Hi everyone! It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks since giving birth to my third baby girl, Indie. I was lucky to have the best birth ever with her and bounced back really quickly which has meant I’ve been back in the Business Chicks office and enjoying these precious newborn days with her too. The pace means discretionary time is virtually non existent! Life with three children aged four and under is hectic, but whenever I get a little overwhelmed I think of a couple of women in my life that have five and eight children respectively, and remind myself that I’m actually really, really blessed and I have not a thing to complain about.
My labour with Indie unravelled in a way I wasn’t expecting. On Saturday 11 May, I experienced light Braxton Hicks contractions all day (as I had for the two days and nights prior.) We stayed home with my other two girls (Milla, who’d just turned four the weekend before and Honey who’s almost two) and enjoyed our last day as a family of four. Even though the contractions were still very manageable we thought it a good idea to call our wonderful nanny Amy to come and collect Milla and Honey (as we couldn’t get in touch with my parents.) Amy arrived at 2pm and took the girls, and at the same time the labour started to kick in and the contractions began in earnest.
My past two babies were born at night (written about here and here if you didn’t catch them) so I was telling myself to hang in there as I thought I had a while to go. But things were heating up and at about 3.30pm we called our midwife to check in with her. I wasn’t sure she should come over yet but lucky for us, she said she’d come straight away.
Just after speaking to our midwife, my parents (who we’d finally been able to get in touch with) arrived at the house. The plan was for them to take the girls somewhere, but given that Amy had already taken them, they found themselves in the middle of me labouring quite heavily. Needless to say, Dad made a few dad jokes (which I didn’t find too amusing at the time) and quickly exited the scene, and I wanted mum to stay with us, so she did. We had never planned to have her there (she wasn’t at the first two births) but I was so glad that the planets aligned for her to experience it all with us, and welcome in her granddaughter.
At around that time (it would’ve been 4pm by then) I was in the thick of active labour with very strong contractions but still couldn’t believe that I’d have the baby in the day, so kept on saying “hang in there Em, this bubba will come tonight so you’ve got a long journey ahead.” But I couldn’t ignore the fact that there was a lot of pressure going on ‘down there’ and that it felt like the baby was close. I was having intense rolling contractions one after the other walking around the house and out in the backyard and at the kitchen bench – wherever I was at the time!
Our midwife cheerily walked in then (I can’t tell you how much I love this woman and what a joy it has been to go through this pregnancy and birth with her) and suggested I get in the birthing pool which mum and my hubby had started to fill. I hadn’t been in the water at all until then and it was bliss.
I only had about three contractions in total in the pool before my waters broke at 4.20pm, and I was ready to birth the bubba’s head. It was at this moment that our amazing photographer Jerusha Sutton arrived. Jerusha is another phenomenal woman who I was honoured to share Indie’s birth with. At this point, my midwife suggested I change positions so I leant back on my husband to birth the baby. It was exhilarating and incredible! This pic to the right is of me pulling Indie out and you can see I’m smiling because it was just the most wondrous, beautiful experience. I loved it! It’s my wish that every woman can experience birth in such an empowering, positive way.
I loved that my mum got to experience it with us, and I know the memories will stay with her forever. Soon after we’d had the baby we called Amy and she brought the girls over straight away and their reaction was priceless.
I feel very much in two minds about sharing the slideshow of Indie’s birth below with you all. On one hand, it’s a very private and intimate experience, and on the other, I feel so strongly about changing how we view birth that I want to do all I can to support women to believe in themselves. As my midwife says “Birth is safe, and women are strong.” I couldn’t agree more. We must work together to believe in ourselves, in our bodies, and in the beautiful process that is childbirth. Of course there will always be variations to the plan, but if you have a fundamental belief that birth is not something to be feared, and that it should actually be looked forward to, then you’ll be on your way to a fabulous experience (no matter what the outcome.)
I’ve thought loads about the parallels between business and birth. In business as in birth, if you have the right networks, support and mindset, and you’ve done your research, surrounded yourself with positive, skilled people and you believe in yourself, then your probabilities of achieving what you want will be high.
So, I’m putting myself out there by sharing this but I’m proud to do so because it takes courage to live fearlessly. Enjoy the video of Indie’s birth!