Before I start, I want to say:
One: I deliberated a lot about publishing this as a blog post, as it’s deeply personal and private – not just to me, but to Lexi, Wade, and all the people who were part of our birth story. However I got so much from reading other women’s birth stories, and I felt it was right to pay the privilege I had from reading theirs forward by sharing my own.
Two: The decisions we made were the ones we felt were right for us. I have zero – and I mean zero – judgement on how any other families choose to plan or end up having their births.
Three: If you’re reading this and you’re pregnant, please please remember that this is our story – not yours. You will create your own special story with your baby, and just because we had X experience, it doesn’t mean that you will too. Remember that no two births are the same, and that each one is as unique as a fingerprint.
Four: This is a very long post (but not as long as my labour – HA!).
Now that’s been said…
I started writing our birth story when Lexi was a week old, however it all felt too fresh – and not a little raw – so early on.
Add Book 2 and an eight week trip to Europe in there and I somehow find myself with a three-month-and-two-day-old baby sleeping in our bed in the Swiss Cottage flat we’re based in for this fortnight-long visit to London. I can see her from where I sit here typing on the dining table. She looks like peace personified, after a hectic week of meetings here.
[Update: I’m picking this up in Bali – I now have an almost-nine-month-old sleeping next to me!]
I could probably write thousands of words on the fears, preparations, care decisions, resources and questions around birth, before I even get into the juicy details of the birth itself!
So in the interest of brevity, I’ll keep the background story as short as possible.
I had a tonne of fear around the experience of giving birth – however I decided to not even go there mentally until the third trimester.
My three greatest fears were:
One: The pain – I had heard endless times how painful childbirth is. A woman I respect enormously even wrote in her book “Never let anyone tell you that birth is anything other than hell”. *gulp*
Two: The “grossness” of it – I am relatively prudish with Wade. I don’t wee in front of him and I’m not a fan of discussing bowel movements. The thoughts of being there in all the glorious gore of birth with him was seriously weighing on my mind.
Three: That I’d have a long labour – When I shared this fear with Wade, he suggested I just see labour and birth as a marathon – to which I replied “Do I look like a fucking marathon runner?!” I would definitely not describe myself as physically resilient on any level so being in labour for anything beyond 12-18 hours freaked me out no end as I didn’t believe I would have the strength and/or endurance to see it through without help.
Why we chose a homebirth
I am so, so grateful that we had people we admire enormously who opted for a homebirth, as they essentially blazed the trail for us and the option of home birth actually became a viable option as a result. My wonderful friends Emma and Rowan Isaacs had five successful homebirths, and our friends Shalini and Sabri Suby had a “textbook” homebirth the previous December.
I could happily write pages upon pages on why we went with this option but in the interest of brevity I’ll keep it to two key points:
The whole experience of birth has been hijacked by the medical profession
When we embarked on our journey to educate ourselves on birth, we found that 110 years ago, just 5% of births took place at home. Fast forward to the present day, and only 3% of babies in Australia are born at home. I believe that women have become disempowered when it comes to bringing the babies that their amazing bodies have created into the world, even though our bodies are geniusly designed to do exactly that.
And I bought into it – without question! When my mum was booking her flights to Sydney to help us out when our baby arrived, I was still in my first trimester. On the phone to her back in Dublin as we discussed dates for her visit, I said “Well if you arrive ten days after my due date, we should be fine. The latest they’ll let me go is ten days overdue.” Who were “they”? And why did “they” get to dictate when our baby would make their grand entrance into the world?
From watching the documentary The Business of Being Born, reading Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and having a lengthy discussion with our doula Nadine Fragosa, we decided that welcoming our baby at home was the right choice for us and our soon-to-be family. Happily, we managed to get private midwife Jo Hunter to say yes to us at the relatively last minute of 29 weeks (thanks to some sweet talking from Nadine, as I found out later!!).
The model of care
The beauty of having a private midwife is that all the appointments took place in our own home, so max convenience and comfort.
Jo saw me monthly for the first couple of months, then we went weekly from 34 weeks. Rather than the 15-minute check-ups I was used to, our sessions ran for at least an hour each time, which meant we could build rapport and a whole lot of trust over those weeks we spent together.
Jo was also on the other end of a text message whenever I had any questions or concerns, as was Nadine. She saw us the day after Lexi arrived, and every couple of days until she was a week old.
