We booked with Neighbourhood Midwives relatively late (the day before my due date!) but I am so relieved that we did. Hiring Leonie was by far the best decision we made; our son’s birth wouldn’t have been the incredible, stress-free experience it was without her.
Originally from the US, I am new to the NHS healthcare system and wanted an extra bit of security knowing I would have continuity in care with certified, experienced midwives.
Neighbourhood Midwives played the most significant role you can imagine in my birth story. I wasn’t planning on a home birth, but when Leonie came to the house to assess me I had moved through the first stage of labour much more quickly than anticipated and was fully dilated. Leonie made the call to stay home, and I must say I was relieved. I instinctively knew that things had moved quickly, and I was more comfortable being at home. Leonie brought in Tess to support, and they were both supported / shadowed by Ellie (a student midwife).
Carolina’s birth story
As the months passed during my pregnancy, I started thinking more and more about the type of birth that I wanted to welcome my baby into the world. Many girlfriends used the word traumatic to describe their birthing experience and I was sure there was another way to birth.
We found out we were expecting twins, our third and fourth babies at an early pregnancy scan at 7 weeks (which I was offered due to a miscarriage three months earlier). To say we were shocked is an understatement – it took several weeks for the news to sink in, and emotions ranged from horror to excitement as I had 3 year old and 2 year old boys already. The prospect of four under five was very daunting!
During my pregnancy I knew I wanted to try for a natural vaginal birth, using the birthing pool and hypnobirthing techniques. I read a hypnobirthing book, attended an evening class with my husband and practiced the relaxation techniques every night. I was feeling calm and prepared for my natural vaginal birth.
At 37 weeks, I had a scan to check the location of the placenta as it had been low-lying at my 20 week scan. It was during this scan that my baby boy was identified as being breech. It was recommended I had a planned Caesarean section. This threw a bit of a spanner in the works and I must admit I was upset, worried and disappointed at first.
A home water birth makes a big difference to the experience of the woman but also to other members of the family. One client told this story of her experience.
“As it got darker, Toby lit candles and dimmed the lights. He had been wonderful throughout, bringing me drinks and holding my hands through every surge, reminding me how to breathe and repeating affirmations that we’d used in our hypnobirthing relaxation practise throughout pregnancy.’
Neighbourhood Midwives helped me achieve a wonderful experience for the birth of my second child at home, in contrast to the traumatic experience of my first child’s birth with the NHS in hospital. I wish I had hired Neighbourhood Midwives for my first birth.
Here is my birth story from the arrival of Timothy. On the morning he was born, I woke up feeling a little disappointed that I still wasn’t in labour, as I was 16 days past my due date. Steve, my husband, went off to work as usual and my daughter Esta and I started our day. As we got up, I thought that perhaps my waters were leaking, they definitely hadn’t gone with a gush, but there was something going on. I called Cheryl my midwife who said I could go to hospital to be checked, but I was aware that they then might try to keep me in. I decided that I would wait an hour and see what was happening.