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Christiane & Andy’s birth story

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Read Christiane’s account of the birth of her beautiful baby boy Jake

My husband and I contacted private midwives after finding our antenatal care very disjointed and a lack of continuity. We spoke with Debbie over the phone and instantly knew it was something we want to pursue. We started our our appointments together at 34 weeks and felt well supported.

This was our first baby, we are very chilled and wanted a birth approach that was well informed but allowing us to be flexible in the moment. Well informed by Debbie we were, we left no stone unturned in our antenatal appointments. We discussed the what ifs, buts, maybes and one in a million options.

At 40+1 weeks I was still at work, my very chilled approach, and best way of keeping my mind off birth. I came home that evening and went for a long walk, a nightly ritual with my husband. 4 miles later and I said ‘ooh that feels different’ but we had some tea and settled down for the evening with a film. By 10pm I still had ‘twinges’ and thought we better give Debbie the heads up just in case. I was sure it was still days until we would meet baby. We agreed to see how the night went (I knew we could call her at any hour) as we were due to meet 10am the next morning anyway.

10pm off we went to bed, my husband sound asleep until 5am. I tossed and turned until midnight before deciding the sofa, in the dark, with my music was the comfiest place. At 5am I decided this was maybe more serious than I’d been letting myself believe and it was now taking all my focus to get through a minute and a half every three minutes.

I should have said; we had this flexible birth plan. Maybe home. Maybe hospital. Maybe on the way. Just wherever I felt and ended up in the moment. Very little expectation apart from doing exactly as I wished at that time, Debbie knew this and was very supportive.

By 5:45am I told my husband to contact Debbie, I was sure this baby was coming today. Note; I’m still thinking a good 12+ hours until arrival and psyching myself up on this basis. By 6am Debbie was setting off. She was a good 2 hours away from us, and of all days Storm Eunice decided to brace us. Snow, wet, wind, hail. We had it all.

By 7am I said to my husband ok we are going to hospital this baby is coming and I don’t want it alone. So I decided to finish packing my case, between contractions, and set off. 740am arrival at our local hospital. Quick triage from lovely midwife Faith who was going to be with us throughout. 7cm so we were well through the marathon! Quickly ascertained our birth preferences and then a short walk from triage to delivery room. Faith very kindly ran a bath/pool, we were lucky to have a beautiful room with quotes on the wall, dim lights and a storm battering the windows outside (made it sound cosy!). 8am and in the pool we get and here began the serious business. I found my comfy position, on my knees and leant over the side bath (my chin and under arms were the sorest part after!). I didn’t move far from here bar a few intuitive leg moves and changes in width of leg opening.

My husband went back to the car for our case and came back with the car seat also, which prompts laughs that we we want a quick exit. I tried to stop watching the clock above me as it was useless, who knew how long I’d have to look for.

From then on in I can only describe it as in the zone and a blur. No pain relief so far so but by 9am it was time for some Gas and Air. A whole new experience. Like been out of body but still knowing you’re having a baby. I’m not sure it was pain relief for me more muddling your mind and stopping rationale thoughts, along with a chewed to death mouth piece. And in came Debbie who for 3 hours had battled the storm and it’s road closures to make it. I was chuffed to see her even though my care from the hospital was great.

I don’t think I even knew I was actually pushing, no one needed to tell. Something changed. There was this pressure and I could feel a little babies head. I knew the end was in sight. More gas and air and letting the whole delivery unit know I was there (but couldn’t even control that), at 10:04 out came our beautiful baby. Caught in the pool by mummy and lifted up to the world. It took a good 10 minutes for me to even realise I needed to find out the gender for the surprise we kept. But that didn’t even matter, I had totally forgotten. I’d just had a baby!!

Baby boy Crabtree was here! Out the pool, lots of cuddles and phone calls to some happy new grandparents. Placenta delivered. Quick assessment and tidy up by the midwife and by 11am it was shower time. Some people may spend that first hour very differently, but it summed me up. Get the task in hand done and then relax. By 11am I’d done it. I told everyone it was amazing and I’d have lots more children in the future (think that sums up that it was everything I wanted from a birth).

The most euphoric moment of my life. I felt like a total wonder women who could take on the world. We cuddled and stared at baby Crabtree while we had a spot of lunch and laughed that we needed literally 2 items from this massive birth bag we packed. Debbie made sure we were comfortable and answered any questions we had and we made plans to meet tomorrow at home at 9am.

Baby crabtree had his final checks and by 3pm we were allowed home. My dream scenario of going home the same day to my own comforts and little bubble.

Debbie was back at 9am the next morning but she checked in with us in the afternoon and evening. She assured us she was on the other end of the phone at any point should we need her. Even if you don’t, that’s the best comfortable blanket you can give two new parents in that first week of adapting to the new roles you have.

Positive water birth in hospital story. Hospital birth supported by an Independent midwife. Water birth, Cumbria

Positive hospital water birth, supported by Independent Midwife, Cumbria. Continuity of care

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