Being able to build that relationship, and have that dedicated support, was an unbelievable privilege, and one I know isn’t available to everyone. Being wrapped in that support and love is a huge factor in us finding our feet so easily as new parents, which of course has had wonderful benefits for Lexi.
We had each heard wonderful things about Calm Birth, so we booked in for a weekend workshop with Lauren at The Life Pod when I was 26 weeks pregnant. As it then happened, we moved house the day before the course, so we were slightly scattered throughout it.
What we learned that weekend opened our eyes to how powerful women can be in birth, and how perfectly designed our bodies are throughout the entire process – from the delicate dance of hormones, to the muscles that come into play, to the ability our minds and breath have to control our bodies.
The biggest take-out for us was the idea of Fear>Tension>Pain – meaning that when a woman is afraid, she gets tense and the result of that is her experiencing pain during labour.
The opposite to this (and the Calm Birth approach) says that when a woman is relaxed during birth, her body is also relaxed and instead of pain she experiences pressure. This seemed too simple to be true, and I must say I was doubtful that it would actually hold up once we got to the pointy end of the pregnancy.
We were advised to do the Calm Birth meditations every day from that point, however I was a rubbish student and only picked them up at 37 weeks. I also did tonnes of yoga – two vinyasa classes a week up until 38 weeks, and 1-2 prenatal classes a week from week 7. The breathing and presence I learned in those classes helped me no end during labour and birth.
I read Ina May’s book at least four times and also read Down to Earth Birth. Nadine sent us a batch of birthing videos, which we watched together as part of our “birth homework”.
Preparing our birth room was so much fun. We took over the future baby’s room and decked it out with crystals, salt lamps, essential oil diffusers, an exercise ball and special mementos like a framed photo of my late Nana – who I birthed nine children, only having pethadine on one!
I also engaged my trusty laminator to laminate affirmations and beautiful images of nature, that I stuck around the walls in our bathroom, bedroom and birth room. I didn’t make a conscious practise around saying the affirmations, however it was amazing how many of them came back to me at the perfect time during labour.
I fully expected to go early, or at least the week of my due date. After all, I see myself as an efficient and organised person!
That was not to be and I have to say this was a very challenging time mentally and emotionally. Not having any control over when this baby would choose to arrive was extraordinarily difficult for a Type A over-planner like myself. Physically, I felt great so I comforted myself with that fact.
At one week past my due date, I took myself off social media as seeing all the women who were due at the same time as me with their precious little babies wasn’t helping morale – and neither were the messages asking if the baby had arrived yet…
At 42 weeks, Jo’s protocol advised us to have an ultrasound (all was fine) and to have a consultation with an obstetrician. As such we were booked in for the following Tuesday when I would have been 42 weeks and 3 days – during which time we all prayed I would go into labour naturally.
Going into labour/Day 1 – Friday
On the Friday I ticked over to 42 weeks, myself and my mum went for a walk in Bondi and power-walked up and down Campbell Parade. After lunch, I felt an odd sensation and sat down quickly on a nearby wall. I got myself to the bathroom at Ravesi’s, where I found there was a tiny show.
I felt my waters had probably broken, however Jo reckoned it was probably a small leak when I told her about it at my check-up back home that afternoon. She suggested we try doing a sweep while she was there, but she couldn’t reach high enough to be able to do it.
At dinner that night, I started to get some contractions. It wasn’t a big “oh my God I’m in labour!!!” moment like I expected it to be – and like I’d seen in movies. I think I was afraid of getting my hopes up and was mentally prepping myself for it to take a while to get started (oh Lord, had I known… ha!).
Wade and I went to bed, and promised to wake my mum up if things got going. We were timing contractions using the iContraction app, and we got as close as five minutes apart a few times during the night. Jo and Nadine had told us to call them once they were three minutes apart for an hour, so we were eagerly willing them to speed up.
I had hired a Tens machine, and about halfway through the night I asked Wade to get it hooked up and put on me. I LOVED the Tens machine, it was my BFF during the whole experience and it gave me the most deliciously comforting ripples up and own my back during the contractions. Those things are magical, I have no idea why more women don’t use them.
I need to make a short aside on the pain thing right here. It turns out that the smart people at Calm Birth were exactly right. The more I relaxed into a contraction, the less it hurt. Thankfully I learned this early on, so the majority of my labour was not painful. I chose to see them as waves moving through my body and went into a place of deep, deep focus during each one. Coupled with breathing and my Tens machine, I was surprised at how I was able to cope with them.
