• 03 April 2020
  • 10 min read

What my first birth was like as a student midwife

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

Student midwife, Louisa, reflects on her first experience of a birth, and highlights the procedures and emotions that it can involve.

Play Video: “That moment of being accepted and being taught and seeing this life come into this world that just really got me.”

Topics covered in this video

Introduction

1) 1.08 mins - My first witness

2) 5.09 mins - My first catch

3) 8.04 mins - Summary

Introduction

Hey all. Welcome back to my channel Being Louisa.

So now today's video is going to be a super special one because it is called, as you can probably tell by the title, What My First Birth Was Like.

So I'm actually going to tell you about my first witness and my first birth.

And they both actually happened to be water births, which is so fun.

I'm going to talk about both of them because I loved my first witness, I'm not going to lie to you.

That is like everything I want midwifery to be.

And also my first catch because that was my first catch.

It took me forever, I felt like, to get my first catch compared to most people.

But I did it in the end and so I'm super happy.

1) 1.08 mins - My first witness

So number one, which was my first ever witness.

And if you don't know, you have to get five witnesses before you can start catching, at least within London anyway, our pad, I don't know about other people's pads, but at least with our pads that what you have to do.

So my first ever witness was actually a home birth, and it was such a fun day because we didn't even know we was on call.

So it was a total surprise.

We got the call to be the second midwife.

It was like, "Oh okay." I was so excited.

I was like, "Yes, I get to see a home birth, I really want to see a home birth. I love home births".

And my mentor was like, "Look, don't get too excited. She's a multip, she's multipara, she's had babies before. So don't get too excited. She's probably going to give birth by the time we get there."

Especially because we got stuck in traffic.

So I tampered down my excitement.

I was like, don't be too excited, Louisa, reign it in, because you don't want to be disappointed.

And so we get there and it was a crisp morning.

I can tell you the exact day, but I'm not going to tell you guys, because you know, privacy, confidentiality and all that stuff.

But, oh my gosh, it was such a beautiful morning.

It was just lovely and crisp.

I love those crisp mornings where you smell that air, it's like, "Mmm." So it was such a lovely day.

And then we go up to the house, like I said, the street was quiet, go to the house, the husband answers the door.

He's totally calm.

I'm like, "Great, we missed it".

And he's like, "Oh, they're upstairs. I'm just boiling the kettle".

I'm like, "Cool".

And he was so sweet.

He was so fine with me being there as well, it was so lovely.

And so we go upstairs, I'm like, "It's way too quiet. We've totally missed it".

And then we get into the bedroom and I see a woman bearing down.

I'm like, "We haven't missed it!" That was literally my first thought was like, "Yes, we have not missed it. She is still in labor".

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So that was really fun. I went from being super "hmm" to like... My body couldn't handle that.

But anyway, the midwife that was there, the first midwife, she actually knew the family, which was such an amazing thing, to see her connecting with the family.

She even knew the pet's name, and she had actually delivered her other children.

So it was really, really special.

And seeing that connection and the fact that she even knew some of their family members, it was such a beautiful thing that she was like almost a part of the family, and that was so, so beautiful.

So yeah, so we moved from the bedroom into the birthing pool and it was just really lovely.

The husband was like, "Oh yeah, no, you sit down, you learn".

And the midwife was like, "Yeah look, you sit right here so you can see everything. I'm going to talk you through what's going on".

It was so cool.

You can watch as many videos on YouTube of births, but nothing will prepare for that moment that you're in that room and it's happening.

And so she was talking about the purple line that was going down her, you know what, if you don't, then well, you will when you see it.

And she was talking about all the changes that were happening to the anatomy as the head was coming down.

And I was the first one to notice the baby was born and so I got to call out the time that baby was born, and it was just beautiful.

And the midwife took them upstairs once baby was born, helped her into the shower and then tucked them into bed, like the mom, the husband and the baby, so they could have some alone time before the kids came back.

