(thank you for your story Raphaella, I am sorry I didn’t get your email address) As with Isabella & Angelica’s birth, Justin & I planned our third unassisted birth. Our plan was to bring our third child into the world as gently and easily as we possibly could. We hoped it would go as smoothly as Angelica’s birth and we wished for our 2 daughters (Isabella, 6yrs & Angelica, 2yrs) to attend the birth

I enjoyed a very active pregnancy that included a few trips to France & Belgium.

I did not seek prenatal care throughout the pregnancy though maintained a healthy diet save for the occasional glass of wine or coffee.

I particularly wanted to reduce the risk of my waters breaking in advance of labor as they had previously so I took extra vitamin C supplements. This worked and my waters stayed in tact until labor. I depended upon Cayenne Pepper tincture to prevent leg cramps throughout the pregnancy & increase circulation.

Isabella & Angelica were both well versed on what to expect during labor through watching other homebirth shows & since Isabella still remembered Angelica’s homebirth, she was very excited to participate again.

We all eagerly awaited the baby’s arrival, expected on the 14th of September.

We planned to have the baby in the lounge room, preferably in the evening. We planned for it to be fast and much like the prior births. We prepared a “birthing box” that contained the usual sheets, towels & blankets as well as:

Cayenne Pepper to stop any excess bleeding or to use to resuscitate the baby if required. It was the only herb we felt essential to have on hand;

Colloidal Silver to spray on the cord before cutting (acts as a natural antibiotic);

Hydrogen Peroxide to spray on the scissors to sterilise;

Rescue Remedy to ease anxiety during labour;

Hot Water Bottle for pain relief;

Arnica to assist healing after birth;

Exercise Ball to use as support during labour

Contractions started at about lunch time. I told Justin to be on hot stand by and estimated the birth to be around 8/9pm as with Angelica. I spent most of the day washing clothes, preparing the house for the birth, playing tennis outside with the girls and dancing to music in the garden. I exercised & moved around a lot to help labour progress.

At around 4pm, the contractions were quite strong so I asked Justin to come home. I had someone over to fix a broken window for an hour while I was in heavy labour though I was quite relaxed and he didn’t realise.

Justin arrived shortly before 5pm so I asked that he & Isabella go to the shops to get some food & drink supplies. I telephoned my parents at around 5pm to let them know to expect a call later this evening with some news.

Justin & Isabella arrived home at about 6.30pm and while I was in heavy labour, I was still quiet & relaxed.

I asked Justin to prepare the lounge room, video camera and a few other things in preparation. He prepared the birthing area with sheets in the middle of the room. The large sliding doors were left open to allow fresh air into the lounge room. It had just been raining so the air was cool and refreshing. The candles along the fireplace were lit as the natural light was fading outside.

The contractions were increasing in intensity but I wasn’t pushing yet. As I went through transition, I didn’t feel the anxiety and loss of control that I had in my prior labours. I sprayed some rescue remedy into my mouth, lay on my side on the lounge suite & sang through each contraction. The singing substantially reduced the pain and helped me experience each contraction with ease.

I rose from the couch and went over to my sheet in the centre of the room. At this stage, the gravity pressure caused the waters to break. I asked Isabella & Angelica to stay off the sheets to give me the space I felt I needed. They quietly and patiently watched from the couch with great interest. I was now aware that I had crossed over into the pushing stage. Justin used the hot water bottle to ease some of pain in my lower back. I knelt on the ground while leaning on my giant exercise ball. After a short while, I was feeling very hot so he poured a glass of cold water over my face & body to cool me.

After a few contractions, I felt the baby’s head descending and asked Justin to come onto the sheets to prepare to catch. I hadn’t moved positions as I felt that I would risk more pain if I moved. The baby’s head emerged. Isabella & Angelica promptly surrounded me to get a better view. They were intensely watching with amazement. Justin supported the head then in the next contraction the rest of her body slid out into his hands. Isabella was overjoyed announcing “it’s beautiful” while Angelica was calling out “Baby! Baby!” She was born at 8.20pm. Isabella was very eager to know whether it was a boy or girl and we were all ecstatic when we found she was a girl.

I held my new daughter while we all looked at her quietly and talked about the event. Justin cleaned up and we sponge bathed our new girl. After two hours, Isabella & Angelica went to sleep for the night & we lay on the couch waiting an extra hour to cut the cord. She was aware when Justin cut the cord & let out a little cry. At around midnight, we took her up to our bed and she slept all through the night. Overall, we were thrilled with the smooth entrance of our third daughter & very happy that her big sisters were able to assist and participate as much as they did. It was a very special, calm & natural event that we will remember fondly for the rest of our lives