Healing Homebirth

Australia's Homebirth Network

Friday, May 30, 2008

Rainbow Rebozo

I thought I'd add a photo of my very colourful rainbow rebozo that DP got me from the Port Douglas markets. We are very excited to use it during the later stages of pregnancy and in labour. We went to Townsville and had a 'doula meet' a while back and we got some 'hands on' practice with it's positions and uses during labour. Some of the positions look really supportive and comfortable for labour. DP is really keen to give them a go too!
Might take some pressure off the marathon back rubbing he has to do during my labours. ;)
I will also be interested in using the rebozo to assist in turning a posterior babe, should it decide to flip that way like my other two babies did. Although I'm not too worried as I know babies will come out either way if left alone and given the time to move. Babies are very smart you know? They'll do what's right for them.
This is a midwifes blog that also uses the Rebozo technique. It has some good pictures of it in use.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It took me quite a while to decide whether or not to post my birth story on my blog. I know it's on Joyous Birth already but a blog is different I suppose.
Then after reading it another time I realised how important it is for people to understand that a medical approach to childbirth just doesn't work. Women and men too, need to understand what can happen and the aftermath of that trauma goes on for years.

I'm not screaming from the rooftops 'look what happened to me!' Although I'd like to sometimes. What I'm saying is that, yes hospitals are an important asset when used correctly, not for every woman's normal pregnancy and birth.
I'm also not advocating that because what happened to me will happen to you. I just want people to open their eyes, do some research(real research!) and to take some responsibility and reclaim their births and their bodies!

Not so hard?

I didn't realise how much anger and pain I still have and how raw it is, 14 months on. It hurt to read that story. I'm angry that women continue to enter the system and are hurt and how many women see me as an angry crazy woman who didn't get her own way. I'm angry that people think I should be grateful that I'm alive and have two beautiful children.

Well that's just ignorant and helps no-one. I've done plenty of burying my pain. I've done it for a long time.

I might be scarred but I'm not broken or faulty. I am a woman and I can give birth just like the many women that have done it for thousands of years before me.

Looking back to my first birth which ended in Ceasarean I was completely naive and handed everything over to the doctors and midwives. I never invested anytime into researching about birth. It was just something that happened and I had plans of just 'going with it' This in turn left me open to someone else making the decisions for me.

My second birth I was more aware but still hadn't quite got my head around the fear of birth. I was still naive and caved to the pressure of the system. I again trusted that they new better than me and I needed them. I didn't quite believe that I was capable of doing it on my own. Giving birth was still a medical process deep down in my mind.

So here I am today planning my third birth. A freebirth. A birth without interventions.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My second birth

This is the birth story of my second child. It was an attempted VBAC in a public hospital. I wrote it in December 2007, he was born in March 2007.

This is why babies should be born at home.

Some kind of story with a bit more detail.

I awoke early on the morning of the 13th March. My due date!
Well according to the hospital who know EVERYTHING it was still a week away but by my knowledge I was 40 weeks today. It was a Tuesday and Alexander had pre-school toady.

I was feeling a bit funny and was really uncomfortable, my belly was tightening and my back ached. I assumed I’d been doing too much and needed to take it easier. We got ready for pre-school and enjoyed our banana smoothie before we left. We headed off in the car and faced the morning school traffic. I became more and more aware of the discomfort I was experiencing. They seemed to be coming at regular intervals. I really needed to focus on getting Alexander to pre-school. We finally arrived at school and I kissed my baby goodbye and headed off home again.

I had planned to meet with Lisa again. I wanted to borrow her Susan Weed book because I’d picked up my Labour tincture from the Naturopath and couldn’t remember a few of the details. I felt really odd today. I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t sit still. It was hot or was it me?

I managed to drink copious amounts of water. I pottered around the house, cleaning, getting my labour box of goodies ready. I spent a good portion of the morning bouncing on my ball reading on JB.

Lisa arrived at lunchtime and we chatted about how I was feeling, the discomfort, and my inability to sit still! Lisa watched me move around the house, breathing and fidgeting. She knew I was in early labour, not that she mentioned it to me. I wasn’t convinced that this was it!

It began to get stormy and we had some thunder, the clouds were stunning. It was beginning to cool down. I love those afternoons.
It was time for Lisa to go home.

I did a little more tidying before heading off to mums for a swim before picking Alexander up from pre-school. It was about three in the afternoon now and the cramping was getting stronger and more breathtaking.

I managed a flop in the pool like a whale; it was nice to be weightless and cool.
The late night and early start had taken its toll on me, I wish I had of taken a nap instead of cleaning.

