"As a mother and grandmother I felt compelled to write my story about my births and more significantly about the wonderful experience of being present at my youngest daughter’s homebirth of her second child, Ivy Grace." Jan Baxter writes as a grandmother showing her point of view on homebirths, while telling us the amazing experiences she has had with her own family.
As a mother and grandmother I felt compelled to write my story about my births and more significantly about the wonderful experience of being present at my youngest daughter’s homebirth of her second child, Ivy Grace.
I was a young woman when I gave birth to my first two children. They were born in a hospital delivered by an Obstetrician. My mother gave birth to me in hospital and I suppose I thought that was the most appropriate place to birth.
As all births are it was a wondrous experience but like many women I was totally ignorant about the options I could have. When my Doctor suggested an induction at that time it seemed a good idea as you knew when your baby was going to be born. I was assured my baby was ready to be born. I was one of the more fortunate there were no complications with my labour but through most of my labour I was alone with a midwife checking me from time to time. The second birth was a repeat of the first.
My life and point of view took quite a different turn when I became seriously interested in Yoga. I became involved in natural therapies and began to find a lifestyle that allowed me to live in harmony with the universe.
When I fell pregnant with my 3rd child being older, wiser and much more in tune with my body I felt I wanted to be in control of my own labour and birth. I sought a Doctor who was more co-operative and not in such a hurry to induce and recommend epidurals. Still I did not consider a homebirth. It was 33 years ago and I had not heard much about homebirths then.
This birth and the following one of my youngest daughter, Loretta was the most rewarding experience I have ever had. I laboured at home arriving at the hospital not long before the births. Cohen and Loretta were born peacefully without intervention. It was a very special and rewarding experience.
From that day on I knew that when my daughters decided to have children I would whole heartedly encourage them to be informed, confident and positive about the wondrous experience of giving birth.
My passion of Yoga continued and I certified as an Iyengar Yoga Teacher. As a Yoga Teacher I began teaching my Prenatal Yoga Classes with even greater enthusiasm encouraging woman to have faith in their own womanhood and make informed decisions about birthing. Sharing my knowledge and experience has been the most rewarding component of my Yoga teaching.
My daughters followed my advice and gave birth with confidence, their first babies born in a birth centre with midwives assisting. My first grandson was born on my birthday. I was present at all births which is an unbelievable bonding experience with your grandchildren and your daughters.
For Loretta’s second birth she wanted a homebirth with family members present including Damon (her husband) her 7 year old daughter Bella, myself, her Dad and Georgie (the dog) She sought the assistance of midwives to be present. Loretta and Damon prepared together for this birth doing lots of research and deciding they would like a water birth if possible.
The midwives Robyn Dempsey and Jane Palmer were fantastic giving caring advice and support throughout the pregnancy and birth.
We laboured with Loretta as a family all very excited and happy. The labour progressed in a very natural relaxed way in the peaceful surroundings of their home.
To witness new life emerge in such familiar surroundings with all family members giving love and encouragement is something that has to be experienced not spoken.
Ivy Grace was born in water greeted with much love from all.
As a Yoga Teacher I am often amazed how little pregnant women and their partners understand about their bodies and the birth process. As advocates of Homebirth women and their partners need to help educate society of the positive experience of birth and woman’s ability to give birth naturally given the right environment.
Ivy Grace is now 5 months old a happy little baby that is cherished by all.
Jan Baxter is a mother, grandmother and Yoga Teacher, teaching Prenatal Yoga Classes at the PBB Health Centre, North Parramatta.