Wade passed out at around 3am. One of the most interesting insights we had out of the whole experience was how well women’s bodies support them during labour – I did not feel tired at all with the adrenalin and other hormones propping me up, however Wade was absolutely knackered throughout and after the birth. Hilariously, in the photos of our first week as new parents, he looks ten times more tired than I do!
Day 2 – Saturday
As the sun came up, the contractions started to space out and we accepted that things had slowed down. I spent most of the Saturday in our bedroom and had a couple of meals. I was having contractions anything from five to twenty minutes apart throughout the day.
That night, the contractions picked up again and were a lot more intense. I was also quite sick and Wade – lucky guy – was on bucket duty. At around 2am, my mum came upstairs and took over from Wade while he went and had some sleep in the birth room.
Each time I’d feel a contraction coming on, I’d jump out of bed and get into position on my knees leaning over the bed. Once it was done, I’d climb back into bed, sleep for a few minutes and then the whole thing would start again.
Day 3 – Sunday
Yet again, as the sun came up the contractions spaced out to about every twenty minutes again and my heart sank.
We spoke to Jo and she recommended we go to the hospital that afternoon to have the baby monitored and check that he/she was doing ok after all the activity they’d been experiencing over the last two days.
I was pretty uncomfortable on Sunday, and Jo thought it was because the baby had moved to a posterior position – meaning their spine was sitting directly against mine. There was a physical pressure I hadn’t felt before, that remained even between contractions and made it difficult to walk.
At the hospital Jo, Wade and I we were taken to a delivery suite and I was hooked up the monitor. The baby was perfectly fine, which was extremely reassuring.
I had been apprehensive going in given our homebirth plan and the fact that I was so overdue, but the hospital staff were lovely to us and even the expected “induction talk” from the obstetrician on duty wasn’t too heavy. In fact it was pretty funny as I had two contractions while they were talking through induction options!
At home, we had a team meeting at our kitchen table over Grill’d burgers. Nadine, Jo, Wade, my mum and I discussed where we are at and I managed to eat half a chicken burger and a couple of sweet potato fries.
Afterwards, Nadine and Jo got to work with a scarf and did some roboso on me. This is a technique used by Mexican midwives to help women during labour. Using a couple of different positions, they shake, rattled and rolled me and gradually shifted the baby out of posterior position. This made a huge difference, and I felt much more comfortable afterwards. As they left we joked that we’d hopefully be seeing them again that night…
As we had come to expect, the contractions again picked up on Sunday night. By this point, we had given up on timing them – after neatly filing away hundreds of contractions on the iContraction app! I don’t remember very much of this night really.
Wade called Nadine at around 4am as we thought we were getting close. She arrived at 4.45am and was in our bedroom with the three of us, however between contractions I kept wondering why she hadn’t called Jo to come yet. She obviously didn’t think it was going to happen that night, and – gah! – the contractions started to space out again once the sun came up.
Day 4 – Monday
Nadine sat me down and told me she was going to leave at around 9am and said she’d come back later. I was desperately trying to muster some joviality for her, however I was so deflated that we were still no closer at this point.
By this point, I was feeling very, very fucking over it all. I was coping ok physically, although I was very tired from not sleeping for three nights by now. The more it went on, the more I became afraid that I would need some kind of assistance to finally birth our baby.
I remember sitting on the bed in the birth room sobbing to Wade that maybe we should just go to the hospital and see what they could do. At the same time, I was acutely aware that if I was in the hospital system that intervention would have been very difficult to avoid given I had been in labour for three days.
I desperately wanted to sleep for longer than five minutes, so Wade spoke to Jo and she prescribed a combo of a strong painkiller and a sleeping tablet that would knock me out and let me get some rest for a few hours. He went off to get the drugs at the pharmacy.
By the time he got back, I realised that I hadn’t peed since that morning so we called Jo to check in. She was concerned at how long it had been, so she came from the Blue Mountains to see what was going on. She arrived at around 4pm and examined me. The good news was that I was 6cm dilated, on that news I hugged her! I was so so glad that all the hard work was having a result.
The not-so-good news was that she thought the baby’s head was so low that it was was blocking me from peeing, which in turn was also likely holding up the labour. She helped me pee with a catheter and oh my, the sweet relief. I had never had one before and was immediately anxious when she suggested it, however it was absolutely fine – just a tiny glass tube that she popped in and took out again.
