Birth: there's nothing quite like it, and it's clear no two birth stories are the same. Which is why we're asking everyday women and some of our favourite celebrity mums to share theirs, in Mamamia's My Birth Story series.
This week we profile nutritionist Shelley McKenzie, who is 26 weeks pregnant and mum to one-year-old Van.
This post deals with miscarriage and might be triggering for some readers.
Shelley and husband Danny were reeling after a miscarriage at 13 weeks when she fell pregnant with Van.
“I found the miscarriage traumatic... but becoming pregnant six weeks after the loss helped us to heal and find hope again,” Shelley says.
“Although I was overjoyed to be pregnant, I kept it hidden from friends and family because I was so worried about miscarriage."
Watch: Be a good mum. Post continues below.
“I waited until I was 24 weeks before posting a pregnancy photo online, knowing that my baby could survive earth-side by then.”
After an initial visit with her GP, Shelley realised she wanted to find a happy balance for her birth between western medicine and holistic practices.
“My mum is a palliative care nurse and I remember as a child having to occasionally accompany her to the hospital. I had always associated hospitals with death and dying and I just didn’t want that for my birth experience – I thought it might make me feel highly stressed.
“I had a conversation with my husband and we opted for a midwife-lead home birth.”
The couple contacted a specialist group of midwives from Midwives & Mothers Australia (MAMA) who were on hand to support Shelley during pregnancy and helped to plan her water home birth.
“I did have a birth plan but I was also open to going to hospital if I needed to. I had to let go of some of my expectations but I was okay with that.”
On the day of her due date, Shelley went into labour. As her contractions started getting closer together, she called her mum and then the midwives who arrived to set up the birthing pool late in the afternoon.