The Story of Maggie’s Birth Day {Part 3}

You can read Part 1 {The Background stuff} here.
Then you can read Part 2 {The Business end} here.

So, here we are, a little teary and delirious and certainly very tired looking, but at the other end of the birthing process. Thank you so much for sharing your stories, and for letting me know how much you enjoyed our story of how Maggie came to be, and how she entered this world. It’s been a big thing for me (sure babies happen every day) but the decision to have her and the process to get her here has been one of the biggest lessons I have ever had.


This next stage, the 4th trimester as it’s often referred to has always been the toughest for me. The happy hormones of pregnancy disappear, the concern that people had for you throughout the past 9 months is forgotten and all focus is on the baby. A baby, shit. I still get those panicked moments where you realise that this tiny little human is relying on YOU to keep them alive. What a responsibility! With Daisy and a little less with Harper, I hated the first 6 weeks of newborn world. My anxiety would start to pick up around 4pm knowing that a whole night of unknowns lay before us. I read too many books, I listened to too many people offering well meaning advice, and tried to take control over sleep routines, feeding routines, ignoring my instincts and relying on books because THEY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT and I have NO IDEA ABOUT ANYTHING right?

This time around has been different and while we are only a little way into this adjustment period, I know it’s different. I’ve been using the techniques I used for the birth on a daily basis. Telling myself over and over that I know what I’m doing. Listening to instinct, pushing out fear and self sabotage talking – there is no room for any of that stuff just as much here and now as there was in the delivery suite. How I wish I had relaxed and enjoyed the babies more first time around. All that stuff that clouded my mind robbing me from being in the moment, enjoying the simple things like watching your child feed well from milk that you created! Smelling the top of their heads deeply, letting them snuggle on you rather than rushing them into their cots because of “bad habits” forming. The best thing I have done this entire journey is not read one book. Listen to Maggie and what she needs, what I need, rather than what “should” be happening. All of the angst and questioning isn’t there when you trust yourself to know the answers. Mothers know this stuff, if only we would trust ourselves to listen.

There’s so much I have learnt about myself, and about women in general over the past 9+ months. I have been lucky to experience something so positive this final time around and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to get it. I’ve worked hard to get it, constantly re-wiring my brain to focus on the positives rather than all the “what ifs” which I have spent a life time focused on. The support team of my Ob & midwives and the Calm Birth weekend and all the positive experiences I heard from friends and family this time around made a HUGE difference. There was never a doubt in any of their minds, with each appointment with my Ob or each visit to the hospital that it would be a good delivery. Why wouldn’t it? This was all so different to my experiences with Daise and Harps which seemed to just have complications built into the plan. When people keep telling you over and over again the same thing, well you start to believe it. I have to keep this mantra up now she’s on the outside, I know what I’m doing. I can do this. Trust yourself. Listen to your very large guts. Maybe sooner or later I will get the picture.

I love how this has opened up conversations with my two big girls. There were lots of questions throughout the pregnancy and especially right after delivery and in the past week or so about how our bodies work. I had frank discussions about what happens, where things come out, contractions, post delivery bleeding, what pads are etc and I hope that my girls have a good understanding and appreciation for what their bodies are capable of. What’s normal. I hope they remember pregnancy and birth as a positive thing with a wonderful outcome…a beautiful baby!

I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without Rob who has been an amazing partner and support. Maggie has bought us closer together in so many ways. Sure, there was the endless sex throughout(!) but more than that his support for what I wanted to do and openness to be a part of the calm birth stuff made the process seem less woo woo for me, he hardly rolled his eyes once! His support throughout the delivery was instrumental and on a completely different level to what it had been before. I literally would not have been able to get through each contraction without him willing me on. Talking me through each step, holding my hand, wiping my head. It was pure devotion and love for both Maggie and I and I will never forget that cold afternoon in Bowral that she was born.

I won’t lie, I am still a little scared about what lies ahead of us. Old habits die hard and all that. But this newborn business is relatively easy compared to the problems that lie ahead – the emotional stuff, the fights over homework, tantrums over getting dressed, I’ve got this feeding, settling stuff. I’ve also got a beautiful family around me, willing me on and making me feel supported and loved and appreciated for everything I do. I’ve got Maggie, sweet little Maggie who seems very happy with how things are going right now. So long as I don’t make her wait too long for her milk and speed up those nappy changes in the middle of the night when it’s below zero outside. I’ve got this, we’ve got this.

