My name is Natalie and I’m a 29-year-old stay at home mother of three from Highgate, Birmingham. I am a practising Muslim and as well as my newborn I have a four year old daughter and a two and a half year old son.
I decided to have a homebirth because I wanted things to be as natural and intervention free as possible and I wanted to feel comfortable in my own home. I also wanted to be at home with my other children close by.
My first two babies were also homebirths which I had in London but this third birth worried me because I was in a new city and I was unfamiliar with how things worked in Birmingham.
In the last trimester of pregnancy I developed extra amniotic fluid which made me worry instantly. I had to attend the hospital for scans to see if the fluid was increasing and throughout this time the midwives were very sympathetic and explained all the possible outcomes. After they helped me to complete a care plan I felt much less anxious about the situation.
After two weeks of scans and follow up appointments with the consultants the fluid surrounding baby reduced and I was given the all clear to have a homebirth.
The day I went into labour I woke up at around 7am with cramping and a show. I was scheduled to have a sweep at 11am as I was past my due date and from 12.30pm I started feeling small cramps and backaches.
By 2pm the pain was getting stronger and my husband told me he thought I was in labour (I’m always in denial when in labour!).
I rode the contractions out by swaying and bending with the contractions which my mother found hilarious saying it looked like I was “dancing the pain away”.
At 4pm the contractions got stronger and started coming every four minutes so we decided to call the midwife.
When the midwives arrived at 6pm my other children were able to eat dinner in another part of my home with my husband while I was labouring in the front room with my mum and the midwives.
After examining me the midwife gave me gas & air which was a huge help.
At 7.30pm I was still labouring in the front room. It was a lot of fun at this point as the gas & air helped me get through the contractions and I was making jokes with the midwives.
At 8pm the midwives changed over and I remember hearing her say that I was doing brilliantly and she did not think it was going to be long until I delivered.
I had different midwives from this point which I expected from my antenatal appointments. Throughout the whole labour, the midwives were extremely caring, telling me how well I was doing and rubbing my back.
After around 9pm the pain became intense and I could feel the baby moving further down. I felt the urge to push and my waters broke. From that moment it all happened very quickly.
With the next contractions I felt the head coming and I screamed as the head crowned. I heard the midwife telling me to breathe. The midwives were so calm and somehow I was able to actually listen to them. I was breathing as the head came out and I felt the pain pass. One the next contraction I pushed once or twice then I just remember seeing the baby in front of me.
After we got her untangled from the cord I picked her up and put her straight on my chest. I felt so relieved and remember saying “It’s over. I did it!” We had a beautiful baby girl that weighed 7lb 1oz.
After the birth I wanted to delay clamping of the placenta to make sure the baby got everything she needed from it. My husband cut the cord and had his precious skin-to-skin with her underneath his t-shirt while I delivered the placenta.
The midwives left at around 11.30pm and I was tucked up in bed by midnight. My other children were still fast asleep and had no idea that their sister, who we named Suhaylah, had entered the world. It was just the birth I planned and wanted.
The midwives were amazing in every way. They were kind, caring and compassionate but also very professional. I felt the love that they had for their job and it really did show in all areas. They went above and beyond to check in on me and made me feel at ease - especially when I had my doubts, worries and concerns.
My husband was such a great help too, he was able to juggle my needs while looking after our other children and I could not have done it without him.
My daughter Suhaylah is now four weeks old and doing really well. She is starting to smile now which is so cute!
Having a homebirth is such an empowering experience and I would recommend it to every woman and their family.