Updated October, 2014
I had wanted to have all my children at home, but after my first was born ten years previously by emergency caesarean (as a consequence of a failed induction), the consultants at the John Radcliffe put great pressure on me to have my second child there (and said, matter-of-factly, that they would be happy to give me an elected caesarean if I would like). I couldn’t have wanted anything less. In the end I laboured there but with my local midwife in charge, and had a natural birth with no intervention. When I became pregnant with our third child, I came under more intense pressure to have my third in hospital. I made an appointment to talk it over with Lou. She clearly explained what my rights were, the pros and cons of birthing in different settings and together we decided that I should have a homebirth. I was 42, had had a previous caesarian and the baby was over two weeks late (as all the others had been). Lou monitored me carefully and confidently. I gave birth to Elliot in a birthing pool at home – it took four hours and was the easiest labour. Lou was everything you would wish for – extremely knowledgeable and experienced, supportive and in control.
I believe in decades to come we will be judged as the generation who lost the skills, instincts and confidence to labour naturally. Had I not had expert advice from the community midwives, confident in what a natural birth is, I would undoubtedly have had three caesarians, rather than one. I am eternally grateful to Lou for helping me have the experience I had wanted. I can now pass on my story to my children – as my mother passed on hers to me. I cannot recommend Lou more highly- she is an exemplary midwife.