Those tears I sobbed as I drove home from Harper’s gymnastic class last August were more than just tears of sadness for a child I didn’t think I was capable of having. They were tears of saying goodbye to an old part of me that I didn’t need anymore that I knew in my heart I was letting go of. It’s very hard to change the way we are, or have been our whole lives. But it can happen, if you want it to. Throughout this pregnancy I have said goodbye to a part of me that was filled with self doubt and questioning. Every woman has a Mother in them, it’s just there, waiting to be tapped into and trusted. It’s as pure and simple as the instinct to push in birth, or your baby to find your nipple and suckle from it. If we let go of fear, our brain talking us out of so much stuff in our lives (not just about being a parent) and trust ourselves to be the best people we can be, to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, if we want it enough, we can make it happen. That’s what I know this whole thing has taught me. What an amazing gift I have been given from Maggie. My baby and my teacher.

I know the months ahead won’t all be so happy. Sleepless nights, hormones, tiredness, juggling work and school and babies and teething, tantrums all of it I know exactly what lies ahead but I do know that I will be tackling it in a better way than I have ever done before. I am going to trust myself, trust Maggie, rely on Rob and the girls for help and support and know that whatever comes up, we will tackle it together. With trust. And love. And without a sniff of fear.

We’ve got this. We’ve all got this.


  1. It’s a tough one to grasp though, believing that we’ve got this, and it took the birth of my third to realise that I could do it, although not as I thought I ‘should’ be. Not one book passed across my eyes after our Oliver was born. I knew in my gut that he would guide me, as would his smells and cues. But every day I do question if I’m not too cranky, busy and tired. I saw a school mum pregnant with her FIFTH and she was waddling so nice and calmly back to her car after drop off with a toddler’s chubby hand in hers and I was rushing back to sit at my computer and work. I suppose it’s my decision to work but I just hope I don’t look back and regret it. You’ve totally got this Beth, and a part of me wonders if if I’ll ever be ‘done’ as children are such gifts, thankfully I have a husband who IS done, so the decision is not mine to make. Rest up and big love xx

  2. Gosh this is beautiful. I’m so envious of you (in a very healthy way!), as I wish I had the courage to go again. I’m so happy for you guys xo

  3. Oh I remember that four o’clock feeling very well. Anxiety robbed me of much of the joy I could have experienced with our first baby. By the time our second came along I’d decided that I had nothing better to do than feed and that she couldn’t cry with a boob in her mouth.
    Like Em, I’m not sure if I’m finished. My husband would have ten more if I were willing!
    Enjoy these days and sing out if I can help in any way.
    A xx

  4. You sure do have this.
    All the things can wait. That beautiful bundle of joy will guide you and do you know what I have never regretted holding my baby a little longer, feeding him to sleep and giving him what he needed, when he needed it (even though those books warn you against it all). My best investment was a baby carrier. The 4pm anxiety and a crying baby was just too much. Strapping him to me in the Ergo meant he was calm and so was I.
    Also the best thing about a winter baby is you can have those yummy slow cooked meals on before the witching hour even begins.
    Enjoy every moment because those beautiful moments will stay with you forever.

  5. I so get this.
    I was the same with Charlie…anxious, turning to books, not trusting myself. I actually had more mother guilt than I have ever had after Lyddie arrived. Simply because I didn’t enjoy the newborn phase as much the first time around. I felt so guilty that Charlie was robbed of a happy mom…and that was I robbed of being the happy mother of a newborn. I am making up for it this time though!
    I have backed off everything except enjoying her…it actually feels really liberating to have very low expectations of myself in all areas except for mothering.
    Also I think I have the confidence that I have done it once (and made it way harder for myself than it needed to be) and so I can do it again.
    Enjoy that baby. How GOOD do they smell! And so soft!

