From home birth to hospital birth


Birth doesn’t always go to plan. Things can change and different circumstances can arise and all of a sudden, the birth you had in your head looks different to what is happening. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive birth experience.

Shonali and Tom were preparing for a homebirth but when they discovered there was meconium in her waters, that all changed. It meant that they had to fight a little harder for their preferences to be followed and had to make decisions they didn’t think they would be making. And they did it beautifully!

Hypnobirthing is about preparing for any scenario that may come up – including transferring from a homebirth to a hospital birth while in labour.


Leeuwins birth story 


Our precious little baby Leeuwin Jo Allum was born in the early hours of Tuesday morning. 2.54am (her due date!)

It was quite the roller coaster experience.

My waters broke early Monday morning approximately 1am. I wasn’t quite sure, but when the leaking wouldn’t stop, I got up and laboured in the dark in the baby’s room. I was excited, but so focused on keeping calm and in control. I really wanted to be active and mobile but I felt the contractions mostly in my back which I found very difficult, and the best position for me was sitting upright in a chair and focusing on meditation. About 6am my husband woke up, I let him know that we were in labour and he started to set up the birth pool. At about 7am I phoned our midwife and she said she’d come by to check that my waters were actually broken.

As soon as the midwife arrived and I showed her my pads, she explained there was meconium in there. That meant immediate transfer off the community/home birth program, and management at FSH. Basically meconium meant – get the baby out as soon as possible as it was a potential sign of foetal distress. The contractions had essentially stopped by this point.

We were gutted.

But we knew it was one of the definite reasons for not continuing with a home birth. The midwife checked the baby’s heart rate, and it was all fine. She explained that some babies at full term poo and it is no sign of distress, just baby is ready. Maybe I was naive, but I never really feared Leeuwin’s health, and had a real sense that she was OK.

When birth plans change

Tom and I took a moment to ourselves, and reminded each other we could still birth our way despite this significant change/everything we had consciously wanted to avoid.
We hadn’t even packed out hospital bag properly (oops!), it showed how focused we were on our home water delivery!
When we arrived at FSH, the level of exposure to medical intervention was overwhelming and intense; from being so low risk and consciously intending for home birth; to being treated high risk and plugged into and connected to an IV pole for induction drip and abdominal monitoring at all times, in a chaotic hospital environment (bright lights, multiple waiting rooms, multiple staff changes). The ab monitoring measured the baby’s heart rate and the strength of my contractions, and showed these numbers on a screen. It took me a while to tune out the constant beeping and the numbers.
Getting to 2cm dilation was the hardest for me. My contractions were mostly in my back so visualisation didn’t help. My partner and I sat on the yoga mat in the birthing room, kissing, touching, using yoga sound tracks and keeping the oxytocin real. I wanted to use a lot of postures I’d learnt, but the back pain was intense and I was most comfortable sitting cross legged and upright.

 My partner and I sat on the yoga mat in the birthing room, kissing, touching, using yoga sound tracks and keeping the oxytocin real

Eventually I was able to stand to lean on my partner during contractions, and in this position I felt them more in my cervix, which I almost enjoyed. I found it so much easier to use mantra and visualisation when the sensation was there.

HELLL YESSS I NEEEEED to pause and celebrate this moment to get me through!!!!

Despite this, I was constantly battling to get out of my head. There were so many medical distractions, and offers for intervention (despite stating our preferences). I was beginning to fatigue and my legs were shaking, and it was a constant battle to get my thoughts under control.

At about 2cm I was offered morphine, which I took and that really threw poor Tom as I’d always said I would never do that to the baby. I held a little guilt/disappointment at myself for that; but I now know I made an informed and conscious decision at the time. At the time I felt it was right for me in our scenario – I wanted to get out of my head to be able to see the rest of the labour through and avoid additional intervention later on, remain active, and I knew we were early on so it wouldn’t impact baby on her entry into the world.

It helped.

I managed to get my head under control, I played the Hypnobirthing affirmation tracks on repeat to give me focus, and then became absolutely hooked on gas and air. Because I was so focused on my breathing; it allowed my thoughts and fear to slow; and I would use different affirmations at different times and keep repeating them to myself.

Things sped up, I became internal and suddenly we were fully dilated in about 6 hours. When I was told that – I remember yelling out ‘HELLL YESSS I NEEEED to pause and celebrate this moment to get me through!!!!’

Standing up for our preferences


The pushing was intense, primal and powerful. I was on all 4s, holding Tom’s hand and my midwives were incredble coaches. I remember most of it and I wonder if my rationale, conscious brain had to stay on board as I was constantly aware of the pressures of my environment. At one point I was shocked and impressed at the sounds I was making! On all fours on the bed, after about 20min babes head started crowning, and when I felt down and touched her I was SO proud!

When the doctor came in (standard due to the meconium and high risk nature)…. his immediate words to me “she needs to be on her back.”

Highlights I distinctly remember are saying to him “no, not if I don’t have to”; “I’m only doing it if my midwives tell me, I don’t trust you.” “Stop talking, I’ve got this.”

Nevertheless baby Leeuwin’s birth plan was written by the hospital regardless due to the meconium – get her out quick – so despite questioning the episiotomy and preferring to tear – and requesting I remain on all 4s – I consented to being on my back to keep our girl safe. Her heart rate had started to slow so the medical intervention was certainly what we needed.

Out she came in a total of 25min pushing – All 3.94kg and 53cm of her 

I am so, so proud of how my body and baby worked together in such an intense environment, how I asserted myself and stayed true to myself in the chaotic environment. I had to process some grief over not having the home birth we so dearly hoped for. And while my instincts were always that little baby Leeuwin was fine, and the meconium was just a sign she was ready to join us in the world; I am so grateful that we received such good care and monitory to keep her safe. I am so grateful for the rigourous Hypnobirthing course which taught me sooo many skills in a scenario such as ours; my hours of pregnancy yoga and reading so much, really allowed us to have a positive experience depsite the significant change in events.


Thanks Kate for your passion, knowledge, support and magic. I hope you can get up and running again in the not too distant future.


Shonali, Tom and baby Leeuwin


Kate Vivian is a self-professed pregnancy and birth geek who is finally learning to embrace the chaos of having 3 kids. It was the birth and ‘bringing baby home’ experience of her first baby, and the overwhelming guilt that went with it, that led her to start Bright Mums – and create a world where Mums matter.

 A Certified Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, childbirth educator and postpartum doula, Kate works with Mums-to-be not only supporting them through pregnancy, and birth but also teaching them to honour themselves at a time when the world is telling them their baby is the most important thing.

With almost 2 decades in adult education, Kate has the ability to create a safe space, a non-judgey space. A place where Mums can relax and feel supported regardless of what their journey looks like. 

A keen traveller in a former (pre-kids) life, Kate dreams of the day her kids are big enough to take skiing and they can completely show her up while she is busy falling down mountains.

You can find out more about Kate or Hypnobirthing Australia Positive Birth classes by clicking below.