What made you want to give birth at home with your very first baby?
Years ago I went on a health journey and became aware of chemicals and drugs etc. So since then I have tried to live a pretty organic natural life style. I always knew that would include birthing my baby at home as I knew I didn’t want to use drugs to bring him into the world.
My mother birthed my youngest sister at home so I guess from the age of 7 I thought that it was normal. I am also very aware that women have been birthing this way for thousands of years!!!
Did you ever feel nervous with this decision that you had made?
I did have moments of fear around me having to be transferred to hospital. There are lots of rules and regulations with the Community Midwifery Program we have in here Perth. So I was worried that I might not be able to get things done in the way they wanted them done. I knew our bodies can birth babies, but I also knew you don’t have any control of how long it takes etc. and on the program they have certain time limits on things and if you don’t reach them you will be transferred to hospital. That was my fear at the beginning. But honestly by the end of my pregnancy I had worked through that and if I had to be transferred then I would have surrendered to that.
What did you do in order to prepare for giving birth?
They say birth is like running a marathon and so many women think they can just go into it with out training; there are not many people that would attempt running a marathon with out training!!! Birth is a total mind game; the body knows what to do. I have done lots of meditation practice through out my life and also lots of tantra work, so I had learnt to use breath, sound and movement and the three keys to transformation. Having that knowledge was a huge part too. But my favorite practice was pregnancy yoga. I did it once a week and drove about 45 minutes to Fremantle yoga Centre as Kate (the owner) does the pregnancy classes and she is also a doula that had experienced hundreds of births so it wasn’t like just going to yoga class, it was like going to a birthing class too. I also did Hypno-birthing with Helena Hertz she was my doula. I also did loads of research, watched DVD’s on orgasmic births and lots of YouTube videos. I was totally and utterly in awe of birthing women. I would literally go and sit in a squat or something that was a hard and painful position and stay in it for as long as possible to train my mind not to react to the pain. I mean lets be honest I definitely felt every bit of the pain during labor but the breath is everything. Breathing, sounding and moving is key to having a successful birth.
How did you find your experience overall?
Wow where do I even start, It was the most intense and magical thing I have ever experienced. Honestly my birth went really well. My waters broke at 3.45am in the morning, I started contracting a couple of hours later and by 2pm I had my baby in my arms… I breathed through the contractions and used movements to also help and sound is the best pain relief for natural labour. (So there was lots of noise coming from my bedroom.) I did get to a point where I remember thinking oh my god I’m not sure if I can do this, I cried, I literally remember when Makoa’s head was crowning bit by bit and taken a long time to come out I thought this is not like any of the videos I had watched, they all seemed to just pop out. I lost my way a couple of times and let my contractions take over and my doula would so softly whisper in my ear ride the waves ash don’t fight them, and it would literally change my whole mind frame.
You chose your Mum & partner to be there to support you, how was your experience of having them both there by your side?
My partner was completely and utterly amazing, he has also done it before so he knew what to expect. He was such a supportive birth partner. I really wanted to be able to connect with him during my birth, so looking into each other’s eyes would reassure me and some how make me feel safe like we have got this. My mum was an interesting one, I was a little worried about her not being able to respect what I had planned or wanted or even just the sacredness of the space I had created and I needed her to be able to hold space for that, but to my surprise gosh she was amazing she was constantly just doing anything and everything I needed and it was so magical having her their to witness her first grandson be born into the world. I mean what a gift that would be for any human to witness.
Any advice to Mamas out there wanting to give birth at home?
Prepare yourself and feel the fears that you have in order to get someone to help you work through them, as fear will put your body into a state on contraction. Research, do yoga, do hypno-birthing and surrender to the process. Being pregnant is a journey, journey to the unknown. You are not just birthing your baby, you are birthing yourself as a mother and it is a magical and also challenging transition. So prepare yourself for that too.