Jo suggested I try eat and drink to get my blood sugar up, and that hopefully that would kick the labour off some more. I had some orange segments and coconut water and as dusk came – like clockwork – the contractions picked up.
I was downstairs in the living room talking between contractions to Wade, Jo and my mum and all of a sudden Jo was going out to her car to get her kit. I had visualised this happening so many times, and now – holy shit – it was for real!! As I looked at her oxygen tank, weighing scales and other equipment in the hallway, I realised that the baby must be finally about to come.
I mentioned casually to Jo that I had noticed some brown marks on my pad, which she looked concerned about. We went into the bathroom and I showed her, and she said that the baby had done its first poo inside me – called meconium. She said she would check it again in thirty minutes.
Thirty minutes and about 20 contractions later, we went back into the bathroom to assess the situation. The brown was now a lot darker, and Jo said the words I really didn’t want to hear: “We’re going to need to go the hospital, love”. In the case of meconium, there’s a chance that the baby can inhale the meconium and it can block their airways.
My heart sank. After all the preparation and three days of labour – and I was going to end up in the hospital anyway?!”
I was gutted.
When people asked throughout my pregnancy where we were having our baby, I had always said: “At home”.
For some reason around the 34-week mark, I instead started to respond with “Plan A is to have them at home.”
So in that hot, horrible, scary moment in the bathroom with Jo that night, my brain just clicked over to Plan B – and that meant the hospital. We went out to the living room and explained the plan to Wade and Mam. Mam didn’t really know what to do and asked if I wanted her to come, and I said of course.
My first thought was what did I wear?? I’d been grunging around all day in just a tshirt (no bra), tracksuit bottoms, hoody and Uggs – however it seemed I needed to be getting to the hospital pretty quickly, so Mam told me I was going in exactly that.
It was decided that Jo would drive me to the hospital with Mam, and Wade would pack up some birth stuff and join us at the hospital. Jo called Nadine, who said she’d meet us there.
I was on all fours in the back seat for the 12-minute drive to the hospital, and bless Jo, she drove so carefully.
Arriving at the hospital
Nadine was standing outside when we arrived and after a quick hello we walked to the Delivery Suite – me having contractions every minute or so on the way. She had picked out her favourite room for us (Room 9!), and the hospital paperwork was quick.
It was now around 9pm. Having to go in the day before turned out to be a blessing, as I was familiar with the layout of the rooms and it didn’t feel as daunting. Seeing the little baby trolley cot thingy all set up with a fresh blanket was another – holy shit, we’re having a baby! – moment.
Wade arrived just after us. I had put some essentials on a shelf in the birth room just in case we needed to go to hospital – so PJs, underwear, pads for me and nappies, vests and blankets for the baby.
Not only had he brought those things, he had also packed up everything portable in the birth room into two plastic tubs – the speaker, oil diffuser, essential oils, photos, salt lamp, my birth clothes, crystals. He even packed all my birth snacks into a cooler bag and remembered my Nana’s necklace, as he knew I wanted to wear it.
I have no idea how he did it so quickly and so thoughtfully and I think it’s probably the most romantic thing he’s ever done for me.
He and Nadine set the room up while Jo and I went to the bathroom and I changed into my black Bonds bralette, knickers and pink satin robe. Lauren had suggested in the Calm Birth class that we try pick something pretty and feminine to wear for the birth, and this was my attempt.
In the bathroom, Jo told me that she thought I was fully dilated – and that if I wanted to, I could probably touch the baby’s head. After some initial trepidation, I reached down and sure enough – I could feel the soft crown of their head!!! This was such a great morale boost as I realised we were not far off meeting them, and it made them feel more real somehow to me as well.
Around then, our birth photographer Bel from The First Hello arrived. I had been undecided on having a birth photographer until very late in the pregnancy as I was afraid that I would be self-conscious. It turns out that after that initial introduction, I didn’t even notice her in the room and she was incredibly respectful of my birth space.
The midwife assigned to us examined me and confirmed Jo’s hunch that I was fully dilated. I also had another catheter at this point, and thankfully after some persuasion she agreed to do an in/out one rather than having me wear a bag.
Given the meconium situation, I needed to wear a monitoring belt to check that the baby wasn’t distressed (thankfully they were fine). This was then upgraded to a clip on their head after an hour or so as the hospital wasn’t confident that the belt was picking up their vital signs.
