Prior to the birth of my daughter Mika, I really didn’t think motherhood was for me. That all changed when I met Rufus on my travels around Asia. For the longest time simple living and everything all natural was how I have been trying to live my life. Even though I wasn’t thinking of having children I was fascinated by some of my favourite YouTubers natural birth vlogs and the methods of childbirth I had heard of during my travels in Asia. After falling pregnant and hearing other women’s birthing experiences (both medicated and natural) for me an all-natural home-birth was the only option. I have never felt 100% relaxed in a hospital and I was concerned I would not be heard, respected but forced into taking certain steps I didn’t want to. However, my partner Rufus had always been concerned about the health risks and had wanted us to give birth in a hospital. Thankfully, he was open-minded enough to research the options. Through his cousin we heard about Crystal, I messaged her straight away and we were able to schedule a consultation almost instantly.

Honestly, the consultation felt more like myself and Rufus were just going for a casual meet and greet with Crystal and her partner Jeremy. Don’t get me wrong, it was super relaxed but super informative. They showed us the birthing room and birthing pool and told us everything we wanted to know to the point where even my partner was convinced that this was perfect for us. After confirming we were good for a home-birth we signed with Midwife by Nature. The appointments leading up to the birth were great with no need to queue and very informative. At every appointment we would ask countless questions (first time parents) and Crystal was always glad to answer them and would ask us if there was anything else we might want to know. We were due another check up before due date but the baby had other plans.

The night I went into labour my partner Rufus went out for the evening alone after I expressed I really wasn’t feeling it despite being someone that loves to be out and about. Something told me I needed to be at home with myself and the bump, rest and not talk to anyone. I had a nice dance with my belly in the shower and massaged the bump as usual before getting into bed. Shortly after I felt a huge damp patch in the bed between my legs. In the beginning I thought it was just a lot of cervical mucus but then I leaked all the way to the toilet and decided to message Crystal. I was so nervous to sound the ‘baby is coming alarm’ that I sent her a beautiful image of the wet patch on my bed to check that it was, in fact, my waters breaking. She assured me that was my waters breaking and to start timing contractions using the APP she had previously recommended. I sounded the alarm and Rufus came back home as quick as he could, I had to tell him to calm down ha! I told him what I wanted was a very calm, Zen environment. I breathed through the contractions and sent screen shots of their length and frequency to Crystal regularly and then she told us to pack our bags and head her way.

Even though I never got round to sending Crystal my birthing plan she seemed to know exactly what I wanted even though I didn’t. I had brought essential oils but didn’t use them, I had Hill-songs playlists, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey playlists but didn’t play them. In the end we just kept the room dim and silent while I focused on my meditative breathing. Side note: I highly recommend yoga and mediation to all expecting parents!  Once the contractions became more intense (around 5cm dilated) I grabbed two combs and squeezed the teeth into my palms as a form of acupuncture which relieved the intensity of the contractions immensely. Crystal stayed close to check on my and my partner constantly massaged my back until I could get into the birthing pool.

At 8cm dilated I got into the pool and the warmth of the water was amazing pain relief.

Crystal rotated between pouring the water all over my back and giving my back deep massage. Her poor hands! My partner held me and offered support as I squatted and began to push. Crystal was also providing incredible verbal support too and told me to just listen to my body, push when I want to push and rest when I want to rest. Honestly, being told that meant more than you can imagine. It meant I could totally just relax and switch off to everything around me, focus on breathing, listen to my body and not be forced into doing anything that didn’t feel natural. As a result of not taking any numbing pain medication I was able to know that it was time to push. Soon after getting in the tub Crystal told me should could feel the head. I pushed a little more with her encouragement and then after only a few minutes of pushing my daughter arrived. Crystal caught her and brought her onto my chest and got me breastfeeding. This moment was like nothing I nor my partner could have ever imagined. It was magical, just me, Rufus, Crystal, and the baby we all brought into the world.

After leaving the pool I lay on the bed to release the placenta, Rufus cut the cord after taking a photo and then gave her skin to skin and burped her. Crystal weighed her and gave her the vitamin K shot and eye drops and then left us (the new family) to rest in bed together until we felt ready to leave. The aftercare with Crystal was amazing. She told us everything we might need to know so we wouldn’t get any nasty surprises and so we would know how best to spend the next few days. Her husband, Jeremy was also fantastic and told me not to worry and gave me the confidence to believe I won’t break my baby. If we are every blessed with another child we would do this birth again, no doubt.

A natural birth is not something to fear but a wonderful challenge our bodies were built to conquer. I would like to thank Crystal and Jeremy for giving us the ability and confidence to have our dream birth. Myself and my partner felt heard, respected and in safe, experienced hands. Thanks to Crystal’s constant support I can confidently say that for me, labour was not difficult but a challenge and the pain was not unbearable but something I could manage. Thanks to Jeremy I can hold and burp the baby without fear of breaking her. We felt joy and calm throughout our time with Midwife by Nature and I would recommend them to anyone and everyone hoping to have such a birth.