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"Homebirth just makes the most sense"

I was introduced to the idea of homebirth during my nursing training where I was lucky enough to journey with a strong Mama through her powerful homebirth. I began to look into homebirth more seriously, enjoying podcasts and blogs/articles on homebirth. Before we got hapū my hubby and I had discussed homebirth, he'd listened to some of the podcasts I enjoyed and we'd both concluded- homebirth just makes the most sense.

Fast forward to finding out we were hapū and we were both certain that we wanted to have a homebirth mindset towards our pregnancy and birth, no matter where our baby was ultimately born. For me this meant being informed and educated on what was really necessary and best for baby and me. It was making sure we were safe without opening ourselves up to unnecessary intervention, acknowledging the normality of pregnancy and birth (where this is the case) and having a safe and warm relationship with our midwife who shared our philosophy. I was intentional in my pregnancy about ensuring I was mentally preparing myself for labour using things such as books, positive birth stories and homebirth focus antenatal classes.

Early on a Saturday morning, 10 days overdue, I woke to some immediately powerful contractions. What followed was an hour of intense back-to-back contractions which left me slightly panicked about the prospect of enduring this for hours on end. A quick call to check in with my midwife and update her was enough to help reset my mindset and helped me welcome these contractions as they brought me closer to my baby. I laboured a few more hours, working hard through contractions and trying to rest between, listening to a selection of my favourite music while hubby started to fill the pool, offering me support when I needed it.

I began to notice a shift in how my contractions felt, and the urge to grunt and push became stronger. A call to my midwife and she was with me before I knew it, and helped me into the waiting pool. Prior to labour, I was open to a waterbirth but not set on it, but my mind quickly changed as the warm water eased my contractions and left me feeling relaxed and calm. My first contraction in the pool saw a peep of my baby's head, and over the next hour I worked to bring my baby earthside. This part of my labour is etched strongly in my mind, feeling my body work powerfully to bring my sweet pēpi into the world, surrounded by my husband and midwives who

supported me, loved me, and believed in the capabilities of my body. My beautiful son was born and placed into the arms of his waiting Mumma, quietly, warmly and gently as he took in life outside of the womb. What followed was hours of skin to skin, first feeds, and gazing in awe at our own precious baby boy, all from the comfort and security of our lounge. I came away from my birth feeling empowered, thankful and in awe of how beautiful birth can be.

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