I spent most of this time on the floor leaning over a ball. Frankincense was diffusing, the (very long) playlist was on, and I was also inhaling clary sage on a tissue as it was so calming. The Tens machine was still going strong, and I took sips of water every now and then.
I upped the ante on my focus on the contractions, and tried to stay in the moment and screen out any activity going on around me.
It was only a few weeks ago that I realised that not once had pain relief crossed my mind. I have no idea if I would have been able to get anything anyway at the hospital given how late in the whole process it was, I must ask Jo when I see her next.
I had read about “the urge to push” and was on high alert for any sensation that might feel like that. When it came, there was absolutely no mistaking it. It was like my body just took over and knew precisely what it needed to do. I was amazed at how natural it felt to bear down.
At this point, the hospital staff moved me over to nearer the monitoring machine. An obstetrician – who I hadn’t met before – came into the room and wanted to examine me. I declined as I was in the zone of starting to push, which he wasn’t happy about, to put it mildly. He explained that he was going into the operating theatre with another woman and that if anything happened to me and the baby in the next hour, he wouldn’t be able to help me. I told him I’d take my chances and he left.
For me, I had a strong trust in my body and I knew it was doing what it needed to do to birth this baby that it had lovingly nurtured for the last 42.5 weeks.
For him, he probably saw a woman who had been in labour for three days, who had never given birth before, and who probably needed some help (possibly the ventouse or even a caesarean).
With the benefit of hindsight, what he was saying was total BS – there is no way that there was only one obstetrician on duty that night! And as it turned out, he came back about twenty minutes later and Wade made it very clear that he wasn’t wanted in the room (perhaps a bit too clear as the obstetrician later reported him for “threatening behaviour”) . I was completely oblivious to all of this.
I continued pushing on the birthing stool. Wade was at my left shoulder with Nadine, my mum on my right and Jo was directly in front of me and never once dropped eye contact with her when I needed it. I was vaguely aware of more people entering the room – and my mum said later that there were more doctors lined up outside the hospital room as well. Nadine explained gently that they were there to check the baby when they arrived.
[I didn’t find out till later on that night that after Nadine had met us at the hospital, she had been called to another client’s house, travelled to the hospital, and caught the baby in the back of the car – before making it back to me in time for me pushing! The first time in her nine years as a doula that two babies have arrived on the same day.]
The grand entrance
I moved onto the floor against a bean bag then, and the atmosphere in the room changed quite quickly. The trace on the baby’s head was showing that their heart rate wasn’t coming up as quickly between contractions – so the pressure was on for me to get him or her out. I pushed with every ounce of effort I had, and more.
Thankfully the numbers were behind me so I couldn’t see them, however at one point I asked Jo “Is this ok?”. She replied: “We really need to get the baby out now”. That frightened me and I doubled down even more on the pushes.
Then finally, the top of the head was showing! I realised that we were very close when one of the midwives asked a doctor to move out of the way so she could see the clock to know the time of birth.
However the heart rate was slowing more and there was a definite air of panic. I consented to an episiotomy and pretty much instantly, the baby was here.
Time of birth: 00.13 on the 13th June 2017
One of the hospital midwives swung the baby quickly onto the table and the paediatricians worked to clear their airways. As the baby was being lifted up, my mum said: “It’s a girl!”. I was shocked. I had so wanted just one daughter, and now she was here. I could hear a tiny cry, our baby’s cry!
I had the injection in my thigh and delivered the placenta a couple of minutes later. Jo had already said to me that even at home I would need to have a managed third stage given how long I had been in labour. It felt like the easiest thing – a tiny push and it was out.
I was moved up onto the bed and Wade was with me, however I asked him to go to the baby and comfort her. I so desperately wanted to hold her and it’s still a sadness to me that she didn’t get the soft, warm welcome on my chest that I wanted her to have.
Bel our photographer took a photo of her and brought it over to me – so the first time I saw her face was on her camera. I couldn’t believe how huge her eyes were!
Meeting our baby
After about ten minutes – although it felt like forever – Wade carried her to me. As we walked towards me with this tiny, naked, beautiful (and surprisingly chubby!) human, I realised for the first time that I was a mother.