  6. Cate Taylor says

    I just love this. You have got this, all of you. So much of this post rings so true for me, our number three is an old soul who is pure sunshine, she has helped me feel so much more confident and grounded in myself.
    I must admit to feeling almost as though i am having my own much wanted (but unrealistic) fourth baby through your sharing so much of you and beautiful Maggie. Thank you so much

  7. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker} says

    Oh Beth, this is exactly how I felt with my third baby cakes! Calm birth is so fabulous. It really is the third baby/well travelled mama chance to really soak it all up! I loved the newborn stage so much more with each baby. My littlest has just turned 2 and is now totally wild and toddlery but even this stage I’m enjoying more than I did with my first two kids because I’m not taking it all as seriously or personally. Yes, it’s still often bloody hard work and it’s certainly not all happy moments but the perspective has shifted and I really KNOW that the trickiness won’t last and I get to enjoy the great parts so much more. No books, no focus on what they should be doing or what I should be doing and we’re just loving each other sick and her tantrums don’t give me heart palpitations at all. Even in public! They’re inconvenient but I know it’s not me being a bad mum or her being hard work on purpose. It’s just toddlerhood. She’s a total nutbag but at least I can be entertained by it more than stressed!

    Much love to you and Maggie and I have thoroughly enjoyed each of your birth day instalments.xoxo

  8. I have loved reading these, Beth. And I have really connected with them but my experience is reversed – so much reversed.
    I didn’t read baby books with my first 3 really – with the exception of Up The Duff – and there were anxieties but I just did what I thought I should do because I had a crying baby so I fed it or burped it or patted it … or cried with it till we both fell asleep again. And I got through without feeling like a terrible mother. We had our dramas with jaundice with #1, screaming enormous never satisfied #2 and gorgeous little #3 who was easy as pie.
    But I never suffered from the anxiousness you had, and so many of my friends did, or feeling obligated to parent ‘properly’. I did what I did and it seemed to work and my kids turned out ok.
    And so when I went back to work, loathed it, had a miscarriage and realised I wasn’t ‘done’ because I really only felt like I was succeeding with mothering 3 gorgeous kids, I convinced my husband for #4 … Because I knew ‘I had this’ baby and kids thing… I loved it and I seemed to be good at it.
    #4 was my easiest pregnancy, an easy birth … And my most difficult baby, toddler and now Threenager.
    I have never felt so far from ‘you’ve got this’ than I have in the 3 years since I had #4! I knew I ‘had it’ with the other 3 but I can’t tell you the anxiety and fears and difficulties that turned up with the cyclone that is #4!
    I need some sort of ‘calm birthing’ weekend post baby to change my brain back to ‘you’ve got this’ because I am parenting this one exactly like the others and the ‘this’ that I had gotten with the others has disappeared into reflux, tantrums, attitude, non sleeping, backchat, screaming, tantrums, over attachment & general failing at parenting anxiety because I have no idea how to parent this one!
    I have read these instalments and cried because all your fears were mine AFTER I had #4 – how ridiculous is that? I thought with #4 I’d have some idea of what I was doing… Instead I seem to have all those first baby problems everyone else has with my last baby!
    I think your journey is awesome & I’ve recommended some friends of mine who were similarly anxious with their births/babies to read this to know there doesn’t have to be such anxiousness with going for #3.
    As for anyone contemplating 4 … My only suggestion is ‘find wine’ … It helps! Lol

  9. you do have this “handled” beth!
    everyone in your family is older and wiser now!
    the girls have a different pecking order and are gaining responsibility
    and “emotional intelligence” too! … maggie is the teacher for sure!
    keeping it calm is a good thing!
    love m:)X

  10. I have loved reading Maggies birth story. You’ve got this Beth, keep trusting yourself, you have done an awesome job so far with all your beautiful girls xx

  11. Amanda G. says

    I’ve just loved reading your story and the process you’ve been through. The biggest lesson for me after my first baby 10 years (!!) ago was to listen to my gut. It knows, we know, our inner being knows how to do this. I was exactly like you, stressed myself and our first out about routines, sleeping, feeding, everything!!! I was a manic woman, and I look back and I grieve for that time because I feel like I ruined it with him. And I missed the joy. And even when there were times when I knew what to do by listening to myself and my baby, I overrode that instinct with ‘oh but the book says this, such and such says that’. I knew I did that and when it was time for our 2nd, I did it the way I should have the first time. The inner peace, the calm, the joy, everything was easier. And he is such a happy go lucky, heart on his sleeve kid, whereas my first is deep, a thinker, a worrier. he holds it in. I wonder if those early experiences of their lives are a reason they are the way they are today?
    I love that you have the chance to be at peace with yourself and trust your gut. How lovely for Harps and Daisy to experience this with you. What a star Rob is. You can do it, the best way you know how.

