Pregnant woman lying on grass

Home birth – a woman’s right to choose

In Community and Relationship by LivingNowLeave a Comment

Why is this such a hard thing for the AMA (Australian Medical Association) of 2009 to finally accept? Acupuncture, homoeopathy, chiropractic, finally there’s been a meeting (melting) of the minds – but home birth? No!

May I share a shortened version of my three births.

Number One: Induced labour. 1971. Supposedly two weeks overdue. Into Epworth overnight, sleepless due to being in a ward of screaming babies being fed, a 9am inducement (the pain of having the cervix forced open and waters broken like nothing experienced ever since), a 28 hour full force labour with drugs, the last extra 6 hours due to an emergency twin delivery taking precedence. I was given an injection to slow me down and get back in line. My beautiful son born, held up, placed on my sheeted, swathed body, legs in stirrups, my hand goes to touch his sweet flesh, my body, my blood, only to be slapped hard by a nurse who hissed, “Don’t you touch him, you’re not sterile!”, and yes, I apologised and watched him being taken away, and only hours later allowed to hold him to me!

Number 2, 1974. Induced again because my gynaecologist was due at a conference in South America. Horrific, unsupported labour despite the effort to go with psycho prophylaxis, but given pethidine at the end which blew my mind but left the pain. A daughter, my daughter! A quick touch then whisked away, wrapped in silver foil like a chicken and again, never holding this child of my heart until hours later, presented like the main dish. I unswathed her to count her toes.
And so there I was, pregnant again in 1981. I swore on my soul that I would never again enter a hospital for a birth. I found John Stevenson (later disbarred) and midwife Lya Shaked, herself due two weeks after me. Two days before the birth I experienced for the first time the ‘show’

How amazing! I was ready. A fireside, my best friends, my sister, my children and the father. A wondrous labour, Lya massaging the perineum which, even after two episiotomies, didn’t even tear. My loved ones around me, she came through me into this world, placed in my naked arms, soft to my naked flesh, she came, this beautiful daughter, our love child, and with her umbilical cord still inside me, she looked at me first, her black eyes boring into me and inside my head. As I gazed into this infinite universe, I heard a wise voice say, “This is who I am. This is where I’m from, and now I’m going back into this baby”, and with that the eyes zipped to normal pupils and she let out a lovely cry, happy, laughing, gurgling. The father cut the cord, and held her, flesh to flesh, then he placed her in the warm bath and she opened like a flower. We cried, we loved, we grew together all of us. That is home birth.

How dare you even propose to take that away from us, from the fathers and from the children? How dare you even think to make this miracle of life ILLEGAL!?
By Suzanne Ingleton

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