Josh's Birth Story


I have always viewed pregnancy as a nurturing, beautiful and loving time of ones life and I always looked forward to the day when my husband and I made the conscious decision to start our family. My belly took so long to grow and the baby seemed to take forever to start kicking. I loved every single day of my pregnancy and for the first time in my life, loved my body and was happy wearing fitted clothes to show off my beautiful bump. My journey had commenced and I enjoyed every moment.

Being a midwife, I knew how important it was to prepare myself, most importantly emotionally but also physically. I knew the downfalls of a regimented birth plan and had watched many women’s hearts shatter when their in depth birth plan had gone wrong – they did not know how to cope because they had not planned for what was to happen.

I had my views on how I was going to cope throughout my labour and to sum all my views up, I was intending to disassociate my mind from my physical surroundings and focus within – draw on my own inner strengths. I had faith in my body – never once did I doubt that. Hence my preparation for birth was focused on choosing what strategies I would use to accomplish this disassociation. I had chosen a homebirth so I already knew I would be using only heat for pain relief, either with heat packs or in my birth pool. My husband and I talked extensively about what I wanted and his role in the birth. I asked him once “How are you going to handle seeing me in so much discomfort and possibly being quite vocal as well?” He replied that he was aware there was nothing he could do except be there emotionally and that I was the one that would ultimately have to find the strength within to have the birth I wanted.”

I decided to use hypnobirthing as my main tool for disassociation. I was also open to visualisation and picked out photo’s of a beautiful flower (representing my cervix) to visualise it opening up throughout labour. I also took along 1 photo of my favourite place in the whole world to stimulate my thoughts to return there in advanced labour. I did not have to use the pictures but it reassured me that I had back up plans if the hypnobirthing did not prove to be beneficial. I maintained an always positive attitude whilst pregnant never letting fear creep it’s way into my head. I made up my own positive affirmation that I repeated to myself many times each day from around 30 weeks. I still remember it “I trust in my body to birth my baby safely.”

I found hypnobirthing to be my most successful tool by far. I started listening to CD’s by Lorraine Hale around 25 weeks pregnant. Every night I listened to my CD. After awhile, I think I could resite every word of the hour long relaxation and birth scenario but my goodness was I relaxed. I looked forward to my hour of not quite asleep and not quite awake time of bonding with my unborn child. My husband would “spoon” my pregnant body and rest his hand around his child. I knew that was where I needed my head to be – not aware but not asleep – just in that trancelike state that seems to merge sleep and wake together. It remains a beautiful memory. I also had 2 meetings with Lorraine to work through any fears I might have approaching birth but I really did not have any. We also talked about other aspects that may assist such as 10 tips for your support people, positive affirmations and herbal therapy in the last trimester. I would have also enjoyed attending antenatal yoga however I live in the country and this was not accessible.

My husband and I would talk extensively about the upcoming labour and birth. He became more aware of the state of mind I wanted to be in throughout labour and what I required of him. He was also able to voice what were important aspects for him. He knew to only ask yes/no questions, be full of affirmations and praise, not to feel like he was repeating the affirmations – the more the better, offer cold drinks without asking me – just rest the straw near my mouth and do anything I wanted without question really!!!

In preparation for the birth I also walked at least 40 minutes every day to stay active. I also began taking herbal tablets called 5W 5 weeks prior to my due date (these consist of raspberry leaf and other herbs to assist birth).


My membranes ruptured 2 ½ weeks prior to my due date which I wasn’t really expecting being my first pregnancy – mentally I expected to go post dates. Nothing really happened for the first 3 hours – just a lot of amniotic fluid draining. We ate dinner and packed the car ready to make our way from the country to our birth house in the city.

From 9pm my contractions became regular and effective. They came 2-3 minutely and lasted 45-60 seconds which are fantastic contractions to begin labour. I was in the car at the time so I would close my eyes and breathe the contractions through. Because it was at night, I counted the length of the contractions as I was unable to see my watch. This gave my mind something to focus on (counting) and therefore I believe I was unaware of the strength of the contractions. I remember the street lights flicking by and hated the continual interruption. I just wanted to get to our birth house and get into a dark corner. My bowels were also about to explode (I knew this to be my bodies natural way of cleansing itself prior to birth) and I had to concentrate on holding on; this also giving my mind something else to think about rather than the contractions.

