When our older daughter was overdue by a week we went to our local hospital and felt enormous pressure by the hospital staff for my wife to be induced. Perhaps through a mix of fear of harm to the baby and lack of knowledge we agreed to this. This was the most traumatic and helpless experience for a husband to watch his wife go through. The drugs seem to take ages to take effect and when they did, the situation became chaotic with a last minute rush of doctors, nurses, a late epidural which hindered rather than helped and our daughter having to be resuscitated and taken out of the room whilst my wife was left being stitched up. The bright lights of the ward and a team of visibly worried looking medical team did nothing to bring calm to the experience. We learnt from this experience when we had our second child, we had a doula who opened our eyes somewhat in terms of not bowing to pressure, teaching us that the baby would arrive when she was ready. Whilst this was in a birthing suite of a hospital, it was a massively different experience to our older daughter’s birth and showed us that a birth need not be traumatic.
We then moved to Kent and from the early stages of my wife’s third pregnancy during the Covid pandemic. Having witnessed how much better our second daughter’s birth was by simply being in a calmer environment, we both felt that a homebirth would be a far better experience with my wife being surrounded by her home comforts and doing things on her own terms and following her instincts. The local hospital tried to dissuade my wife from a homebirth due to her being 40 years of age and other factors. At 36 weeks, the NHS informed us that they were short-staffed and were no longer doing homebirths with community midwives having to work in hospitals. There were doubts about who would be allowed to attend the birth in hospital due to Covid which was not what we had hoped for. We were then introduced to Rene and she immediately understood exactly what we needed and not only was there a formidable bond formed between my wife and Rene, but I was made to feel very much part of that bond. My wife was about 10 days overdue and Rene gave us advice about how to set the scene and ensure that everything was in place to allow the baby to arrive. We followed her advice and from the moment I called Rene in the middle of the night, her quick arrival and her calm way of gently guiding my wife through one of the most magical birth experiences, barely intervening but making my wife feel completely empowered, was such a wonderful way of seeing our new daughter arrive. Rene was at our side the entire time calmly encouraging my wife resulting in my wife’s waters not breaking and our baby being born in the sack something which I understand is rare and almost certainly would not have happened in hospital.
Her care and support after the birth and her unrushed, clear and careful explanation of so much we never knew previously, has been so helpful to us. As a husband wanting only the best for my wife and baby, I could not recommend Rene highly enough to help others experience birth in the way it should be done. It should be a joyous and empowering experience for a mother to gently and safely bring her child into the world without fear or stress. We were also proud that our baby also happened to be Rene’s 200th homebirth which speaks volumes for this wonderful woman’s experience!