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3 quiches and that loaf of bread

My birth story is much more than than the actual act of giving birth at home.. It contains lots of little anecdotes: • like the prenatal yoga class that I was taking and helped me get ready both physically and mentally for a homebirth • like the hypnobirthing podcast I used to listen and fall asleep to (snoring even!) with affirmations to help me through the homebirth process • like deciding to change midwives at 35 weeks because my initial one (who was good) wasn't comfortable with me giving birth at home • then again having to find another midwife who would be available and happy to take me on board at 35 weeks for a homebirth! • like massive EQC repair work being undertaken in and around my house during my week 39-40 • or the fireplace that was installed 4 days before I actually gave birth at home • the house that we rented for 3 years and then became our very own 9 months before our baby was born at home • the books that a friend lent me in preparation for the birth. Turns out she also is a midwife (but I didn't know it at the time) and lent me a lot of wonderful books around the topic of homebirth • all the mama friends I chatted to who were either homebirthers or not but regardless all very encouraging in my homebirth will and process • that cousin I had never met before (but knew of) who came to NZ, I met her briefly before she went to cruise around NZ and then came back to stay with us before I gave birth at home. She ended up being a crucial piece of the puzzle too! • those 3 quiches and that loaf of bread that I started preparing like a maniac the day my labour started (nesting much!?) • my husband who thought I was delusional when I mentioned I'd like to try a homebirth this time (after 2 births in hospital) but actually came on board and supported me through the whole process... all of these little stories (and many more!) are part of the pathway that led me to wanting to give birth at home, preparing physically, mentally, emotionally for a homebirth but also being open to the idea that my wish may not happen and embrace the situation/outcome as it is.

By a wintery cold night that is exactly what happened! My surges started and I tried to go to bed for a rest but my body wasn't prepared to rest. So I hopped into the shower and the hot shower gave me some relief. After the shower I went into the lounge that was going to be our birthing place and asked everyone to leave the room, my cousin quickly went to her room, the older two kids were put to bed and my husband stayed with me until my midwife arrived. He started filling the pool when my midwife arrived and quickly went to check on our children, that is when the hose decided to flick out of the pool filling my lounge with water while also knocking a glass of water on the floor. The glass shattered and I tried to turn off the tap really quickly. My husband came back into the room with his headtorch on and looked at me while talking to me which dazzled me (like a deer with headlights) and made for a very funny anecdote afterwards!

I hopped in the pool which brought a welcome relief to my surges so much so that my labour slowed down for a long time.

So out of the pool I went, pacing up and down, trying to sit on the toilet, back to the lounge area. Trying something different this time, instead of pushing, my midwife suggested I breath through the surges until I couldn't handle it anymore.

Which is exactly what I did with my husband by my side for...5 minutes? 3 hours? 2 days? All I know was that he was getting tired and crampy for staying in the exact same position for a long time. He asked me if he could move (literally a few metres away) to make himself a coffee - no - then he asked me if the backup midwife could make him one at least? - no -

Sorry hubby! I am focusing on what my body is telling me right now and I need you by my side not one inch further.

I remember the brand new fireplace being stacked and feeling super duper hot despite being naked, I remember wanting to open the windows or wanting to stand in front of an open window or asking to stop staking the fire at least!

I had to move away from the fireplace as I felt ready to give birth, I felt most comfortable in a kneeling position and we were about to meet our baby very soon! There were a few big pushes as well as a few big roars that woke my older 2. They were asked to stay in their room and would be called very soon... so they did! at 3am, they were so excited they couldn't sleep!

Eventually our 3rd baby boy was born with his hand next to his ear and started chatting as soon as his head was out!

As soon as he was born, his siblings came to meet him, they were proud, excited, smitten, bewildered, and still wide awake!! They took of they pj top and did skin to skin with the newborn (after Mum and Dad).

Our midwife then asked if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord, I think she was talking to my husband but instead my eldest answered: Yes!

It was certainly an intense moment with very high emotions, all positive and full of love. This is the feeling we all remember from that night...and my eldest remembers being concerned for me, bless!

When we were all done, our midwives left us tucked into our very own bed with our very own new family of 5.

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