Kelly, Alex and baby Ottilie

The moment I met Emily, I knew this was going to be a very different birth journey. Emily was my midwife for my third baby.

Having the same midwife for every single visit makes such a difference, you really feel like she understands you and your family. Being a working mum of two already, having someone fitting around our needs made everything so much less stressful. I loved that the whole family were involved in Emily’s visits to our home, the children listened to their sister’s heartbeat and were so much part of the pregnancy journey. I’ll never forget them putting the Pinard to my tummy and the squeals of excitement when their sister sounded like a galloping horse! It was a world away from the sterile visits at the GP’s or hospital, with a different midwife every time. Alex and I both agreed it really makes a difference knowing that the same midwife you have had with you all the way through, will also be at the birth. A huge amount of pressure is lifted from your birthing partner.

My first daughter was born in a birth centre and although it was a lovely experience, my notes weren’t read until afterwards so some of my wishes hadn’t been considered. I also struggled with breast feeding and could have really done with more support in the early days. My second birth was completely opposite to what I had hoped for. I went into labour and hadn’t felt my son move. I ended up wired up, lying down on the maternity ward with no hope of a water birth (even though there was no need for it to be like that) and midwives I had never met that were gruff and short-tempered. I know in this instance my son’s birth would not have been so medicalised and I would have had the water birth I had so desired if I had had a midwife who knew me, advising me, giving me confidence.

So as Ottilie was going to be my last baby, it was time to have that elusive water birth! I had always wanted a home birth but didn’t know if I had the confidence to do it. We talked through all of our options and Alex and I decided we wanted a birth pool at home. Ottilie was almost two weeks late and with Emily’s reassurance, I fought off the calls for induction from the hospital!

Ottilie’s birth at home was the most beautiful experience I could have wished for. It was so calm and relaxing, the lights were low, we had fairy lights everywhere and our music playing in the background. When Ottilie arrived in the water, Emily tapped Ottilie towards me so I could slowly lift her out of the water. I was the first one to hold my baby, that is so incredibly empowering and I put her straight to my skin. I didn’t know that labour and birth could be so magical and it is all thanks to Emily, giving me the confidence and skills to relax and the knowledge I could trust my body to do what it needed to do.

The children came down in the morning to their brand new baby sister and the first thing they said was “Emily is going to be so sad she missed this!” They had slept through the whole birth! It was so hard saying goodbye to Emily at the end of the postnatal period, however she will always be a friend and we will be forever indebted. For anyone considering an Independent Midwife, you will never, ever regret it and you will gain a new friend for life.