Island news

This month in the local Island magazine my article was published!

Home birth on the Ross of Mull

Hurrah! Last November our second daughter Marie was born at home. Our first daughter Fiona two years earlier was born in a hospital. This time I wanted to do it differently. I knew for the biggest guarantee of a natural birth I had to be in a place where I'd feel completely safe and relaxed. Only then would my body produce plenty of oxytocin. That place meant home. No bright hospital lights, noisy ventilators, sanitisers, unfamiliar noises and smells, not even the best hospital in the world could replace that special feeling of being at home! Since I had already been through the experience before and this time had prepared myself even better by reading more books about it and listening to other women’s stories, I was ready for it. What a blessing not having to pack our stuff to hang around in an unknown place with nothing else to do than wait… It felt right to be at home, knowing that getting a child is just an incredible part of life and after that it will continue. Sheila (midwife based on Mull) and another midwife from Oban would be present.

Coming nearer to my due date I noticed that the support from the community became stronger. Neighbours and friends were living towards the big moment together with us. It was very special, encouraging and heart-warming!

This is how it went. When I felt the first contractions one evening around my due date, I went to bed to get as much sleep as possible. I slept until the middle of the night, when things became uncomfortable and it was getting impossible to sleep. I got up and went into the living room. The house was silent. My partner and daughter were asleep. I covered the floor with old sheets, lit the fire and lit candles. For some hours I was hanging around there, from time to time tending the fire while contractions came and went. It was comforting to know that the midwives (in Craignure) would be with me within an hour after I rang them. But I felt no need for that, not yet. I felt perfectly calm and happy to be on my own. I rather felt like an animal hiding in a safe place to deliver her baby. I had read the little booklet by Ruth Ehrhardt “The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour” and felt like putting it all into practice. Time passed and only towards the early morning did my contractions become more intense. I rang the midwives and soon after my partner woke up. It was just the right moment, because suddenly things went quickly. Contractions became regular and were very intense. Soon I had the feeling I needed to push. It felt like it wasn`t me anymore who was doing the job, but something was working through me. There was no way I could resist the power which went through my body. My partner instinctively did what was needed and then he had our baby in his hands! He held her gently, talked to her and a moment later she started breathing peacefully. Then he passed her on to me.

The midwives arrived an hour after I`d rung them. But we were already settled and sitting on the sofa with our baby in my arms. A moment later our eldest daughter woke up to meet her little sister.

Marie is nearly three months old now. Born in peace, without any stress or anxiety, she started smiling within the first days of her life. She is a peaceful and contented baby. The whole experience was as straightforward as a birth can be. (I have to say, this has been my very personal experience. I don`t recommend ringing the midwives as late as I did. Most important is to discuss with the midwives in the weeks before the due date how you imagine the birth to be.) It has been wonderful and incredibly precious to be supported by one midwife all the way through from pre-natal care through birth till post-natal care. Mull is lucky to have Sheila based on the Island and that Lorn and Island Hospital in Oban are providing such good maternity care. With huge gratitude,

Charlot Buschgens Ps: Do you want to share your birth-story too? I'm working on a book about childbirth and I'm happy to receive more stories from women. Please get in touch with me. Each birth story is a unique and unforgettable experience worth sharing!

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