Last week was homebirth awareness week. It’s a topic close to my heart so despite being late () I would love to talk about it and in particular some of the women who I’ve been lucky to support for their homebirths.
This is Madelaine, shortly after welcoming her second daughter Vera into her arms, surrounded by her partner, mother and firstborn. What a moment of shared family joy! She chose a homebirth after an emotionally traumatic and very prolonged induced hospital labour which sent her on a mission to learn about birth, start her own doula training and build trust in the natural process that birth is. All women in her family had induced births due to being post dates and Madelaine knew that only by choosing a homebirth she‘d likely have the support to go into physiological labour when her body was ready to do so. Her patience was tested greatly as she went past 42 weeks without any signs of labour, and truly emotionally challenging and vulnerable days unfolded. But then, just before midnight as her 43rd week began the waves arrived and she brought her baby girl safely into her arms with the first rays of the morning sun. What a night it was, what a joy, what a relief. What courage it took to break the pattern of inductions for women in her family and find out that yes, her body can go into labour...when it is ready.
I arrived at Madelaine‘s side just after midnight and before the midwife. I found her in the bathroom, working through strong surges and having that reassuring rosy cheeks look and slightly sweaty feel of women in established labour. I realized things were progressing fast and focused on grounding her so she could fully surrender into the work her body was doing. In that moment of holding her in the dimly lit bathroom I felt the magic and power of undisturbed labour, the force of nature and strength of women. No focus on fear but trust...which only a few hours later meant a baby peacefully arriving into the world as a shared family event and tired parents snoozing in their own bed soon after with their baby girl. This is homebirth!
Photo by @centralcoastdoula and shared with permission by @madelaineemblen96