Posted files under ‘homebirth

Birth Story

To my sweet AO,

Here is the story of your birth…

It wasn’t what she said, but the look & smile that sealed our fate. I wasn’t crazy, it was possible. I wasn’t going to stay in Dubai & fight the system again to have a normal, beautiful birth. I was going to travel across the world from the Middle East to New Zealand on 3 airplanes, with CJ not quite 4 years & MC 18 months. It would take over 24 hours in economy class, with luggage & no help….to have a ‘home’ birth far, far away from our home. I was going to do it. Eternally grateful to Kate for that sly smile.

I contacted Vanessa in NZ & she put me in touch with Mandy, the homebirth midwife who had supported her through both her pregnancies & births. I felt happy with the recommendation. We arranged with Mum & Dad to stay with them in Raumati for 8 weeks & to birth you there in the downstairs flat where we would stay.

This pregnancy I felt I knew my body well enough & chose not to have antenatal care.  I was concerned when my pregnancy symptoms dropped dramatically in the 1st trimester so I decided on a 12 week scan. I was traveling to Scotland with CJ & MC for our summer holiday & didn’t fancy miscarrying alone in a foreign country. I am pretty scared of scans after my awful miscarriage experience so I am a nervous wreck going in for them, I cry. All looked well & I got what I needed to see, a lovely strong beating heart.

I believed in my body & tried to resist any more medical input but I couldn’t quite trust completely. Around 22 weeks I caved & went for another scan, this time I justified it with the fact we were going to NZ & booked to fly back with a newborn. I wanted to have an idea if there was likely to be any major upsets. Ironically we never did return to the Middle East but that is another story! Again, all looked as it should.

28 weeks, iron test & antibodies with the kiwi GP at Festival City. We arranged for her to write my medical certificate to fly closer to the time. Just before I left I had a wee panic, what if one of us fell sick & couldn’t fly, we’d miss the cut off at 36 weeks, or what if for some reason I didn’t get the medical certificate…..all was well & I had my precious piece of paper.

I mad it on to the plane! Phew! I looked about to birth but it had been stress free, self check in & a quick glance at my med cert at the gate.  The trip was surprisingly fine, it is always hard with children but being so heavily pregnant didn’t make it too much worse. We were on the big plane which was really comfortable & I was glad we’d chosen economy; I wasn’t going to sleep now was I?  MC had a few melt downs when she couldn’t get to sleep but they didn’t last too long. Sydney customs took my new face spray in transit which made me cry. I got questioned again & med cert viewed also in transit in Sydney. As always it’s from Australia the journey gets rough, my vision starts to blur & I stop thinking straight. We ran for it but missed our flight in Auckland & we had to buy new tickets. Can you imagine this

– 36 weeks pregnant, up for 24 hours running with children & luggage through an airport with 2 small kids in tow! What a scene! When we finally arrived in Wellington & there was no one there to greet us I was shattered, when we saw Dad after a bit of searching around I couldn’t hold back the tears & had a cry.

We were home.

We recovered from the trip & got on to NZ time. I met Mandy & started ‘care’. After not seeing anyone through the pregnancy, even these friendly home visits felt bizarre. But Mandy was wonderful, she is very intuitive & she was great with CJ & MC. We all loved her.

I had been prepared to birth without A there but once home & with you drawing nearer I realized I really did want your Dad to be there for your birth. He was booked to fly in on Christmas Eve & you were due on the 25th.  I asked him to come early so he joined us on the 20th. You felt so close.

Each night after my shower I stood naked in front of the mirror. I used my ‘puku nui’ belly oil & massaged my stomach & ‘talked’ to you. Please be safe & strong. We can do this; we are both going to be amazing! I can’t wait to have you with me, earthside!

We celebrated Christmas Day.

December 27th, dinner time, finally a twinge! Could this be? Quietly excited I didn’t say anything as we finished dinner got the kids to bed etc. A fell asleep & I sat up on my birth ball reading old copies of The Listener. You were coming.

I woke up A & told him I thought I was in labour, he sat with me & we timed some contractions, 3 exactly 10 mins apart. He pumped up the pool, I lit a candle then I sent him back to bed.  I also climbed back into bed with MC but nope, it wasn’t happening, I couldn’t be comfortable anymore lying down. I got up & started walking. It wasn’t long before I decided I didn’t want to be alone so I woke A up again.

About midnight A got Mum & Dad & they joined us downstairs. This labour was so weird, not at all what I was expecting. So textbook I suppose. I spoke to Mandy on the phone to say labour had started & I’d call her later.

I paced. I marched. I could not sit down. I did weird things with my hands. I went past the sleeping babes to the toilet a lot. I walked through the lounge & paced the ‘birthing room’. I took A aside & lectured him about not supporting me properly. I was controlled, I was so ready. I had been waiting a long time for this.

I asked A to call Mandy to come; as she arrived I started my birth song. Deep & low, like a truck as CJ said. I apologized to Mandy if it was too soon. My labour felt so slow after the intensity of MCs. I actually wasn’t convinced this was the real deal & thought at any moment it could stop & I’d go back to being in my heavily pregnant non laboring state.  Mandy slipped into the background & drank tea with Mum & Dad.

