Leoni, Rafi and baby marlowe
Marlowe is Leoni and Rafi's second baby, they chose to have an independent midwife following difficulties in accessing maternity care when having their first daughter. Leoni felt passionately about the positivity of having a homebirth with both of her pregnancies.
When Leoni went into labour with her first baby, she called her NHS community midwives join her, only to be told that they were already at another homebirth and she was advised that she would “have to come into the hospital”. Leoni had a doula with her so she decided to stay at home without the support of a midwife and instead called the paramedics to attend the birth. The paramedics were very kind and waited very patiently in the kitchen whilst her labour progressed, however they were not able to monitor how the baby was coping with the labour or to make sure everything was ok. Towards the end of the labour the NHS midwives were finally able to attend the birth. However, Leoni and Rafi felt the experience was very stressful and were keen to avoid the same thing from happening again.
Leoni had a very straightforward pregnancy and Jenny (who was her lead midwife) felt very confident that she would have the most beautiful birth. It was wonderful to include Leoni and Rafi's little girl, Lexi, in all of Leoni's antenatal care. She loved helping Jenny to listen to her baby sister's heart beat using the sonic aid and asking questions about her mummy's tummy.
On the day of Marlow's birth Leoni had an aromatherapy massage from Sarah in the afternoon and straight away started to feel some tightenings. These continued into the evening and at around 8:45pm Leoni's membranes released and she started to experience stronger surges. Jenny and Sarah knew that Leoni would have a quick labour so it was not a question of ‘if' they should go but rather ‘if they should go now' or ‘if they should go in a bit', Leoni had only just started having surges it was decided that they would go it a bit. Just 15 minutes later however, Leoni messaged requesting that they ‘come now!' This is exactly what they did and it was a good job!
When Jenny arrived, Leoni was calmly standing and swaying though her surges, supported by her doula, whilst Rafi prepared the birthing pool. Leoni greeted Jenny with her usual welcoming smile and it appeared that things were still just getting started. 10 minutes later Sarah arrived and set about making everyone drinks and snacks. Suddenly things intensified and Leoni appeared to be transitioning to full dilation, fortunately the pool had just finished filling and Jenny encouraged Leoni to get into the water. Once Leoni was in the pool everything settled back down again and the room relaxed.
Leoni was very focused and quiet and it took everyone by surprise when after just a short time in the pool the baby's head could be seen. Baby Marlowe was delivered quickly but gently into the water and brought to the surface by Leoni and Rafi, who were delighted to discover that they had a baby girl.
Leoni chose to rest in the water with her beautiful new daughter for a little while but found that she started to become uncomfortable. Therefore, she decided to get out of the pool (without cutting the cord) and rest on the sofa whilst waiting for the placenta to be born. This happened naturally without any injections being required. Once the placenta was delivered Rafi cut Marlowe's cord and Leoni was able to start the first breastfeed.
As always, Jenny and Sarah busied themselves tidying up and making sure everything was as it should be before leaving to allow the family to enjoy their first night together. Lexi was very excited that morning to find a baby sister waiting to greet her tucked up in bed with mummy.
A message from Leoni .......
Wow – there are not really words to express how thankful I am for all you have done! It was as amazing and easy as you had said. Thank you for making everything so seamless and enjoyable. Rafi and I are so thankful you were both able to get to us in time and we don't believe anything could have gone better or more smoothly. It was a dream birth!
I have loved seeing you so much and getting to know you. I can't believe our journey is closing we will miss you. Hopefully we will be seeing you in the not too distant future. You are amazing (and Lex will miss being your assistant!)