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Home sweet home birth

HANNAH MCSWEENY
Last updated 05:00 10/11/2012
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WELCOME BABY: Hannah Mcsweeney meets her son Reuben.

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A labour of love

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We were anxious, nervous, terrified and starting to get a little bit impatient. I was 11 days overdue with my first baby and was at a midwife appointment discussing my scan done two hours earlier. It looked as though the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby was starting to get a little bit low.

My midwife decided to do a stretch and sweep. As she does, she sees that I am already 4cm dilated and said to me rather excitedly, "I can stretch you to 5cm".

I hadn't felt anything during my whole pregnancy no pains at all, so I am shocked when she said this and thought "is it really this easy?"

We were told in our antenatal class that I would be in agony at this stage so I look at Carl my partner totally stoked. Then I quickly recall what my midwife just said repeating it over and over in my head "stretch me". A few minutes were all done, a little bit painful but nothing I can't handle. Then with great excitement my midwife hands me some homeopathic drops and informs me I should just go home do a whole lot of walking around, some nipple stimulation, take these drops every half hour and we should have baby out tonight.

So we head home very excited, and a bit overwhelmed of how quickly things have progressed. I decided early on that I wanted to have a home birth as to me this was the most natural way to bring my little joy into the world.

Throughout my pregnancy I was asked where I planned to have my baby and nearly every time I answered "at home" I was given this look of, "are you crazy?", or was told that the hospital is the safest place and that I wasn't thinking about all the bad things that could happen.

But I wasn't going to let anyone else decide for me or get me down, this was my decision and to have had such an amazing pregnancy with no problems at all I was in prime condition to have baby at home were I felt safe.

I called my mum and got her to come round as I was starting to have what I thought was contractions for a couple of hours after getting home that afternoon. My mum came round straight away as she was my additional support as well as Carl. After a whole lot of walking, drop taking and contraction counting things were going nowhere.

My mum and I managed to get a good five hours sleep that night, my poor partner Carl was so nervous he managed maybe one or two hours. So around 10am my midwife called to see how thing were going and they were still the same as the night before. So she decided she would come round and break my waters. I was keen for anything this stage, I was not in any pain and just having little niggles.

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My midwife arrived around 11.30am and after a quick chat we went downstairs. My midwife broke my waters with a little tool that looked like a crochet hook. So after this procedure my midwife told me she had another appointment in Orewa but she would be back after. I was expecting things to take a little while to get going, so I went upstairs. But before I got to the top I was hit with a full on contraction.

I quickly ran back down the stairs with a bit of shock from how painful it was I scream out to my partner Carl and my mum Jo. They both rush in to my bedroom and as they arrive I'm leaning over the bed panting my way through another. My mum asks me if I feel like pushing and I respond straight away "yes". She tells Carl to call the midwife and tell her to come back right away. My mum use to be a midwife also so she knew this baby was coming soon.

The midwife arrives back and checks me, I am fully dilated and it's time for this baby to arrive into the world. She informs me to push next time I get a contraction. The second midwife arrives and we are all go. After three hour's of pushing we had a baby.

Carl and I didn't know the sex of the baby and we where so overwhelmed we forgot to even check. As he lay on my chest I looked down and "he" was just looking right back making not a single sound. We had a beautiful baby boy.

It was the happiest moment in my life, I had never felt such utter love and accomplishment. We were instantly the proudest parents ever to Reuben, 8pound 12ounces.


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