True stories about birth and giving birth

Day 905. Professional care (Lukács’s birth)

Our second child was born in England but he was the first one to be born at home.

Our first son’s birth was in a hospital also in England. I do not have terrible memories about my hospital birth and I can not even recall when the idea of a home birth settled in my mind. I do remember though that on the first hospital check up (around 16 weeks) I did tell about my planned home birth to the doctor I had seen. He was not enthusiastic but accepted my decision. He was aware that the right to make a decision on where and how to give birth was mine. (At both English birthes medical professionals accepted our decisions against ultrasound scanning and also against an AFP test. Our babies did not receive all the inoculations offered by the NHS, either.)

Luckily the midwife at the local sergury was familiar with homebirth and was happy to care for me during the pregnancy and help me give birth at home. She did deliver babies at home in the area upon request – in 5-10% of all cases. Although I have had a baby before I studied homebirth very carefully according to a book by Sheila Kitzinger. (Freedom and choice in childbirth)

Lukács was slow to arrive. I was a week overdue when my midwife told me that at the following weekend she would be off duty. If I go into labour during that time I should contact the district hospital where I get midwives to come out to our house and help deliver the baby. No one was worried about the baby being overdue, neither about the distance of the nearest hospital. We were not worried, either. I went into labour early Saturday morning.

About half past eight in the morning two midwives arrived. One was a middle aged woman with grown up children – a trainee midwife who studied for a new carrier. She was very kind. She was present for gaining experience and to arrange for help if it becomes necesarry. In that case the other widwife stays with the mother.

They arrived with two large handbags, had a look at our “delivery room”, exemined me and we came down to the kitchen for a nice cup of tea. Meanwhile I gave breakfast to my little boy and my husband took him to play to a friend’s house – as it was previously arranged. By the time he came back things started speeding up. I clearly remember the moment I realized if I don’t head straight for my bed I would not be able to get upstairs at all. Without a word I raced upstairs. Jumped on our bed, grabbed my husband’s shoulders and went down on all fours. The tough part began. Soon I felt the amniotic sack being reptured and knew that the rough bit soon be over. (I can hardly remember the midwives then although the younger one must have conducted me through delivering the head. Midwives take proud in not performing an episiotomy when is not needed.)

Lukács was born with a few contractions – he flew like a rocket. It was around ten o’clock in the morning. Happy encounters, I fed him than the placenta was delivered. The trainee midwife checked the baby and the young one exemined me. I had a few superficial wounds which she decided to leave to heal by themselves. She proved right. By the afternoon I could already sit in the living room with Luki in my arms when grandparents came to welcome him.

The qualified midwife told us afterwards that she only presented at home births a few times. She was visibly releaved that everything went smooth. The trainee midwife was enchanted by what she had seen. We were chatting away happily for a couple of hours – that was the set time they had to stay with us after the birth. I was more occupied with my new baby than with them. Since everything was fine, after two hours the ladies packed their bags and with mutual greetings they left.

Lukács was first seen by a doctor on Monday. The GP on duty from the local surgery came out to our house and examined him.

I only got to know two years after that – when Hanna was born at home, in Hungary – what is a homebirth like when you get love and care and empathy… Not only proper professional help. The difference is indescribable.

Lukács has turned nineteen yesterday. He is as lucky ever since as his birth was.

H. J.

Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.

This post is also available in: Hungarian