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This is a Red Letter Day
Anna birthed her little boy Ewan at home with her family by her side, supporting her, and welcoming little Ewan to the world. The experience had a profound impact on her father, Ewan’s grandad, and he wrote this letter to the family after the birth!
Hi Narelle, Tony, Matthew and Anna,
You have all heard me use the expression “This is a Red Letter Day”to denote a day of special significance.
Well I cannot let the opportunity pass to say that yesterday, Wednesday 17th February 2016, was indeed a Red Letter Day.
Mum and I, Glen and Emily, Narelle and Darin (via Skype) and Josh (longtime friend of Anna and Glen’s and Anna’s “coach” through the birth) plus 3 midwives saw Anna give birth to a baby boy (Ewan Kellman McKie) at 10:15 am in a pool of body temperature water set up by Glen in their dining room. Must mention here that the temperature of the water was maintained at around 37C via a hot water hose and kept at a safe level via a siphoning hose all thanks to the ingenuity and vigilance of Glen.
It was the most amazing thing to see Anna’s self-belief in overcoming the “discomfort” in her body and allow nature to take its course. She issued a few low groans but never cried out in pain. Josh stroked her back continuously and talked soothingly to her throughout the contractions and birth. The midwives looked on as Anna took her baby, held it for a short while under the warm water and then brought it up into the air for us all to see. Then she sat back in the pool with her baby snuggled to her chest and gently washed its head with warm water. Most of us were in tears.
A short time later, with help from the midwives, Anna climbed out of the pool with her baby, walked to the bedroom where she lay down and, under supervision, Mum cut and clamped the umbilical cord. Then half to ¾ an hour later the placenta came away, examinations were done (much to Darin’s excitement “not” – and the word is placenta Darin, not polenta) and all was declared healthy.
About an hour after that (say about 12 to 12:30), Anna got up, came into the lounge and was passing the baby around. Mum served up lunch, I made cups of tea and coffee, and we all sat around chatting (Narelle and Darin still with us via Skype).
One of midwives (Amber – the student) gave an impassioned, impromptu speech in which she said it was the best home birth she had ever seen. The family support was great and the calmness of the mother was remarkable. She said it had convinced her to keep going in this direction with her career (particularly with the midwifery group practice).
Glen’s parents (Alan and Bev) dropped in for a cuppa about 3 o’clock but by 5 o’clock most people had gone, everything was cleaned up, Anna and I were sitting in the lounge talking, drinking tea and nursing the baby, Glen was taking a nap and Mum was looking after Emily.
It must be said here that Mum’s tireless background efforts on the day were a major factor in its success. Not only did Mum prepare and serve the food (cakes, quiches, etc), she looked after Emily all day so that Anna and Glen were untroubled and she kept other family members and friends up to date via text messages (Tony, Matthew and Eva, my sisters, her sisters, etc). No need to guess where Anna’s determination comes from.
We stayed until about 7pm until Emily went to bed and then we left Anna and Glen so that we could all get some much needed rest.
What a day. A Red Letter Day. Welcome to the family Ewan and well done to us all as a family.
Hope I haven’t raved too much kids but sometimes you just gotta let those you love know how you feel.
All my love
Thank you to Anna for sharing her Dads’ letter! (with his permission of course). You can view Anna’s birth video and read her full story here…..
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