Neighbourhood Midwives

Birth stories

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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.

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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.’

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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.

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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.

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Neighbourhood midwives were the reason behind me choosing to have a home birth. I met my midwives, Cheryl and Corina, when I was around 10 weeks pregnant. So by the time I came to having my baby we had formed a great relationship, I completely trusted them and they had filled me with so much knowledge about the benefits of home birth that I knew it would all be fine and was the right decision. Knowing and trusting your midwives is hugely important when you are having your baby!

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Before I picked up the phone to make first contact with midwife Eleanor my husband and I had been feeling trapped into a choosing a birth that would be heavily influenced by a hospital’s biomedical model of childcare and clinical guidelines where my pregnancy was falling outside of the low risk “normal”. I rang to ask her opinion on my situation, not knowing how much choice still lay in our hands. Something “clicked” as we spoke and I realised she would be the right person to support our decisions about delivery of our third child, that she was knowledgable, professional and most importantly highly dedicated and experienced enough to deal with our wish for an active or home birth if our own instincts led us to that decision.

We did not even need one night to consider whether or not to book neighbourhood midwife Eleanor…we just knew that if we could afford it it would be the best thing to do. I used a modest sum left to me by my late uncle to pay for the care (which is mainly to cover insurance) as I thought it would be an amazing legacy in his memory to support the new nephew he’d never met.

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We met Corina at an expectant parents’ event in Mothercare when Katie was just a few weeks pregnant. She was there to offer some free advice to the expectant mothers and fathers, and we had plenty of questions to ask! From the moment we met Corina we felt she had a bond with Katie, and I remember how reassuring she was, touching Katie’s arm and offering some words of comfort. We went away from that event with a leaflet about  Neighbourhood  Midwives, and soon started to think about hiring Corina as an independent midwife for the birth of our first child. We were anxious about pregnancy and birth, having had some issues the year before, and we felt it would be hugely beneficial for us to have the continuity of care and personal relationship that unfortunately isn’t always available through the NHS.

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Corina and Cheryl were my midwives and I saw them regularly since about week 5 of my pregnancy. We clearly discussed how I wanted the birth to be completely natural, I had wanted to be the first person to touch my child and for the birth to be in water, and I had wanted to have a Lotus birth.

Although labour took 3 days and at times I was desperate to go to hospital, if I had another baby I would do it the same way at home. I’m sure giving birth naturally (apart from gas and air) is why I healed so quickly and why I felt and still feel so empowered by the experience. Jasper is an incredibly calm and content baby and I often wonder if this is because we birthed him so naturally.

I will be forever grateful for the strength, wisdom and love that both my midwives showed me, because of them I got to experience the birth I had wished for even though it took 3 days to get there!.

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