  12. Lisa Mckenzie says

    So true Beth and so well written,you have got this Beth I’m so very happy you’re in a great place this time around…..enjoy Xx

  13. Doing well girl!!! Looks like you have a great baby.


  14. You’re amazing, that’s a huge, huge mental about turn, a seismic shift.. I’m watching on in fascination as I have two, and am five months pregnant with a third, and am really scared about how I’ll cope.. About all the same things you’re talking about, control, lack of it, frustration and anger at the first hard few months, they are so hard, or were for me too the last two times. My sole goal this time is to enjoy it all as much as possible, enjoy all three of my “babies” and being at home full time again for a year, and give them and me, the best of me that I have to give. You are a great inspiration for this. Thank you…

  15. Having a massive 10 year gap between kids taught me a few things too. You really have to savour the newborn/baby days because they are FAST! I felt with my first two I was always looking ahead to the next stage or milestone. With the next two I really savoured it ( except the damn tantrums, they can piss off real quick!). I also know now that all babies are different. Just because something worked with one doesn’t mean it’ll work with the next. They all need different things from you & once I let go of how I thought things should be & accepted how things were I was much happier. Each baby is a learning experience, for me & the family.

  16. Chiquita says

    I have so enjoyed your writing lately but most of all the promise of goodness in the world that a baby brings. I appreciate that you share Maggie with us and extend your love of your family.

  17. I have loved hearing these stories and seeing your growth. Thank you so much for sharing.
    It’s so inspiring. Your posts have taught me a lot of the mother I am and the one I am still going to be.
    Loved it. xx

  18. You have got this 🙂

  19. Hi Beth,
    I posted this on my site last week as it is sooo relevant. You have epressed the essence, the core of having a baby….mum’s instincts and babies guidance. It’s long but expressive.

    A Newborn’s 10 Commandments to Parents
    Dear Mum and Dad,

    I come to you a small immature being with my own style and personality. I am yours for only a short time, enjoy me.

    1. Please take time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring to you.

    2. Please feed me when I am hungry. I never knew hunger in your uterus, and clocks and time mean little to me.

    3. Please hold, cuddle, kiss, touch, stroke, and croon to me. I was always held closely in your uterus and was never alone before.

    4. Please don’t be disappointed when I am not the perfect baby that you expected nor disappointed with yourselves that you are not the perfect parents.

    5. Please don’t expect too much from me as your newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both 6 weeks as a birthday present, 6 weeks for me to grow, develop, mature and become stable and predictable, and 6 weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal

    6. Please forgive me if I cry a lot. Bear with me and in a short time, as I mature, I will spend less and less time crying and more time socialising.

    7. Please watch me carefully and I can tell you those things that soothe, console and please me. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, but the only way I can tell you that I am not happy is with my cry.

    8. Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you will make with me. As long as you make them with love, you cannot ruin me.

    9. Please take care of yourself and eat a balanced diet, rest, and exercise so that when we are together you have the health and strength to take care of me.

    10. Please take care of your relationship with each other, for what good is a family bonding if there is no family to belong to?

    Although I may have turned your life upside down, please realize that things will be back to normal before long.

    Thank you

    Your Loving Child

  20. Beth I have completely loved reading The Story of Maggie’s Birthday Day – all 3 parts – but this part 3 really spoke to me on a whole other level. I must admit that though I have followed you for a while now, I didn’t realise the relationship you had with anxiety and self doubt. What an amazing, transforming journey Maggie’s pregnancy was for you and now her birth and having her here. What a wonderful gift she has given you, precious little thing. Babies 1 & 2 weren’t good experiences for me (horrid PND), number 3 was better because I had all the supports (and medication!) in place, but I still feel like I missed out somehow on just being, and savouring it all. You so have this! Drink it all in xox

  21. I too have really loved reading your birth story Beth, and thank you so much for sharing it so openly with us. I am actually going to credit you for my own mental about-turn in recent weeks. I had really built myself up to a state of angst and fear about the impending birth/breastfeeding/newborn stage that is just around the corner (2nd bubba is due in a couple of weeks), but reading some of your calm birth ideas – particularly the one about our bodies being designed to have babies – have really put me at ease. Seems pretty straight forward doesn’t it, but nobody ever says that, it’s always about the pain etc!! I also love that you’re just trusting your instincts this time. Along with lots of other ladies, I read too bloody much before the first time around & won’t be doing that again. Last but not least, how lucky are Daisy & Harps to learn so much about the way their bodies work in this way – SO much better than flying blind through all that horrid awkwardness trying to figure out all that stuff on your own. Bravo, lady. You’re doing a wonderful job.

