Aria's Birth Story - The Unplanned Homebirth

On Thursday 26 February 2015 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Aria Sylvie, she was five days overdue and a tiny 5lbs 11.5oz. I had imagined several different scenarios of what may happen when I went into labour, an unplanned homebirth wasn't one of those. 

I went for a sweep on the Wednesday afternoon and was told that I was only 1cm dilated and my cervix wasn't very favourable. I was booked in for another sweep on Monday, following which they would book me in for induction because there was very slim chance of the sweeps working. 

I felt ill most of the day following my sweep which then turned into contractions in the evening, I started timing them at around 1am, they were lasting around 1 minute and coming every 3-5 minutes. I called the hospital who said to wait until they were more regular, ie, every 3 minutes, or call back 1 hour later. I called an hour later, the contractions were still between 3-5 mins but I was in pain and nervous what with being a first time mother, they reluctantly agreed to me going in. 

We arrived at the hospital at approximately 3am. On examination nothing had changed since my sweep earlier in the day, I was still only 1cm dilated and my cervix not favourable. The hospital Midwife performed a further sweep and we were told to go home, have a warm bath and take paracetamol to ease the pain. I should call back either when things became unbearable, I lost my waters or started to bleed, the contractions could last for up to 48 hours and may even subside. 

We got home at about 4:30am, I had a warm bath and then attempted to get some sleep. The pain was still bad but my waters hadn't broke or I hadn't lost any blood so I stayed away from Hospital and had another bath at around 10am and stayed in the bath for what felt like hours, constantly topping it up with warm water. The pain was getting too much so Spencer rang hospital, they said to come in despite not being overly happy as there was still no blood loss and my waters hadn't broke. Practically as soon as Spencer hung up I went from irregular contractions to the need to push! I felt as if I couldn't make it to hospital so Spencer called back, again they asked him to check if there was any show, he had a look (I was still in the bath at this point) and there was, they told him to hang up and phone 999 immediately. 

The 999 operator talked him through things on the phone and made him drain the water from the bath, I was stuck in an empty bath soaking wet, freezing cold and pushing! Rapid response turned up very quickly, he had gas & air so I instantly fell in love with him! Two midwives and a support worker arrived shortly after and moved me from the bath to the living room where they had made up a bed using the sofas cushions covered in towels, plastic sheets, etc.

1 hour 20 mins later Aria was here! Labour was straightforward I didn't tear so had no need for stitches. I was in a little bit of pain afterwards and for the next few days but nothing too much. We had skin to skin straight away (during which Aria decided to take a dump all over me!), Spencer cut the cord once it had finished pulsing. We attempted self latching but weren't successful.

A midwife and the support worker stayed for a little while after the birth, they bathed me, dressed me, put our towels in the washing machine for us and made sure that Aria was feeding.

There was no need for us to go to hospital at all. There was an ambulance outside on stand by the whole time but they were discharged.

The rapid response guy made a joke about how much he loves when Midwives give people a sweep when they're in pain and send them home. It sounds as if unplanned home births may be quite common!

Despite the shock of the unplanned home birth I actually really enjoyed it. The care received from the community Midwives was absolutely fantastic. People often comment about how in Hospital you are just another 'sausage in a factory', this was not the case at all with the Community Midwives, they were very enthusiastic, supportive and caring.

blog post about an unplanned home birth labour started while in bath no time for hospital

Mummy and Aria's first photo.

Quite Frankly She Said


  1. Oh wow, what a lovely birth story. I am glad it was quick and stress free if that's the right term and how amazing does Spencer sound, high five to him and obviously to you too xx

  2. Congratulations to you all, little Aria is gorgeous! What a story to tell her when she's older!
    Lucy <3

  3. Sounds like you had a fairly easy stress free birth! Congratulations she's beautiful :) x

  4. Sounds like she's going to be a drama queen ;) you both look very happy and healthy x

  5. Great story, sounds like everything went as well as possible.congratulations on your gorgeous baby, love the name aria

  6. I love reading birth stories, every one is so different and yours is definitely unusual! But it is so good to hear that everything went well at the end. Congratulations on your baby girl and wish you a good recovery and successful breastfeeding!

  7. I love reading birth stories and it's like we have all been waiting for you to have the baby::;; I'm glad everything went well, and aria is awesome and what a lush baby: I'd have loved a baby that small my last was 10lb gulp xxx

  8. Aw, Leanne, such a lovely birth story. I know what it's like and they really do keep putting you off going in to the hospital, don't they? So glad it all worked out and midwives got there in time. Congratulations and lots of love to you all. Claire xxx

  9. What an amazing birth story! I'm so glad that everything worked out well for you and you and family are all happy and healthy. Congratulations on your little one, she's beautiful :) xx

  10. Congratulations on the birth of baby Aria! What a lovely story, so pleased it went well for you! Plenty of rest and cuddles for you!! And please can we have more photos of your gorgeous girl?? X

  11. Congratulations on the birth of baby Aria! What a lovely story, so pleased it went well for you! Plenty of rest and cuddles for you!! And please can we have more photos of your gorgeous girl?? X

  12. This is such a positive story, really nice to read!! I'm glad that it all turned out ok, though it must have been scary being stuck in the bath all cold and naked!!

    Looking forward to seeing more photos xx

  13. Oh Leanne this is such a beautiful birth story and it's great you had such a personal experience with the midwives. If I could I would opt for a home birth but due to my heart condition I can't but it's lovely hearing about yours even if it was unplanned and I am so so pleased everything went well!! She is so beautiful and you must be so happy. It's a little annoying they wouldn't take you in, especially since I know my midwives kept saying when I was stuck in pre-labour that if the contraction where 5 min apart to go to the hospital (mine stayed at 10-15mins apart for 4 days urgh)

    Laura x

  14. SO dramatic! I can't believe they sent you home but I am glad that everything worked out well and that you didn't have to go in afterwards! She is so gorgeous, and so tiny! I weighed similar when I was born and it is insane to think I was once that small!

  15. Congratulations! Aria is an absolutely beautiful name, what a great choice, so glad you had such a happy birth with great support

  16. Congratulations! It's a shame they didn't let you go into hospital but I'm glad it all worked out for you in the end!
    Megan x
    London Callings

  17. Wow, that's crazy!! Glad everything went ok tho. Love the name :) xxx


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