AFTER undergoing a traumatic first childbirth, Helen Totton was anxious about giving birth to her second daughter.

But after opting for a homebirth, Helen, 42, was able to have her ‘dream experience’ and she wants other women to be able to have the same.

“It was magical, and all women deserve to have a magical birth,” the Paddington resident said.

Eight years ago, Helen and Mike Totton welcomed their first daughter Emilia into the world.

The experience itself was traumatic for the couple for many reasons. And following the birth, the new mum, who was induced, also faced complications.

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Helen and Mike then suffered with their mental health for a number of years as a result.

So after falling pregnant with their second child, the couple were understandably anxious about the birth.

Especially as Helen was identified as ‘high risk’ due to her age and other factors.

After doing their own reading, research, talking to friends, and professionals, Helen and Mike, holistic therapists who own Tottem Healing, decided to go to Warrington Hospital’s ‘Meet the Midwife’ event last year where Team Lunar, the homebirth team, were.

“Initially I was not sure about homebirth,” said Helen.

“I liked the idea, but I just wasn’t sure.

“Also, we had only been in our house since July, so I was thinking ‘do I feel comfortable enough here?’”

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After meeting the team, Helen and Mike made the decision to go ahead with the homebirth.

Helen added: “The more they were talking about it, the more we were like ‘well this is happening’.

“When meeting the team, it just felt so right.

“Once we had that mindset, there was no going back.”

The couple also liked how personable Team Lunar felt.

Helen told the Warrington Guardian how she knew due to her being classed as high risk that she would be encouraged to have an induction or a C-section, but she said she wanted to avoid these options as much as possible, especially due to her previous childbirth experience.

She said that since giving birth to her first daughter, she now knows not just more about the birthing process itself, but also about her own body.

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“I feel like it is not properly looked at in terms of what is best for the mother as well as the baby, including letting the mother have their dream birth experience,” Helen, who is also a reiki master and healing facilitator, said.

“I just knew it was going to be okay, I don’t know how.

“I had this vision of me just lifting her out of the water and onto my chest.

“I just had this knowing.

“Being at home is where we feel safe, and it is the best place to give birth.”

Helen said that prior to her homebirth, she felt reassured as she knew the midwife team had the correct equipment for any medical emergencies and that there was the aspect of ‘underlying support'.

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In terms of Helen’s homebirth itself, her waters broke while she was in bed chatting to Mike at around 11.15pm on December 11.

The couple had already planned and talking through the process, so they knew how it was going to go.

From here, Helen went downstairs and listened to relaxing music for around two hours and enjoyed cuddles on the couch with Emilia before the youngster was picked up by Mike’s parents.

Once Emilia had gone, Helen’s contractions started getting stronger so it was time for Mike to put the birthing pool up.

While he was doing this, Helen’s support group held a ‘beautiful ceremony’ for her where each one of the ladies lit their own candles which they bought specifically for while she was in labour.

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Picture: Cheshire Newborn Photography

Helen’s birthing pool was in the kitchen and she decorated the room to get her ‘in the zone’ – including with crystals and handprints which had positive and empowering affirmations on them.

At around 3am on December 12, Helen got in the pool with two rose quartz in her hand which stayed there throughout the whole of her labour and the birth itself.

Meanwhile Mike was drumming through the contractions – this was something Helen had planned ahead for.

She described these moments are ‘very relaxing’.

“I was just allowing it to happen, I just surrendered to whatever was happening and I did not try to fight anything,” she said.

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Picture: Cheshire Newborn Photography

“I was not trying to control the contractions, I was just completely relaxed in the pool.”

The midwives then arrived at around 4am and Helen’s contractions started getting stronger.

She had already told them her birth preferences so they let Helen ‘lead the way’.

Her friend then arrived to take over the drumming from Mike, and Helen soon knew she was ‘in the final chapter of labour’.

Hope Thea Totton was born at 8.12am on December 12, weighing 7lb 7oz.

“It was just one of the most amazing moments of my life,” Helen said.

“It was empowering, it was beautiful, and it was special.

“Those moments once I had her on my chest and the real clarity of my thinking, it was just so clear.

“I wish everyone could have a homebirth if they are able to.

“I would encourage everyone to have one and for them to remain in control of their decision if they can be.”

Mike added: “For someone who is the partner in all of this, obviously you have initial concerns about doing it at home but what was amazing was the team who came in, they just made us feel so at ease and so safe.

“You want it to be that perfect balance of what Helen wants and what is safe for everyone.

“The first birth as a bystander was very difficult but this was just the best experience that it could have been for everyone.”

Homebirth midwife Chelsea Delanchy, who was present at Helen’s birth, spoke of how she would encourage anyone considering a homebirth to ‘go for it’ and to ‘ask the questions’.

She said: “We try to do whatever we can to give people the birthing experience that they want to have.”

Helen and Mike’s advice is to anyone considering a homebirth is to make sure they are clued up and informed as it makes it an easier experience for everyone.

The couple are now big advocators for homebirths, so much so that Helen is even the process of designing a course using all of her tools and everything she knows to help women who have had a traumatic birth to have a homebirth, or whatever experience they want.

Helen and Mike have also both recently featured in a podcast advocating for homebirths.

An event is being held today, Saturday, to celebrate Team Lunar's birthday.

The midwives are looking forward to welcoming past families they have cared for, those who are booked with them now, or those who are wanting to hear more about their homebirth offering.

It is taking place from 10am to 4pm at Thelwall Parish Hall.