The homebirth of Indie Isaacs

10.06.13 | Posted in Parenting

Hi everyone! It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks since giving birth to my third baby girl, Indie. I was lucky to have the best birth ever with her and bounced back really quickly which has meant I’ve been back in the Business Chicks office and enjoying these precious newborn days with her too. The pace means discretionary time is virtually non existent! Life with three children aged four and under is hectic, but whenever I get a little overwhelmed I think of a couple of women in my life that have five and eight children respectively, and remind myself that I’m actually really, really blessed and I have not a thing to complain about.

My labour with Indie unravelled in a way I wasn’t expecting. On Saturday 11 May, I experienced light Braxton Hicks contractions all day (as I had for the two days and nights prior.) We stayed home with my other two girls (Milla, who’d just turned four the weekend before and Honey who’s almost two) and enjoyed our last day as a family of four. Even though the contractions were still very manageable we thought it a good idea to call our wonderful nanny to come and collect Milla and Honey (as we couldn’t get in touch with my parents.) She arrived at 2pm and took the girls, and at the same time the labour started to kick in and the contractions began in earnest.

My past two babies were born at night (written about here and here if you didn’t catch them) so I was telling myself to hang in there as I thought I had a while to go. But things were heating up and at about 3.30pm we called our midwife to check in with her. I wasn’t sure she should come over yet but lucky for us, she said she’d come straight away.

Just after speaking to our midwife, my parents (who we’d finally been able to get in touch with) arrived at the house. The plan was for them to take the girls somewhere, but given that our nanny had already taken them, they found themselves in the middle of me labouring quite heavily. Needless to say, Dad made a few dad jokes (which I didn’t find too amusing at the time) and quickly exited the scene, and I wanted mum to stay with us, so she did. We had never planned to have her there (she wasn’t at the first two births) but I was so glad that the planets aligned for her to experience it all with us, and welcome in her granddaughter.

At around that time (it would’ve been 4pm by then) I was in the thick of active labour with very strong contractions but still couldn’t believe that I’d have the baby in the day, so kept on saying “hang in there Em, this bubba will come tonight so you’ve got a long journey ahead.” But I couldn’t ignore the fact that there was a lot of pressure going on ‘down there’ and that it felt like the baby was close. I was having intense rolling contractions one after the other walking around the house and out in the backyard and at the kitchen bench – wherever I was at the time!

emma-2969Our midwife cheerily walked in then (I can’t tell you how much I love this woman and what a joy it has been to go through this pregnancy and birth with her) and suggested I get in the birthing pool which mum and my hubby had started to fill. I hadn’t been in the water at all until then and it was bliss.

I only had about three contractions in total in the pool before my waters broke at 4.20pm, and I was ready to birth the bubba’s head. It was at this moment that our amazing photographer Jerusha Sutton arrived. Jerusha is another phenomenal woman who I was honoured to share Indie’s birth with. At this point, my midwife suggested I change positions so I leant back on my husband to birth the baby. It was exhilarating and incredible! This pic to the right is of me pulling Indie out and you can see I’m smiling because it was just the most wondrous, beautiful experience. I loved it! It’s my wish that every woman can experience birth in such an empowering, positive way.

emma-3079I loved that my mum got to experience it with us, and I know the memories will stay with her forever. Soon after we’d had the baby we called our nanny and she brought the girls over straight away and their reaction was priceless.

I feel very much in two minds about sharing the slideshow of Indie’s birth below with you all. On one hand, it’s a very private and intimate experience, and on the other, I feel so strongly about changing how we view birth that I want to do all I can to support women to believe in themselves. As my midwife says “Birth is safe, and women are strong.” I couldn’t agree more. We must work together to believe in ourselves, in our bodies, and in the beautiful process that is childbirth. Of course there will always be variations to the plan, but if you have a fundamental belief that birth is not something to be feared, and that it should actually be looked forward to, then you’ll be on your way to a fabulous experience (no matter what the outcome.)

I’ve thought loads about the parallels between business and birth. In business as in birth, if you have the right networks, support and mindset, and you’ve done your research, surrounded yourself with positive, skilled people and you believe in yourself, then your probabilities of achieving what you want will be high.

So, I’m putting myself out there by sharing this but I’m proud to do so because it takes courage to live fearlessly. Enjoy the video of Indie’s birth!

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42 Comments

  1. Marian

    Dearest Emma. Thank you for sharing your amazing experience on the joyous birth of Indie. I actually welled up with happiness at my desk for you! Yes, indeed you are blessed with happiness and success. You are an inspiration to all women too!

    Love your work! Thanks for making us a part of it!

