Claire's story

I was lucky enough to have a short labour (4 ' hours ) but doubly lucky that Fiona was able to make the 2 hour journey at the drop of a hat and be in Wales in plenty of time to support me during the most intense part of the birth and deliver our baby.

I was in fact 11 days overdue at the time of Llew's birth and had been holding the hospital at bay because they wanted to induce me. Previous to this he was breech up to 38 weeks and had been successfully turned by a clever obstetrician in Carmarthen hospital, so the fact that we were able to have our baby in the safety and comfort of our own home was a long awaited blessing and one I hadn't been sure would be possible.

I began having noticeable pains at about after crossing several fields and stiles to get to an out of the way party in a local farmhouse. (having been 'overdue' for so long, I decided I needed to get out.) We quickly left the party (back over fields and stiles) and arrived home at about 7.30 when things really started to kick off. I had my husband Mal and a good friend Josie with me who phoned Fiona and she set off. We also phoned the local midwife who was coming to support Fiona and she arrived within about 20 minutes.

The contractions were quite strong and regular but not completely regular. I had to be in my bed on all fours rocking and have Mal with me- I couldn't stand or lie.

Claire's StoryFiona arrived and things seemed to pick up. The contractions became a lot more intense. The exact order of things has blurred slightly but I know that at some point the urge to poo became strong and I began to make very animalistic noises growling and moaning quite loudly. Fiona suggested I take the noises as deep as possible focusing down with the baby which felt very good. I think at around this time because of a change in my behaviour.

Fiona examined me to find me fully dilated. She didn't tell me to push but encouraged me to go with my body's urges. Around this time I pooed a lot all over the brand new white duvet and sheets which was a rather strange feeling but felt liberating in a way.

All the time my partner was supporting me, being solid and amazing.

Soon after more growling etc' Fiona encouraged me to feel inside myself to the top of the baby's head so I would know how far it had to come. This was amazing and a good incentive to get pushing. I started to use every bit of each contraction to push the baby's head down the birth canal. I didn't want it to have to stay in there all squashed up for too long and I didn't want to have to be experiencing the pain although it was also a satisfying sensation for too much longer.

At about 20 to midnight I heard everyone speculating whether it would be a 6th of May or a 7th of May Baby. That really spurred me on even more. I just wanted him out so I though I'd go for the 6th of May.

Claire's Story He was born at 11.56pm. The feeling of him crowning was quite stingy and then the head coming out was like a really big stretch and some more stinging at each end of my vagina, but then it was out. Fiona told me to pant and then when the next contraction came she helped me push him out nice and slowly and then she passed him to me through my legs and helped me to hold him in my arms while they got him moving a bit. He was fine but a bit floppy and needed a waft of oxygen and some vigorous rubbing with a towel. I was just staring at him in awe, not able to do much but take it all in. Mal cut the cord then and I put the baby 'a boy!' to my nipple and sat back while Fiona tweaked the cord to see if the placenta was ready to come out. It didn't take long - I had another contraction and the placenta flopped out easily and was checked.

Fiona checked my tears - a couple of smallish ones but not enough for stitches, and helped us get settled and get baby Llew latched on and then we all sat together after the local midwife had gone, and shared prayers of thanksgiving - a beautiful end to the night

I was glad that Fiona was my midwife because she made me feel very safe and I could really be myself and tap into my inner power without worrying too much about medical procedures and protocols. She helped me expertly by guiding me without interfering too much or giving too many instructions, and she was incredibly sensitive to my 'true' needs.