Helen's story

I felt very strongly that for the births of both of my children, I needed a midwife whom I had a level of intimacy and trust, so that I could feel safe to go through the birthing process. I also wanted someone who was experienced in natural homebirths and if possible had a spiritual outlook.

Luckily for me Fiona was willing to be present for my second birth. She was not practising independently at the time so she acted more as a doula.

We had chats over cups of tea and coffee during which I told her what was happening in my life. I described my previous birth experience and what I hoped for at the next birth. As time went on I let out my fears. I was nervous of tearing, I was afraid of medical intervention, of being at hospital, and of what would happen should I have to have a caesarean. Also I released more trivial, but still nagging worries like my embarrassment that everybody would see the veins on my legs!

Talking through my fears helped them recede to the background, instead of them growing bigger as the time of birth grew closer. Fiona also chatted with my partner Steve, and so there was a level of ease between us all.

I laboured at home, in water. Fiona and the midwives arrived when I was approaching second stage. Fiona knelt close to me and I felt her concentrated attention on my process. I appreciated her unspoken spiritual awareness and faith in natural birth.

All was going smoothly, when during the third stage I felt I needed to slow down so I wouldn't tear, but had momentarily forgotten how. When I expressed my worry of going too fast the midwife said that I was doing fine. I know her intention was to reassure me, but actually I felt misheard and at sea, and needed guidance. Fiona then said calmly 'Breathe, Helen, breathe.'

I relaxed. I was back in control. I had someone there who understood who I was, what I was capable of and how I expressed myself. I felt safe, and held, and Sophia was born gently into the water, and I had not the slightest graze or tear'.

I feel warmth and appreciation for all the midwives involved, but thank-you Fiona for listening and 'holding' me through my pregnancy and birth.