    Luv

    Marian (Kingston & Drivers on Scoot)

  2. Bec

    Before meeting you Em I looked upon birth as something scary and painful – something necessary you had to ‘go through’ to become a mum. It’s brave and wonderful that you’ve shared your birth experiences – because without conversations with remarkable women like you, women like me won’t know how powerful birth can be.

  3. Mel Schilling

    Oh Em,

    Thank you so much for sharing your very personal, intimate and sacred experience. It was an honour to have a glimpse of your journey. As a 3rd time birthing mummy, you’ve got lots of experience to share.

    I’m currently trying to conceive and I found your photo/video absolutely inspiring.

    You are a brave and gorgeous woman!

    Mel
    x

    • Emma

      Great to hear Mel – keep us posted on your journey and I’ll have you in my thoughts x

    • Emma

      We’re so so lucky Jodie to have had our experiences. Thanks for your comment and for all your support always.

  4. Diana

    Em, you are such an incredible, inspiring, amazing woman! Thank you! Thank you for sharing such an incredible life experience. I wish that I can too be blessed with such a priceless journey one day. That brought tears to my eyes! I’m so glad you shared it :) I wish you happiness and great success always. You truly are a beautiful person (and mumma) xox Diana

    • Emma

      It will happen, it will!! Sending you all the love in the universe D xxxx

  5. Katherine

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful birth experience Emma. I feel so strongly about the absence of positive birth stories both in media and what is shared with other women in comversation. I read in another of your posts that you did the Calmbirth course. This is something my husband and I also did and it totally changed my perception of birth and what women are capable of doing. Before doing the course I was bracing myself for an ordeal that I needed to get through and was ready to ask for the epidural as soon as I entered the hospital. Instead, I had a very brief labour that I remember as being intense but also an incredible experience for the three of us. Using the techniques I’d learned I was able to birth a 4.6kg bub without any painkillers.

    I know some women really don’t have any choice but to have medical intervention for various reasons but wouldn’t it be wonderful if more women could experience birth as something to look forward to rather than with fear.

    • Emma

      So great to hear Katherine – I couldn’t agree more that we need to keep telling our stories. And big congrats on birthing a 4.6kg bub intervention free – see! It can be done!

  6. Lidia

    This is inspiring reading, you are one of a kind and wonderful in sharing your experience. I have tried sharing my experiences with many woman in the past & they all thought i was either mad or just lucky. I could not believe their reactions. I found myself in a public hospital with a muslim midwife and she was the most brilliant person who explained everything to me and helped me control my pain and even to the minute my children were born. I had no drugs for all my pregnancies and my experience was fantastic, i felt in control and my husband, mother & mother-in-law enjoyed witnessing a beautiful event.. I would like to give birth to another 10 more. We need to be more positive and share all different techniques to our next genreation.

  7. Kelly Exeter

    Crying. That picture of you pulling Indi out is amazing and the stuff dreams are made of. I have a thing about being near medical care for things like birth – and a good thing too because I seem to have a bad habit of haemorhaging. So I live these wonderful birth experiences vicariously through people like you Em!

  8. Tina

    Emma, you’re so incredibly beautiful. That’s an amazing thing to share and so many women will take those images in with them when they birth. Made me think of my own and impossible not to shed a tear. Such a gorgeous experience.
    Welcome to the world little Miss Indie xx

    • Emma

      Thanks so much for being in my circle Tina and for your lovely comment too! xx

  9. Kylea

    Just gorgeous Em. I hesitated to watch as I was conscious it is such a personal experience but I’m so glad I did. It really takes your breath away to see you so beautifully surrounded by love and support. Having been there with 3 under 4 I can tell you it is chaos – but it is divine. Sending more love your way xx

  10. Deborah Claxton

    We all aspire to great role models for other women, how fortunate are Milla, Honey and Indie to have Emma as their mother and guiding them through life. Congratulations Emma to Rowan and yourself.

  11. Lisa

    Emma – just seen your video. Thank you so much for sharing. It brought back so many special memories and the miracle of it all. I wanted to tell you that you looked so beautiful. What a wonderful wonderful experience you have so generously shared. You are an inspiration.
    Lots of love and a hearty congratulations to your family. Lise x

  12. mish

    I had tears from watching your beautiful video… thank you for sharing your experience.