And it was just beautiful.

And me and my mentor, we just had our coffee that the husband made us.

We was doing all the paperwork, cleaning stuff up.

Oh, it was such an amazing, amazing experience, and I am forever grateful for that experience, and I loved that experience so much.

It was lovely, guys, I mean lovely. It was so sweet.

It really is my most memorable birth, one of them anyway.

I absolutely loved it, beyond belief, I loved it.

Yeah, I've had so many experiences that are so memorable to me that I've written them down but I don't even need to look at them, I remember them so much.

It was just that moment of being accepted and being taught and seeing this life come into this world that just really got me.

2) 5.09 mins - My first catch

And then number two, which is technically my first ever catch, was a water birth in the Home from Home Birth Center, and it was so cool.

It was just a really quick experience.

But for me, I think the thing that really got me was the fact that I was like, "Does this even count? Because I didn't do anything. I just observed. I looked after her, I did care for her in labor, yeah, but I just observed. Does this count?"

I was like, what?

And it was actually really funny because the midwife I was working with that day hadn't done a water birth.

Either she had never done one or she hadn't done one in a long time.

So in a way it was like both of our firsts.

And it was just really, really beautiful.

It went really smoothly.

Her and the partner were just really funny and they were really lovely.

And then baby came. And then she obviously had held baby.

And did we cut the cord then? I can't remember.

Yeah, we had clamped and cut the cord.

And she got up, and plop, the placenta came right out into the pool.

And my mentor was like, "No".

Simply because when blood goes into a pool it's like, "Okay, now what is the blood loss?"

So it was an interesting scenario trying to figure out that one, and retrieve the placenta.

But I think my favorite part of that whole entire birth, that experience was amazing as well, and it was like really lovely...

It was a night shift, which is why I think I'm glazing over bits and pieces, because this was in first year, remember, and I was terrible at night shifts in first year, so my mind still can't remember all of it, I'm not going to lie to you, because again, night shift, first year, Louisa, no.

So my mind's not the greatest at remembering what happened.

But I do remember that those emotions, that flood of emotion of the fact that I got to help this woman, she felt empowered, she did it, she gave birth in the water like she wanted.

Her partner was so lovely.

And it was just a beautiful, beautiful moment.

And I remember going, "This isn't even going to count.

But still this was a great experience." And then I saw my mentor put my name down as the person who delivered the baby.

And I was like, "Oh, I just... My first... What? That's my first catch?".

And it was that beautiful and it was just so natural and there was nothing to it. And it was just her doing what her body was meant to do.

This is amazing.

So yeah, that was quite the experience.

I think, for me it was the after part where she put my name down, that I was like, "Wow, okay. So that means I actually caught this baby. This is my first catch. What?".

I knew I did a lot of the labor care, but the fact that I actually got the catch meant so much to me.

I remember I went into the sluice, so like the dirty laundry place, and I took a picture, I took a selfie, and I was like, "Ah, got my first catch!" I was so excited. I was tired, but I was so excited.

3) 8.04 mins - Summary

But yeah, so those are the stories of what my first births were.

So that was what my two births were like.

I know I was going to do what my first birth was like, but I wanted to tell you guys about my first witness, because I feel like I remember so much more of that.

And that really connected with me more, simply because that's the type of midwifery that I want to practice.

So that's why I told you about that one.

But then also my first catch.

I think the aftermath for me of that experience was what's memorable for me, compared to, whereas, the first witness, that whole experience was memorable, and the dynamic between the midwife and the woman and the husband was beautiful, and that's something that was really memorable for me, because that's something that's important to me, that's something that I want to achieve in my practice as a midwife.

So I hope you guys have enjoyed these stories.

I'm sorry if the second one wasn't as detailed.

But again, like I said, the first one was way more impactful overall to me, because it is so important, that dynamic.

But yeah, so I hope you guys enjoyed these stories, and I you guys have enjoyed this video.

Until next, keep on being you.

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