Sophie Faith Banks was born in water at home on Monday 4 February 2013 at 5.50pm, weighing 8lb 7oz, this is the story of her amazing birth.

I woke at around 3am on Monday 4 February and felt wet, I went to the bathroom and I believed my waters had gone.  I tried to go back to sleep but was getting contractions on and off and wasn’t comfy in bed, so I got up and came downstairs and watched telly whilst sitting on my birth ball.  By about 6.30am I felt that the contractions were getting a bit closer so I woke Dave up and asked him to start timing them and they were about 20 minutes apart.

We pottered around with Molly and had some breakfast and I spent most of my time on the ball as it was the most comfortable place to be.

We rang Stephanie (our doula) and she arrived about 10am, by which point I was baking cakes with Molly as she was getting bored as we’d decided to keep her off nursery.  I was still contracting regularly and using the breathing techniques I’d learnt at the Mindful Mamma class to relax through them.

By about 12noon my contractions were coming every three minutes and I was sat on a chair with Stephanie massaging my back. As they were getting closer and longer Dave started to get the birth pool ready with Molly before taking her over to her friend’s house whilst Stephanie and I had some lunch.  Things slowed down a little while I ate but went back to every three minutes after so we decided to call the midwife at about 2pm.

The midwife arrived just after 3pm and I was in the dining room breathing through my contractions whilst Stephanie continued to massage my back.  Everything was going well and I was well into my birthing zone.  The midwife spoke to Dave and wanted to examine me, so reluctantly I came out of my zone and went into the living room – by this point it was 3.45pm.  I was a little disheartened as despite my birth clearly stating that I didn’t want to be told of my progress she informed me I was 4cm whilst she was still examining me and that my waters hadn’t actually gone.  As the shift was due to change at 4pm she said that the hospital wouldn’t send another midwife as it would be a while but could I provide a urine sample before she left.

Dave and I went up to the bathroom – I was feeling quite disheartened after the ‘progress report’ and we spent about  half an hour up there so that I could restablish my breathing and get back into my zone – I didn’t even try to provide a sample!  During this time the new shift of midwives arrived as they had been sent straight here at the start of their shift.

After our time in the bathroom I could feel pressure building and said that I felt the baby wouldn’t be long – so as with our last birth the magic time in the bathroom helped things progress quickly.

I came back to the dining room and Dave spoke to the midwives who were very happy to leave me to get on with things.  I wasn’t really aware of time but I’m told that I only got into the pool at about 5.20pm as both Stephanie and Dave felt I was in transition.

I remember being totally relaxed in the pool, breathing through the contractions and visualising my baby moving down.

Dave was sat at the side of the pool talking to me, and Stephanie asked me if I could feel babies head, I could but she was still a few cms inside.  The midwives came in and checked the pool and Stephanie went to get some more hot water as they said it was too cold.

Whilst Stephanie was in the kitchen I looked down and Sophie was floating in the water in front of me!  I had obviously breathed her out and she had taken everyone by surprise, I wish we had a video so we could see what had happened but she must have swam up to me.

I lifted her out of the water and was passed my glasses so that Dave and I could see her sex for ourselves. She was a perfectly healthy little girl, covered in vernix. There had been no shouting, no pushing and no drugs.

I left the pool for the third stage and after about half an hour of being fed cake and tea, my placenta was delivered naturally, still attached to Sophie.

Just over an hour after Sophie’s birth I had a lovely bath, Molly came home briefly to meet her new sister before going back to her friends for a sleepover and by 9pm, Dave, Sophie and I were tucked up on the sofa eating egg and chips.


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