Since I was a young girl I have been intrigued by birth and its potential to be a powerful initiation into motherhood. I have been blessed to be amongst women who celebrate birth and the door it opened for them to experience their own strength and power in a new way. These women led me to Mama when I found out I was pregnant.
Tully was a surprise that my husband I found out about on our honeymoon. It is so nice to think back to our wedding and know he was celebrating with us. I really enjoyed being pregnant and found the support of Jan throughout this stage wonderful.
I was told by a friend that I would get the birth I needed. I definitely got the birth I needed. With the support of two midwives, my husband, my sister-in-law and my best friend, I was able to ride through each contraction. I danced, sang and rocked with them all. Things were progressing fast and smoothly until Jan detected I had a swollen cervix lip. When the urge to push came I had to hold off for three hours. Three hours of chanting ‘ha ha hoo’, three hours of trying different positions that would hold back that huge urge, three hours of holding on tightly to various hands.
When I heard those sweet words, ‘you can push now’, I was in the birthpool. Ollie, my husband, cried tears of relief. I was finally able to let my body take over again and go with those urges. I grabbed onto the sides of the birthpool and pushed and pushed, excited about meeting our baby. His head was close but it kept on coming forward and back with each push and I was getting tired. Mary, my midwife said, “Come on Rachel, give it everything you’ve got!” I pushed with all my might but he still wasn’t budging.
Kelly, the other midwife then suggested I get out of the pool to let gravity help me. I was scared to get out of the water but trusted those midwives completely. They got me on the sofa with my legs up near my head. Ollie grabbed one leg, Mary the other and Kelly was behind me. With that position I could feel things opening in a new way. I found a new strength inside me and allowed myself to stretch beyond what I ever could have imagined. With some huge pushes Tully Jida Macindoe popped his head into this world. I then squatted and his body followed. With a flood of endorphins Ollie and I held our new baby. We did it!
To birth my baby at home with such competent midwives was a huge gift to our family. For the entire process of creating and birthing Tully we were able to avoid the medicalisation and fear surrounding birth. Our check ups were over cups of tea, our birth plan meeting was over a meal and Tully’s birth was in our lounge room.
Now as a new mum whenever I look at the spot where Tully was born I feel a huge sense of pride. My birth empowered me as a woman to enter this transition into motherhood with a knowledge that I can get through any challenge that arises.
Tully means Peaceful and Jida means warrior. We chose this name for our son because we love the sound and the meaning and already we see him living into it. He is tall and strong like his father and loves peacefully taking in his surroundings.
We are so grateful for the love and support we got and are still getting from Mama. We have called Jan many times in the hard and confusing moments asking for advice and she says just the right thing to ease our minds. This allows us to fully enjoy this amazing adventure.