Henrietta's Story

I was 42 years old and 2 weeks overdue when I gave birth at home to my first baby. From the instant I found out I was pregnant I wanted a home birth. I knew I had to prepare my body and mind in the best way I could to achieve it.

Due to my age my pregnancy was considered high risk. When I express my wish of having home birth I was unable to get the support I was expecting from the Doctor and community midwives. The Doctor recommend me not to do so, according with him “the results of some studies have shown that there is a high risk of complications during delivery at home for first time mothers” and the risk with my age was higher, he also said “maybe not the first , the second, but it is up to you”.

Obviously I had to listen to the Doctors comments however I had done my own research about all the benefits of giving birth at home and I was convinced it was the best option for me and my baby. I looked for an independent midwife to help me and I’m feeling very lucky to have meet Andy and Viv. In every one of their home visits during my pregnancy I had the opportunity to tell them my doubts and feelings and they had the patience and knowledge to answer all my questions. With Andy and Viv I felt the support that I needed to have a home birth despite of my age.

I had a normal pregnancy, I tried to be very active and eat very healthy I didn’t have any serious complications I had a mild PGP and in the 34th week my baby was in Breach fortunately later she moved to normal position. Andy and Viv were always checking that everything was fine. In my last appointment with the doctor he told me my baby’s head was to big, but it didn’t scare me , I was feeling great and I knew I had to trust that my body was creating a baby I was able to deliver. Knowing that Viv and Andy were with me made me feel more confident.

The due date is only an estimate of when the baby could come but I wasn’t worried about it, I wanted everything to occur naturally and I didn’t want to be induced if it wasn’t necessary. The 2 weeks I was overdue I would say was the most stressing time during my pregnancy, I felt the pressure of giving birth as soon as possible

Finally the things were moving very quickly . The day before I gave birth I had a long shower, I went for a walk to Hampstead Heath and after dinner my husband and I decided to play Rummy-Q, between the games my husband was counting the contractions and time. Playing the game really help me to be distracted. After Midnight we set up the pool and Viv and Andy came, seeing them together gave me a sense of tranquility I knew I was in good hands.

I started labor in the pool but after a long day I was tired and I fall sleep in the middle of labour .Then we decided to try outside in a different way, I was feeling exhausted my husband gave me some pieces of dark chocolate and fruit that gave me the energy I needed, moments later my baby daughter was born after nearly 5 hours of labour. What an amazing moment!! She was 3.97kg and 49 cm. The cut of the umbilical cord was delayed (Lotus Birth) as I express in my birth plan. My baby and I were in perfect conditions.

After the birth Andy and Viv help me to develop a good breastfeeding technique and advice me on the care of my newborn baby.

My baby is now 17 months old at the moment of writing this story. Looking back in time I can see how amazing it was giving birth naturally and in the comfort of my home, definitely one of the most important experiences of my life.

I will tell the same story to my baby daughter and I hope it will inspire her to do the same with her children,I’m sure she will be very proud of the way she was born as I am now.

Thanks Andy and Viv for helping me to reach this dream.

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