Born during a global pandemic. A period of uncertainty, fear and lockdown, but also during a time of mass awakening, spiritual growth and awareness, compassion, empathy and a rare time for Mother Earth to heal, a time for families to reconnect, a time for us to all go within and remember what’s important.... a time for rebirth…
A little glimpse of the most delicious experience of our existence. The birth of our little iso baby.... Luna Jewel 🌜... proof that good things do come out of COVID-19 and challenging times
Luna’s birth was beyond beautiful. It was surreal..... so empowering and so incredibly healing on levels I could never begin to describe, after the traumatic birth of our first born, Leo
Born straight into her daddies hands, in the calm and warm water, after a totally undisturbed and unassisted labour and birth, outside beyond the leaves of our big avocado tree and with the first dappled rays of the morning sun. A peaceful and gentle transition for her journey from the stars to earthside. I trusted fully in my body, in my baby, in the birthing process, in the universe.
We decided to share this very special and intimate family moment, as it is my deepest desire for birth to be normalised. For the fear to be removed. For the true essence of birth to be recognised, embraced and welcomed. For women to stand in their power and realise their own strength, and the beauty of the dance that is birth
Gentle birth heals Mother Earth 🌍
Watch The Full Birth Video Here
On the 19th March 2020, we welcomed our little moonstone, our beacon of light, and bundle of pure joy, Luna Jewel. She chose to be born during a time of such confusion and upheaval, purely to fill our hearts with so much love, a distraction from the madness, and a reminder that all is well, all is beautiful.
On the day of Luna’s birth, I woke at what I thought was probably around 4 or 5 in the morning, slightly disappointed that I wasn’t in labour. I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions for a few days beforehand, periodically and never intensely, and had also lost my mucus plug Monday through Wednesday, so I was so sure that I was going to be in labour that night that I even went to bed super early in preparation.
Not long after I woke up, I changed position and instantly felt a change within my body. I stayed in bed for a while and tried not to get my hopes up, but I became increasingly uncomfortable. I really wanted to get into the bath, and it’s amazing reflecting back - having a little Pisces baby, I wanted to be in the water and in the water only from start to finish of labour and birth, nothing else felt right for me. I checked the time while the bath was running and saw that it was only 2:15am. I got in and literally just floated and then clung to the side for each contraction. I knew after about 20 minutes that I was definitely in active labour. Contractions were coming regularly and steadily. I kept silently repeating to myself, my affirmations that I repeated daily during my pregnancy - surrender and trust. Not long after, Luke came into the bathroom and sat with me, and soon realised that I was definitely in labour as well. There was no talking from my end through any contraction.
I had been preparing for this moment for 9 solid months. Longer in fact. consciously, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Id spent every evening journaling, affirming and manifesting Luna’s birth to be pure joy. I soaked up all of the reading I could and stretched my body intuitively. I was so excited to put into place and practice all that I had learnt. I didn’t practice any hypnobirthing techniques, but I did ‘practice’ breath work every day and then combined that breathwork with gentle yoga every night from 30 weeks. I actually made a point of focusing on my breath continually throughout my entire pregnancy. I still do now. I don’t think we realise how healing and necessary a deeeeep breath is. So that’s all I did basically, from the bath to birth. I breathed and I meditated and I surrendered. Fully
I dissapeared somewhere during my labour, another realm, an unexplainable alternate universe and I communicated with Luna the entire time. I always spoke with her about this moment when I was pregnant, and how we were going to work together as a beautiful team, and enjoy this journey for the miracle that it is, whilst also remembering that she too was on an intense journey herself. I felt an extrodinarily strong connection to Luke’s father who passed many years ago, Louie. I knew that he was there and could feel his presence strongly. I felt safe in the knowledge that he was assisting me in bringing Luna earthside. Interestingly enough, Lukes mom had had a dream a couple of nights beforehand (that she only relayed to us after the birth) of Louie in the ocean, playing with one of our children…
I got out of the bath because I was feeling semi restless and thought I should lie on the couch for a bit, which I didn’t end up loving - but I was finding it difficult to communicate that to Luke in between each surge. I just wanted to focus on relaxing the muscles in my body and my face and again - breathwork, But I wasn’t comfortable. In saying that, I still managed to find an element of beauty in each contraction. I was so in awe of what my body was doing, all on it’s own, what it knows to do naturally, what my cells have been preprogrammed to do. I couldn’t help but appreciate and enjoy the process, by simply getting out of the way of my body and mind, and trusting fully in nature, to do what it knows best.
