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After being in slow labour for weeks, with on and off surges from 39 weeks I was feeling very fed up and a bit emotional so I agreed to having the sweep at 41&2 days which was unsuccessful.

I was so emotional that day after having my induction booked in for the Saturday when I'd be 41+5 thinking maybe this one just wasn't meant to be born at home. But random and sporadic surges carried on and Friday morning I was having strong period type cramping. I went to have the Covid test at 9am at our local maternity hospital Leicester Royal, where I actually had a really nice conversation with a midwife who asked how I felt and I just let it all out telling her I'd be declining the induction and she was so kind and supportive! I walked away after the test feeling super positive about my decision that I would give myself the weekend to have the baby at home.

When I got back one of our HB midwives turned up at 11am to check us over and offered me a 2nd sweep - which I agreed to based on the random contractions I had been having that were definitely getting stronger but still all over the place, I felt I needed to know if I was progressing. She found my cervix was much more favourable and whatever had been going on had certainly helped me along and the sweep was put down as "successful."

Afterwards I went about my usual day feeling so much more positive, empowered that I was determined to have my baby at home as I'd be reading up lots on women who also have gone "overdue" and declined induction and had successful HBs.

Plus my midwives were super supportive which was a massive help and full of information that that reaffirmed my decisions. Our baby was happy and healthy and my body was doing what it needed to do! So let's keep going!

I was pottering around the house playing with our 2 children, doing some cleaning and had lunch when I realised about 1pm I was getting much stronger tightenings that were making me stop in my tracks. So my sister (she was always going to be a birth partner) finished work early and came over to take our children out for a breather. I used this time to freshen up, bounce on the ball and watch a funny film on Netflix with my husband.

By the time they got back my surges were getting alot more intense but still very much spaced apart and random. I used the Freya Positive Birthing app to time my surges and listen to positive birth affirmations throughout the whole labour - really recommend!

By 6.15pm my surges were forming a pattern of around every 13 minutes, so we told my sister to go home pack an overnight bag whilst we gave our children dinner and got them to bed!

Around 7.15pm I was laid in bed with our 2 year old daughter, she was asleep in my arms and my surges were getting so strong and about 10 mins apart so I quickly decided to leave her room and tell my husband to get our birthing room ready. I just knew it was all going to happen quick with how intense it was all getting for me!! Both kids were fast asleep snoring away blissfully unaware of what was happening downstairs.

Whilst I was getting changed into loose pj's and focusing on my surges in my bedroom my husband had blown the pool up, lit my candles etc and set up station for the baby. I decided I really needed to just sit on the toilet for a bit to help the pressure I was feeling down there.

7.46pm I text my sister from upstairs asking her to quickly come help me as I had just lost all of my plug and my surges were now 6 minutes apart and very intense I did start to struggle but she helped me get back into my breathing, focusing on getting through each one.

I went downstairs and my poor husbands face was a picture I knew something had happened. The electrics in our conservatory had for some reason stopped working (this is where we had always planned to birth as it's the furthest room away from our children) and our hot water that had been on all day was coming out ice cold!! He managed to get the electric working by running extension cables but boiling big pans of water on the hob was not going to work and I just needed him with me! So I said stop what you're doing and set up an area for a land birth I honestly did not care!!!

I had always wanted a pool birth as we had our daughter at home 2 years ago in a birthing pool and it was so soothing and relaxing I couldn't imagine a land birth at home. I was worried about mess and it hurting more. But at that moment I just thought f*ck it I just need my husband to focus on helping me through this not worrying about bloody hot water - what will be will be!!!

8.08pm I called the local Home Birth Labour Line and in between surges told them to come ASAP - my surges were 4 to 5 mins apart (in hindsight I should have called earlier!). I went into our birthing room and my husband had set up an area covered in plastic sheeting, lots of towels and comfy pillows for me to kneel on. As soon as I was on my knees I knew my baby was coming ASAP!!

Surges were thick and fast at this point and felt there was no space to really breathe I could feel every inch of her moving down and remember thinking we're going to have to do this alone - but I felt calm and knew I could do it with the help of my husband and sister. I wasn't scared at all.

8.25pm we stopped timing but we left the affirmations and soothing music going as it really helped me focus. Surges recorded at this point were 3 mins apart although I'm sure they weren't haha! I had both my sister and husband either side of me and just kept saying this baby is coming I can feel it, I felt so much pressure and knew my waters were bulging!

The midwives turned up I think at 8.55pm they had got stuck getting out of Leicester! My sister had left me to quickly check where they were and they came running in lifted up the towel checked baby's heart rate which was low at 100bpm and said the waters need breaking you need to turn around.

As soon as my midwife said that my body was like no we have this and instantly bared down and I felt a huge release! I just felt a big pop and apparently everyone behind me was covered haha!

At that point I could feel our babies head sitting there and there was what felt like time standing still everything in me stopped and went calm. I just remember next saying I need some help.

It was such a strange experience but I felt calm like my body knew I just need a tiny break. So I quickly got onto gas and air and took a few big puffs, bit down on the mouth piece with the next surge pushed with all I had & our beautiful baby was out. The release and relief from it all was such a good feeling!!

All I remember next is everyone saying she's a girl she's a girl and our beautiful daughter screaming her little lungs out! That's my girl - let everyone know we've done this!!

I flipped over to rest on my back with my husband behind me and pulled up our baby. I held her through the next few surges and delivered the placenta within I think half hour it didn't feel long at all. She latched on and was so alert watching us all.

We then let my sister do the duty of cutting the cord once it had stopped pulsating and the goodness had all been delivered. It was just such a special moment and I felt amazing I had given birth again! And this time using all my own instincts, no coached anything just following my bodys needs.

We had lots of skin to skin and after the midwives helped clean up, we all had a good chat and they couldn't believe how quick everything happened! They cleaned up, carried out checks on me (I have one small tear high up which they think happened because baby Amelie came out with her hand on her face!) no stitches and left us to it at about half 11pm!

Our 2 year old daughter had then woken up crying for me and she just wouldn't go back down so my husband bought her downstairs and she was in awe. She just kept saying baby is so adorable and couldn't peel her eyes away. It was so so beautiful to watch.

My husband then did a big clear around whilst me and my girls sat on the sofa eating some toast and we all went upstairs to bed! Our son came wandering into our bedroom at 6am rubbing his eyes and could not believe his eyes when he saw his new sister laid having skin to skin with Daddy. Instantly smitten and in love saying she was so beautiful.

I'm in shock I can't actually believe our little girl is here and the night before I was going to have to go in to hospital to decline being induced! I'm so glad I held out and just kept following my instincts. I felt like I was pregnant forever but I'd do it all again for our Amelie. She really is so perfect. And seems like a pro breastfeeder already - Yay!

Danielle's sessions and hypnobirthing techniques helped me to have the natural homebirth I wanted with my third baby.

Thank you for all your help and support during my pregnancy and birth, it helped massively.

Bex, Sam & Baby Amelie

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