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Positive Birth Story: Homebirth turned transfer into hospital

I had the honour of supporting Melissa and her husband Sam during their first pregnancy. Told in her own words, Melissa shares her incredible positive birth story. Discover how Hypnobirthing helped her prepare for her homebirth and how she still had a positive experience even when things didn't go to plan.

a woman labours in a birthing pool

It was positive!

We had a positive test just over a month after our wedding in May 2023 – we definitely weren’t expecting it to happen so speedily!

Bar a little bit of a metallic taste in my mouth during the first trimester, I had a fairly symptomless pregnancy. I feel lucky to have really enjoyed it, managing to keep running in our local Chopwell woods until week 28.

We had two really wonderful experiences with Melanie at Baby Grows Scan Clinic in Consett, first for an early scan at 9 weeks then at 17 weeks (bringing MIL along) to find out baby’s sex.

Hypnobirthing magic

At around the 24 week mark, post babymoon, we had the most fantastic weekend with Emma exploring the world of Hypnobirthing.

Her Blooming Births Hypnobirthing course was so informative and empowering, the continued support we’ve received from her both during pregnancy and postpartum has been truly invaluable.

Our hope was to be able to have a home water birth with as little intervention as possible (including no sweeps/induction if possible), the QE community midwife team were super supportive of this choice and would be on call for me from 39 weeks.

Our original plan had been to utilise the RVI’s Birth Centre, however it had unfortunately been out of action the majority of the time so didn’t feel like a reliable choice we were comfortable with. My team was headed by the amazing Lindsey Ellen Nichol and supported by student midwife Kerry-Ann O’Neill… absolute dream team.

My contractions started...

I started to have mild contractions on the morning of Friday 23rd Feb at 41 + 3, having lost my mucus plug the previous day after a 5 miles walk with the dog!

I went for a nap around 10am-12noon which stopped contractions until around 8pm. In the meantime my husband Sam inflated the birth pool in the living room.

They ramped up a little bit, I used my TENS machine to take the edge off, before going to sleep at 10pm. I awoke at 12.30am to my waters breaking and intense contractions coming thick and fast!

QE community midwives Lindsey, Kerry-Ann and Stacey were at the house within 40 minutes, by which time I was 6cm dilated, the pool filled and I was ready to get in. I couldn’t have felt to be in more capable hands. They were so attentive and reassuring during the entire process, making sure the pool was up to heat, being on it with supplying me gas and air and generally telling me what a great job I was doing, which I very much needed to hear!

Sam was wonderful, using techniques learnt in hypnobirthing, from helping with my breathing to stroking my head and back, holding my hands and being so present and loving.

We decided to transfer

Although I was progressing well, baby’s heart rate was taking longer than they’d have liked to get back up after each contraction, this teamed with a little meconium in my waters meant the decision was made to head to the RVI at around 5am when I was 9cm dilated.

The midwives were so calm and wonderful, although this wasn’t my plan A, it didn’t feel like an emergency, I felt reassured and safe the entire time.

Sam followed the ambulance to the RVI, Lindsey stayed with me and continued her incredible support and care, making sure I was as comfortable and informed as could be during the (somewhat bumpy) journey into Newcastle. Kerry-Ann and Stacey stayed at our home, tidied up and even took the dog out!

Lindsey did a handover to the RVI midwife when we arrived, making sure she was aware of my birth preferences and generally being my biggest advocate and cheerleader, something I appreciated more than I could eloquently say!

In the ambulance and for the first hour at the RVI, his heart rate hadn’t been an issue, however when I’d started to properly push, it had returned to how it had been at home so a little intervention was required to bring him safely earthside. A small episiotomy and with the help of ventouse, Alfred Richard Monkhouse was born at 6.58am weighing 8lb 8oz.

After a quick check of his airways, he was popped on my chest and was having his first feed within 20 minutes. I ended up changing my mind and had the injection to help birth my placenta so they could proceed to see to my stitches, I was only sorry not to get to actually see my placenta!

a woman gazes down at her newborn baby

We were lucky to only have to stay in hospital for 12 hours so were home for our first night with our new little man. Lindsey came to visit the following day to see how we were doing and chat through the past 24 hours.

We found this so so valuable and it definitely helped to reflect and navigate the timeline. I couldn’t have asked for better care from the QE community midwife team, the whole experience was a really positive one …and we are of course completely besotted with our son, Alfie!

a newborn baby sleeps on a blanket


Who am I?

a hypnobirthing teacher smiles and holds a hypnobirthing workbook

Hey, I'm Emma!

Tea lover, self confessed birth nerd, mama of two and the founder of Blooming Births Hypnobirthing.

I pride myself on offering honest, bespoke and evidence based antenatal courses which put YOU at the very heart.

After giving birth to my own two babies, I continue to work closely with the Newcastle Maternity units and stay up to date with current working practices so that you are well informed about what to expect from your local trust.

 I'm also an affiliate member of The Royal College of Midwives and a breastfeeding peer support volunteer. I'm here to support you to start feeling informed, confident and totally ready for your birth!

a hypnobirthing free class

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