This month, guest writer Cherazade Symmonds shares her experience of giving natural birth to her first baby in the comfort of her own home. Here she tells us why she chose to do it and how she prepared for it.
You did a home birth? Yes, I sure did!
So the saying goes, “you can do anything you set your mind to.” It takes a thought which turns into an action, it takes perseverance and determination, it takes facing your fears and most likely getting out of your comfort zone, but nothing worth having comes easy in life. And our birth story definitely was not easy, it was the hardest thing I have ever chosen to do in my life and a testament to that.
In overwhelming preparation as a “new mom” you don’t know what to expect or how to go through this journey, well I most definitely didn’t. The important thing is to find your options, do the research, ask the questions, and speak to professionals before you get caught up in the system.
Once we knew we were expecting and my hubby and I met my doula, we just knew we were on the right path for the birth story we wanted – a holistic approach with no drugs or pain relief. I wanted to feel everything and challenge myself mentally and physically. I also wanted to understand my body and all its wonderful ways of its capabilities. I wanted the comfort of my own home, my own germs and an ever present husband.
You can do anything you set your mind to.
With the start of COVID-19 this plan now became my reality I didn’t want to take any chances. On the 29 May 2020, 2:30am at 36weeks and six days, a gush of water woke me up. My water had broken, and swiftly after, a deep abdominal pain came along with it. We proceeded to contact the midwives and my doula. With being one day shy of 37-weeks and Sadie being so tiny, it was a touch and go whether or not we were able to do our home birth.
After a warm bath there was still no consistency in my contractions, but now came a gush of blood. With my pain threshold being quite high, when the midwives asked I told them I was at a level 6, but little did I know I was in active labour and Sadie was coming.
The midwives and doula were now on their way and by the time they got here at 9:20am, I found myself naturally getting into position to give birth and in a surreal out-of-body-experience pain. There was no time for my planned water birth, so onto the bed it was going to be. We hadn’t had our home visit with the midwives as yet (this was scheduled for the following week), so I was not prepared at all. So onto my white linen, using white towels it was going to be.
When I think back to 4 weeks ago, I can’t help but get tears in my eyes–– I couldn’t have asked for a better partner during it all, through my screaming and the pain, my husband was right by my side with every step of the way. From running my bath, playing soothing music, making me breakfast (which I could not eat), rubbing my back through each contraction (there were so many), motivating me, supporting me, he remained calm and present, held my hands, kissed me on the forehead and most importantly believed in me.
And just when I thought the contractions were rough, then came the pushing! I now understood the term ring of fire. I kept on going and with the guidance and care from my doula, and Sadie meeting me halfway – finally her head started crowning, I began to feel more of her, then her hair, and her little body– all very real and tangible.
With one last BIG push at 10:13am, out came our precious Sadie Jean – a little girl – my prayers and wishes had been answered. They then gave her to me through my legs and even though I was so exhausted and disoriented, when I felt her on my chest it was instant, unexplainable love, and relief that the pain was over.
Would I do it again? Hell yes for HER I would do anything! What an amazing experience! I now appreciate my body for what it is and what it can do. I am so proud to be a woman, to have such a strong mind and will. I feel incredibly empowered that we did it together.
Read the natural benefits of swaddling your baby here.