When we started Mama + Max we wanted to create, not only a contemporary store with a range of baby essentials and modern nursery decor, but an information source for mums, new mums and mums to be, where (in the early hours of the morning, most probably) they would feel a little less alone.
For this reason we will be bringing you various posts on everything ranging from positive birth stories from real mamas, weaning tips from child nutritionists and sleep help from the experts, and everything in between.
Here at Mama + Max, we are huge advocates of the positive birth movement. We did hypnobirthing with Max and we loved every moment of it. So this week we meet Emma-Louise Richards from Kent, who wanted to share her story with us and you, we hope you like it as much as we did.
"It was Sunday at about 10:30pm when we called the midwife to say the contractions were about 2 minutes apart. They had started around 5.45pm that evening and before this they were 8 minutes apart, but I wasn’t convinced it was actually time as I’d already had a few false alarms in the previous weeks. I had cooked, eaten and spent the evening in front of the TV just breathing my way through them, whilst bouncing on my birthing ball.
We already had the birthing pool inflated and ready to go. My first born, Charlie, was asleep in bed but was woken by the water tank when we started to fill the pool. It was always my plan to have him there, he had been involved in everything to do with baby so far, it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t see her come in to this world. He held my hands through my contractions, told me I was beautiful and helped daddy with the pool filling and temperature checking. The perfect little birthing partner!
Charlie had been a very different birth, he was born in hospital at 36 weeks and 4 days, so technically 3 weeks and 3 days premature. My hospital birth felt controlled, not by me but the midwives. As he was premature, they wanted to monitor me constantly which I don’t feel was necessary, as there were no other issues or concerns. The monitors were attached so I wasn’t allowed to move around and gave birth lying on my back which is the most unnatural position for birth. I was told to stop trying to push for over an hour because they felt the baby was stuck, which for me was extremely painful and difficult. As soon as I got up to empty my bladder, Charlie was born a few minutes later.
For this reason I knew I wanted a home, water birth with my second, when the midwife arrived at our house, she did her checks and I got in to the birthing pool. Which on one of the hottest days of this year felt like boiling water. But did help with my comfort levels.
Everything moved on at a steady pace and I waited patiently for the second midwife to arrive with the gas and air. Unfortunately, she only just arrived in time to see Nancy delivered in the water by me at 1:13am. She was perfect. Covered in vernix. Charlie was a little reluctant to kiss her because she was ‘mucky’. We didn’t know the sex of the baby before she arrived so it was a nice surprise.
My husband, Lee, was also so helpful and supportive too. He was initially worried about the potential complications of a home birth but once the midwife had reassured him, he was fully onboard with the idea. He was incredible at the birth and felt much more involved this time compared to the hospital birth, where he felt a little useless.
We feel incredibly lucky to have two beautiful, healthy children."
We'd like to say a huge thank you to Emma-Louise for sharing her story and if you have a positive birth story and would like to be featured, then please get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.