During my first attempt at a natural homebirth (under care of the NHS), I was transferred into hospital with suspected cord prolapse after having laboured peacefully all day. Due to a series of painful interventions then finding out my baby was breech, I ended up having a caesarean section. Although I was happy at the time, having been told the outcome had been inevitable, I still did not want a hospital experience next time around. Yet, my midwives did not support me in wanting to homebirth again. In their words I was “high risk, must birth in a hospital and be closely monitored, or schedule an elective caesarean.” This was definitely not what I had in mind for the birth of my second child.
I started to research and realised I had the option of hiring an independent midwife. I found out many truths and was pleased to discover that the advice given to me about having another caesarean being safer for me just wasn’t true in my case. I began to wonder whether my caesarean could have been avoided if I had been left to labour at home the first time. This is something I will never know but in many ways I am thankful that my breech baby went undiagnosed as otherwise I might never have had the peaceful labour at home, for the most part. This was a valuable experience for me as it made me realise just how important it is to feel safe, secure and free to move around however my body wishes during labour.
I read Virginia Howes’ book The Baby’s Coming after hearing great recommendations from local mums who had had her as their midwife. The book confirmed in my mind that I needed to have Virginia to support me next time. When I became pregnant again, we arranged to meet and immediately I knew that I could homebirth without having to fight for my right to a VBAC and without any unnecessary stress. I believed I could have the birth that I wished for my baby because Virginia provided me with all of the evidence so that I could make informed choices. I am pleased to say that I had the birth I wished for; a peaceful birth at home without unnecessary interventions, in my birthing pool with just my family and Virginia present. I wish every woman could have this positive birthing experience, of which it is their right, without the fear created from misleading information. It was so valuable to be able to trust my caregiver and be free to relax and birth at home with Virginia’s support and belief in my ability to birth my baby naturally. Her service as a midwife is absolutely priceless and I am forever grateful that she helped me to achieve a healthy outcome for my baby and me.