Anna, partner and baby shortly after birthI had the absolute privilege and joy of birthing my third baby through the Westmead Homebirth Service.

As a Midwife, I have a great appreciation for birth and the importance of birthing in a place where one feels safe and valued. I have had two previous normal vaginal births through a midwifery group practice birth centre. When pregnant with my third baby, I returned to enlist the care of my birth centre midwife, however, due to COVID19 restrictions, the centre was temporarily closed. My Midwife discussed various options available to me and I contacted Westmead Home Birth service early in my third trimester.

We met with Lynelle, one of the Midwives, to discuss both my suitability and decide if a homebirth might be something we wanted. Upon meeting Lynelle I felt immediately at ease. She brought a calm reassurance, complimented with a confident clinical capability! After a long visit with her, I was once again VERY excited about birth. Lynelle came to our home for midwifery appointments. My children loved being involved with the care, listening to their little brother’s heart beat and talking about baby’s growth and position and so for the first time in the pregnancy (due to COVID19) the pregnancy became a family event.

Kids helping mum inflate birth pool

The kids and Chris had such a fun time preparing the birthing space by blowing up the birth pool provided by the hospital, lighting candles and warming heat packs. We played music and I helped bath the kids between contractions – these were things that I thought I would prefer not to do in labour – but it helped pass time and the kids mellowed out a bit as they sensed what was happening. We gave our children the option to be part of the birth, we had talked about what would happen and they had watched their own birth videos – but as the afternoon progressed they both decided they would prefer to wake up to baby in the morning – I think they realised they weren’t quite up for the intensity of the birth experience.

Anna in the birth pool in labour

We had been in contact with Lynelle throughout the day and as contractions increased in regularity, she travelled over to our home. The relief at not having to coordinate child care and car travel to the hospital was significant. Tucked away in the privacy of my own home, I felt so at peace and safe. I could feel my little one kicking away throughout the labour, nudging into position. My son and daughter would sometimes dash into the room to check progress and, in the nicest way, it made the whole labour pass in a very normal, Friday afternoon activity kind of way!

I am filled with joy for the little life that was birthed! Our home has been imprinted with a life changing experience.

My husband reflected that he felt much more included in this birth.