Carmel's Homebirth Story

I was living in Byron Bay, Australia when I found out I was pregnant.
Since I had no medical coverage, a doctor aqquaintace suggested that I
visit midwife Pam Sonia, who works out of the Mullumbimby Medical Centre
and have a homebirth. Not only was it financially more affordable, it
seemed natural and I had always assumed I would have my baby this way
since I found my sister in law Christine's copy of Spritual Midwifery.
Christine and my brother Sandy sent me my own copy as well as rasberry
leaf tea and back issues of the Compleat Mother! There are so many
practising midwives in this area of Australia and I was lucky to connect
with Pam, who  is also a nurse and  has over twelve years of experience
of catching babies - I think it was over four hundred at last count! She
was very non interference and into natural medicines and homeopathy. The
hospitals are very respectful of homebirths and I would have a bed,
ambulance and Dr. Miller, who reintroduced homebirths to the area, on
call should anything go seriously wrong.

My pregnancy was wonderful - I had no morning sickness, no stretchmarks
(apricot kernal oil and at least twenty minutes of sunlight a day on my
belly), no emotional upsets and I looked and felt fantastic. I had a
great wardrobe of hipster pants, halter tops and angel velour gowns -
great for getting your tummy rubbed!

Four weeks before my due date, I moved house and redecorated, two weeks
before my due date my mum arrived from Canada and we spent everyday
walking around the town and lazing on the beach. My mucous plug came out
and became the centre of many jokes.Then one evening I felt
contractions! Yipee! Mum, Dunk and I were so excited. Pam came by late
in the evening and told me to get some rest - the baby's head was still
not engaged.  Naturally I did just the opposite and was still marching
around the house and yard twenty four hours later when she came back to
check on me! I was only one centimeter dilated! I sat in the tub for a
while, mum and Dunk pouring water on my back,  and then my water things really started to move. I moved around the house and
when I went back to the tub we had run out of hot water. I could hear
Dunk running back and forth to the neighbours to get hot water - it was
pretty funny. When I heard him heating up the kettle in the kitchen, I
thought this is ridiculous - besides I hadn't slept for so long, I was
getting exhausted and I wanted this baby to be born. I decided to move
into the living room and use gravity. Dunk and I tried a few positions
and then decided I would sit in front of his lap because it was the
easiest for all of us and we could all see. I was so proud because I
hadn't yelled or swore or any of those awful negative things that you
hear about. Pam instructed Mum to shine the flashlight while I started
pushing ...the head was crowning...check cord...flash light away... and
True was born by candlelight at 1:56 am. Pam lay him in my arms
immediately - he was healthy and gorgeous! Dunk cut the cord and Gramma
held True while I pushed out the placenta. Forty weeks of pregnancy,
thirty one hours of pre labor and labor and now I was a mummy! We all
went to bed, True snuggled up beside me. Pam and Dr. Miller came the
next day to check on me and baby and Pam came everyday for ten days
after that. True breastfed the next morning and has had a voracious
appetite since...He is fourteen months and still feeding on demand. He
is smart, energetic, extremely happy and smiley and is an amazing little
human being. He goes everywhere with me - first in his sling and now in
his big wheel stroller. Why is he so amazing?  I am sure some is due to
my happy pregnancy and his gentle birth at home, breastfeeding, our
family bed,  the support of my partner and family, the help and wisdom
of Pam Sonia and all the love that is showered on him!

Byron Bay is a great place to have a baby - the support for midwives and
for homebirths and motherhood in general is amazing!

Carmel Debreuil

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