We love a birth story. They’re all unique and they’re all special. I usually stick just to UK births, but I hope in this case you’ll agree that Amy’s home waterbirth on the other side of the planet was definitely worth making an exception for. It’s raw and honest, empowering and beautiful.
Amy is a midwife and yoni massage practitioner. (Yes, I had to look that up too), and you can find here here at Temple of She.
Amy’s Home Waterbirth Story
Finally have the time, energy and desire to write my story!
My little girl Winnie came earthside on 21st of December at 8:18pm, under the star of Bethlehem in the middle of the Summer Solstice.
First, a little backstory. I am a midwife, have been for 14yrs. I am also a plus size woman, high BMI. So I entered this pregnancy knowing the kind of birth I wanted for me and my first baby.
Homebirth was very important to me. After facilitating it for hundreds and hundreds of women, it was the norm for me, it’s what I knew.
It took a lot of courage to make it happen, as it meant ‘declining recommended care’. The system saying I should have regular growth scans, doctor appointments and induction at 39 weeks. I decided to follow my intuition instead.
So at 41 weeks I started having contractions in the morning. I was home alone, (staying with family, as my partner is not allowed into the country due to Covid), resting on a mattress on the lounge room floor settled in for a day of Netflix in the aircon eating delicious cherries. Then I had this almighty contraction, couldn’t move, needed to vomit nothing in reach but the cherry bag! Yep, red cherry vomit into the cherry bag.
Waters broke at the same time, going at both ends, stuck on the lounge room floor. Called my sister who was my birth support, and went into the shower to wash off the cherries. Then it was on, straight into intense contractions. 4 hours of walking around the house, swearing like a sailor, I asked my sister to fill up the pool. I needed some kind of relief now.
The pool was amazing, the contractions were so intense, I said “Fuck” with every single one of them, and was much louder than I thought I’d be.
After an hour in the pool, we called the midwife as it was starting to really get full on. I laboured in the pool, doing my own vaginal examinations occasionally, couldn’t switch my midwife brain off. But I couldn’t feel the cervix so had no idea how dilated I was.
My partner was there on video call, he was playing me music and locking eyes with me when I needed. I do remember moments thinking, this isn’t too bad, as in between contractions there was nothing, silence, no pain at all. But with contractions, oh my the neighbours definitely knew I was in labour. As I hit transition my gorgeous midwife suggested I try clitoral stimulation.
I did, and it worked. It didn’t make it pleasurable, but it grounded me like never before. It brought me down, into my pelvis, my vagina, the earth. My sound changed, my breath changed, my mindset changed.
The intensity of 2nd stage came, oh my, that is something else!!! I felt like my pelvis was being pushed open from the inside out! Put my fingers in again, and yep there was head. I remember looking at my partner on video call and saying “she’s coming!”.
I began pushing, again my midwife brain was so afraid of tearing, I sucked her back up a couple times, but knew I just had do it. My clitoris by this stage, was just about rubbed off! I could feel her descending, keeping my hand on her head the whole time, feeling my labia stretching around her head, I held it in my hand. Then I breathed her out, slowly slowly.
The rest slid out into the water where I caught her and brought her to the surface. I did it. And no stitches to boot. An 8hr labour with 20mins of pushing.
She was so calm, quiet and just looking around. Magic. It was incredible.
Labour was everything and nothing like I imagined it to be. I am so fucking proud of myself. I had an amazing team who supported the kind of birth I wanted. To experience it first hand as a midwife was a huge mental challenge, but amazing at the same time.
We really are amazing beings x
Preface to watching the video
This is a video of my birth, the birth of my daughter. I am a bigger woman, I am also a midwife, a Yoni Massage Practitioner and trainer and an empowered woman.
I wanted to birth my way. Being large with a high BMI was a risk factor. But to be honest the risk it posed was becoming a victim of the system. I searched everywhere for videos of women like me giving birth naturally, it was near impossible to find. Let alone homebirth.
So here is mine. For all women, but especially for us big girls. It’s possible to do it your way, naturally, safely, at home.
It took a lot of courage, going against recommended care and working through a shit tonne of fear. But I did it.
This video is real, it’s raw. You hear my sounds, you see my labia opening, you see everything.
Please don’t watch unless you want to see the realities of birth.
Please share, spread it around. Women are made to birth, they just need to take back the drivers seat.
Music Marya Stark – Voice of my Womb
Alexia Chellun – The Power is Here Now
Before sharing this, I really felt the need to have Winnies permission. It took a while, but now both she and I are ready. Please view with open hearts and eyes x
Reflections after sharing the video
Wow. What a whirlwind it has been sharing my birth video with the world.
I knew it was a big decision to do so, and now I understand why. There has been an absolute inundation of love, praise, admiration and awe from women all over the world.
All very welcome of course . But sharing this video was the most vulnerable thing I have done. Of all the content I share here, all the things I have said, the stories I have told of my experiences, thoughts and feelings, this by far was the most revealing if you like.
I was saying this to a friend, and she said “yep, there’s no where to hide”. And that’s exactly it. You hear and see ALL of me in this video. At my most open. Most unguarded.
To birth myself as a mother I had to open completely, my bones, my flesh, my labia, my heart, my emotions, my relationship, all of me. And you got to see it!
So why did I do it? Well for many reasons. Because as a midwife I know the importance of women having access to resources like this. Because as a woman, I am so fucking proud of my power and ability to access the depths of it. And because as a leader, a sexual woman, a fat woman, a practitioner and teacher of Yoni Massage I value authenticity, vulnerability and transparency above all else. Thankyou for witnessing me x
Thank you Amy, for letting us.
You can read more Birth Stories here.