After bringing Alexander back to mums we had some afternoon tea and we relaxed while Alexander told me about his day.

I was hesitant in driving home, I couldn’t concentrate. I was becoming distracted by the ache in my belly. My brother and mum offered to drive us home as it was peak hour traffic and it would be easier. I mentioned to mum that I thought this baby would be here sooner rather than later and maybe she should hold off on opening the bottle of wine just in case she needed to come over to watch Alexander.

My brother looked terrified as we drove along the highway. I think he imagined me asking him to stop and I’d have the baby on the side of the road! Clearly he has no idea about loooooooooong pre labour!

I must have been gripping the door handle because every few minutes he would ask if I was ok. I just wanted to get home and into the shower, he was driving so slowly.

Finally we got home and I phoned Brendan to let him know that I thought I was in labour and to let his boss know he might not be coming in the next day. He laughed at me and thought I was joking.

It was here that I was so very thankful for Nemo. I prepared some fruit and cheese for Alexander while I managed to escape for another shower, there would be no dinner cooking on my behalf today. The shower was bliss on my aching back. I tried using some clary sage but as soon as I opened the bottle I wanted to vomit. I couldn’t stand the smell!

Finally Brendan got home from work and suggested we do the grocery shopping. I was thankful for the idea because I just was so restless and our place seemed so small all of a sudden. I figured the walking around the supermarket might help things along. So off we went. I remember having lots of funny looks from fellow shoppers because every few minutes I’d stop in the middle of the shopping aisle and lean over the trolley and breathe through another contraction, swaying my hips. So our regular shopping trip took far longer than anticipated. It was about 9pm by the time we arrived home and the reality set in that it may be a very long night.

The last thing I wanted to do was unpack groceries. We read Alexander a story and tucked him into bed.

It was getting late so I tried to lie down on the bed for a little while. Brendan thought he needed to iron a uniform for work in the morning, just in case I wasn’t actually in labour. I hated that he had to question me and what I was feeling/experiencing.

The contractions were really starting to become more intense, I remember moaning through them. I was so uncomfortable; there was no way I could go to sleep. I really wanted to have another shower but knew we would run out of hot water for the pool. I had one anyway.
The feeling of the warm water running over my belly was glorious.
B was having a shave at the sink in the bathroom and kept asking me if I was sure I was in labour. I began to doubt myself and feel silly. Was I over-reacting? Somewhere inside me I was losing trust in my ability before it had even begun.

I dried off and tried to get some rest on the bed. I propped my belly up with pillows and stayed on all fours with my bum up in the air. There was a red glow from the alarm clock. The contractions were coming every 5-8 minutes and lasting about 40 seconds. Surely this is labour? It hurts and it’s intense! I’m so tired.
I became increasingly more terrified and overwhelmed. Maybe I should phone the hospital? I could hear someone inside me say what the fuck for, Carly? What good will that do?Looking back, actually as soon as I’d done it I knew I was being really stupid. Why did I feel the need for their confirmation or approval? My body knew what to do but I was so overwhelmed.The moment I picked up the phone was the moment I should have asked Brendan to get the pool ready and call Lisa.
It was nearing midnight and I was losing it. I was panicked. I wanted someone to tell me I was ok, that this is what labour is all about and that I was doing it, perfectly, the way it was meant to be.
No one was there to tell me that.
I stood in the kitchen swaying my hips and with each contraction I squatted and moaned. Brendan phoned my parents and asked them to come over to watch A, we were going into the hospital. I knew this was a huge mistake, why didn’t I trust myself? I knew that I didn’t really want or need to go but we did.
This is where your support people need to know that despite your pleas they need to bring you back to reality and gain some clarity and focus on the situation. It’s such a huge thing to really truly and honestly be open and trust our bodies and our babies.The car was horrendous. It was so painful sitting in the seat. Over and over I kept saying that I didn’t want to go to the hospital. Why didn’t he turn around? It seemed like forever.

We arrived at A and E and I totally freaked out. I looked up at the hospital and burst into tears. I told Brendan I was so scared. I was frozen. I couldn’t move. This was not how it was supposed to be.

We managed to get into the labour ward. I headed to the nearest sink and held on for dear life, doing my loud birthing dance through another contraction The first thing the mw said to me was where have you been? We’ve been waiting, you called ages ago.

I was told that because I was a VBAC patient there would be no way that I would be going home. She left the room to get an IV and CTG organized, Brendan left to move the car. I’ve never felt more alone in my whole life.

