As told to Home Birth Canterbury by Jennifer
From the moment I met Kelly Dorgan I felt at ease. Which is saying a lot! Here I was a few weeks pregnant, a few weeks into moving to Christchurch from Canada – my husband’s hometown – an ocean away from my family and friends.
Kelly helped me navigate my pregnancy in a thoughtful and empowering way. She provided evidence-informed advice on the pros and cons of different screening tests and procedures and we came up with a comprehensive birth plan that suited us – a balance of conventional and holistic approaches, always without judgement. With Kelly guiding me, I felt confident that we could have a beautiful homebirth. It’s something I probably would have never considered in Canada.
And we did! I had our little Violet in a pool in our lounge on 30 of June. There is nothing that reviles the moment when I picked her up out of the water and saw her face for the first time! I couldn’t be prouder of myself for doing it all without drugs. It was a birth filled with joy! We celebrated the day when two of us became a family of three with tea and a chocolate birth day cake in the comforts of our home.
There were a few moments of self doubt that Kelly expertly dispelled. The first was an irrational fear that I wouldn’t have any milk. Kelly showed me how to hand express some colostrum a few weeks before my due date. I remember thinking, “I’ve got this”. Then during active labour, I asked, “Are we really that close. Or are you just trying to encourage me?” She told me that if I wanted to, I could reach down and probably feel the top of baby’s head. I did and she was right there. It was a moment of pure elation. After six hours of labour, I was about to meet our baby!
The saddest moment was our farewell during our final visit at six weeks. How can I properly thank this wonderful woman who brought our beautiful bright girl into this world? Who coddled me in those tender post-natal moments of raging hormones? Who taught me so much about the depths of my own strength? Everyday, when I look at our little lovely girl, I’m grateful I found myself in Kelly’s care.
Kelly Dorgan is a midwife with Rata Midwives.