Our little baby Arnhem Indigo is sixteen days old today, and I wanted to spend a few minutes writing down my thoughts to express our deep gratitude for MAMA, in particular our incredibly kind and knowledgeable midwife Rachel who I got to know from 20 weeks pregnant.
I fell pregnant with Arnhem in Darwin, where we were living with our two little boys (3.5yrs and 2yrs) and made the decision to relocate to Melbourne quite swiftly, where I knew we would have realistic support of family and friends to welcome a third baby. I flew down at 20 weeks in a mad dash to find us a house and sort out my birthing options. I honestly didn’t know where to start – I’d previously had a home birth and then a hospital birth, so I kind of wanted something in the middle. Naively, I thought I could employ a private midwife, and deliver at hospital. A lovely Melbourne doula, Karli Smith, who I’d connected with on instagram, told me about the MAMA group, and I booked an appointment with both MAMA and a local public hospital. I left the hospital completely deflated, after being told that no private midwife could deliver, and they could be a support but totally hands off. I then met Rachel, at the Hampton clinic, with my good friend and support student midwife, Melissa Humphries – and left the appointment actually excited and confident that I would choose a home birth for this bubba!
As we prepared as a team for this birth, I felt completely supported, and always left my appointments feeling lighter and more confident – often after a massive laugh and joke about how many legs this child would have, he was such a wriggly little thing! I had fears and anxiety rise to the surface from time to time, I suppose residual fear from my first home birth (it was a very long, exhausting event) – but the beauty of having a private midwife who you get to know, is they learn to know what your fears and worries are, and Rachel kept calmly bringing me back to the here and now, offering me advice, knowledge, options and reminding me I can totally make this the birthing experience I want.
The birth itself was true to Rachel and Jan’s predictions – that third babies can be little tricksters – and it wasn’t the neat little eight hour labour I had visualised – it was nineteen hours from the first contraction until Arnhem came into our world, and it was a journey of peace, mindfulness, rising to my personal challenges, overwhelming support and care from my midwives and Mel, my friend, and my husband. At some point we were all sitting around having cups of tea and cake, in the light of the salt lamp. Things started overnight then stopped when the sun rose and our other two little boys got up for the day, I did go through some disappointment that we’d reached day break already with no baby, but everyone helped me to reset my expectations, to re-focus, to get some rest and it all started again around lunchtime, and Arnhem was born, on the couch, before 3pm.
We are incredibly grateful for our experience, thank you.