from One to One. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!