Melbourne Doula

Welcome to 'Melbourne Doula', the place where I share what birth work is teaching is me, and what I am learning from the wonderful families who have invited me to share this most special season of their lives. Here you will find information about me and the doula services I provide, birth stories from remarkable women and their loved ones, as well as all kinds of resources to enrich your own journey of discovery. And welcome also to BLISSFUL HERBS, the home of beautiful herbal teas and bath herbs to support wellness through every season of life.

Fleur & Zac's Homebirth

Finding out we were pregnant came as a surprise... we had been married 6 weeks, I was on the pill and we were a week away from a one month holiday around Europe (supposed to be the last big hoorah before we started trying!). However, as fate would have it, we were blessed with not having to ‘try’ at all.
We booked into a Family Birthing Centre and until 18 weeks attended all of our appointments there. We started questioning what we were doing when we continued to leave the appointments feeling like something wasn’t quite right. When we asked certain questions we were told they’d be discussed later on in the pregnancy and we felt like the care we were after, and the ability to do things our way were gradually starting to slip out of our control. I realised pretty quickly that how I had always imagined my labour to progress was not going to happen in a hospital environment.

We made an appointment to meet with Julie Bell, a Doula and after meeting with her, we were 100% certain that a homebirth was the track we were going to head down. Coming from NZ where home birthing is fully funded by the government and considered fairly ‘normal’, this felt like the most obvious decision for us to make.

After contacting Midwives Naturally, Nicola Dutton became our primary caregiver and Mal Morenski our secondary midwife. All of the appointments from 20 weeks onwards were in our home enabling our midwives (and our Doula) to get to know us better by seeing us in our own environment and the place we planned on giving birth to our baby. Any concerns or questions we had were answered in an environment where the clock wasn’t being watched and where we truly knew that our best interests were at heart.

I wasn’t prepared for the opinions of those around us who were not as fortunate as us to understand the benefits of a homebirth. Both Zac and I had grown up in households where so-called ‘alternative ways’ were completely normal for us. Zac’s father is a Chiropractor and Herbalist and Zac is a Chiropractor. My mother is a Homeopath and my sister and brother in law Chiropractors also. I had worked as a Project Officer for the Maternal and Child Health sector at the City of Melbourne so had received a lot of opinions (not all positive) about our decision.

Maz was due on the 17th of February and on the morning of the 15th, I woke up to my waters well and truly breaking! We had been assured that first time mums usually labour at least 24 hours so we phoned the midwives and doula to let them know and Zac headed off to work. At about 10:30, when the contractions were coming fast and strong, I knew things were going to progress a lot quicker than previously thought and I phoned Zac, telling him he needed to get home very quickly to get the birthing pool ready!

From here, it all feels like a bit of a blur!

Julie arrived first and was absolutely fantastic. For all of those males who wonder what a Doula really does, all you have to do is watch them with your girlfriend/wife/partner when they talk them through an excruciating contraction and help them into different positions that can help to slow the labour and ease the pressure and you’ll well and truly realise their worth! Julie was with me through the most intense part of my labour allowing Zac the time to fill the pool, to adjust me throughout the labour, to give me homeopathic remedies and to just be with me.

I had done lot of reading and researched the birthing process in depth and as a result, felt very in control during the whole of my labour. I knew each stage I was in and completely trusted my body to do what it needed to do, and trusted that my baby knew what he needed to do to come into the world. When I finally made it into the birthing pool (about an hour before Maz was born) I felt very at ease and at peace with all that was happening. I only had to push once, as the rest of the time I let the contractions do the work. Between contractions, I was so deep in my own world I even fell asleep at one point. When Maz’s head was born, it was 4 minutes before the rest of his body followed. I was not rushed, I was not told to push, he was not pulled or forced out. It happened naturally and slowly and in our own time. I was in no hurry and Maz entered the world in his own time. A total labour time of 3 hours and 50 minutes.

I had the most amazing birthing experience, and was on the biggest high with Zac post birth. Maz fed from my breast in his first hour of life, was a thriving 9 pound baby and after cuddles with his Mummy and Daddy and both sets of Grandparents, he slept through the night.

It still amazes me when people say how 'brave' they think I was to have a baby in my own home. The truth is I think people who have babies in a hospital are braver. Zac and I believe that by having Maz in our own home that we gave him the best possible start to life. I had an absolutely amazing labour and we delivered a beautiful, healthy, absolutely perfect baby boy.

This is what being in your own space, and being surrounded by people who know what you want and who you completely trust does. I cannot imagine having the same experience in a hospital, with medical staff who we haven’t necessarily met and staff changes half way through, in a bed I’d never slept in, and a shower and toilet that weren’t mine. I had no internal examinations; I was not touched by anyone else or told to do anything that didn’t feel comfortable. Maz wasn’t poked or prodded before or after he came into the world. I was never offered a drug for pain relief and knew I didn’t need it. We were 100% free from interferences of all kind. My birthing team delivered on all expectations.

1 comment:

Eme said...

I love the story and would like to use it and the accompanying photo in a little training for my board of directors. I am the president of the board of directors for a midwifery college. Wanting to ask permission to share your story and photo (no financial personal benefit, just asking out of respect.)