Just before lockdown I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl Frances Estie Everett at Blackburn Birth Centre (BBC). I had the most incredible birth and I am so happy to share my story with the hope that not only will it help other new mums to feel confident and reassured, but it will let everyone know how fabulous the Birth Centre and the midwives at Blackburn are.
I had already been up to BBC on the Monday for aromatherapy and a sweep, we had been applying the essential oils at home and I’d started to sense a change in my body as baby started to make signs of appearing.
Two days later at 41+1 weeks pregnant I was at my yoga studio and had just taught two classes back to back, when I stood up and my waters broke! I excitedly phoned my partner Lucas and we both rushed home to get organised. We drove up to BBC to be checked over and a midwife confirmed that my waters had gone and that I was 3cm dilated.
We went home, lit the stove and I had a bath but as soon as I got in bed to try to get a bit of rest I felt my contractions becoming stronger. I teach Pregnancy yoga, so I knew about the stages of labour; I had practiced my breathing and was looking to have an active water birth if possible. By 10.30pm I was timing my contractions and asked Lucas to phone the Birth Centre, the midwife on duty said we were fine to come in and stay there until baby came. As soon as I arrived at the Birth Centre I felt safe. We walked through the doors and my midwife Vicky put her arm around me and led me into a room to be checked, I felt so relieved to be there. She was reassuring and patient, by this stage I was 4cm but baby was back to back. I couldn’t believe it, I had spent my whole pregnancy practicing yoga and with baby in the right position. I asked for the bath to be turned on and we were welcomed into the most beautiful relaxing space. The lighting was dim, the atmosphere was calm and I felt completely comforted to be with my midwife who, along with Lucas was so encouraging and supportive. Vicky gently guided me as I progressively felt my contractions get stronger. I knew I had to get baby into the right position so I got onto all fours in the bath and rocked to get baby to turn. We had arrived at 11.10pm, by 12.30pm baby was in the right position and I went from 6cm to 9cm dilated. I didn’t have time to go through my birth plan, but Vicky seemed so intuitive to my needs. I had gas and air and by 1.28am our baby was in my arms. I gave birth just as I had visualised, Lucas was able to see baby’s head emerge, she had delayed cord clamping and then Lucas cut the cord - as I held Frances in my arms I felt so powerful and strong.
The moment we met our baby will stay with me forever. As I looked around at Lucas and the midwives Vicky and Mo I couldn’t believe what had happened, I felt like a goddess. It was magical. Baby Frances was so calm, she didn’t cry and I remember Mo saying it was because she didn’t realise she had been born. Those next few hours were bliss as we enjoyed skin to skin and lots of cuddles. After the checks and a shower, we were left undisturbed until the morning. I couldn’t thank Vicky and Mo enough, I had felt in complete control; they had been gentle and loving and given me options throughout the birth, always respectful of my choices and allowing me to lead.
We couldn’t wait to introduce her to everyone, and one huge benefit of BBC is that both of our families were able to come and visit.
We felt very comfortable, we had full use of the kitchen and other facilities, plus everyone made us feel so at ease as we were offered support with breastfeeding and changing and bathing Frances. We proudly left with our baby that afternoon, not without taking a quick snap at the wall.
I can not recommend the birth centre enough. I was able to have the birth that I had envisioned and bring our beautiful baby into the world in such a peaceful and encouraging way. Thank you to everyone at the Birth Center, especially Vicky and Mo for helping us to have such a positive experience.