Pregnancy and Birth of Zakhar

Arriving in Liverpool on cold frosty night with 2 small children and 5 suitcases waiting to meet my husband that I hadn't seen for 4 months was both very scary, challenging but also a very exciting and emotional moment. The move was one of the biggest adventures of our life that we made as a family and we made sure that we remained grateful and enjoyed every moment of it.

Two years later my husband and I decide that it's time for baby no.3. Both girls were not planned but baby no. 3 was, and we wanted a baby boy so much. We started trying and fell pregnant sometime in May 2017. I remember I went to visit a friend one afternoon and she poured me a glass of wine and I pushed the glass back. I went out and got myself a pregnancy test and it was a very fine line, so I wasn't sure. A few days went by and I took another test and again it was faint, but my husband and friend were convinced I was pregnant, and I was also feeling it. So I called to book my 12 week scan and a few days later I had some heavy bleeding, I called the hospital who booked me in for an early scan and took some bloods and they didn't identify any possibility of me being pregnant, and my hormones were very low so they called me to confirm that unfortunately they had to treat it as a miscarriage.

My husband and I were really upset as we hoped this was it and I felt awful, I heard about miscarriages and never thought that I would go through it. However, I pulled myself together for my girls and carried on. I still felt very strange as the weeks went by. A few weeks later I went on a long holiday to Cyprus, just me and the girls and that's when I missed a period and noticed smells very intensely. I called my gynaecologist and he booked me in the next day for a scan. Upon the scan he said 'congratulations you are 6 weeks pregnant! I was shocked! I told him about my experience in the UK and he told me “no you did not experience a miscarriage”, it was probably very early days.

We were absolutely thrilled with the news. I knew I was going to have this baby back home in the U.K, firstly I had to go back and second of all I was adamant I wanted a water birth. My girls were born in Cyprus at a private clinic with a gynaecologist and they were really great experiences, but I always wanted to birth in water. So, when I went back over to Liverpool I started doing my research. I went for my check ups and was given my options, but something inside of me wanted more, I wanted something completely natural, I wanted to have a home water birth, but no one could provide me with that service. I asked around as I wasn't ready to give up to the idea that this baby was going to be born in hospital, that's when a friend from the school told me about One to One Midwives and her amazing experience and it sounded absolutely beautiful. I cried feeling so emotional and I knew that this is exactly what I wanted. So I got in contact with One to One Midwives and they told me they would call me back to arrange my first appointment. And that's how my journey began with Kayleah.

She called me and we booked our first house visit. Upon meeting her I knew straight away that she was the one that would deliver my baby in my house! My instinct trusted her and felt even more confident during our talks. She was very informative, helpful, knowledgeable and she made me feel very comfortable. I loved the fact that everything was done in the comfort of my own home, even blood tests and measurements, it was all so new to me because my experience in Cyprus was very different. I would go to the doctor's office he would scan me every time and take my blood pressure. Not much talking being done or anything!!! With Kayleah, I couldn't believe how important she made me feel, she respected me, my baby, my body and my decisions. Not once did I feel pressured, rushed or uncomfortable and I always looked forward to our next appointment.

Our relationship grew over the next few months and I felt very close to her and trusted her completely. She gave me the option of having the baby at home in water just like I always dreamed of and so we planned it all with my husband and felt very very confident that everything would fall into place and everything will be safe and secure. I wanted a completely natural birth with no interventions and no drugs to help me cope with the pain. I used mindfulness technique and hypnobirthing, which I practised every day along with my yoga to help me prepare for the birth. As we got closer to the due date we prepared and Kayleah helped both of us to get ready for the big day. We discussed the birth plan in detail and nothing was ever a problem, any questions I had were always answered and I loved her honesty! I swear she was sent to me as an angel in disguise!

My due date came and there was still no sign of baby Zak! I started to panic a little because in Cyprus if u don’t have your baby on time you either have to be induced or have a c section, so I was constantly on the phone to Kayleah and she reassured me that since everything is alright there is no reason to rush the baby, as long as we were both happy and healthy.

By 41 weeks still no sign of him although my braxton hicks contractions got stronger. I called Kayleah again asking her about what my options were and she gave me the options of a sweep or being induced but that would mean going into the hospital and that was the last thing I wanted to do. So once again she reassured me and reminded me that a due date is not an expiry date and I should trust my baby and my body, and so I did! I refused the sweep and carried on drinking my raspberry leaf tea 4 times a day! Bouncing on my yoga ball and doing my yoga, walking and taking homeopathic remedies to help ripen my cervix and strengthen my uterus ready for birth.

