I knew as soon as I found out I was pregnant, that I wanted a home birth.
It just seemed right for us, myself and my fiancé Aaron, in our own home, it sounded perfect. So, I did my research and then I sought out a private midwife who specialized in home births and we hit it off right away. We ended up having two midwives, Ali and Deyna from Coast Life Midwifery, they are the most amazing, empowering women, I was so lucky to have found them. It took a little bit of convincing for Aaron but he quickly came around and decided it was just as right for him as it was for me.
Sunday morning 6am, we woke up like any other day, went to the local farmers market to get our fruit and veg, walked around looking at all the cool treasures people had for sale, almost everyone commenting on my belly, asking what I was having, girl or boy? - We didn't find out so I had no idea! We got home around lunchtime after stopping in at Aaron's parents house for a little while. I loved seeing my birth space set up, the fresh scent of lilies filled our living room, my eldest daughter Avalon had helped us get ready for the baby, pumping up the pool two weeks prior as I was only 3 days away from my EDD at this time, so everything was all ready to go if needed. Avalon had coloured in some beautiful pregnancy affirmations for me to hang in our living room, so I could admire while in labour. She was staying with her Noni for the weekend so I could relax for what could be, and what was my last weekend before our new baby.
I had been getting Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks now, so when we got home and I had a slight contraction I thought nothing of it and carried on unpacking our market hoard. We decided to watch a movie, and sneak in a little romance as well. Around 4pm I noticed that the contractions were getting a little bit more frequent and starting to hurt a little more, but I still thought nothing of it and decided to bounce on the fit ball, while Aaron and I watched another movie together.
Contractions are starting to get a little bit more frequent now, but I'm still unsure if I'm in labour or not as I could handle the pain with my breathing. I had gone to pregnancy yoga throughout my pregnancy and my instructor happened to be a hypno birthing instructor so, she taught lots of breathing exercises, and believe me they helped immensely!
Aaron told me I should probably give Deyna a call now as he had noticed I was stopping what I was doing to breathe through each contraction. The conversation with Deyna went a little like, "Hey Deyna, I'm not sure if I'm in labour, I'm getting contractions but they are only lasting about 20 seconds or so and maybe only every 10mins?" at the end of the phone call Deyna tells me we have been talking for about 10mins and I had had 3, minute long contractions! I could hear the ticking in the background as she timed my contractions while I stopped talking to her to breathe through them. She told me to go and hop in the shower, see how I go and call her back if things progress further; she told me that it sounds like I'm having my baby tonight. I was a little shocked and excited to hear this.
I jumped in the shower, I wasn't in there for long when things started to get really intense, finally I accepted that okay, yep, I'm definitely in labour. I got out and as I was drying myself there was a little bit of pink mucous plug, yep- this is really happening!
Aaron handed me my phone, I called Deyna back to tell her, I'm definitely in labour and that her and Ali should probably come now! Aaron decided to start filling up the birth pool.
Ali arrived with all her things; it looked like she was moving in she had so much stuff. I felt so safe. She pottered around setting her things up, scales, towels, etc. Meanwhile I was walking around the house with Aaron rubbing my back. The house was perfect, we had the salt lamps on it was the perfect temperature, I felt so happy to be home with Aaron. I had a list of names on the fridge of who to call when I went into labour, Ali and Deyna, Natalie from Placenta Vitality, and Carly our photographer. I managed to text Natalie after the first phone call with Deyna to let her know that I may, or may not be in labour.
Deyna arrived, and by now I was having intense contractions. Ali checked my heart rate and the baby's heart beat continuously. I felt so respected and supported during my birth, they trusted my body, and so did I. With each contraction I listened to my body and breathed my baby down, with Carrie's calm soothing voice in my head from yoga. I knew exactly what to do.
By now I was on my knees leaning over the couch, breathing and trying to concentrate, listening to pearl jam in the background. It felt like the pool was taking forever to fill up! Aaron was rubbing my back and getting me water, he was so wonderful.
Okay I'm ready to hop in the pool now! The pool was full and hot, yes I couldn’t wait to feel the warm water over me and take some of the pressure away. As I got up I remembered we had to call Carly! I took two steps to the pool and had another contraction, so intense I had to fall to my knees; my baby was coming, too late to call Carly now. After that contraction I stood up to get in the pool, and then my waters broke, baby was coming so fast now, another contraction and I lent over Aaron, I went to move after that one, but holy shit the head was coming, I wasn't going to get in the pool, I couldn't move, I dropped back down to my knees and lent over the pool, from the outside. I had envisioned that I would be inside of the pool leaning over it birthing my baby, but in fact, as we all know, nothing goes to plan, so I was on the outside of the pool leaning over, pushing! Ali, Deyna and Aaron all telling me I'm doing well, I'm pretty much ignoring them right now and trying to concentrate on breathing, with Carries voice in my head again mixed with a bit of holy fuck this hurts like hell!
There were a few more pushes, I couldn’t tell you exactly how many but baby was descending quickly and the undeniable innate pushing sensations were taking over. And then, just how I had wanted it Aaron caught our baby in his arms, our precious daughter! She was here. Pure relief. Teeny squishy little baby, who didn't even realize she was born yet. It was pure bliss. So calming, I loved every second of my birth, I feel so empowered by it all. I was so respected and supported the entire time, through my birth and entire pregnancy by both my beautiful midwives and by my amazing partner. I feel so lucky; I can’t wait for next time!
Isla Lilly Reynolds born on the 18.10.15 at 8:31pm, weighing 3.3kg and 50cm in length
Thank you Hannah for sharing your incredible journey with little Isla. Wow, what an inspirational journey. It is so empowering and encouraging to hear how wonderful your birth was, your space was gorgeous and the best part of all YOU felt safe and supported. It is so important to have a strong team around you, especially if you are attempting a home birth.
Thank you, Love L. x
You can follow Hannah and her gorgeous tribe on Instagram @hannahtsm