MC woke up crying, I swore & Mum took her upstairs to play. She calmed straight down & played, one of my biggest concerns was MC & she was fine, yay.

Surges were so far apart but good & strong when they came. I had told Mandy I didn’t want any VE’s but I was so confused, & so tempted to ask for one. Why was this going so slow??? It was doing my head in, was I in labour? Was my baby coming? When Mandy would come in the room I would look at her, hoping in my head she would offer to check me. We laughed about it after & she said “I wasn’t going to ask”. Thank-you Mandy. I resisted being touched & instead got in the pool.

Massive surges when they came. Oh, I don’t really want to do this anymore I thought. CJ was up now & with us. Dad was filming on & off. Did I want a drink? “No I just want my baby”. Massive, massive surges when they came. This was still too slow, was I in labour, was it going to stop & I’d be pregnant again?

Mandy asked if I wanted a squirt of rescue remedy, I did & she wiped my face & arms with a cool flannel, lovely.  It was time. I said get Mum & MC NOW! Mandy asked if I could feel you moving down. I couldn’t & then I could, ha, finally I believed this, I was about to birth, you really were coming! I put my hand down a few times to feel for you but I couldn’t feel your head yet.

A, MC & CJ were behind me. I screamed your head out.

“Is the head out?” I asked. It was, great, I knew the hard work was done & consciously decided to breathe your body out. Next contraction you were born.

I looked down & saw you floating to me in the water. A had pushed you through my legs. I will never, ever forget that moment. My baby, my perfect, healthy, strong, safe baby. It was a split second but I felt warm & knew you were fine before I lifted you from the water.

It was dawn.

Relief. Pride. Joy. Life.

What an honor to have birthed you.


Add comment August 8, 2010


Our new baby was born on the 28th December.  Her birth was so right, I really do hope I come back to write about it here.  For now I am enjoying our baby moon, so aware that each moment she is getting older & how quickly these early days will pass.  CJ & MC have welcomed their baby sister with an acceptance I never imagined, I am so in love with them all.  I can’t think of a better start to the new year then having a brand new life with us.

It looks like it might be another adventurous year for us as right now we’re trying to decide if we return to The UAE or try our luck in Brisbane.  I have a feeling our time in the Middle East may have unexpectedly come to an end, but with a new life & year & CJ ready for ‘something’ outside of the home my feeling is a stint in Australia might be a breath of fresh air for us.

Regardless of where we are my wishes for the year stay the same.  I will try to focus on my young babes, keep things simple & remind myself every morning about the goal of being worthy of imitation.

Welcome baby girl & Happy New Year friends!

Add comment December 31, 2009

pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding

I caught myself in a mirror today.  I was dressed in black and facing the mirror head on, I hardly looked pregnant.  Later on I was talking to two women and it wasn’t until I stood up one of them realised I was pregnant.  Until now I have felt big and I’ve put on a lot of weight, but for a second it made me wonder if I’ve done the right thing?  But in my heart I know I have.

I chose not to have any prenatal care in this pregnancy.  I’ve felt fine so mostly kept away from the ‘professionals’.  My previous experiences with health care professionals or ‘carers’ (ha ha) have left me angry.  I have discovered that in pregnancy, birth and childcare women are dis-empowered and belittled.

I have been told stories by women who have lost pregnancies, and been left with no support.  Others have been advised of serious health problems and even told to leave the country and terminate their pregnancy for medical reasons, who have gone on to have perfect children.  Others have been told all looks great and not until after birth have they  discovered things were less than ‘perfect’.  So even though I’ve had one doctors appointment and after careful thought chose to have two scans, I have pretty much decided my pregnancy will unfold along its own natural course and what will be will be.  I chose to trust in my body and not to put myself through the stress and expense of uncaring medical care.

I am wary to write about my birth as I have a clear picture in my mind of what I’m hoping for and am scared expressing it will somehow curse my dream.  My desire to birth peacefully and safely at home and uninterrupted by strangers means I am traveling across the world with my two wee ones at 36 weeks pregnant, no small task!  The birth culture here in Dubai is out of control. Doctors are authoritarian and rigid, systematic policies  come before women’s wants and needs.

And after pregnancy and birth comes breastfeeding.  I have come to believe, after almost four years of mothering, that breastfeeding is much much more than a way of feeding.  Babies have an intense need to suck and benefit emotionally by being able to outgrow the need for mum in their own good time.  MC has continued to breastfeed through my pregnancy despite their being very little if any milk for her.  I am willing to breastfeed her and her new brother or sister and I hope it will help her remain secure in the unsettling time of her new siblings arrival.  It hasn’t been easy feeding her through the pregnancy.  It has been painful and often felt disgusting (breastfeeding aversion or agitation), but I have kept going believing it is what is right for her and that it is her decision to decide when she’s done, not mine.


Add comment October 27, 2009

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