Baby Oaklen – Albury.
Welcome baby Oaklen Harvey – born Tuesday the 2nd of March 2021 at 1.10am, weighing 7lb 8oz or 3.58kgs, 50cm long and 35.5cm of beautiful head covered in hair.
Words from Dee, this amazing Mama, “My birth was honestly beyond my wildest dreams. I had obviously hoped for a magical, home birth but I really didn’t know what that meant for me. In that moment, it was everything I had hoped for and more and I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better. In the safety of my own home, surrounded by loved ones and with the amazing support of my Midwives, Claire @yourbirthmidwifery, her 2nd midwife Louise and my Doula @doula_lou, what could be better!? I wish I had more words to explain how incredible the feeling is… It’s seriously such a euphoric feeling!”
Since I gave birth to oaklen at home I’ve heard many things, some positive some negative either way lots of opinions, and that’s okay! People are often scared of new and scared of different. And many people just don’t know enough about home birth.
Writing about my journey has been hard. I’m sure in coming days or weeks I’ll have more to say. But for now this is where I’ve started. A little bit about pregnancy and why I chose this path.
First and foremost, I had the most amazing support team. From the very start of my pregnancy before a scan even confirmed it, I got onto Claire (Your Birth Midwifery) and spoke with her. We instantly clicked and she felt my pain of being in the hospital system with my other kids and how I had been denied so many rights to informed consent and been forced to do things I never wanted to do. She listened, she empathised and she was ready to help me have my dream home birth. If I didn’t find a midwife that supported me and listened to me and my dream then I would have never even considered home birth as an option.
Along with an amazing midwife, I needed the support and care from a doula. This was also something that for me was not optional. I didn’t know if my mum would be there for the birth of this baby, she wasn’t with any of my others and I knew that emotionally I needed support from a doula. I knew that in this journey which was so new for me, so foreign, I needed someone to help gently guide me and show me the way. Someone to be there to listen to any problems regardless of if they were related directly to pregnancy or my baby, a shoulder to cry on or someone to laugh and joke with and someone who could provide me so many amazing resources and help me find information, videos, photos, links to all that is homebirth. And I’m so glad I found this person in Louise. Oh and did I mention she’s an amazing birth photographer!
I’ve always wanted a water birth since I had my first child, I’m not sure why because I was only young then so I am assuming it was something I saw on tv. I was 17 when I had my first child, then I Fell pregnant again quickly and had my second at 18 and had 2 under 1 years of age. Craziness. I Had my third when I was 20 and had 3 under 3. Even crazier!
I was classed as high risks in those pregnancies for no other reason then my weight. I was a big girl around 150kilos when I had my third child. I had proved Cleary my body was capable of birthing without complications but to the hospital and doctors I was still such a danger purely because of my size.
Our local hospital have a pool you can labour in but cannot deliver in. Having always had the dream of water birth I was excited to find out this was an option until they very very clearly and rudely told me NO! I could not labour in the pool because I’m too big and heavy to lift back out if something goes wrong, or if I had slipped and fallen they wouldn’t have been able to lift me back up.
What a load of shit.
I never realised I had the choice of saying no to any tests or basically anything at all. I never knew I had rights to my own body and baby. I was never given information or had situations explained to me. I never had the option of making an informed decision. I felt pushed to always agree with what the doctors or midwife had said and felt like I had no control.
I was in control and was given all the right information to make informed choices this time around. Claire never pushed me to do anything I didn’t want to do. There was so much this time that I elected not to do that I honestly thought was ‘compulsory’.
I have known and firmly believed for a long time now that intervention causes more intervention. Not only that, but it can be so extremely mentally exhausting having constant intervention and checks that aren’t necessary. It causes anxiety which isn’t healthy for mum or Bub. I’ve dealt with this first hand with my other pregnancies and that was something I was worried about this time. But not once did I have an internal, not once did Claire touch my body without my permission. Not once did she back me into a corner forcing me to say yes. When I had concerns she answered all my questions. She let me do things my way and because she trusted me and my body, I trusted me and my body.
When you find that trust in yourself, when you relax and breathe it’s amazing how different the experience can be.
I’ll admit the whole pregnancy I was so excited for labour, don’t get me wrong I wanted to meet my squishy man but I was so excited for my home water birth. When the time come was I shitting myself ? For sure! Did I get to a point where I thought I couldn’t do it? Absolutely! But I had these beautiful women here beside me. I had my mum, my partner, my best friend and my mother in law. I had more then I’d ever get in a hospital. Not only that, I had exactly what I needed. It was customised to me. It was about me.
This is a journey not only of being pregnant or birthing a baby, but I’d consider it a journey of friendship. I opened my heart and my home to Claire and Lou. They got to know me and personal details about my life my family my kids everything. And that’s something I will always treasure.
There is so much more that goes into a home birth. More then just having a baby.
I have absolutely zero regrets choosing home birth. I have zero regrets choosing Claire and Lou and I encourage more women to stop and think about their options.
First pregnancy or fourth, there is always the option of home birth for you.
Are your care providers listening? Are they giving you the correct information? Are you giving consent? Don’t be forced to do things you don’t want to do.
Be in charge, be in control, be the voice for your baby.
Doula Lou – Albury Wodonga.