Malakai's birth was the most incredible day of my life. Of course that's because I got to meet my angel and become a mummy, but without One to One Midwives the whole experience would have been very different.
Throughout my life I've always looked forward to giving birth. I realise that may sound strange to some people as all we hear about and see on the TV is pain and drama surrounding birth, but for me it was something I couldn't wait to experience and just wanted to feel everything every step of the way.
The way we are birthed has a profound effect on our lives and the way we view birth ourselves. It creates a limbic imprint in the brain and sets the president for how we view and interact with the world. If we are forced out of our comfy haven against our will and to someone else's time schedule then this is what we feel the world is about. Other people rushing us, entering to a clinical room full of strangers and your own mummy screaming in pain - surely nobody would want their first impressions of this incredible life to be that?
I did a lot of birth prep and for me it was very important that I birthed Malakai in a natural calm safe place, surrounded by the people and things I love, and with as little medical intervention as possible. I wanted him to enter the world in his own time, on his own terms - which is why he kept me waiting for 22 hours! He must have been comfy in there!
That being said, my labour didn't quite go 'as planned'. The biggest lesson I learnt was that you always have to expect the unexpected. Babies will be born how THEY choose and you will have the exact experience that you need for yourself. The most important thing is for you to feel safe and birth in the way that is right for you. Feeling empowered to have choice is the key.
My surges started at 9pm on a Friday evening. With every book I read and with all the stories of birthing I'd heard, I'd expected I would be able to get a shower, meditate, maybe even do some yoga and eat food in the early stages. Nope, Mally had other plans. My surges started thick and fast, no build up, just a minute on, 45 seconds off from the get go. They were very intense straight away and there was literally no respite, even in these early stages some surges felt like they just rolled into the next one with no break. Part of me thought that meant my labour would be quick! Wrong again. Things only got more and more intense - quickly - for the next full day!
It was by far the most challenging thing I have ever experienced. I had many complications along the way too, and without the support of Anthony, Malakai's dad as my birthing partner, along with the guidance and safe space being held by One to One Midwives, things would have been very different!
From what I have heard and from my own research I am confident that if I had been under NHS midwives I would have had no option but be taken to hospital due to the complications that manifested. As it happened, we sent away 3 ambulances during the course of my labour, all called by One to One as part of their protocol given the way my labour progressed. We were given the final choice as to whether we went into hospital, and so decided to trust Malakai's journey that he would be birthed at home. Had I gone into hospital I would not have been allowed to go into a birthing pool and would have been given little option other than to birth my baby via c section as Malakai was stuck and would not come out – I must have a very accommodating womb!
I understand that in hospital there are not the resources or one to one support to allow a labouring mother the time she needs and so things are moved along for her. For me, this gives women the message that their bodies are unable to birth their babies. The most natural process in the world is turned into a medical emergency and fear is injected into many mothers minds. I'm not in any way criticising the intentions or skills of NHS staff and understand that there are always going to be a minority of births that do turn into an emergency, I just feel it's the system of which these health professionals are under that does not serve or nurture the sacred journey that women embark on when in labour.
With One to One, I'd had the opportunity to get to know my midwives very well. They knew my strong beliefs and supported me to birth my baby in exactly the way I wanted to. I felt empowered and knew they had mine and my baby's best intentions at heart.
They were patient, professional, caring and supportive of me and my whole family. With their guidance, Malakai was born on my bathroom floor at 7.15pm on the Saturday night, November 15th. Completely naturally and to the sound of us all chanting 'om'.
Due to the length and nature of my labour, I had 6 different midwives attend my birth! Each of them respected my views and gave me the space and time I needed to give Malakai the calming entrance he requested.
In my eyes these women are angels! I saw from my own birthing experience and from getting to know my midwives whilst pregnant that they each give so much of their time and energy to help mothers birth in an empowered way. Constantly on call, attending lengthy births, skipping meals, missing out on time with their own families. These women give all of themselves to their service and I for one am eternally grateful for what they do.
They help women to trust their bodies and surrender themselves to the birthing process. For me, the way we birth is shaping the future of our planet. We are literally choosing to give life to our babies either in a way that inspires fear or one that inspires peace. One to one midwives are helping to positively shape the future of our planet one baby at a time. It really is that big of a deal! And pregnant women need to feel empowered to take on that responsibility with confidence and trust.
You CAN birth your baby in exactly the way that YOU choose. The mantra I used whilst birthing was 'trust and let go' and I can't recommend it enough. Simple but powerful words of truth. The universe knows what it's doing and nothing is a mistake. Only fear or doubt will create more challenges. I'm not saying that birthing is easy - by any means! But with the right focus and support, it will be the most empowered and life changing experience for everyone involved.
One to one allowed this to be the case for me and my baby. I cannot thank them enough and recommend their services to everybody. The world needs more of them. Thank you so much.
One to one are usually funded by the NHS. However in my case they were not, as each indivicual case is managed differntly. It's actually up to your own GP practice as to whether they will receive the funding. With mine, as I self refered, they were not given the funding. So please, if you decide to go with their services - make sure to get a referral letter from your doctor. That way they will be more likely to get the funding they so deserve.