I first met Dani and her partner Scott towards the end of 2020 when Dani was about 18 weeks pregnant. After our initial consultation where I met them both for coffee in their home they booked me to go on call for them. This was my first on call period where I was on call for two births at the same time. I only ever do this based on mileage, previous birth history and due dates and I was confident that despite their due dates being 10 days apart I could successfully be at both - with my back up photographer on standby just incase. That particular baby arrived a couple of days before her due date and Dani was in it for the long haul with her gorgeous boy!
Dani reached 43 weeks and was due to go for an ultrasound the next day when she messaged me to say Sharon her lovely midwife (who I met during Ryder's birth - see other blog post!) had come out to check on her and performed a stretch and sweep which had given her mild pains. The next day Dani's surges were 5 minutes apart and approximately 60 seconds long so I then started to do 4 hourly check ins as I was staying elsewhere from home about a 75 minute driveaway so was mindful that it was different to the usual 30 minute commute. Early evening that day after lots of walking and baths, Dani's surges were up to about 90 seconds long and every 4 minutes so things were progressing well. I left Chichester and headed back towards home so that I could be ready for Dani and Scott - at this point she was 4cm dilated so I headed straight home instead of to their house and awaited further instructions which didn't come until the next morning (day 3 of surges for Dani). Just after midnight Dani was 6cm and at 6:13am I got a text from Scott to say they were ready for me.
When I arrived half an hour later, the room was quiet. Dani had her partner and sister there, and Sharon had been at the house for 24 hours and was awaiting a midwife to take over from her. Everyone was exhausted, surges had slowed down and there seemed to be no real pattern to them. They were 3 minutes. 7 minutes, 5 minutes, 8 minutes and Dani was so tired she was falling asleep and snoring in between surges - the pregnant body is so clever like that in getting sleep wherever it can!
At 8am Dani was given a vaginal examination and it was found that 8 hours on she was still at 6cm. Baby's heartbeat was fine, he was showing no signs of distress but because Dani was 43+1, surges showing no real pattern and becoming sporadic and because Dani was so exhausted they had the discussion of transferring to hospital. She was more than happy at this point to do this so she hopped back into the pool whilst phone calls were made and bags prepared.
Between surges, the team managed to get Dani ready for her trip to Poole Hospital. Baby Finley was born in the afternoon via caesareans section weighing 8lbs 7oz.
Six weeks later I went back to visit the family and perform a Rebirth Ceremony to finish Finley's birth Story.