Dannii Minogue has revealed the full story of the birth of son Ethan Edward Minogue Smith in July last year. The first-time-mum had prepared for a home birth but as she tells in her book Dannii: My Story “nothing about the birth went according to plan.”
Dannii had her heart set on having Ethan at home after talking to friends who’d had positive experiences home birthing in the UK. And watching sister Kylie and best friend Laura endure cancer treatment in hospitals the TV personality was anxious about giving birth in one.
“I just wanted some comfort and privacy and, for me, that meant giving birth in my own home,” she said, in an extract published in the UK’s Daily Mail.
Dannii went into labour ten days before her due date, when her waters spontaneously broke after she tried to squeeze in to a pair of tight jeans.
"When my contractions started I was fairly serene - it was everyone else who seemed to get into a flap.”
I really believe that a woman should have the right to have her baby at home if that's what she decides and medically it's safe for her to do so
"But several hours into my labour my initial serenity had evaporated. Because Ethan was in a posterior position, meaning his back was in line with my back and his arms and legs were moving freely across my tummy, I was in absolute agony."
"I do remember walking up and down the stairs, holding on to [boyfriend] Kris, and being told to lift my legs as high as I could. This was not something I was especially in the mood for at that stage, but as it can help to turn the baby to the correct position I wanted to give it a go. But as the labour was not progressing Dannii had no choice but transition to hospital."
"After 20 hours of excruciating labour, my plans for a home birth went out of the window and I ended up having Ethan in hospital.’ “Contrary to reports of me being rushed to hospital in an emergency, my amazing home-birth midwives, Nicola and Helen, helped us carry out a smooth transfer to the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne."
"By the time I was transferred to hospital the following morning I'd been in pain, without any numbing medication, for a long time, so an epidural was very welcome."
"The staff at the hospital were great, and worked with our midwives to make my little boy's birth the wonderful and happy experience I'd hoped it would be, even though I wasn't at home."
"But when I held Ethan for the first time, the pain and worry melted away. Kris and I couldn't believe that we'd made another person together.”
"When you are first handed your baby, you try to take in every feature, every finger, toe and eyelash. I remember thinking: 'Who are you? How did you get here? I can't believe you've been in my tummy all this time and I'm finally meeting you.' It was wonderful."
Despite her own experience, Dannii continues to promote home birth as a valid choice for women.
"I really believe that a woman should have the right to have her baby at home if that's what she decides and medically it's safe for her to do so."
"There's no right or wrong, for me it's about choice. But it's a constant battle for mothers and professional midwives alike to get that point across.
Interested in home birth? Chat to other mums in the Essential Baby Home Birth forum.