I asked to use the shower, no idea why I felt the need to ask permission but I did. The mw said I could after they’d done a CTG and inserted the drip.I knew that none of this was necessary, in fact it was going to cause more harm than good but nothing would come out of my mouth.
I couldn’t say anything. I just wanted to get on with it in the shower.
The mw seemed to notice that I was objecting to being strapped to the monitor. Who wouldn’t? I must have been a difficult patient because everything became “If you do this we’ll let you have another shower or take the monitor off bullshit.”This was why I wanted Brendan to listen to me more during my pregnancy, so he really would understand that the hospital wasn’t where we should have been.

He asked if I wanted to call Lisa, I said no because I thought she would have hated being at the hospital and I felt so stupid for being there. I should have called.

I escaped to the shower and ignored the mw’s requests to get out for a while. She returned with the Dr and proudly announced that they’d like to do a VE to see where I was at!? It was horrible and painful. I felt humiliated when they discussed with each other that I was ONLY 2cm. I broke down again and cried. The mw looked at me confused and asked why I was crying. Was it because I was only 2cm? I said no it’s because it hurt and I should be at home. Her response was well next time I would like you to use the gas, it will help.

She then demanded that I need to have some pain relief and go to sleep. I refused. After four more attempts to get me to have some analgesia I asked her for 2 panadol (upon receiving my notes I found that she also gave me a temazepam!) From here nothing has times; it all became very hazy from the sedative. I know it was early morning.I managed to strip off and find a big lazy-boy chair to lean over whilst Brendan massaged my back with some oils.I was so tired and over it. I felt so groggy from the sedative.
Brendan was asleep in the chair and I felt like I was alone.

The mw again suggested I have some analgesia because I didn’t seem to be coping. I just couldn’t concentrate anymore. I must have agreed because she returned and began to put it into my hand. Each time the contractions came I wanted to squat. I was noisy I do remember that! I began to feel sick from the drugs. I wanted to sleep.

Everything was so blurry.

I got onto the bed and the mw put the monitor back on. I could feel the pressure from them waiting and watching me. I was on a timer. 5cm’s now. I was asked a few times if I would like an epidural. I said no.

I knew where this was going but yet I had no idea how to stop it.

I was on the toilet. I had a show.

Suddenly a man poked his head in and announced that he was the anesthetist and did I want an epidural now because he was very busy and can’t wait around! I was told to hurry up and get onto the bed so he could do it.
There were people everywhere waiting and watching me.
I tried not to vomit.
I then had an episode of low blood pressure (from the epidural) and reduced urine output.

They proceeded to spread my legs and insert a catheter, rupture my membranes and screw a monitor to my baby’s head.
I felt useless, violated and I had failed my baby.

The epidural was placed incorrectly and had to be re-inserted.

Skipping a few hours of me being told to “rest” and not allowed to eat, move or birth as a woman should etc I am laying in bed while Brendan slept.

A student mw gawking at me notices the heart rate was dropping and I had developed a temperature.

The Dr was notified and for some reason they opted for a fetal pH sample. I was told they needed to do this to determine if the baby was in distress and not getting enough oxygen, could cause brain damage, most likely need a c/s or your baby will die etc.
It was horrific.

I remember lots of metal objects and my vagina exposed to the world.
I cried and cried and cried.

I was hyperventilating and the mw told me to stop it and calm down.

Upon waiting for the lab results I was “allowed” to try pushing as I was fully dilated. The mw was on strict orders that I could do so for one hour whilst the Dr was being a hero in theatre saving someone else’s baby.
My legs were held up in the air by two mw’s, fingers were inside me poking and prodding, eyes watching the clock and PUSH 1…2…3...4...5!

It was so humiliating.

How was I going to get a baby out in this position?
I wanted to get off the bed and kneel on all fours. I could feel a huge pressure.
My body was pushing. I wasn’t allowed to move.
They topped up the epidural.

The mw’s muttered to each other about how the baby hadn’t descended at all and was still posterior.
It had been 2 hours and that was it, time was up. I was told I needed a c/s because my labour was obstructed.
His head was too high and apparently some women just grow babies too big.
I was thrown onto a trolley with the contractions still going strong and wheeled to theatre.

We all know what happens here…I saw my body being sliced open in the reflection on the roof.

I felt empty.

The baby was removed. It’s a boy! (I couldn’t feel any joy) and I couldn’t see him.

I could hear him being suctioned and poked.

All of a sudden Brendan shows me our new baby and then they were gone. I didn’t even kiss or touch my baby.
He was taken to SCBU and I was alone.

The anesthetist used too much and the block went up too high. I couldn’t breathe.

I was wheeled to recovery alone where a man pressed my swollen and empty belly every 5 minutes and peered between my legs chatting away about his daughter.

