During our travels, we’ve been meeting extraordinary families who embrace home-birthing and free-birthing. After personally hearing Jess’ story of birthing a footling breech baby — at home, without medical assistance — we are encouraged to let go of any fears we may still be holding onto regarding the unknown future of our fifth baby’s birth circumstances.

Jess Martin with Ayla, October 2011
We're so thankful for the opportunity to hear Jess' story of free-birthing Ayla.

At 26 years old, Jess speaks about birthing with the wisdom of a much older woman. She exudes confidence and has the experience to back up her advice. I was so blessed to be given the opportunity and time to talk freely with Jess and hear her story.

With Jess’ first birth two and half years ago, she had the assistance of a midwife and birthed at her father’s home in the big bath. The plan for her second child was much the same — except that when she went into labour, her midwife was too far away to be of assistance. And the birth progressed too quickly for other medical help to arrive.

Confidently, calmly, Jess relates how she felt during the labour and knew when it was time to push. She knew her baby was breech and when the baby’s feet emerged first, she continued to breathe calmly and baby Ayla arrived into the world without any complications.

Later, Jess and her partner Nathan sterilised some scissors to cut the cord and tied it off with a home-made sterilised braid. In an interview with a Sydney newspaper, Jess said: “Birth is one of the most natural things in this world.The fact I was able to deliver my baby at home breech with no hesitations, no violations was beautiful.”

As for us, we don’t know what our own story will be. We’re in the home-stretch; Baby E is due next month — date and location uncertain. We don’t know where we’ll be or what the birth will be like. Except that it will be good.