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Rachel and Anna’s birth – giving birth on the loo!

Rachel and Anna just after birth

15 Jan, 2024

Birth Story Series – Rachel’s positive home  birth with her 2nd daughter

Second baby
Surprise baby girl Anna
Due date 25 Sep 2023
Arrived 28 Sep 2023 at 1.47am
Planned and actual home birth on dry land
Hypnobirthing, comb, positive affirmations.

After a protracted labour with my first baby in a midwife led unit that was relaxing but ended in a Kiwi* delivery, I had a birth afterthoughts debrief where the midwife didn’t rule out a homebirth for my second baby. So, I was really keen to use hypnobirthing again and be more in control for my second birth. I did Jilly’s hypnobirthing and active birth classes with both of my pregnancies.

* A Kiwi delivery is a method or instrumental delivery where a midwife of doctor used an instrument to help your body deliver baby a bit quicker. Forceps is another type of instrument that can also be used, but a Kiwi device is a type of vacuum instrument (can also be called ventouse).
Instrumental deliveries occur in approximately 10% of births, with more first time parents experiencing it than those birthing a 2nd or more.

Speedy progress!

My waters went as a gradual trickle at 7.15pm while putting my first daughter to bed, a delightful feeling that I was weeing myself that lasted about 2 hours on and off.
A few minor contractions started around 8.30pm. My husband called triage at Lister Hospital and they offered me to go in and have some observations to check it was my waters but I declined as I was happy with movement and wanted to stay home.
I needed to breathe and sit down for the contractions about 10pm. My parents came and picked up my daughter and we decided to set up the lounge with plastic sheeting for the home birth.
We went to bed about 11.30pm and when I laid down the contractions got stronger and about 6 mins apart. I started tracking them at 11.50pm on the Freya app and they just kept getting more intense.
I had to get up about 12.40am because breathing through them was getting really hard and I thought a change in position may help them to ease off a little.
I moved to all fours leaning over the end of the bed and they stayed just as strong but started coming faster to about 3 in 10. So we called at 1.10am to say the midwife needed to come to us. The midwife left Lister Maternity Unit straight away. I started squeezing the comb, which gave me something else to focus on. I also started thinking about how I could do anything for 60 seconds, this really helped.

I wanted to get downstairs and when I had a very strong contraction on the stairs I realised the contractions changed to the urge to push. I told my husband that the baby was coming quickly. I kept telling myself that each surge brought me closer to meeting my baby and how the contractions couldn’t be stronger than me as they were me.

Not the plan but in control!

He called Lister hospital maternity triage again at 1.24am to let them know. I was down breathing now as it seemed the right thing to do. I wasn’t pushing, just relaxing and allowing my body to move the baby down, it felt amazing and powerful.
I was in the lounge and my husband got some frozen peas for my lower back (which helped a little) and tried to turn on the relaxation music.
About 1.40am, I really could have done with some gas and air at this point, I felt the need to get to the downstairs toilet, (no idea why the toilet, I knew it was the baby and not a poo).
A few strong contractions on the toilet that were pushing the baby out when I shouted to my husband that the baby was really coming. There was no time to light the candles or get the relaxation music on.

I got scared because the midwife wasn’t there and then I realised I didn’t want to have the baby literally into the toilet. So I hovered and my husband squeezed into our tiny loo to be with me.

The baby started crowning and out came head just as the midwife called at 1.45am to say she was at our door. We shouted her through just as my husband caught our baby at 1.47am, as slippery as she was. We stayed in the toilet so I could sit and rest for a few minutes. I held our new baby girl in a tiny towel amazed at how I had just birthed her completely in control and with barely any pain.

I then went back to the lounge to deliver the placenta and have a few stitches. I was in utter disbelief that it had all gone just as I hoped for and was so fast after how long and how stuck I felt in pushing in my first birth.

This definitely gave me closure on my first birth and made me realise if I can do birth this way, I can do anything.


Baby Anna asleep in her mother's arms

Looking back

I was worried at how bad the ring of fire would hurt, as I was numbed locally the first time, but actually whilst it was very stingy, it was fine, the stitches were worse.

My husband was incredibly calm, supported me and listened to my requests and instructions, allowing me to just stay in the zone. He assured me he wouldn’t let the baby go in the toilet. And seemed fine that it was all happening before the midwife arrived.

We opted not to get paramedics when it all got very fast as we figured the midwife would arrive before they would anyway. The second midwife arrived 15 minutes after the birth. They stayed with us until about 5am and then we went up to our own bed.

I am so thankful that the Lister home birth midwife team were available for me to have a home birth, and were there to reassure us after the birth and check me and my little girl over. I know I made the right decision to stay home.

I would have a homebirth again and recommend it for a subsequent birth to someone else, as the awareness and confidence I had from my first birth allowed me to know what stage we were at and not panic.

The hypnobirthing techniques are so powerful if you can use them and trust in them to work for you. The power of BRAIN and making informed decisions that feel right really helped me be in control this time.

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