You're listening to Episode 97 of the Happy Homebirth Podcast!
When you have a perfectly lovely hospital birth, why on earth would you change things up with your next? I’m excited to share Imogen’s story with you today, as she and her husband did just that. Of course, we know that many mothers seek out a “better way” after having a traumatic and emotional birthing experience in the hospital. But of course, that’s not always how it happens! And I can’t wait for you to hear about the generational baby catch. Let’s jump in!
Imogen lives in England, and is the mother of two children. Her mother has worked as a midwife for over 30 years, so she grew up with somewhat of an understanding of childbirth. However, she wouldn’t consider herself completely educated on the subject prior to her own births, and she decided in her first pregnancy that she wanted to keep it that way!
She was, however, hoping for a natural birth, as she does not typically like to take medications of any sort.
Imogen’s midwife had a hunch that she would go quickly once she was in labor, so she warned her that she should head to the hospital soon after contractions began.
9 days after her due date, she was sitting in the nursery on her ball. She decided to try out her breast pump, and her water dramatically broke! She and her husband headed to the hospital with her mom.
Upon arrival into the birthing center, she was checked and only at a 4. They told her they wouldn’t officially write down that she was in labor, but that she could go to the early labor room to see how she progressed.
She was, however, very much in labor! After a while of laboring on the floor, her mother gave her some gas and told her she’d be back. She went to the midwives and asked them to check her.
Imogen was beyond 9cm dilated, so they walked/wheeled her to one of the delivery suites. She hopped in the tub, and soon began to push. She had to push for over an hour, turning her baby from posterior into an anterior position.
Baby was born, and her husband asked if they could just go home. The midwives agree, and only a few hours after giving birth, they were tucked into their beds at home.
Soon after becoming pregnant again, Imogen told her husband she was interested in a homebirth. He was very excited and supportive of the idea, as he mentioned that going to the hospital had felt somewhat traumatic with the first— hospitals generally being a place of sickness and sadness.
She began searching for podcasts and found Happy Homebirth, which she listened to throughout her pregnancy. Imogen said that it made a huge difference feeling that she had a community of support, and that the stories helped her feel confident in her decision. She also reached out and found local homebirth mothers to connect with.
Though her pregnancy was healthy, the pandemic added a cloud of stress and exhaustion. She wasn’t able to have help with her toddler, and she was still working full time—but from home. This caused more aches and pains than with her first.
3 days after her due date, Imogen woke up at 6:20 with a pain in her belly. She flipped over, and a few minutes later felt it again. After a few minutes, she realized she could be in labor! The contractions were 3 minutes apart. She told her husband, but had him stay in bed with their daughter.
She called her mother and had her come over. They worked through some contractions together, and eventually discussed with each other that the midwife should be called.
Imogen wanted to get her birthing space set up with the pool, so her mother went to do that. Suddenly, though, she knew birth was imminent. Her mom ran upstairs to find Imogen’s husband preparing to get in the shower. She told him to head downstairs or he’d miss the baby’s birth. He came downstairs, sat their toddler in his lap, and Imogen’s mother ended up catching her grandson before the midwives arrived.
Although it wasn’t the water birth Imogen had imagined, the empowerment and wonder of her mother being able to catch her grandson was amazing.
- You don’t have to have a negative hospital experience to choose to do something differently the next time around. If you feel empowered, go for the homebirth!
- Community makes a difference. Imogen listened to happy homebirth, she was active inside of our Facebook community, and she connected with other local homebirth mothers. This was incredibly helpful for her as she prepared, especially with all of the pandemic lockdowns of her pregnancy.