Around 3:30am Luke suggested we call Meg, our beautiful midwife, but I was soo unsure of whether it was the right moment to do so. I didn’t want to ‘waste her time’ and thought that I could potentially labour for the whole day, as my labour with Leo , was 15 hours (plus two weeks of prodromal labour). Something deep in me knew that maybe I was wrong though, as I was feeling this weird pressure and almost a distant desire/signal from my body to push. So I said yes
Meg arrived at 5am, and up until that point I laboured on the couch. Luke had filled up the pool but I just couldn’t vocalise to him that I was unable to get there. I didn’t want to walk, I just wanted to be still where I could breathe and focus. He asked me a few times and I just couldn’t answer. Surges were too close and pretty intense and I literally could not imagine walking to the pool during one of them. So I stayed on the couch, with our precious little Leo, who lay and held me through each contraction. Bless him, he just kept looking up at me with his big beautiful eyes and I swear he KNEW what was happening. He touched my face and cuddled me hard. (One of my favourite photos is a screenshot of a video that Luke took during the beginning of my labour, where Leo had just woken and came straight to me on the couch, wrapping himself around me.)
Luke then called my amazing friend Jessie, who was going to be taking some photos for us as well as my beautiful sister in law, Skye, who also happened to be pregnant too and was coming to offer support by being fully present for Leo. I was never fully aware of who was around. I couldn’t distinguish voices and I probably opened my eyes maybe 6 times throughout my entire labour and then I was gone again, back on my journey to collect Luna
Jessie and Luke helped me to the pool and as soon as I stepped onto our back deck, I felt as though I was high... the setting appealed so beautifully to all of my senses and I felt instantly calm and focused. Our back deck sits under the leaves of a giant avocado and lychee tree and is surrounded by other beautiful fruit trees - mango, lime, mandarin and lemon to be exact. The moonlight was shining so intensely, right at the pool. It was heavenly when I got in, and that was when I checked out properly. The rest was a blur, all 1.5 short hours of it. I laboured under the moonlight and the stars. I had constant words of support and encouragement (poor Luke, I had asked him to please repeat all of my affirmations to me and showed him all of the places on my body I wanted him to press, and when it came to it, I shook my head no at him pretty vigorously 😂)
Icy cold face cloths on my forehead, deep breathing, no resistance, no tensions held in my face or muscles, total surrender, and the calm, gentle background voices were my saving graces. After about an hour, and many ‘how much longers’ to my midwife, Meg, I was feeling a lot of pressure and a strong desire to push. I was very conscious of not forcing it and really wanted my body to take the lead here, which it was starting too. I felt pulled to change positions. I voiced this, and then moved to my knees. My waters broke instantly and I felt significant relief and huge excitement. 8 minutes later, Luna was born. I knew that the pushing sensations I was feeling the entire time meant she was close. My body started to push and I assisted gently. I reached between my legs and could feel her head. I remember having this fascinating thought process in my head and was actually laughing at myself too. It was so strange, it was as if I was watching myself, inside my head, having these thoughts…about me. I remember thinking ‘WOWWWW my vagina is actually like a beautiful flower’…. ‘holy shit, I can feel it unfolding like a flower…. wowwww is this what its like when flowers grow!?’ ‘omg, my baby is coming out of me…. like she’s being born from a flower’ ‘okay… is this when you feel the ‘ring of fire!?’ (didn’t feel that one thank goodness haha)… I have never felt more spiritually in tune, eager, safe and supported in my entire life. A deep and complete trust in the unknown. It felt in this moment as if it was my entire life’s purpose, to set out on this journey to collect Luna from the stars.
The feeling of her descending into my pelvis was such a comforting.... incredible, actually completely indescribable feeling, and when her head was born, it felt sooo good, and only minutes later, her body was born, with the dappled rays of the first morning sunshine dancing all over her calm little body, straight into her daddy’s eager and loving hands.... through my legs, and onto my chest, her big brother watching on with excited and also eager eyes, witnessing the true and beautiful essence of birth, with pure delight. It took me a few seconds to fully grasp what had actually happened, and my first words were ‘what the fuck’. I needed a second to come back to earth, literally. And I was so shocked. I did it…… I did it…….