  22. thegingerfox says

    This makes my heart so very happy, what a beautiful piece of writing!! As a midwife this says so much to me about the importance of “not just a healthy baby” but the empowerment a positive birth can have on a woman and her baby for he rest of their lives! I truly believe in Calmbirth and what it teaches not just for birth but for life, getting back to our instincts and what feels right…. We need to trust ourselves it’s all in there it’s just been a bit forgotten and lost its way! So very happy for you and loving your blog:)

  23. Hey Beth,
    These three Maggie posts…. these are maybe my favourites here.
    As someone without a great mum connection, and without children of my own, I always find stories of the extraordinary bond between mother and child super moving, and a bit foreign.
    What I find I’ve responded to most, and love most here, is the beauty of your journey to being a more confident, loving, nurturing, strong woman. You willfully took on growing another girl child, and growing the grown up girl child that you are.
    That’s mind blowing.
    Truly, rooly.
    Thank you Beth, for taking us beyond your gorgeous home and recipes and lovely village life.
    Your writing here is so beautiful… perhaps that’s why I’m now crying.

  24. Gibbergunyah says

    Beth, this is beyond wonderful. I too am sad that I didn’t get to that point with my first baby, and only got there with my second at about 4 months. Despite all the help from Calmbirth (and two wonderful, wonderful births), my self doubt was a powerful force that didn’t hold up to feeding problems, colic, and two under two very well. I love to think I would be as you are with a third, and my sadness that we can’t go again is profound. You have a powerful gift to give your girls about the wonder of birth and gentleness with yourself and newborns that will stay with them all their lives.
    I know I sent you a book, perhaps it was to the old you? From the old me?

  25. YES! You guys have totally got this. Your beautiful, beautiful family. Much love. x

  26. Oh man, you need to stop with the emotional posts, I am welling up with tears again! On a serious note, thank you for sharing, it’s important for us all as mothers to have self belief and faith that we can do this, which quite often I know I don’t have and speaking to other mothers, I know they share the same feelings. It’s such a huge learning curve, and the goal posts constantly change, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  27. Hi Beth, it’s so easy to look back with hindsight and chastise ourselves (beat ourselves up!) over what we now believe we ‘should’ have done, but really it doesn’t matter. You’re a great Mum, and always have been, just look at the wonderful big sisters Maggie has and there’s your proof 🙂
    Big hug, Liz XO

  28. Enjoy every snuggle, sniff of that sweet little head, quiet moments in the middle of the night together, just the two of you. It’s these moments that you will treasure forever and which will help you get through those days ahead as Maggie grows and becomes an amazing young woman. Just as you have done a wonderful job, (and continue to do) raising the gorgeous Daisy and Harper, you will give these gifts to your sweet Maggie too. And with Rob, Daisy and Harper at your side you will never be alone in the journey of nurturing another lovely little one.
    Big hugs,
    Manda xx

  29. These three Maggie posts are so powerful and such incredible writing. Such vulnerability, such strength, such beautiful words. They speak right to my heart.

    Thank you for sharing them and the delightful Maggie.

  30. Wow! I am so in love with your story of Maggie’s birth. I think you should write a book! The last time I was completely compelled to read ‘the next chapter’ was when I read ‘The Green Mile’ by Stephen King in 1996! It was released in a 6 volume series…I would read each new release in a day and have to wait a month for the next one!

    I was ‘in’ from beginning to end with your story (first resulting from missing you at RGM & wondering how it was all going) & I am now not only appreciative of your journey (where the hell was the Calm Birth situation when I had MY two) but your writing talent!

    I wish you the very best of luck with your precious ‘who’ll run the world’ brood & look forward to reading on & hopefully seeing you soon!

    Your newest fan

    Jenni xx

  31. What a lovely post. You have so got this. I hope I can feel this assurance in the next few weeks when baby no. 3 arrives x

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