The Birth Story of Camille Grace

Our little girl Camille Grace arrived into this world at home (in our living room!) on Tuesday 9th July at 8.06pm with no pain relief.

My waters broke at 10pm on Monday evening, just as I was getting into bed. My surges came on quickly but felt completely manageable. After blowing up the birth pool I told Lewis to get some sleep as I stayed downstairs, put some washing on, made myself some food and practised my breathing on my birth ball.

By 8.30am my surges were becoming more intense and consistently between 4 and 5 minutes apart. I had noticed a slight discolouration in my waters, so we called the maternity line, they suggested we come in just to check there was no meconium in my waters and that Camille wasn’t in distress.

After being monitored for a couple of hours, they discharged us, and we made our way home and got into the birth pool. Around 5pm I felt like I wanted to push, however, after actively trying to breathe her down in the pool for over an hour it was clear that she wasn’t coming. The midwives were concerned that I may not have been passing urine which was possibly stopping her from moving downwards. They swiftly fitted a catheter (which I barely felt) which immediately emptied my bladder making room for Camille to move down. Things then started to progress quickly but even though her head was crowning, she was not coming out.
The midwife advised that unless she was born within 15 minutes, I would need to be transferred to the hospital for an assisted delivery. I had wanted to avoid an episiotomy unless completely necessary, however, after using our BRAIN assessment, we decided that this was the best option for us.

The midwife administered some local anaesthetic (which I barely felt) and carried out the episiotomy. A couple of surges later, she was born and placed on my chest while I delivered the placenta. Camille was wide eyed and very calm despite being stuck for some time – she didn’t even cry. Lewis had skin to skin with her whilst the midwives finished my stitches. She was placed on my tummy and ‘army crawled’ up to her first feed. She latched well and was completely peaceful.

The midwives left and my parents delivered a midnight feast for us to enjoy. We then went upstairs and got into bed, cuddling our baby girl in amazement – too ecstatic to sleep despite being completely exhausted.

To give birth to our little girl in the comfort of our own home was amazing, especially considering when I fell pregnant, I was so scared, I couldn’t even bear to think about birth!

We felt in control thorough out the with our decision making thanks to what you had taught us. There was no screaming and no crying (except for tears of joy when she was born) but lots of deep guttural sounds on the out breaths which I couldn’t re-create now if I tried!

Thanks to everything we learnt during your course and lots of practice after that, we felt calm and in control even when things were tough. Thank you so much for all the support, guidance and advice you have given Lewis and I, not only in the course but with the follow ups afterwards.

Harriet, Lewis & Camille x

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