“Jo (midwife) had already got a lovely room ready for us, dimmed lights, the radio playing quietly and the pool filling up! Just as I’d wanted.”

I had my first baby at Darent Valley Hospital and despite it not ‘going to plan’ I knew it was where I wanted to have my second baby.

First time around I found birth quite traumatic and I wanted to be better prepared. When my friend suggested taking the Hypnobirthing course together at the hospital I thought "why not!", so we became ‘Hypnobirthing buddies’ relaying all the information back to our hubbies both at home with baby number one. It was the best thing I ever did! The course was amazing and the midwives running it, both called Karen were brilliant. We had the best four sessions learning about what birth was all about and how we could work with our bodies.  I would highly recommend it.

When the big day finally arrived, a week after my due date, I’d decided I wanted to give birth at the birth centre as it is so homely. After a few hours of regular contractions, they got to five minutes apart, I called the birth centre and went in but then all my contractions stopped, so it was then back home with me hoping it wasn’t just a false start.

When I got home, I went to bed and laid down and then my contractions started again and got stronger, they were now three minutes apart so back we went to the birth centre. We saw the same midwife Jo as we’d seen the first time, she had already got a lovely room ready for us, dimmed lights, the radio playing quietly and the pool filling up! Just as I’d wanted.

Two and a half hours later, I birthed my beautiful baby girl in the water, all 8lb 10oz of her! I used the breathing techniques I had learnt in the hypnobirthing course, a little gas and air to deliver her, as well as the rebozo hanging in the room.  My husband was massaging my back with him and Jo giving me every encouragement.

Jo lifted her up out of the water and placed her straight on to my chest, she came up calmly just staring at me and Daddy.  It was the most amazing moment. Around 20 minutes later I then birthed the placenta and got out of the pool, where we had a nice couple of hours just skin to skin while Jo made us some tea and toast (bliss!) and handed our care over to the new midwife coming on shift, Gemma. She was also accompanied by a lovely student midwife Donna. They took care of my stitches as I had a small tear, they then helped me with my latch as I continued to breastfeed. They were lovely and Donna was especially brilliant, so knowledgeable and caring.

Just a few hours after having my baby girl, I was itching to get home to our first born, so they did baby’s first checks and we were all good to go, for baby to meet her big brother.

I would highly recommend Darent Valley Hospital and thank you to all the midwives who cared for us, you were all fantastic.”

Keeley, Dartford