2 home births, 2 different stories.
For the first one, although I was interested in natural birth, I couldn't imagine giving birth at home. But sometimes life (or the baby) chooses for us...and for the best!
On 11 July 2017, I felt something starting around 1pm, but took my time in bath, practicing my yoga exercises with music and diving in the pregnancy books I never opened before ;). As a brave girl I was waiting for the 1 minute long contraction every 5 minutes for 1 hour as I learned during the preparation. At 5pm I asked Jeroen to come home and at 9.15 pm we called the midwife who advised me to take a long hot shower. She arrived at 10pm while I’m starting to have heavy contractions and being anxious that this might take another 15 hours. This part was painful with heavy back contraction but I found peace in the thought that every wave brought me closer to the end and to my baby :)
First check, I’m already at 8cm so the midwife tells us that it might be safer to stay home than getting dressed, walking the stairs and risking not getting to the hospital on time. Not thinking twice, although it has never been my wish during the pregnancy, I chose to stay home in my environment. The midwife - a professional multitasker - got her equipment from the car and called the Kraamzorg. I couldn't think and wasn't able to listen to anyone else than Jeroen. So he was literally the one guiding me during the whole labour, and I'm happy he attended a couple of yoga classes with me!
The midwife asked me to slow down to prevent any injury but it was impossible to hold and within 10 minutes our lovely little Louisa was born. Like her daddy, she was born in the amniotic sac ‘met de helm op’ :) The magic part about a home birth is that after checking that mum and baby are well and healthy, it’s just the 3 of us in bed in our love bubble!
A little less than 2 years later came our second daughter Marta, also home delivery. Even though the first birth went very smoothly, I wasn't sure I wanted a home birth again, but I was very confident that I knew where I wanted to go when contractions started. A takeaway from the first birth is that writing a birth plan is good, but it can go so different than expected. Louisa was born before the due date, so I expected the same to happen for the second.
3 days after the due date she still wasn't there. At 9pm I had a midwife check and asked to get a membrane sweep. When we got home, we found no electricity in the street. No ideal situation, but it turned out magically. We lit candles everywhere, which made it a very peaceful night. Louisa couldn't sleep: she felt something odd was happening and she just wanted to be very close to me. She fell asleep around midnight in my bed, and as I couldn't sleep I went down and lay on the couch. Since there was still no electricity, it was a very peaceful atmosphere with candle light and no phone as we were afraid to run out of battery.
At 3am Jeroen came down too and I felt the contractions started. We instantly called the midwife, as the first birth went so fast they advised us to tell them to come as soon as it started. And it was a good call because Marta was born 2 hours later! I didn't consider going anywhere at this moment and felt safe at home. One part that made me confident to deliver at home is that I was trusting the Femme team for the full 100%. Jeroen was also doing a lot of work on the background: not only comforting me but also making sure his parents could pick up Louisa without me noticing anything. I spent most of the delivery in bath moving from hand-knees position during contractions to my back to relax in between. I found a lot of comfort in the experience and soothing words of the midwife. She helped and assured me and managed to calm me down. The second delivery way more intense and painful, probably because it went so fast. After 1,5h in bath and 5 min of press contractions Marta was born :) again a magical experience with our little newborn in bed!
Thanks for the opportunity to put on paper the 2 most magical moments of my life...I never felt more powerful and woman than during these nights ✨
Succes all mommies out there, you’ve got this!