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Episode 256


In this week’s episode I interview Zion who birthed her first baby at home with the support of a private midwife and a doula. She fell pregnant after a miscarriage and navigated the nausea of her first trimester with plenty of rest and birth research before leaping into the second trimester with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. She laboured for 16 hours in the comfort of her home and birthed Kaya as evening fell.

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“It was a twin pregnancy in the beginning. I found out I was pregnant really early and the lines were really strong. I got an ultrasound at six weeks because I wanted to know my dates and it was obvious that there were two sacs. The sonographer wasn’t saying much and the doctor said that one was already significantly smaller. I stopped having scans after fifteen weeks because I realised that if I had never had those early scans, I would never have known it was a twin pregnancy and I wouldn’t have gone through that grief. I definitely tried to remain positive and Isaac and I really held on to the belief that the second baby would make it but it wasn’t to be,” says Zion.

Her mother birthed two of her three children at home so it was something Zion always knew she was going to do. “I just always opt for the most natural option in life and I opted for a private midwife for my birth. She was amazing, she just wants everyone to have the opportunity and support to birth at home so I just paid her via a payment plan and she cared for me through pregnancy, birth and postpartum.”

Zion spent a lot of time in bed during the first trimester, eating plain foods which she admits were hard to keep down. She researched a lot and watched a lot of birth documentaries with her partner, Isaac. The Business of Being Born was what really convinced him that homebirth was their best option.

“The second trimester was beautiful; I loved it, I exercised and did yoga , I was cooking and eating well and I had lots of energy. My mum passed away when I was 10 and I know she would have been at my birth so I hired a doula, Liz, and she was so lovely. I knew I wanted a doula to be a mother figure, a woman who had been through it before to hold me emotionally and in postpartum too. I asked her to come early in labour because I wanted to feel safe. I was so excited, not really nervous at all.

“My birth plan was dot points, notes on my phone; let me do my own thing, please be hands off. I wanted it to be like a freebirth with the support of my midwives. I didn’t want to be checked…I wanted to be really alone. Isaac was by my side the whole time and my doula was getting me food and water and wet cloths.

“I had mild cramps – I had all the signs that early labour was happening but I just didn’t believe it was happening. I was silent through a lot of contractions. My doula came at 8am and she was so comforting; her and Isaac were filling vases with flowers and she was trying to feed me but I really couldn’t eat. She told me to get out of the pool and walk around…the midwife and photographer came over around midday. If I had of known how long labour was going to go for, I’m not sure I would have called them so early.”

“When I was out of the water I really didn’t like it; I was walking and squatting and Isaac was supporting me. I never really felt the urge to push but I did it anyway and as I was pushing I had to vomit each time and it reminded me of a trip I’d had a few years ago when I felt like I was rebirthed. And after birth you feel so quiet and inwards and changed. The whole time I felt like I was tripping; I was giddy and light. Right after birth I felt like I was raging, like on magic mushrooms. I couldn’t push and vomit at the same time but once I’d vomited everything up I was pushing, Isaac was in the pool and then my waters broke and she was crowning. My doula was amazing, she just kept telling me the right things even if I didn’t want to do it, but I did and I had a few contractions standing and that’s what really brought the baby down. She came out all at once and I got her out of the water and untangled her. I didn’t know I was having a girl, I thought I was having a boy.

“They helped me out of the pool and I birthed the placenta on my bed. I was really scared to birth it because everything hurt but it was actually really easy. After a while the midwives just left Isaac, Kaia and I to cuddle together, it was beautiful.”

Zion has found the past five months of breastfeeding to be quite challenging and she admits it still isn’t easy. Attachment issues at the beginning have resolved but Zion was recently diagnosed with dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER) where she gets either anxious, sad, depressed or moody when she has a let down. It’s ultimately a chemical reaction to the let down reflex and while she says it’s challenging, she also often forgets she has it.

Topics Discussed

Home water birth, Dysphoric milk ejection reflex, Doula, Private midwife, Breastfeeding

Episode Sponsor

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