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My unplanned home birth 18years ago

Jadesola: Hey mum how are you?

Mum: I'm very well thank you! :)

Jadesola: How do you juggle motherhood and your career?

Mum: That's a very tricky question! (she is currently cooking white rice and stew after WFH - what a boss!)

I have to always plan ahead when it comes to managing the family and my career. For example, if I'm going into work the next day I make sure all my clothes for the week are ironed and laid out, the food for the family is cooked - especially food that can be packed in the freezer, I also make sure that I am on top of all the activities the kids are doing that week. I also don't forget to find out how their wellbeing is as I know that's important. I'ts pretty much 50/50.

Jadesola: How has this changed over the years, especially now that some of your children have moved out?

Mum: I have four kids altogether, two have moved out (one is married) and the other two live with me but they are still independent and all are above 18years of age. I don't have to stress about how to look after them like I used to years ago because they can come home on their own, cook for themselves and make their own money. However, there's still a bit of anxiety and I often think about their wellbeing. It's the same worries just in a different way, but I would say it is definitely less stressful than when they were younger.

Jadesola: At what age did you have your first child?

Mum: I was 23.

Jadesola: How was your first pregnancy and the delivery process?

Mum: The pregnancy (because I was a bit younger) was quite easy, it wasn't hard except for the morning sickness but that eased after a while. I felt really energetic and young (if that makes sense) and I was still doing normal activities like working, cooking and shopping. It was only as the pregnancy progressed (8-9months) that I realised I was really pregnant and my bump started showing.

The delivery was 6 hours, it was painful because I didn't really know what to do, during the delivery there were a few terms that the midwives would say to me to do that I didn't understand.

Jadesola: Did you have an epidural?

Mum: No I didn't but I had gas and air. They offered me the epidural but during my pregnancy all the mum's and aunties kept saying the epidural was dangerous and how it can make you paralysed so that myth scared me from using it.

Jadesola: If you could go back in time would you have requested for an epidural ?

Mum: No, I wouldn't.

Jadesola: Who accompanied you during that delivery?

Mum: I was with my sister.

Jadesola: Did you have an episiotomy?

Mum: Yes I did, for the first three children.

Jadesola: Did you need an episiotomy?

Mum: If I'm honest, I don't know. I think it was done routinely.

Jadesola: How did you find out about your 4th baby?

Mum: Let me go back,

When I was younger I had regular periods, along the lines they became irregular and then at one point I had no period for a year. In my mind I thought because I am in my late thirties, 37 to be exact I am too old to get pregnant. I started to become sick but I thought I had a really bad flu. When I informed my husband he advised me to do a home test and to my shock I was pregnant. I decided to go to the GP who then referred me to get a scan.

Jadesola: How many weeks were you then?

Mum: I didn't know my LMP so they scanned me and it showed that I was 8 weeks along. Funnily enough I had a dream that I carried a baby girl in white clothing, which I later did at her 7 day ceremony (A Nigerian naming ceremony)

Jadesola: How did your fourth pregnancy differ from the first ?

Mum: My fourth pregnancy was similar to my first, I thought it'll be more difficult and tiring but tbh it was the best and so smooth. I had nausea for the first trimester but that eased with time - Thank God.

With my previous pregnancies I had all my antenatal care in the hospital setting but the GP (Mr Chaung - the best family DR) suggested that I have my care with the community midwife team as they provided individual care.

Jadesola: Lead us up to the final days of your delivery and how you ended up having a home birth?

Mum: I had a community midwife and she was exceptional from start to finish (I can't remember her name)!

During my care I had made the decision to deliver at the hospital rather than in the midwifery unit because that's all I knew. I remember they had given me my induction of labour date and I was determined to have her before then because my experience with an induction was not good. The night before I went into labour I was invited to a hall party, I danced all night and I even helped the celebrants clean up once the party was finished! I felt so energetic I wouldn't have guessed I would put to bed the next day.

The next morning was a Sunday and I started experiencing some light contractions but I put them down to Braxton hicks. I decided to do some house cleaning to see if it will settle but it only got worse, at a point I suddenly felt the pressure that the baby was coming and then my water broke. My husband then called the hospital and they advised me to wait until the contractions were closer together, but they then got worse and I literally couldn't move. We called the ambulance who then called my community midwife after they realised it may be too late to transfer me in. I laboured so well on the couch in my living room with just gas and air. What I found most beautiful was that my husband, sister and midwives were with me in the living room. I then had my other children, nephew, brother and ambulance crew in the corridor awaiting the arrival of our new baby.

Jadesola: Would you do it again and would you recommend anyone to have a home birth?

Mum: I would say it depends on the individual, if you want privacy and your own space then yes. If I was younger I would do it again, I was in my own home setting and I felt that I was truly taken care of as I was the only one my midwife was looking after, she dedicated her time to care for me and the baby with little to no time constraints. The only downside is that if there's any complications you would be rushed to the hospital and that can mess up the flow of delivery.

Jadesola: That was so lovely to hear and it brought back some memories. Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed. Do you have anything else to add?

Mum: I'm glad I had that experience for my last baby, it was something I would never forgot.

Thanks for having me, I hope it blesses someone.

Thank you!


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