In this extract from her brilliant book Painless Childbirth, Tina Taylor describes the birth of her grandson, Joshua - something as a surprise to the midwives attending.
My Grandson, Joshua, was born at home. Joshua's dad, myself and my daughter's friend Julia were to be with her at the birth. I worked with my daughter and Julia in the weeks prior to his birth. This wasto be the first home birth that I had experienced personally and we looked into what was needed, then my daughter and I began to plan. We have shared these details in the home birth chapter.
Joshua's due date arrived and passed without his arrival, in fact my daughter had decided that she wanted him to be born on 4th April 2004, which was almost two weeks past his due date and so she was very happy that he was late. At around 41 weeks, the midwife wanted to book a date to go into hospital and be induced, something she was very reluctant to do. We looked at the alternatives for inducing labour naturally. On 2nd April she went to see an acupuncturist; the 4th of April arrived and went without any sign of Joshua. Around 11 pm on the evening of the 5th April Joey asked me what a contraction felt like. She had been experiencing windy discomfort for some time and like most first time mothers wasn't sure what she was supposed to be feeling. I could see her stomach tightening and releasing, and we began to time them, they were about 6 minutes apart and very regular.
After a while we called the hospital and were told that all the "on call" midwives were out. Joey did not want to go into hospital and they said that they would see if they could find a midwife for us. Meanwhile, her contractions stopped, we told the hospital and Joey tried to get some sleep. Although this was very difficult as she was very excited at the thought of her baby being born and in fact we talked for a long while that night before she finally went asleep.
The next day a midwife came to visit her at home and on examination found that she was 2cm dilated and declared that that baby's arrival would be soon. Joey contacted Julia and the preparation began. That day she rested and the contractions started again just after 11pm that evening. Joey made herself comfortable, Julia arrived, the atmosphere in the room was like a girly sleep over. Tim, Joshua's dad arrived shortly afterwards.
The midwives arrived just around midnight and when they saw Joey laying on her bed watching a DVD they initially didn't believe that she was in labour. Each time she had a contraction she relaxed and turned the dial on her control panel taking her up on her cloud; from the outside looked so very calm. One of the midwives asked her if she was having a contraction and when she said she was they said that she couldn't be as she was far too calm and, it was only after the midwives examined her and realised that she was 6cms dilated that they agreed that she was in fact in labour.
After a while, they offered to break her waters, but Joey decided that she did not wanted this; she wanted the birth to be as natural as possible with as few interventions as possible and so there was very little for the midwives to do as she had everything under control. With each contraction she turned her dial and went up onto her cloud and afterwards she said that on occasion she turned the dial further to take herself higher and "further away".
Whilst going through the first stage, Joey used her control panel and self hypnosis, she didn't really need any assistance from me; Tim and Julia were there to massage her and bring her cool flannels.
In the second stage we all became useful for support as she tried out various positions until she decided on the one that was right for her.
Joshua arrived at 5 am on Wednesday 7th April 2004 after a completely natural birth.