“You’ve got this!”

During week 28 of my pregnancy, we decided to switch our care to One to One and it was honestly the best decision we ever made. I cannot recommend their service highly enough.

My first encounter of a One to One midwife was at my week 32 appointment, where we got to meet the very friendly and lovely midwife Lucy Nuttall. We instantly connected and felt at ease from the get-go. We knew we’d met the right lady to share our first-time birth experience with. We were very keen to learn more about water births and at home in particular. So, Lucy carefully listened to our needs and wishes, whilst sharing statistics and knowledge that provided us with everything we needed to know to make an informed choice. Her positive and upbeat approach is exactly what we were looking for. After all we were about to embark on a very special journey together.

Fast forward a few months later and it was late evening on the 29th July 2018 (week 37+ 2 days), feeling heavily pregnant but great, we went to bed after a lovely evening out with friends. It was 12.35am when I woke to a trickling of water... I immediately woke my husband and told him I was wetting myself, something which apparently can happen post 37 weeks. After several trips to the bathroom we realised it was in fact my waters breaking. We didn’t have the ‘bloody show’ first it came much later, so after contacting Lucy she calmly told me that yes it sounded like we were in the early stages of labour. I was told to go to bed, get some rest, eat, drink and start my relaxation techniques. Lucy said she’d make contact in the morning but if things changed we should call her back. She lived 40 minutes away from us. This is something we should have remembered during the build-up.

My husband and I whipped out the hypnobirthing video and music, lit our Neom candle and lay side by side breathing deeply when I felt the mild cramping sensations. With a cheeky back rub thrown in on the odd one that I needed a bit more help with. After 4 hours of doing this, things started to ramp up very quickly. Instead of lying on my side, I felt more comfortable on all fours on top of the bed sheets with my head resting on the headboard. I asked my husband to start writing down the time in-between contractions as they felt like they were coming thick and fast. I should add that they were all manageable with my upward breathing we just thought we were in the early stages of labour.

At about 6.30am my husband decided to call Lucy, he could see that the waves were getting more and more frequent and slightly more intense. The minute he contacted Lucy, it went up another notch and I felt the need to bear down and start to push. Lucy could hear me down the other end of the phone and asked for us to FaceTime her so she could take a look at what was going on. Immediately she could tell we were in fact in advanced labour. It was at this point that I started to quickly panic and stopped being in the zone with my breathing. Whilst we had always wanted a homebirth, I always thought they’d be time to fill the pool up and have some time to get my head around the Latent phase of labour. This obviously wasn’t going to be the case for us. My husband was doing all he could but obviously was equally worried at how fast things had progressed. After a few minutes Lucy rather strongly told me to ‘get my s*!t together - you’ve got this!!’ and to my husband’s surprise this worked a treat and I instantly started to calm down and focus back on my breathing. It was exactly what I needed and something my husband wouldn’t have got away with saying to me!!

Due to things starting at 37 weeks, Lucy asked if we wanted to go to hospital or wait for her to arrive. My biggest fear was going to hospital, I just don’t feel comfortable and relaxed in them. So, I said I’d like to wait for her to arrive. Due to the distance between us and the fact we were clearly progressing fast she advised it would be best to call 999 and get the paramedics here so that if Baby came before she got to us we had some help. After 6 mins they arrived and immediately offered me gas and air, which I gratefully accepted. It really helped to calm me down and remain focused. Another 30 mins later Lucy arrived. Hooray! By this time, I was still on all fours but was on the bedroom floor, we changed positions to make me more comfortable and after a few minutes she offered to fill our bath tub up and get me into the water. It wasn’t quite how we’d pictured it but nonetheless we went with it, as I really wanted a water experience and there was no time to fill that pool up!

By this time, we had quite the gathering in our small bathroom, my husband, Lucy, my mum (arrived shortly before Lucy) and 2 x paramedics. After being in the water for a few hours (again on all fours) and with no internal examinations at 9.04am I breathed our baby down and out. We had a little boy called Jacob Kenny, weighing 6lb 3oz.

Feeling in utter shock and completely in love we spent the next few golden hours together as a family in our bed. It was complete bliss. My husband cut the cord (we opted for delayed cord clamping). Lucy carried out all her checks on me and the baby and shortly afterwards we were left to our own devices. It was exactly how I had envisaged it.

Overall, it was a truly positive experience and we couldn’t have done it without the support of Lucy and One to One. We are so lucky to have had our homebirth experience with our first baby and we now have a very healthy, happy and calm little baby boy.

The aftercare service with One to One has also been second to none. It’s personable and friendly and we’ve always looked forward to our appointments. A special thanks to the MaMAs Sammy & Debbie. If you’re reading this and wondering whether this is the path you should choose, stop reading and get in touch, you seriously won’t regret the decision. I know if we are to have any more babies, I’ll be coming straight to One to One again for their superb, friendly midwifery care.