After a little while, Luke checked, and confirmed that we indeed had a little girl (never a doubt in our minds, but still confirmation nonetheless).
We, as a family, sat in the birth pool for about an hour, waiting for Luna’s placenta to be born, soaking up the pure deliciousness of each moment together as a family of four. After the placenta was birthed, we got up out of the pool and went to our room. No excess bleeding, no vaginal tears, (not even a scrape) no-one touching our baby except us, no fear, no trauma, no rushing, no numbness, no bright lights and machines, no monitors or beeping or crowds of people we didn’t know, no sad or worried expressions. The most empowering, healing, surreal, dreamlike, out of this world experience for which no words to describe it, exist
A totally undisturbed, uninterrupted labour and birth, surrounded by so much love, fairy lights, crystals, candles, affirmations, fruit trees, the perfect birth support team and all of the oxytocin...
Sitting on our bed, as a family of 4, with all 8 of us totally high on oxytocin, laughing and feeling as if we could all run a marathon will undoubtedly remain one of my most treasured memories. Birthing our baby on our back deck, and walking to cuddle together in bed afterwards, was a dream of mine well before Luna was even conceived. Everything that we dreamed of, we manifested totally and trusted fully that it would come to fruition. We planted Luna’s placenta in a beautiful pot under a Tahitian lime tree.
My deepest desire is for birth to be normalised. For the fear to be removed. For the true essence of birth to be recognised, embraced and welcomed. For women to stand in their power and realise their own strength, and the beauty of the dance that is birth. for the entire birth family to be actively and excitedly involved. My entire journey from pregnancy to birth was beyond magical, beyond my wildest dreams and the absolute epitome of the power of manifestion. Never, have I ever felt more myself, more at peace, than when I was pregnant with Luna
I must add that Luke and I never knew the gender. Many years ago we spoke of this little girl that we would one day have, called Luna Jewel (Jewel after Luke’s grandmother). And so when I fell pregnant, we never once doubted, even for a second, that it was Luna in my belly.
To my Luke. Thank you. For never doubting or questioning my desire or ability to birth at home. For trusting that this was the right decision for our family. For never leaving my side during labour. For setting up our birth space exactly as I had dreamed, for the early morning videos and photos. For staying calm, centred and focused. For your presence, love and devotion to the beautiful process, and for delivering our baby girl into my arms so gently and lovinging. I love you endlessly.
To Leo and Luna. Thank you for making us parents, for bringing us back to the present moment, and for showing us all that is beautiful in this world. For reminding us that life is for having fun. You are our everything and our love for you is the purest.
REFLECTING & COMPARING A TRAUMATIC BIRTH & HEALING BIRTH
Two completely different mindsets, understanding, preparation, trust and standing in my own power resulted in two very different birth experiences
A big thing for me during Leo’s birth was this authority complex I had at the time. It was a situation where I felt pressured to say yes to so many things because of the whole ‘I’m in your house, so I guess what you say goes, you know best, you’re the professional’ etc. And then of course when that’s mixed with fear and suggestions that you may lose your baby if you don’t abide, it becomes even more of a stressful situation, out of your control.
Without going into every single detail, Leos birth was seconds away from being an emergency ceasarean under general anesthetic, where I had doctors putting the absolute fear of life into me, that if I didn’t agree, we could lose Leo.
Prior, I had laboured for 15 hours, until I was fully dilated, and was told I could push when I was ready. What’s ready?? I thought, maybe I should just push and see what happens, I don’t feel ready, but maybe I am. Another mind consuming thought I had was, if I don’t have Leo soon, maybe they will tell me to go home and come back later, and I just couldn’t face that car trip again after having already done it twice that day already. I didn’t want my labour to stall, again.
I had about 10 people in the room after the resuss/code blue button was pressed, when Leo’s heartrate dropped after I started to push when my body and baby weren’t actually ready. The “pushing” eventuated in a swollen cervical lip. Everyone was rushing around in complete panic with bright candescent lights turning on, beeping noises coming from everywhere and everything, sending Luke and I into a state of complete panic. Luke covered my face with both hands. No smiles, no excitement. Just praying and crying and fear and terror.
