Indigo, Born March 14, 2017
Two days before leaving Melbourne last July, on our indefinite road trip throughout Australia, it was confirmed we were pregnant. Johannes and I were overjoyed as well as nervous. We had been through a lot of grief over the past 3-4 years with 2 miscarriages and the loss of our daughter Izabella at 23 weeks pregnant. We headed off into the unknown, hoping things would work out.
Traveling through the remote centre, our ultrasound options were minimal, we ensured we would be in Alice Springs by 10 weeks to check how things were progressing. The 10 and 12 week ultrasounds were perfect. We felt ecstatic and were confident to pass on the good news. We thought we would stick around for a short while, as everything was falling into place. We had both been offered jobs and felt welcomed in the community.
The M.G.P. midwife program accepted us and we were very impressed with the service. Everyone we met confirmed this was the best town to have a baby. By 20 weeks we had decided to definitely stay. Being 43 years old, I thought I would be high risk. However, with a smooth and easy going pregnancy, we were overjoyed to hear we could have a home birth. We were determined to do everything possible to make this happen.
I met Joanne Gordon from Yoga Motion and started pregnancy yoga classes at week 16. She was very supportive and the classes were designed to aid us throughout the pregnancy and prepared us well for an active labour. She was also a HypnoBirthing teacher. Having heard of it in London many years ago, I knew this would give us the confidence and tools for a calmer, natural home birth.
The course was for couples and we started at Week 28. The practice of daily meditations and affirmations immediately gave me a sense of power and ease as a capable woman who could trust my body and baby in labour. It also strengthened the bond with Johannes as we worked as a team, with the same vision of our baby`s birth.
We really enjoyed the HypnoBirthing sessions and learnt so much, they were in depth and spread out over 2 months. We were confident to be able to tackle the birth of our baby in a non-medicalised way. Our midwife’s supported our birth plan and we felt fortunate to have their experience to guide us.
The due date was creeping up, and I was very calm and patient. The Sunday afternoon I had some blood and tension was building up across my belly. As I cooked soup I knew in the next day or two we would meet our baby. I had an hour of intense contractions that evening, it then eased off.
The Monday was the estimated due date. We went out for lunch and I breathed through the tension throughout the day. There was no regular rhythm until the early evening when things started to build. Johannes prepared the Birthing Pool and by 10.30pm we were dealing with longer more intense surges, but still spread apart. We felt the journey unraveling smoothly with no fear.
The HypnoBirthing meditations and affirmations had been playing in the background, creating a supportive and calming environment. I had to throw up a few times, then finally managed to get into the Birthing Pool.
A couple of hours went by, I kept my focus inwards and didn’t open my eyes for the rest of the labour – I didn’t want any outer distractions. Johannes was guiding me gently. We both didn't feel any fear, this was a team effort.
It was getting painful and intense, we were riding the wave, it was quite surreal. By about 2am we realized we were having at least 3 surges within 10 minutes and it was time to call our Midwife. She arrived half an hour later and things were progressing smoothly.
I mentioned that I felt a crunch and a push in my pubic bone earlier, and she thought this was most probably the membranes rupturing. As I was so deep in my zone breathing the baby down I didn't even realize the second midwife had arrived.
The pain intensified and around 4am it was time for me to get out of the pool and be more active to help the labour progress. Johannes continued to encourage me and held me in supportive squats at one point. The midwives guided me through many different positions.
The baby crowned but still didn't move any further. I was giving everything I could but it seemed like it was still not enough. The baby's heart rate dropped slightly and the midwives mentioned that we might have to go to the hospital if things were slow to progress. Hearing this must have enabled some deeper strength in me and things finally progressed.
I was able to hold the baby crowning. Half an hour later the baby was born with me laying on my side and Johannes supporting my leg. The midwives 'delivered' our baby and was then gently placed onto my chest. Time stood still, I was anxious to know what the baby`s sex was when Johannes mentioned “Of course it`s a boy.”
He wasn't breathing at first and needed some assistance with air to help him. The midwives mentioned that it was difficult for him to get around that last bend as his head was turned and tilted back, which meant I birthed a much larger part of his head. It suddenly made sense that the last hours were so difficult and I felt really proud of myself that I got through the whole labour at home completely drug free. Our Rainbow Baby lndigo was born.