July 2015

Birthing in the warmth of your own home

My eldest son was born in a hospital, a somewhat scary experience, but I had simply followed what my contemporaries were doing and followed suit. What I got was cold, quick and factual gynae visits and a birth that was a little out of my own control, with an attempt to go for emergency caesarian when it was not really necessary.

My second pregnancy I was a little wiser and followed that little voice inside, that said: your body knows exactly what to do, with expert help, this can be a beautiful experience.

From cosy, friendly check-ups with my midwife, Heather and the actual birth, I knew I was in good hands. All the medical tools needed where ready in my home and plan B in place in case of an emergency, this alone helped me relax.

I had my first show at 9 in the evening and sent a calm sms to her, notifying her that it had started – the best advice I got back was ‘go to bed and sleep’. I did.

The fire was on, my mother was in the guest room, my husband and son, next to me, asleep in my bed, allowing me to comfortably dose through the beginning of labour.

By 2am I woke and knew, now its changing. I woke those around me, we put on a soft light in the bedroom, and created a warm nucleus for our little one to come. We timed and counted, my sister joined the birthing circle, they rubbed and laughed, and allowed the tears of fear and joy.

My midwife, Heather arrived with Marthie, my doula, closely behind her in the early hours of the morning. They were quiet and gentle – we knew they were just there, without taking over the show. My doula, who had also been my reflexologist, tapped into her gift and knew just where to press. The secret is not to tense up, as this makes opening so much harder.

I had practiced a little yoga, humming, and a vision of an opening lily to assist me. Everyone simply joined in the magic of vibrational energy, humming along, holding my hand, supporting where support was needed.

Sophia was born just before 6am. She was a tall and big baby, she slipped out, I had no tears, no cuts. My husband held her on his bare chest for that sacred moment of skin-on-skin, whilst I was cleaned, checked and propped into my own bed and ready to receive her, after a glorious home brewed cup of tea.

In the meantime, my family and the midwives planted the placenta under the tree we had chosen for Sophia, and gave thanks to the universe for this miracle life.

Sophia was later weighed and measured so gently, she did not even notice it.

Daily check-ups all happened in my home for the week of the birth. This really allowed me to absorb the full love and delicacy of the first weeks with my newborn, whilst stilling within reach of my oldest son.

I actively tell every pregnant woman to consider birthing at home; it is warm and gracious. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins could visit to carefully inspect and bewonder the new family member.

I would certainly birth at home again and am grateful to Heather and her wonderful team for allowing my body to do what it instinctively knows to do in the comfort of my home.

Anja Taschner