I first discovered Kent Midwifery practice long before I became pregnant with my second child but I knew when I looked through their inspiring website that if I ever had another baby I wanted a home birth and that one of the dedicated independent midwives would be in attendance!
After my daughter was born 12 years ago I was left with a nagging fear of giving birth again and quite frankly I was scared about going back to the hospital and being pressurised into things and having no control. After discovering I could have a home birth I became much more positive and after a 3 year wait I became pregnant and I didn't waste any time looking up that website again and contacting Virginia! At our first meeting I found Virginia to be extremely knowledgeable and she answered all my questions and concerns and I felt completely at ease with my decision. Virginia was also great with my husband who was worried the birth could be a repeat of our daughters and didn't initially really understand about home birth. He felt most comfortable being put in charge of the birthing pool knowing Virginia would take care of the rest. Virginia also chatted to our daughter about the birth of her new sibling so as a family we all connected with her. Throughout my pregnancy Virginia kindly lent me books about birth and breastfeeding which I really appreciated.
Fast forward to the birth! My contractions started in the early hours of a wednesday morning and by about 6.00am I felt as though I needed to do something so I leaned over a birthing ball and listened to music which really helped. I think it was around this point we let Virginia know that our baby was on their way. When Virginia arrived she gently asked me a few questions and after determining all was well made sure the birthing pool was being prepared. Virginia reminded me how to breathe properly and that really helped. At around 9.00am my waters broke whilst I was still leaning over my birthing ball (don't know what I would have done without it!) Not long afterwards I was in the nice warm waters of the birthing pool. Virginia was very unobtrusive and never pushed any internal examinations on me - she observed and encouraged as the labour progressed. Not long before our baby was born I felt as though I couldn't do it and had a moment of panic and asked for gas and air but Virginia told me how close our baby was to being born so I had renewed determination! At 11.50am our lovely baby boy Joseph was born and I couldn't believe it! It is amazing what can happen when you feel supported and encouraged - I never in a million years thought I could have a baby without pain relief! My 12 year daughter was at home throughout from bringing me ice pops at the beginning to taking photographs at the end (although she opted to stay in her room for the birth!) She has a wonderful bond with Joseph which I believe is made all the stronger for her involvement.
It wasn't too long before I was snuggled on the sofa with our new baby marvelling at what at happened. Each time I think of it, as cheesy as it sounds, I get a warm glow! Any concerns I had after the birth Virginia promptly responded to, even talking to and reassuring me as she was doing her food shop in Sainsburys! Now that is dedication!
Thank you Virginia for being part of such a special time in our lives.
Michelle, Stuart, Mia & Joseph