Birth Story 17April 20, 2021
“I decided to explore options for hiring an independent midwife when I fell pregnant with my second child. My first birth experience had involved immediately going to the hospital the minute my waters broke and then a lot of medical procedures I just sort of went along with without really questioning. First they inserted a cannula in my arm and hooked me to an IV , then a heart rate monitor was strapped to me, followed by induction to speed up progress, and 17 hours later an emergency c section as neither me or the baby were very happy by this point. I also seemed to have had a number of internal exams to check progress and then I later found out this can increase infection risk of your waters have broken but no one mentioned that to me at the time.
I wanted something different this time – ideally I would have loved a home water birth. However my priority was also having someone to advocate for me if I ended up with a more complex birth again to avoid it being so much about being in hospital and having a series of medical interventions after another.
I found some recommendations for Leonie and Tess online and as soon as I met them in person we knew they were for us! They really took time to listen to my ideas for birth plan and nothing was dismissed as was the case with some of the hospital staff who I spoke to. I knew I would feel supported throughout the rest of the pregnancy and through the birth and they had an easy rapport with the whole family including our two year old son Zach who loved playing with Leonie’s medical kit!
In the midst of my pregnancy the first COVID lockdown came in as well which further cemented my desire to have a private midwife. I really wanted the option of staying at home for as much of the early labour as possible whilst having some medical support on hand.
My birth did not end up being straight forward as my waters broke early on before I was in established labour. However because of the support and knowledge of Leonie I agreed with the hospital that I would stay at home for as long as possible until I was either in established labour or 48 hours had passed by which time I would move straight to a planned c section.
I would not have had the confidence to do this on my own but Leonie helped ensure I had a proper risk based discussion with the hospital Consultant and Consultant Midwife.
As a result whilst this wasn’t my plan A, it was a great experience. I enjoyed my time in early labour at home being able to jump in and out of the bath tub and wear my own clothes and be around familiar surroundings.
After the elective c section I noticed I felt a lot better and stronger than with my first child.
Having Leonie visit for the post birth care was just wonderful. It was so nice not having to drag the baby across London to be weighed and for check ups and I got great hands on breastfeeding support in the comfort of my home! Support for weighing the baby and breastfeeding was very limited at the time due to the COVID restrictions so I was very grateful for this
We really had the best experience hiring Leonie and Tess and would totally recommend them to anyone looking for an independent private midwife.
Laura, David and Zach (age 2.5 years at the time)