I was in the bathroom when the surges began at 5am

I got back into bed to continue to rest. When I had two more surges in quite a short space of time, I knew this was it! I woke James up. We felt so excited knowing we were going to be meeting our baby today!

I stayed in bed, breathed deeply, and played my hypnobirthing scripts softly in the background.

Jo, my holistic midwife, arrived at around 8pm. She laid beside my bed and massaged my forearm with clary sage oil, matching her movement to my breath. Between each breath, she applied pressure in between my index finger and thumb. I felt so comfortable and confident with her angelic voice and soft touch nurturing me through my surges.

My surges were now only 3 minutes apart, so James went downstairs to set up the birthing space and fill the pool.

I moved downstairs, going to the toilet en route. The birthing space looked angelic — the pool, inflated and filled with warm water; the sofa turned into a cosy little nest; candles lit, fairy lights on; diffuser wafting out my essential oils — it smelled so good! The sounds of my relaxing playlist soothed me instantly. It really did feel like the most peaceful setting to birth my baby.

I laid on the sofa on my side, as the surges continued. As they became more powerful, I started to make sounds with my out breath…om’s, moo’s, aaa’s. James gave me a head massage, and placed cold flannels around my neck and forehead which felt soo good! Jo used a tennis ball to massage my shoulders and lower back which gave me amazing relief.

I was sick a couple of times, but peppermint oil really helped soothe the nausea.

When I entered the pool it felt lovely. So soothing. The curtains were slightly open, and as the sun rose, a beautiful ray of sunlight shone through into the pool. At that moment, I knew that my mum was with me.

James continued to place ice-cold flannels on my face. I couldn’t get enough of them! He also sprayed a birthing mix of various essential oils onto my face. At this point, I had the TENS machine attached to my back, which helped relieve the intensity of the surges.

Then my water broke, and it felt so soothing. I had meconium in my waters. I was fully dilated at this point and all was well.

There was a sudden feeling of intense downwards pressure that came as a shock. I held onto the handles in the pool and pushed my knees into James’ hands. I also tried a position on all fours, with James applying pressure to my hips from behind. This really helped ease sensation in the hip areas.

Feeling hot, I decided to get out of the pool, and try some warrior squatting positions with James supporting me. Jo encouraged me to believe in myself. She helped me to let go of any last tension or emotional blockages. I used my downward breathing as I visualized the opening of a flower. I felt excited to be meeting my baby soon.

I sipped on water mixed with Rescue Remedy throughout my labour. I also ate some frozen grapes, ice, and ice cream.

I had my back to James, and we interlaced arms so I could use his support to push off the bottom of the pool with my feet. I felt as if I really wanted baby out now.

When his head emerged, it was the most incredible sensation. I knew that any minute I would be meeting him for the first time. I felt so powerful! About 5 minutes later, he arrived! It was 1pm, 8 hours after I woke up.

I looked down, and there he was, looking so peaceful in the water — a beautiful boy as I always thought it would be! I scooped him into my arms; we kissed and cried with joy. I felt overwhelmed with happiness.

I lay on the sofa skin to skin with my baby boy caked in his gorgeous vernix. 10 minutes later, I gave birth to my (his) placenta.

Monty, my dog, was present throughout. While in bed with me upstairs or downstairs on the sofa, he was so calm.

The whole experience was magical. I felt SO powerful, like I could take on the world! I just birthed life and it was absolutely incredible, just as I had imagined, undisturbed at home. I did it!

I had no tearing, just a slight graze. I was in amazement at what my body had achieved! I didn’t have any pain relief and felt totally in control.

After the birth, we decided to have a lotus birth; so we kept the placenta attached to baby. After all, this was his life force for the last 9 months, so we didn’t want to pull him away from the only thing he knew in this new world.

After an hour skin-to-skin with him, James had his hour too. That evening, we ordered a pizza and watched “Homeland” in bed — but now we were three, with our beautiful baby boy! ??

Sophie xx