Then there was you: Introducing Juniper Joy

September 29, 2023

My labour began in the quiet hours of dawn’s earliest light, with courage in my heart and a dream of holding my baby in my arms. A journey that defied convention and required resilience. This was my second home birth, but my first on English soil, a land that half my heritage holds and now, the birthplace of the newest member of our family.

From the very beginning, before I got pregnant, I knew I wanted to dance with the universe again, to feel the power of womanhood course through me and bring my precious baby into the world in the calm and serene sanctuary of my home. My first home birth empowered me to break free from an abusive situation, transforming me into a warrior. So, I embarked on the journey again, accessing my deepest strength and preparing for the possibility that this time, I would deliver my baby without drugs or interventions, but I might deliver her without a midwife. An option we only considered due to the scarcity of sympathetic NHS midwives and lack of funds to pay for a private one. 

The surges were strong, close together, and relentless. My body knew the rhythm, and I surrendered to its melody.

In the quiet of my mind, I heard the whispers of generations of women who had birthed before me. I breathed, and my body responded. It was as if the universe itself cradled me.

As the day unfolded, the world around me stirred awake. Family gathered, weaving a tapestry of love and support. My doula was my rock from the very start, a guardian of my journey. I had a headache when she arrived, and with her magical touch and special potions, she removed my fear of labouring with not only pain in my womb but also a pain in my head and replaced that fear with a feeling of calm. My sister, who’d flown over from America, my daughter and my partner were by my side for the nine hours of labour, guiding me through the tumultuous waves of childbirth. They took turns to massage my lower back as the surges intensified in strength. I managed to maintain a quiet strength throughout my journey, but there were moments of doubt when I wondered if I had enough to get me to the end. In the silence in the middle of labour, I locked eyes with my doula, and without words, she reminded me of my power

In the late afternoon, as the sun was warming the room, I felt the whisperings that the time was near. 

My hips widened, my surges grew more powerful, and I felt my baby’s presence, a promise of life at the threshold. I gently touched her head, still nestled within my body, and knew we were ready. I surrendered, breathed, relaxed, and let my body lead the way.

I felt the ring of fire, but I did not push. I trusted my body’s wisdom, the surges, and the rhythm of life itself. With a deep breath, I relaxed, and my body welcomed her into the world. She arrived, like a whispered secret revealed, with no force, just a gentle glide. She slid into the water unannounced to my birth team until I looked up from my concentrated pose with a smile and said, “She’s here”.

I scooped her up from the depths of the pool, and as I held her slippery, perfect form, I marvelled at the miracle of our journey. No midwives, no interventions, just the embrace of family and the wisdom of my doula. It was a birth as I had dreamt it—a dance with nature, a testament to the strength of a mother’s love and preparation.

At that moment, I held my newborn daughter, and I knew once again I was a superhero, a woman who could face any challenge. This birth, this life, is a testament to the unyielding power of a desire to be a mother of two and the courage to forge my own path. I stand here, a superwoman, ready for whatever the world may bring, for my heart knows I am unstoppable