I’ll be forever grateful to my midwife who stood her ground and insisted on monitoring Leo’s heart rate which bought us more time before having to be rushed off to theatre. It rose and I was then given two options by the same doctor. Have an epidural to prep you for a ceasarean
.... have an epidural to prep you for a ceasarean, if Leo’s heart rate drops again, or - go under general anaesthetic. With only those two options I chose the epidural at fully dilated and felt completely failed by my body. I was placed in stirrups, numb and drugged out and that’s when my idea of birth turned into a clinical, stressful, foreign, unpleasant event that I had no part to play in, right before our eyes.
Unbeknownst to me, and without my consent, a fetal scalp electrode (spiral wire) was screwed into Leo’s scalp to monitor signs of distress (...let’s see how distressed you are, by screwing this wire into your unborn head.... 🤦🏼♀️) followed by a very, very intense vacuum extraction.
Luke, bless his beautiful and strong soul, covered my face with his hands the entire time, protecting me from the intensity and sadness of what was occurring with our son’s birth, continually whispering ‘everything is going to be okay’. and because I couldn’t feel and push with my distractions, I was told that I’d need an episiotomy with the vacuum extraction. I said ‘please no’ and was told - ‘okay then, well push this baby out and beat me to it.’ Firstly, the pressure I placed on myself in that moment was enormous, I screamed and pushed so hard until the point of feeling like my eyeballs were honestly going to explode. It took me almost two years to forgive myself for not being able to ‘push my baby out’ which resulted in him being pulled out. I couldn’t feel any of the sensations I needed to feel, in order to birth Leo ‘on my own’.
After three weeks of prodromal labour and 15 hours of active labour, I was beyond exhausted and gave up completely. I felt nothing. I didn’t care what happened beyond then. I just lay there, defeated and numb, while they pulled Leo out, with a lot of force, placed him on me for a split second and then he disappeared before my eyes to the special care unit for 4 hours of monitoring. In the video my mum took, you can see my hands lingering in the air, desperate for them to give me leo...
How I ‘achieved’ a
deeply healing home birth
…… after a traumatic hospital birth
…… I share a lot about birth on here. To say that I am passionate is a huge understatement. I truly believe, with every fibre of my being that it is one of my souls missions in this lifetime, to be a part of the deep and necessary healing of the sisterhood birth wound. To help inspire, educate and support other women and families, and consciously guide them to a place of trust, based purely off my own journey of experiences, learnings, trauma and healing. I would not have healed my birth wounds and in turn assisted in the journey of healing Leo’s, if I hadn’t worked long and hard, to get to the point of fully trusting in birthing our Luna at home. One day, when my children are a little older, I will be a doula, a dream that I cannot wait to manifest into reality.
I feel that perhaps through the raw sharing of my own journey from maiden to mother, experiencing repeated miscarriages, one incredibly anxious pregnancy (how could I possibly trust my body to carry and birth this very desired baby.... after three previous losses!?!?) with heavy reliance on the medical system, to one delicious pregnancy of complete and utter surrender and trust (my theme words through my pregnancy/labour/birth and life in general)... a pregnancy where I was just.... pregnant. No testing or checking or fear or stress or panic or appointment after appointment after damn appointment. No googling for hours every day. Just trust. Total trust in my baby, trust in my body, trust in the universe that I and my baby are fully protected - and trust in the process of birth, birth that my cells were preprogrammed for. Leo’s was a traumatic hospital birth that stayed with me until the birth of Luna - a healing home birth where I too was reborn and will never be the woman I was prior. Where both my partner and my son were able to witness the very real beauty of birth, something I wish to expand on in a future post.
It is my deepest desire, and I feel one of my biggest callings, to help facilitate healing and trust, in whatever capacity I can.... to my fellow sisters, and in turn, their loved ones in hope that it may help prevent and also heal birth trauma that they themselves, their babies, and families may be struggling with. Birth trauma is so real, and I don’t believe that it is validated enough, or spoken about enough. Women need to know that they are not alone, that their experience is so valid and that they are entitled to feel what they are feeling, all of it. I want to use my voice to help those that cannot use theirs, who feel powerless and helpless. I know how much I needed someone like me back then, someone who had experienced both sides of the birth coin.