The night before I went into labor I used a Tens machine to stimulate points that help and the next morning I felt so energized! I took the children to school and I said to my husband lets go for a long walk this baby is coming out today! I was so sure this was going to happen! Around 3pm I started feeling some mild contractions, I felt these were a little different than the normal braxton hicks, and I monitored them for an hour and they were very irregular, but I knew this was it, so I contacted Kayleah and told her it was time. So, we kept in touch all day I carried on with my chores and soaked in a nice warm bath, had a massage, sipped on herbal teas, meditated and even had some naps in between. I knew nothing was going to happen yet, so I decided to go to bed, the rushes were going and coming intensifying but not regular and I was riding those waves one breath at a time. I kept on waking up having showers as the warm water on my back felt amazing, my husband kept massaging me and I kept on having naps in between.

I woke up about 7am and my rushes were getting stronger and more regular and when I went to the toilet I had some spotting so I called Kayleah, she said we will be over soon. I decided the girls were going to stay home today, it had been snowing every day and today was lovely and sunny, not one cloud on the sky! My Greek boy sure did know what day to choose! So, everyone woke up, I had a nice warm shower, made breakfast and sorted the girls out all while I was riding these powerful waves one breath at a time! I was in pain but it felt amazing! I was excited and ecstatic I can’t explain it! I put my blue lights on to create the mood, was burning clary sage and playing chill out reggae music to which I was dancing to in between! This experience couldn't get any better! It was a like a dream!

Kayleah arrived and the team and my husband jumped right it, my girls helped fill the pool with water in the living room, and everyone was calm and excited and we were all happy and having a laugh. Everything felt so great and calm and serene, no stress or anxiety was present and that is precisely how I wanted it! I remember climbing into the pool and it was absolutely amazing! I instantly felt so much relief! This was a perfect moment, I remember looking out the window and the sun was shining through the glass straight into the pool and I felt like I was in a jacuzzi back home in Cyprus and all that was missing was a cocktail! So I asked my husband for a pina colada and we all laughed! He passed me some pineapple juice and they both supported me and helped me through the rushes! The gas and air was available to me but I was coping through my breathing and the power of the water. There was no fear! No adrenaline pumping through me, I was so happy and peaceful! I didn't feel like I was in labor at all! There were only happy hormones flowing Endorphins and all was good. I was ready to go collect my son’s soul from the stars and bring him to this planet! I was in a trance and a magical moment was about to happen, my baby was almost here.

My husband was getting very hungry at this point and he saw me so relaxed he decided that it’s time we should all get something to eat, so he decided to go out and get some pizzas. So off he went and within not even 5 minutes of him leaving I said to Kayleah I have the urge to push, so she calmly asked the other midwife to call my husband because he needed to be there, he could not miss this!! He didn’t even manage to get to the shops, he did a U turn, drove like a mad man, parked and ran upstairs! The baby’s head was crowning, I could feel him coming and he just managed to change into his shorts and jump in, and as he did baby Zak came and daddy caught him in the water! I just remember looking down into the water and seeing these beautiful blue eyes looking straight at me as he was gently guided by his daddy. He was immediately place on my chest and breastfed!

I started crying...my hormones kicked in! powerful oxytocin, the most amazing hormone! pure love! He was here, and he arrived safely and exactly as we wanted. Born in water at home, in a safe and calm environment. We delayed the cord being clamped as I wanted the baby to receive all his blood and he remained on my chest in the pool for a good 30 minutes. My girls came in to greet their brother and they were so happy to meet him, it was truly the most beautiful experience ever! Kayleah then guided my husband on how to cut the cord and he did it, she then helped me out and I delivered the placenta, while daddy had some skin to skin time with his son. Kayleah showed me the placenta and explained it all to me and it was so fascinating and amazing to see how beautiful it is! I call it the tree of life because it looks like it and it nourishes the baby from day one! I was then fully assessed, I didn’t require any stitches, and everything was fine. I was then tucked in bed with my baby boy skin to skin and my two beautiful girls by my side, as my husband and midwives cleared up and made me some tea and my husband finally went out to get his well-deserved pizza!! We were both very overwhelmed and amazed how we both handled the situation and we were both very proud of each other for being so aware and in the moment together and it made us feel even more in love between us but also our beautiful family!

I want to say that if I had a choice to turn back time I would do it all again! It was the most amazing experience of our lives and Kayleah is the best midwife in the world, she truly does give her all and loves what she does, she is one of a kind and I was so blessed to have her in mine and my family's life. We all love her and respect her and the experience we had with her was unforgettable, she became more than just my midwife, she became a close friend someone I can trust and rely on, she became family!

One to One Midwives you are truly blessed to have such an amazing person with you. This is the birth story of Zakhary Kleyn. This is the birth story of a friendship for life of Kate and Kayleah. Thank you I am so grateful and blessed.