You describe your podcast of birth stories as a library, but it’s really so much more than that. It’s a growing generous community, that you can go to for unfiltered truths about birth (surprisingly a rarity in the world of pregnancy and babies!). What was the catalyst for starting this amazing resource?
Six years ago, while pregnant with my first son, I had hoped for a drug-free birth in a birth centre attached to a Melbourne public hospital. Not long into labour, I was already four centimetres dilated. I thought, “Yes! I’ve got this in the bag!” How wrong I was.
Niko arrived blue and not breathing 36 hours later. In that time, I had been transferred to the hospital and had an epidural and induction. When Niko’s heart rate dropped, an episiotomy and forceps helped to get him out. The doctors performed some miracle that had him breathing and back with me within a few minutes. But then I haemorrhage almost 900 millilitres of blood. Fortunately, the skilled midwives quickly got the bleeding under control.
I was relieved that Niko was safe and had nothing but praise for the medical staff. But the experience rocked me. I felt like a deer in the headlights and that if I had known more about birth, I would have been more prepared to deal with some of what unfolded.
Determined to be more prepared for a future pregnancy, I threw myself into research to better understand the physiological aspect of birth.
Being armed with more knowledge meant I wasn’t fearful when I entered the birth centre again. Hypnosis skills and opening up to contractions instead of resisting them were some of the techniques that I believed helped me through two beautiful, and less stressful, births.
During my research, I was only able to find American birth stories and I craved hearing Australian experiences in Australian hospitals with procedures and policies which were relevant to me and my care. So after an incredible second birth experience I decided to record my own birth story and that of close friends and family and the show grew from there.