Share

India’s Homebirth Story

My pregnancy was great. I felt so alive and beautiful. I loved my belly and I loved being pregnant. Everything was perfect. I did yoga every day and went for walks along the beach with Dave. It was all such a wonderful experience to be pregnant and watch my body grow and change.

I’ve always known that I would have a homebirth. I was the second of mum’s five homebirths and I watched my youngest brother being born, so it naturally just felt like the right thing to do. I wanted my mum to be there to see her first grandchild come into the world and Dave’s mum Lorna wanted to be there to support us; so along with my beloved Dave and our wonderful midwife Lisa, I was prepared for whatever this birth was going to throw at me.

A couple of weeks before the due date we set up the birthing pool in the bedroom with my favorite plant near by for extra oxygen! I was having Braxton-Hicks contractions for the last few weeks so I kept thinking that I might go into labour early. My mum was over from Perth so she was staying with us and every night before bed we’d joke and I’d say “I might go into labour tonight”. But each night went by and so did each day until the due date came, and that night before bed I decided to give up on saying that I might go into labour. So I snuggled up to Dave and went to sleep.

I woke up that night, sometime around 3.30am and had the urge to get up and go to the toilet even though my bladder didn’t feel full, so I stood up and before I got out of the bedroom I felt a small rush of warm liquid in my knickers and a really intense pain across my whole belly; I knew straight away that this was it. I walked the rest of the way to the bathroom and sat down on the toilet in time for the pain to get really intense and then stop. I felt a little nervous and I had butterflies in my stomach as I checked the time and went to lie back down in bed. I decided that I’d wait for a few more contractions to see if it was for real and maybe get some more sleep before I woke Dave. I lay there for about ten minutes too excited to sleep and then another contraction came, and soon after, another, and another. I woke Dave (I’ve never seen him get out of bed that quickly ever!) and we started lighting candles in the bedroom. Dave kept telling me to sit down and relax but how could I?! In between lighting candles and pedantically straightening things I’d lean over the window sill, dresser, or bed, whichever was closer, when a contraction came on.

My contractions were now about five minutes apart so I decided it was time to wake mum up.
I wandered around a bit when I wasn’t having a contraction and mum started timing my contractions. I decided to have a shower, the water felt great. I stuck the plug in the little square bath under the shower and let it fill while I was standing under the running water. I tried sitting or squatting but found it incredibly uncomfortable, my hips were sore and it felt like there was a heavy weight in my pelvis.

The contractions were getting stronger and stronger and I didn’t have much strength to hold myself up through the contractions, I was really shaky and I needed Dave and mum to hold me up. The most comfortable position was leaning on Dave while he sat on the bed and sort of half sitting back on mum while she stood behind me in a sort of standing squat. Mum told me to make as much noise as possible because it really helps, so I screamed and hoped that I didn’t wake the neighbours!

After the first hour or so my contractions were about three minutes apart so mum called Lisa. Mum suggested I eat some mandarin for energy but I didn’t manage to get through very much of it. I felt queezy and threw up before Lisa arrived but felt fine after that. When she arrived she checked the baby’s heart beat and started filling up the pool. The pool seemed to take ages to fill; the water pressure in our upstairs unit is really bad.

p2140521

I was so happy when the pool was full enough for me to get in; it was so soothing on my aching hips. I was down on my knees in the water and I had to get mum and Dave to hold me up from my arm pits because I was too weak and shaky to hold myself up on my own. I remember telling Dave he should call his mum but I’m not really sure when that was. Lorna arrived when I was in the pool.

I threw up again. The contractions were so intense that they made me feel nauseous. Mum and Lorna kept feeding me water but I only ever had enough to wet my mouth because I really couldn’t handle anything in my stomach.

p2140518

Mum had been wiping my face with a cloth that had lavender oil on it and that really helped me to relax. Lisa kept checking the baby’s heart beat and every time she checked it the baby had moved further down into my pelvis. By now the contractions were a minute or less apart, sometimes coming on before the previous one had finished. . I didn’t have a really strong urge but I started pushing a little and with each contraction the urge got stronger. I actually liked the pushing stage; it felt like I could finally start doing something rather than just trying to relax through the contractions. Pushing didn’t really hurt, it stung a little but I actually kinda liked it! At this stage

I could feel a sort of heaviness or fullness in my pelvis. I kept pushing through the contractions and I could feel my baby’s head advance and the recede a little with each contraction, slowly down the birth canal. At this point Lisa said I should be able to stick my finger in and feel my baby’s head, so I slowly put my finger in up to my middle knuckle and touched my baby’s head. It felt hard and hairy! I was so excited and a new wave of energy washed over me as I looked up at Dave with tears in my eyes and kept repeating “it’s just right there!” in amazement. Dave told me afterwards that my eyes lit up at that moment and it was really beautiful.

p2150534

After a few more contractions the head was about a third of the way out and with the next huge push I had a head between my legs! I must admit that did feel a bit strange! I had to wait a minute to catch my breath and when I felt the next contraction coming on I pushed hard and my little baby seemed to just slip out. I rolled over while Lisa was passing my baby up to me and I sat there in the water holding my baby for the first time. I think we were all crying at that stage, it was just such a beautiful moment. Born on the 23 of August 2007 at 8.50am, a mere five and a half hours after I went into labour, I was so happy to be holding my precious little baby. My baby didn’t really cry, just reach out to me as if to give me a hug. Straight away this inquisitive little thing was looking around the room eager to explore this strange new world. After a few minutes we realized that we didn’t know the sex of the baby yet so I moved the umbilical cord and discovered that we had a beautiful little girl. I just looked at her in amazement she was absolutely perfect.

p2150536

Lisa helped put some blankets around our little girl so she wouldn’t get cold while I was sitting in the pool. After a few minutes I felt another contraction coming on and I pushed, and then with the next contraction I pushed the placenta out. When the placenta was out Lisa checked it to make sure it was all out and then mum cut the cord and I passed our little girl up to Dave so I could get out of the pool and into bed. Once I got comfortable Dave handed our little girl back to me and we snuggled up together surrounded by blankets. I offered her the breast and she took it straight away. She suckled for a bit before we weighed, measured, and checked her over, and then dressed her in some clothes for the first time and bundled her up. Lisa checked me over while the proud new grand parents had their first hold of our beautiful girl. I had a small tear in my labia but nothing serious so Lisa left us to enjoy our new baby.

It was a brand new day and I felt full of energy, and all I wanted to do was go out and show my new baby off to the world, but I knew the best thing to do for now was to rest and snuggle with my beautiful little girl.

We named her India, just India, a beautiful name for a beautiful baby girl with lots of lovely dark hair and big

3 responses to “India’s Homebirth Story”

  1. Lil

    What a beautiful birth story! I must admit I had a few tears in my eyes reading that. Thanks for sharing :)
    Lil xox

  2. Lisa Barrett

    I have some pictures of this birth which I will post into the story.
    We were upstairs in a small unit which was very interesting. She was fantastic and the birth was fun.

  3. anagha

    This is really beautiful. Thanks for sharing such an intimate moment of your life. I felt as if I was there with you. My luv to the little angel. lovely name…