When I thought of giving birth, I imagined being at home. Homebirth. I was healthy and as my pregnancy progressed normally I knew that a homebirth could be a reality for me. But this reality blew out from under me when our neighbour texted me on February 22 last year, “Massive boulders into your house, it’s in a bad way. Don’t come home”. Homebirth meant a home plus birth. We no longer had a home.
Honor’s perfect birth was followed by three perfectly blissful new born weeks before things took a turn for the worse for both mother and baby.
“I remember making a decision one particular day to get some help. I had called my husband at work to come home, I wasn’t coping with the kids and needed help. As I waited for him to answer I looked at the clock and realised it was only 9 o’clock. He had been gone only an hour. I remember thinking ‘oh god there’s something wrong with me, this isn’t normal, I can’t even look after my kids for an hour!’.”
The Victorian government has opened the door to more publicly funded home birth services with organised hospital backup.
For women who haven’t been pregnant, it can be daunting to read through a list of symptoms they may experience throughout the course of pregnancy. Sure, no one looks forward to feeling badly, but it’s good to remember that it’s so very worth it. What’s encouraging to know is that most symptoms aren’t happening all at once. They come at different stages, last for various lengths of times, and all women experience things differently…
In earlier articles (parts 1-4) I documented my experience of tandem feeding Luca and Jonah during Jonah’s first two weeks of life (Luca is 17 months older than Jonah). This article tells of my tandem feeding journey through the next two months.
Arran’s story begins a week before he was born. Arran was large and grew noticeably by the day in the final weeks and I was very uncomfortable at night and getting little sleep. I decided to take things into my own hands and I went for a lie down to try some nipple stimulation. Everything I had read told me this was the most successful way to bring on labour as long as the stimulation continued for several hours. I figured a do-it-myself approach might be the most fruitful method.
Not long after midnight on Good Friday I felt the urge to get out of bed. At 41 weeks pregnant, this was nothing new, so I got up and parked myself on the couch with the laptop. I had had lots of Braxton Hicks over the last few weeks, but I soon realised things felt a bit different. I paid a bit more attention to them and realised they were coming regularly, every five minutes.
While TV watching has been a common activity for several decades, the huge increase in TV and other media targeted at and watched by very young children has been described as “a large uncontrolled experiment on today’s infants and toddlers.” 1
In the end it was courage I needed. Courage to step out onto a path of raising children that was so well worn by generations of family history and the confidence in our ability to carve out our own haven: one that reflected mine and my partner’s shared values and our own family culture.
I have always known I wanted a homebirth. My mum gave birth to my brothers and me at home and I have never felt comfortable in hospitals anyway. So when I got pregnant with Jackson, my husband and I contacted a homebirth midwife straight away.