    What an inspiration you are
    mishxxx

  13. Ali

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful video of Indie’s birth. You are an amazing incredible woman, I’ve said it before, but I mean it from my heart & soul. You are a shinning example to all women & I am blessed to know you:)

    Welcome to the world little Indie xox

  14. Emily

    Emma, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful slideshow. We have been trying to fall pregnant for so long and I am now even more determined than ever that when that time comes for us, our birth will be as natural as possible – so we can enjoy the moment in peace, stillness and enjoy. Thank you for being so generous with Indie’s birth x

  15. Kath

    Ok, so I had to watch this beautiful journey twice because my vision was so blurred from crying the first time!
    Em, thank you so much for gifting us all with Indie’s birth. Apart from being a sassy, spunky & brilliant business woman, You exposed so much love, wholeness & vulnerability in these images. So powerful because I didn’t just see it, I felt it. Incredibly emotive.
    Kath x

    • Emma

      I feel bad Kath as I’ve made a lot of people cry over the past day or so ;) Thanks for watching and for sharing your reaction – means a lot xxx

  16. Robyn

    Em, what a beautiful read! Indie’s birth story is so lovely to read, and the pictures and video are just so, so incredibly beautiful, happy and raw. So proud of you for having the courage to put it up, you’re an amazing inspiration!
    Love Rob xx

  17. Beck McDonough

    Em what a beautiful slide show & an amazing way to bring your little bubba into the world – with your own hands. Hopefully next time your in Brissie we have the chance to catch up – it’s been too long xx

  18. Tracey

    Wow, that was just beautiful thanks for sharing that wonderful experience Emma.
    I too was lucky to have Jerusha present at my eldest daughters birth.
    All the best
    Tracey x

  19. Marija

    Ahhhhh…so moving – thank you for sharing your beautiful birthing experience, and congratulations on the birth of your precious little girl. It brought back beautiful memories of my ‘water babies’ (two girls) – I’ll never forget the moment I felt my second daughter’s head crown. My third was a breech, but fortunately I delivered him naturally with the support of an amazing birth centre mid-wife (who helped deliver all three bubs). It’s so wonderful to feel supported during THE most amazing experience, and I’m glad you had that. I wish more women could experience this too.

  20. Shivani

    Emma
    I am crying as I write this. I can’t even watch the video yet. This was the birth I had planned with Shanti and it ended up as an emergency Caesarian. It had upset me for so long that I couldn’t birth this way. Now I realise it was her choosing it not me. I believe that the birth has so much to do with their personalities.
    You are amazing for sharing this and a business chick indeed!
    Thanks for this and for women like me allowing some healing to occur by reading this!
    Love
    Shivani

  21. Jodi Shepherd

    Wow, thanks for sharing and Jerusha Sutton did a wonderful job documenting your special day for Indies arrival.
    I wish more women would engage a photographer for this occasion, I have photographed a birth before and had two children of my own….. patiently awaiting my next pregnant volunteer … I think it is amazing to photograph the birth of a baby!
    You are beautiful!

  22. Amy

    Hi Emma, my hubby and I were sitting in front of you at pinky mckay’s toddler seminar when we were both very heavily pregnant.
    Your birth pics just popped up in my news feed from baby bliss and I loved reading you’re birth story! I’m happy to say that my birth was fast and great too.
    Unlike my first which ended in epidural and began with being bullied into early rupturing of membranes when I was only in pre labour. My son born on 26th may came in only 3 hours and I like you thought I had hours ahead of me. And stayed at home way to long. As soon as my waters broke I felt lots of pressure and had to literally hold him in on the drive to the hospital. my baby boy was born in the car in the hospital driveway without even a push. He just slid out!! A mid wife meet us so luckily we weren’t alone but needless to say I’m considering a home birth next time!! Anyway thanks very much fir sharing your story.

    • Emma

      Congrats Amy, that’s fantastic news!! Lovely hearing from you and hope you’re enjoying him.

  23. Trish

    Hi Emma
    This is Amy’s mum (comment above). I am also a member of Business Chicks. Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful video, what a wonderful record of such an amazing event, I was crying all through it. Beautiful.

    • Emma

      Hi Trish, what a small world! I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with Amy and it’s lovely to hear that our worlds are connected through Business Chicks also! Congratulations on the birth of your grandson too.

  24. Sarah McDonald

    Emma,

    That is so beautiful. It takes me back to the birth of my second daughter which was the most wonderful experience of my life – the first was a little overwhelming but also exhilarating.

    I also believe that we have to start to view birth as a right of passage and a gift rather than something to fear. I always thought I would have another baby just to experience it again but it hasn’t happened – life just moved on and I never quite convinced the DAD! I look back on the moments, in fact the weeks after her birth and remember a euphoria that was hard to beat!!

    Like you, I am inclined to share my story of birth and I am repeatedly surprised by the number of women who tell me after their delivery that they kept my words in their heads as they delivered because no one else had shared a positive story with them – they had only heard the horrors!

    Thanks for sharing such an intimate moment.
    Sarah x