This is a lovely, reassuring guest blog post from one of the members of Home Birth Support Group UK around her change from planned home birth to positive hospital birth after a positive covid result.
“I never got my home birth I wanted, but I had a positive experience at hospital. This was due to waiting for covid test results and as it turned out I was positive
Second Time Mum
Due date 23/10/20
Born 24/10/20 40+1
Active labour 45mins
Natural delivery, no drugs just breathing through them.
Small graze & 1 stitch
Weight 8lb 2oz
Name Brooklyn Lee
Birth water birth
I do apologise in advance for my wording and spelling as I am dyslexic, not the best at writing.
On the 22nd while out celebrating with a meal for our daughter passing her driving test, we both noticed we couldn’t taste or smell anything.
So we came home and booked in for a covid test. I was also told by midwifes that my home birth would be off the cards until my test came through negative, and it would be hospital birth instead. This upset myself but what could I do, I didn’t want to risk passing anything to baby.
My due date 23/10/20 had the odd little contraction but thought nothing of it as I had been having them for weeks on and off. Go to bed at 9pm to wake about 11pm with what I thought was some of my waters, but turned out to be the start of my mucus plug. So I settle back down and go to sleep.
24/10/20 Wake around 1.30am with period type pains slowly coming in waves. By 2.30am i was in bath for a hour, to help with the uncomfortableness of them. Soon went back to bed for a few hours and pains started to come a lot stronger, no sleep for me. Manage to just breath through them, even though the pain was starting to hit my hips.
By 9am, I had my second bath and had lost more of my mucus plug. So I started to pack the other essential items I may need for hospital that hadn’t been packed and I also called my friend, who was my birthing partner to come round. While she made her way, I contacted the maternity hospital who advised me to go straight there, by the time I did, it was about 11ish.
We were met at front doors and sent through the ambulance entrance, due to waiting for covid results.
By now contractions were every 2/3 mins apart.
We were shown to the delivery suite and left for nearly a hour before someone came to see us.
My midwife, Annabelle was lovely, she read my wishes for what I wanted for home birth and pretty much followed them all the way through to best she could.
I added water birth to bottom if I had to go hospital though. I had put limited vaginal examinations and I actually only ever go one examination to which was 3cms.
I asked to go in the bath once we had our chat and sorted everything else out, but she needed to check first it was ok.
At this point, she found someone had put random stuff on my notes saying i said stuff which I hadn’t, they wanted me bed monitored again!
Luckily she took my word for it as I never once talked about hospital birth with anyone. She then went through risk factors of water birth just to cover herself, then I was straight in the bath.
After a hour or so my contractions were slowing down to every 5/6mins due to being too relaxed.
I got out and moved about for a little bit which ramped them back up to 1/2/3 mins. The pain of each contraction by then was hitting my hips as if they were being pulled apart, still managed to breathe through them silently. My mate was surprised how quite i was during this whole process of labour.
By 3pm I wanted in the bath again so sat in it while being filled. @3.15pm I had a huge contraction which made my waters pop and take some of that pressure off, called the midwife in so she could come and check for any issues which there wasn’t any so she went away again and said buzz her if I needed her.
No sooner had she gone my mate was buzzing for her again. I had gone from contracting to pushing within 15mins body just took over, poor midwife was constantly getting in and out of ppe clothing to see me.
This time she stayed put and just told me to breath through each push, even though i thought my hip’s where going to spilt like a chicken wish bone lol.
By 4.07pm baby was born with roughly 4/5 pushes for head out and one for body, once his body was out that pain in my hips instantly went, plus all the while through the whole labour I kept my eyes closed as I found it beneficial for myself and focused.
Once baby was born I had skin to skin till placenta had stopped pulsating and then I cut my own cord. Took sometime for the placenta to come out, we even used the injection and were very close to having get doctors in to help but right at last minute it came out.
I end up with a little graze and also needing one stitch due to it not stopping bleeding. But other than that all was ok.
I was informed during birth baby had poo’d inside me so we would need to be kept in and monitored for 12 hrs just in case he had swallowed some, plus with me having gestational diabetes (GD) they wanted to monitor him.
Luckily all was ok and we got to go home the very next day.
I am glad I had such a lovely midwife and also such a quick active labour of 45mins. Defo helped after being declined homebirth.
Now at home enjoying lots of cuddles and peace and quite. As we are quarantined till end of week so can’t see family or friends, but it will give me chance to have my bonding time with him and also my 18yr daughter can too.
Thanks for reading if you got this far.”
There is a lot of fear around birthing while covid positive and I thought this wonderful, calm, hands off, birth story may help some women and birthing people who are in this situation, to realise you have options and can have a hands off, empowered water birth in this situation and also that there is no need for routine separation of the mother/baby dyad.