I wish (but trust that my path took the direction that it should have, to bring me to where I am today) that I had reached out after the birth of Leo and found other mothers who had found some healing of their birth trauma, as I suffered deeply and mostly in silence for almost 15 months. ‘I have a baby, and he’s healthy’...... I thought. ‘What do I have to complain about?’ (Sigh... such a sad statement really, one that is far too common and one that delays healing and prolongs suffering) I felt such immense guilt for feeling feelings other than absolute joy and ecstasy. I lived every single moment in complete and utter terror that I’d lose Leo, or Luke. Or that I’d never feel completely happy again. I felt guilt for those who weren’t as lucky as I was, to have a baby in their arms. I felt ashamed. Yet, I ached for someone to reassure me that this is not how birth is supposed to be, that the fear and negative stigma associated with birth is not accurate. That a woman can birth in her power, as she is built to. That you do not need a team of people, to birth your child for you. Leo’s birth set me on an intense journey and path of learning and self discovery, where I had to relearn how to trust in my body again, and soak up absolutely everything that I possibly could about birth...... and that is where my passion began.... I cannot wait for the day where the true essence of birth is globally recognised, embraced and welcomed. For all women to stand proudly in their own power and strength and fully witness the beauty of the dance that is birth.
Over the last few months, I’ve received many messages from well meaning mothers, (it’s what inspired this post actually) who too have suffered significant birth trauma, and have expressed how triggered they were by Luna’s birth, and that they wish that they could have experienced something similar. That they crave that. I have such conflicting feelings when I receive these messages. Deep.... deep understanding, empathy and compassion, I feel emotionally connected to every woman that I speak with about their birth experience, and I validate it.... because I TOO was so triggered by any birth experience that was even a smidge less painful and scary than mine was with Leo. ‘Why me!?’ And then by the same token, I think just HOW incredibly hard I had to work, to move past the wounds and trauma, to get to a point in my life where firstly, I could even explore the idea of being blessed with a second child (I couldn’t face the possibility of another birth experience like Leo’s - which I thought was more or less how every birth was....I actually didn’t even realise that one has birth and reproductive rights...) and then.... getting myself to a point, pre pregnancy with Luna, where I reached a decision that if I were to ever fall pregnant again, that I would birth in the comfort of my own home. HOW. on. Earth.... could I be totally comfortable and okay with that, when all of the birth stories I had ever really heard, were ones painted with the brush of hospital policies, procedures and completely unnecessary processes..... that always. ALWAYS. ended with some variance of medical intervention or emergency for mother, child or both. I chose to practice total trust and surrender. Preparing my body through nutrition and stretching. Cultivating a positive mindset though meditation and deeply studying the body’s NATURAL response to the birthing process. I truly believe that Luna’s birth was a result of careful and intentional planning. I spent 9 +++ months, working in every single way that I possibly could, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually to prepare myself for Luna’s arrival. Her birth is the purest definition of manifestation at its finest. Totally uninterrupted, undisturbed and just too beautiful for words.
I had my best friend film Luna’s birth and I put together a very raw video that I chose to share publicly with the entire world, not to show how pretty our birth space was, but for the sole purpose of proving that a healing birth after a birth riddled with fear, terror and trauma, was indeed possible. I knew that Luke needed healing from this birth also, and I wanted my son to be present also (I believe that they are so much more connected to the spirit world and birth process than we give them credit for). I chose to share the most sacred moments of mine and my families life, with everyone....... to contribute to the global shift of normalising birth and encouraging a supported and safe birth environment. To inspire. To assist in the prevention of birth trauma for all of the babies and mothers to come. To help support, motivate, spread love and joy and positivity, to continually preach louuudly how just damn beautiful and natural and normal birth is, to share how I was able to ‘achieve’ such a birth... and how you too, can choose to birth your baby this way, and in turn, be born again, yourself..... thus igniting a passion within you, just like me - to scream it from the rooftops.
BIRTH. IS. BEAUTIFUL. BIRTH IS NORMAL. WOMEN ARE CAPABLE. Women are fucking goddesses.
You are a fucking GODDESS. and you can do anything, that you put your mind to.... what you desire for you, is destined for you.
I love you so much. You are strong and brave and powerful.
Written by Wombsister Kate