And now he’s here! 9 days later than expected – I always thought 3rd babies wouldn’t be later than the previous ones – but little Elias Bodhi proved us wrong. The midwives kept saying, “oh yeah, the 3rd ones – they are different!“ and they were right.
It was the first time I had to go into hospital for a CTG because they discovered some heart irregularities at an antenatal appointment around 34 weeks It all looked normal on the monitor then, but we still went for a private scan to get some reassurance, but they actually recommended to go for a cardiac scan to be sure everything was fine. The first scare.
Also, when I was in hospital to do the CTG, the midwife noticed on the system, that I apparently had a positive StrepB test when 8 weeks pregnant which no-one had picked up before and suddenly the recommendation was not to have a home birth as with my previous two boys. The second scare.
This baby was very active throughout my pregnancy and kept wiggling and turning a lot – at the 35 week scan he was head down, but then he was breach again a week later. The homebirth midwife sent me in for an ECV, but the baby was head down again when I went for my appointment. She send me in again a week later as the position wasn’t very clear and this time (38 weeks) the baby was transverse. The doctor in the hospital was quite worried about a possible cord prolapse and they were thinking of keeping me there until I had the baby (what a nightmare!) but actually they then decided to turn the baby head down, which was very painless and easy. They allowed me to leave, but recommend not to have the baby at home but in the birth centre, so they could make sure that it´s in the right position. The third scare.
Of course I was quite worried, especially about the cord prolapse as I felt the baby was still moving a lot. I was booked in for another scan around 39 weeks and the baby was still head down and the doctor quite certain that it was unlikely to move transverse or breech again at that point. By that time I had also made 3 GBS tests with my homebirth midwives and they were all negative. The recommendation still was to go into hospital for antibiotics, but I was quite certain that I would not want to take any medication if there was no real need for it anyway.
At 39 weeks we finally decided that we were going to have this baby at home and it was very helpful to finally be able to envision and visualise the kind of birth I wanted to have. Before I´ve always thought that this time I will probably end up in the birth centre – which would not have been the end of the world – but after 2 extremely beautiful homebirths this unknown hospital territory really put me off.
I ordered a pool, invited a friend over from Berlin to be around to look after our two boys as most of my local friends were away for the Easter break and the waiting began. It was amazing to have someone there so I could get some rest, but interestingly labour only started the day she left again a week later. Maybe something held me back giving birth at home with an additional person in the house, even though she is a really good friend?
As my previous births were both extremely quick (we didn’t even have a midwife arrive in time for the 2nd birth) we had been told to inform the homebirth team right away when contractions started. Which we did and they told us to be back in touch when I had one in ten minutes. I had light contractions all night long, but they did not really become more intense nor more frequent than every 20 minutes. Enough not to sleep though. In the morning I told Ben to drop the kids at nursery at 8am and when he got home we both had a nap and weren’t too sure what was actually happening. I was really tired after an almost sleepless night and unsure what was going on, but after I had some longer and more intense surges, Ben called the midwife around 10.30 am and she said she would come after her antenatal appointment to check me, in case things didn’t dramatically speed up in the meantime. I was still lying in bed when 2 midwifes showed up at noon with their entire homebirth kit ( I had never seen that before and never had 2 midwifes present…) so I was like: OMG, I am not sure something is actually happening, why did they bring all that stuff?? They examined me and confirmed that the head was down (which I think might have been the info that I needed to progress) and they said I was 3cm dilated but the cervix super stretchy and therefore it wouldn’t mean anything. As I was obviously not in active labour they were going for a coffee nearby to wait. They told me to get active, walk up and down the stairs, squat to help he head to engage even more and I think those instructions and their optimism that I was gonna have a baby in the next few hours was really what I needed. They left again around 12.30 and at 1.15 Ben asked them to come back as things were speeding up. They only checked the babies heart beak and my blood pressure once and then totally let me do my thing while they were having tea upstairs. Only by the sound of my breathing they told Ben to fill the pool and after observing me for a few minutes they allowed me to jump in just when it was full enough. At 2.32 the baby was born in the water and we really could have been happier the way everything worked out.
The recommendation was still to go into hospital for a 12 hour observation because of the positive StrepB test at 8 weeks pregnant, but we chose not to as my other test were negative, the birth was really quick and my waters only broke just before he came out.
He’s a super relaxed little fella totally unimpressed by his brothers noise and constant cuddles and we’re extremely happy to be a family of 5 now!