Finally at 10.20pm we arrived at our destination. I ran straight to the bathroom, past the tea light candles that dimly lit the room and the beautiful smell of lavender oil burning and stayed on the toilet for 20 minutes or so with the light switched off. I was happy to be in our little place, I could safely labour now. Being a midwife I assessed my cervix hoping I would be 2cm dilated as the contractions I felt were very bearable in my mind. I couldn’t believe it when I found I was 5cm dilated. Things were moving very quickly. I yelled to my husband to “GET THE BIRTH POOL INFLATED AND START FILLING IT! I’M 5CM!” He had the lights on in the kitchen by this stage and I just wanted to stay in my dark bathroom where the toilet was handy. I was feeling as though I was needing a little help to cope and breathe through the contractions so I set my CD up next to me and felt a blanket of calmness come over me when I heard the familiar voice and sounds on my hypnobirthing CD. I could feel the period pain come and go around my pubic area and the heat pack relieved this nicely. I also found pelvic rocking whilst leaning over a high bench was excellent throughout contractions. By closing my eyes I was able to focus inward and the darkness was also very helpful. I really wanted to jump in the shower but all the hot water was needed to fill up the birth pool.

I was becoming a little concerned because my midwife had not yet arrived. I had talked to her only one and half hours previously before I began contracting so she was in no hurry. Soon she arrived and brought all the resus and birth equipment into the house. The birth pool was up and filling which eased my mind as I was very passionate about having a water birth. My midwife came and told me she was here and how clever I must be to dilate so quickly. I was happy to see her and hear her words of encouragement. Everyone continued busying themselves with the preparation whilst I stayed hidden in the dark bathroom focusing inward with every contraction and a friend vigorously massaging my back from top to bottom with every contraction – pure bliss. Soon I felt the urge to return to the toilet so I straddled it back to front so I could continue leaning over and have somewhere to rest my head.

Every contraction that came I would tell myself to relax, drop my shoulders, go floppy like a rag doll and allow all my lower pelvic muscles to relax and allow my cervix to dilate. I would focus on my breathing entering in through my nose, into my lungs, travelling deep before exhaling through my mouth. I would count and I would sway whilst being massaged. Moving about and walking in between contractions was also beneficial for me and what my body naturally wanted. I knew my body would ultimately tell me what it required in labour and I was submissive to this.

Suddenly whilst sitting on the toilet I felt this almighty descending thrust within me with a contraction. At the same time a voice from deep within me echoed in a guttural groan my midwife’s name. She came in pulling a glove on and saying to my husband to quickly get some towels as we would be having this baby in the bathroom. I asked if she wanted to check if I was fully dilated. I knew I was as I cupped the crown of my babies head in my palm. She quickly felt just out of reflex and yes indeed the baby was in a hurry. I was still determined to get my water birth so I managed to get to the floor and crawl across hard tiles to the pool with a bloody pad stuck firmly to my sock.

I could feel the next contraction building so I quickly stood up and climbed into barely 30cm of beautiful warm water. I then was given a 5 blissful minutes until my next contraction. This enabled me to gather my strength and my husband was able to comprehend how close we were to becoming parents. Although I cannot remember the CD, I remember asking for it at this point and my midwife distinctly remembers the birthing scenario on the CD stepping me through my birth. With my midwifes encouraging words, my husband and I worked together to ease the baby’s head out. I remember needing all the control in the world to ease it out ever so slowly with controlled breathing techniques. I remember reaching down and feeling an ear and looking down and seeing a head. With the next contraction my son was lifted up onto my chest and it was only then I realised what an amazing woman I was. For 10 seconds or so, I remember feeling like it was only my son and I in the world. I was hysterically crying and the surge of emotions that came over me was indescribable. The next thing I remember my husband was up by my side and completing our beautiful family. My midwife did not fuss about as Josh took his time taking his first breath.


Within the next few days I found it was difficult to get fall sleep as I was on such a high and also concerned I wouldn’t wake up if Josh cried as I was so tired. I used the CD to encourage me to relax enough to fall off to sleep. We also found Josh settled more easily when the CD was on as he had heard it every night whilst inutero for several weeks previously.

I believe having such an empowering birth gave me the confidence to parent in the way I do. I believe there is a reason why women are supposed to birth naturally. The overwhelming emotion experienced after enduring a birth that you managed all by yourself is indescribable. I feel a much stronger person knowing I was able to experience the birth I wanted. Saying that, to me – birth is the simple bit – it is parenting for the rest of your life that is much tougher. I believe an empowering birth is the best start to becoming a confident parent.

To read more Inspiring Birth Stories - Read the book A Modern Woman's Guide to A Natrual Empowering Birth


From the moment of opening this book it was like taking a deep breath into the soul.  Katrina Zaslavsky has encapsulated inspiring birth stories in this book which will help you to Embrace Your Pregnancy, Overcome Your Fears, Be Inspired, Go Natural and Empower Yourself.