Bonnie Harrington is midwife Terryll McDowell’s 200th home birth – and she also delivered the baby’s mother, Megan Harrington.
Mrs Harrington had planned to have her first child Cooper (17 months) at home, but that did not work out as she had to be induced when she was 10 days overdue.
This time Bonnie, who was also 10 days overdue, made her way into the world in the comfort of her own home in Gore.
Mrs Harrington said she was able to have Bonnie without the aid of drugs and in her own environment, which enabled her to relax more.
It was a bonus to be able to sleep in her own bed and be able to use her own shower, Mrs Harrington said.
“I was just way more relaxed – life just carried on,” she said.
Mrs Harrington’s mother, Shona Ramsay, had three of her five children at home.
“I’ve got five – the first two were born in hospital,” Mrs Ramsay said.
What she described as “awful sibling rivalry” prompted her to try a home birth, Mrs Ramsay said.
When the third baby was born, sibling rivalry was not a problem, she said.
“With the first home birth the kids got up in the morning and the baby was there and life carried on,” Mrs Ramsay said.
Mrs Ramsay said the advantages included a calm environment and a continuation of normal life.
Mrs McDowell said the continuity of life after a home birth was a big advantage.
She said it was fitting Bonnie was her 200th home birth, as she had also brought her mother into the world.
“I think it was cool,” Mrs McDowell said.
Mrs McDowell attended between 10 and 15 home births a year out of the about 100 babies she delivered.
Mothers found it was more familiar and relaxing to give birth at home.
The midwife brought all the equipment necessary for the birth, making it a safe environment, and she had the expertise to ensure a safe delivery for mother and baby, she said.