Joanne's Birth Story

By way of introduction and background, I am terrified of hospitals! And most other medical things if I am honest. My husband and I decided to start a family and I just assumed I would have to suck up by insecurities and get through my medical fears to have our family.

When I was just 2/3 weeks pregnant I quietly told my yoga teacher in case I need to vary my practice. I let on that I was scared of hospitals. She said "you need Virginia". She said call her, it's worth every penny of the investment.

I looked up the Kent Midwifery Practice website and made an appointment to have a chat with Virginia. Home birth had never really crossed my mind until I spoke with my yoga teacher and after researching independent midwifery (IM) and meeting Virginia. I didn't know anything about IM's and didn't even know they existed until I was introduced to Virginia.

We booked Virginia very shortly after her visit to our home and home birth was our preference.

I wanted my pregnancy and birth experience to be an empowering one and I can whole heartedly say that Virginia facilitated this for me. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised that during pregnancy Virginia consistently have us the information to make each and every decision ourselves. We were listened to and our concerns and wishes respected. Virginia and Kay are the first medically qualified people that I have come across where I truly felt my medical fears were honoured in a sensitive way and for that I am extremely grateful. I am sure this approach helped me relax and enjoy what was a lovely pregnancy.

I did have an unexpected bleed around 31 weeks and I felt my confidence evaporate. Virginia and Kay were so supportive and I had a visit from Kay very late in the evening to check on me and my baby and my confidence returned over the coming weeks.

With hindsight I now know that I started having surges / contractions early on in the day but i used breathing and relaxation techniques and it wasn't until 6pm in the evening that I believed things has changed up a gear. I continued my breathing and relaxation and got a hot water bottle ready.

After Virginia arrived my husband organised the pool in our kitchen. I used the pool twice but didn't give birth in it. It wasn't for me - my shoulders got cold and I started shivering. I knew this would switch my adrenalin on and I needed this in the off position to birth.

My birth experience was empowering. My husband uses 'primal' to describe it. I used hypnobirthing also (supported by Virginia) and once I was in active labour found myself in a deep meditative state through using 3 or 4 affirmations or mantras. I was blissfully unaware of anything going on around my and was deeply focussed on my body and its energy to open up.

I gave birth in our bedroom and got straight in to bed after birth snuggled up with our beautiful baby.

I was set on breastfeeding and Virginia helped direct me to information during pregnancy so I could prepare and was available to support me and help me once my daughter had arrived. Elizabeth is now two months old and has been exclusively breast fed and is a very healthy weight.

My husband and I would like a bigger family and I have no concerns about pregnancy and birth and have no hesitation about doing it all again - with Virginia or Kay by my side of course!

I chose an IM because I wanted a 'qualified mum'. By that I mean someone who has a relationship with me, knows my worries and is around to ask any question to; and who has can administer any medical support if required and provide information to enable me to make decisions about me, my body and my baby.

Continuity and familiarity were so important to me and Virginia and Kay provided this in abundance. I (and my mum) are convinced this is why I was able to have a natural home both with no pain relief other than a hot water bottle. My fears were left to one side and I felt safe with Virginia and trust her and Kay implicitly.

Thank you from Jo, Matt and Elizabeth. X