I was lost.

No one had told me where or why they had taken my baby and Brendan had left me.
I was then wheeled to a dark room where I noticed my placenta in an ice cream container at my feet. I was dozing and when I woke it was gone. The mw had disposed of it.

Where is my baby? It had been hours and I was still alone.
I had to ask the nurse to find out where my baby was. She looked confused but did so anyway.

A few minutes later Brendan walked in with our tiny little boy who had been bathed, dressed and wrapped. He had a drip in his tiny hand. The first thing he said to me was that our baby was only allowed out for a little while, and then he has to go back to SCBU.

He mumbled something about Charlie having a temperature and low blood glucose levels. They were giving him antibiotics.
I was shattered and broken.
What sort of woman/mother am I?
Failed again.

We cuddled and I tried to feed him.

Brendan tells me he’s going home and takes Charlie off me and back to the SCBU. I was left alone to “rest”.

There is probably more but I think this is as much as I can manage now.

Blessingway beads

The two beads I ordered for my birthing necklace arrived today!
They are even more beautiful than I imagined. Such intricate detailing and just perfect for what I was looking for. Hopefully I will gather a collection of beads to make a very special and symbolic neckalce to wear during my labour.
I plan on having a mini blessingway in early september so I will make it then with some friends.
You can buy these beads and other fabulous handmade beads from Blessingway Beads on Etsy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Normal birth in hospital?

How do we expect to acheive normal birth when this is how the 'professionals' are being taught that birth occurs?
So many hands and people and wires and intervention. This is not birth even if they are robots. These images are disturbing to me yet for so many women and men in our society this is completely normal.
Birth is seen as a dangerous and risky event and not a normal bodily function of a woman.
Hand over the responsibility of your birth experience to medical professionals and surgeons and expect nothing less than it to be a medical event and drama. Saving the woman from the hazards of childbirth.
Gloves, epidurals, suction, scalpels and machines that go 'ping'. Expect nothing less.
Not the candles, essential oils, dolphin music you had thoroughly noted in your birth plan.
First do no harm. What does this mean for those entering into the profession?
Of course I forget these people so intent on putting their hands into women's vaginas and pulling babies out or worse lying to women and raping them of their births and surgically removing their babies are infact saving women and their babies! Silly me. How naive I must be. Women are faulty and could not possibly give birth without assistance, could we?

Homebirth with style

We have various friends of the forest/wild visit us at our home but this one took the cake.

It was amazing to watch the cycle of life for these little birds. Yellow bellied sun birds, I think they are called.

The days and days of building and crafting the beautiful nest with an amazing crystal in the roof.

Then the pink feathers that appeared as matching decor for the mama bird to hatch her babies in.

We watched as the birds nested and awaited the arrival of their babies.

Then one morning we awoke to the teeny tiny chirps of two baby birds.


Now thats a homebirth with style!

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm a terrible blogger!

My last entry was over 12 weeks ago! I'm a terrible blogger!

I was about 16 weeks before all the nausea and migranes ceased and I could function again. It was not a nice feeling to be so ill all the time. It's so much easier with a bug because you know it will end at some point. Pregnancy is such uncharted territory!

I've quit my job becuase it was causing far too much emotional stress to be worth it. There were so many triggers there and putting myself in a situation where my trauma was resurfacing was not pleasant in the slightest. Watching women being raped of their births, being lied to and not to mention just seeing women attempt birth in a hospital was enough to send anyone over the edge.

So I'm much happier at home with my kidlets.

I'm now almost 23 weeks and it seems like the time is just passing me by. I've got no-one to see for 'routine appointments' and no tests to take. It's all so free of stress and worry. I'm just happily gestating!

I've been doing little bits of reading here and there, I don't seem to get the time to sit down and read a book. Maybe I should set aside some time to do that with a hot chocolate.

Reading lots of Henci Goer, she's great! Also doing some research on which Australian Bush Flower Essences I'd like to have on hand for the birth and post-partum.

This belly babe is moving and wriggling lots to say hello which is really nice. I love that time. It's so unique and special, something a mother and her unborn child can only experience. *sigh*

I've made a birth box design and I'm going to get my dad to help me construct a wooden box to put all the birth supplies in. I'm going to get arty farty and paint it with beautiful pictures.

I'm an organisational freak. I like lists and I have to be organised. I'm not sure whether it's a good or bad thing yet.

On the other hand I'm much more relaxed at this stage of my pregnancy. I seem to be just letting it all go. Embracing life I suppose. I guess that comes with having a 14 month old to learn from. ;)

I promise I'll be back on a more regular basis with updates and photos of my crafty ambitions.