Amanda Owen discusses her parenting skills with Ben Fogle
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Our Yorkshire Farm star Amanda Owen has explained how she thought giving birth would be easy and “natural”, having had to step in to help sheep and cows giving birth on the farm. But she was proven wrong in 2001 when her daughter Raven was born and there were complications, meaning an ambulance had to escort her to the nearest hospital, which was two hour away, on blue lights. The mother-of-nine and star of the hit Channel 5 show revealed how the “terrifying” experience saw Clive Owen having to step in to stop Amanda from moving during the epidural procedure.
“Obviously I’m present when things give birth and I have to help out when required, that’s all part of the job,” Amanda explained.
“So when I got pregnant, I was like ‘yep this is just a natural process, what’s the biggie? You know, just get on with it.’
“Now, of course, it was 2001, so it was foot and mouth – that was what was going on in the countryside.
“So it was pretty much lockdown, it was pretty much a lockdown to an entirely different level to how it is now.”
The Yorkshire Shepherdess continued: “We were pretty much cut off on the farm, with nobody coming in or out or anything.
“So I was like ‘That’s absolutely fine, I’m expecting a baby, it’s not a problem, I don’t need midwives coming out, I don’t need to be checked, I hate these graphs, I hate these checkboxes, all the rest of it – I’m not doing it.’
“It just was practical, it’s what made sense to me.”
Amanda was convinced she would deal with the pregnancy with as little assistance as possible and simply call the midwife when she felt it was time to give birth, despite warnings from the medics.
Speaking to Sophie Ellis Bextor on the singer’s podcast, Spinning Plates, Amanda continued: “The midwife would say ‘We understand you want to have a home birth, but the fact of the matter is you’re a long way from the hospital in case things go wrong.’
“I was like ‘Oh, you know, it’ll be fine – it’s nature.’ So basically the morning comes and I’m like oh I’m not feeling too great, I think yeah, this is the time, the baby’s coming.
But when the day came, it wasn’t as easy as she had hoped. Amanda described how the baby was in the wrong position, adding: “Basically instead of looking up like that it was in a very painful position for a baby to be in when you’re giving birth.
“It explained why I wasn’t having contractions – I just had this excruciating backache.”
But more complications were to come, as Amanda explained: “Basically, baby was stuck completely and totally jammed.
“So my idea of staying at home and it all being fine turned into a blue light.
“It wasn’t good because it was two hours in an ambulance and of course because they couldn’t monitor the baby, I couldn’t have any pain relief.
“And what I didn’t realise was that when a baby gets stuck like that, your body actually goes into permanent contraction, so I was writhing and they were holding me down, and my midwife was being travel sick, because the ambulance was rocking and rolling – it’s like worst nightmare for the first baby.”
Eventually Amanda made it to the hospital, but she described how Clive had to help out, recalling: “They had to hold me down to give me an epidural because it was moving all over and they brought my husband in to hold me down to get the needle in.”
Reflecting on the traumatic experience, Amanda commented: “So, a week in hospital – Raven was absolutely fine.
“I had a C section, that ruined the rest of the idea of having a home birth because once you’ve had a section, you can’t do that.
“But I had all the others naturally – and all the others bar one have all appeared either at home or on route to the hospital.”
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