I took her in my arms and I will never, ever forget how soft her skin felt next to mine. She gazed up at me and we locked eyes. It felt like a moment of pure recognition for both of us. Just writing these words takes me back to that state of pure elation, and deep deep pride in her and I for completing her journey into the world together.
Once she was with me, the hospital staff seemed to evaporate and all of a sudden it was just me, her, Wade, my mum, Jo, Nadine, Bel and Sharon our hospital midwife in the room. The room felt so peaceful. I remember Emma Isaacs telling me that a birth brings a special energy to a space, and I knew then exactly what she meant.
Mam asked what the baby’s name was, and I asked Wade if he was still happy with the name we had picked if we had a girl. He nodded. “It’s Alexis”, I said, “Lexi for short”. We had picked the name on a bush walk in the Blue Mountains before we were married, when babies were still a very long way off for us.
We called my sister, my dad and Wade’s parents. I smashed a large bar of Irish Dairy Milk and was devo that my toast didn’t come with any butter, as I would happily have eaten an entire loaf of bread, if not three. I just couldn’t believe that after so much waiting, and those long days of labour, that we were out the other side of it – and we had this bundle of absolute perfection as a result.
My mum, Nadine and Bel left and Wade had skin-to-skin with Lexi while I had stitches. The doctor was an absolute sweetheart and managed to keep me chatting and laughing throughout. I had been offered gas and air for the stitches, however I said I’d see how I went – and it was fine. Clearly the post-birth endorphins were sky high!
Jo helped me shower – the sweetest shower – and I got into my new much-anticipated post-birth PJs. She laughed at what I had packed as my post-birth knickers – I don’t think they were quite “big” enough! She finished writing up her notes and said goodbye.
Then it was just the three of us. Our little family. Wade and I marvelled at Lexi. By now she was asleep and he took her for a quick check in the nursery. He was like a proud peacock pushing her out in her little trolley thing and coming back.
Activity kicked off in the suites around us, so we had about three hours of just gazing at her and talking through the events of the night. I just couldn’t believe that she was here, that I had DONE IT!
At 6am, we went to our room and I so wanted to carry Lexi – however apparently it was hospital protocol not to allow you to carry your baby around the corridors, which in retrospect, makes sense! Someone who has just given birth a few hours earlier may not be the most reliable of baby carriers.
Wade fell asleep immediately on the foam mattress on the floor, and Lexi was peacefully sleeping in her trolley next to me. I wanted to take her into bed with me, but I was nervous in the little single bed. I fell asleep on top of the world.
The next morning, I woke first at 9am and it took me a couple of seconds to realise that the night before had actually taken place. I shifted over in bed to look at Lexi – still fast asleep – and realised that my entire body ached. Like, every single muscle. I was also ravenous.
We completed the hospital checks and paperwork, and discharged ourselves at 2pm. As Lexi had had meconium, they wanted us to stay in until midnight (so 24 hours after birth). We were keen to get home and settle her in, and the thoughts of getting home after midnight did not appeal at all. We also reassured the hospital that Jo was coming over in a couple of hours to check again.
So that’s our birth story, all 6,000 words of it!
Afterwards, I felt quite sad at times that we hadn’t had the birth we wanted. I was especially upset that I hadn’t been able to take Lexi in my arms as soon as she was born and even now – she’s eight months – I still wonder about how she felt in those first minutes earthside. Was she scared? But then I tell myself that she is perfectly fine, and I don’t for a minute think it affected our bond.
I was also very angry at the obstetrician. I felt his bedside manner was appalling and I’m so thankful that I had faith in myself and our baby. I had to work on releasing that anger, and had to remind myself that he didn’t know me, and that he had a job to do that night as well.
At the same time I am so very grateful for the hospital facilities, and that we still got to have Jo and Nadine in the room with us that night. As it turns out, Jo had all of the equipment required to clear Lexi’s airways, however I’m glad we made the decision to go the hospital as we didn’t know how it was going to play out – and that’s a call we could never change if it didn’t work out.
I have more to write on birth, as it was the most profoundly empowering, intense and transformational experience of my life. Even though it didn’t go to plan, I wouldn’t change any element of it – as every part taught me something and was an element of the journey that we all needed to go on.
I am inordinately proud of myself and my body and what it did over those three days. I would happily go and do it all again right now. I’d probably just eat a few burgers to keep me fuelled up first…
And out of it all, we got Lexi.
Our chilled little rockstar.
You are pure magic, little one.