As the morning sun rose I knew it was time to wake the others. The rain fell hard outside creating a sense of safety and warmth in our home. The house was quiet and still. I had spent the last few hours alone creating a sacred space. Three candles burned silently surrounding the watchful eye of my precious Quan Yin. These were a symbol of the women who had gone before me. The beads around my neck reminded me of the sacred blessings from each of my dearest friends. I felt their presence and power surrounding me in this special place. The scent of my favourite incense filled the room. We were ready – today our baby would be born. From the moment I birthed our first child, Harrison, I longed to birth again. I had never experienced such powerful transformation. I felt I had been given a taste of the true power within me. In planning to birth again I began to dream of how I would ideally like it to be. I wanted to create a safe, quiet place with my family close around me. I wanted freedom to birth in whichever way my body and baby led me. I wanted ongoing care from an experienced midwife who trusted birth. I wanted the wisdom of my body to be respected and supported. On the morning of our baby’s birth, I awoke shortly after midnight to experience strong clear contractions. Within a very short time it was evident that I would not be able to lie in bed and experience them. Leaving Harry and Steve sleeping soundly I went downstairs. Initially I busied myself with setting out the sheets, towels and bits and pieces ready for birth. The contractions kept coming causing me at times to stop and allow them to flow through me. With the practicalities completed I settled into the lounge room and my sacred space. Throughout my pregnancy I had a strong desire for this space on my own before the birth. For me it was a time to culminate my inner strength and knowing and prepare myself for the sacred passage to come. I felt such peace, trust and courage. I knew I was ready and as I surrendered, I let go of all the thinking and planning and allowed my body and baby to lead the way. My contractions were starting to become stronger and no longer allowed me to sit on the floor. With each surge, I got up and leaned over the TV cabinet for support. My voice moaned as I felt the strength of my uterus and cervix opening. After each surge I returned to the floor – focussed and present in my body. As time passed I was ready to share my space and felt a need for the presence of my husband and son. After a contraction I walked up the stairs and quietly woke Steve. He woke with disbelief that birth was unfolding around him. I wandered downstairs again and wondered if he would think he was dreaming and fall back to sleep. In no time however, both Steve and Harry were with me. Harry was so excited. He put on his doctors hat and began fussing about. He lay towels on the floor around me to stop the blood staining the carpet. He massaged my back and told me he loved me. He couldn’t contain his anticipation – the baby would soon be here! By this time I was experiencing the full strength of my body. As I left the realms of rational thinking, I surrendered myself to the primal wisdom of birth. The ancient knowing of a woman’s body needs no teacher, just permission and space to weave her magic. My body knew exactly what to do as its rhythm poetically spiralled my tiny baby downward towards the earth. I moved with the rhythm, trusting and graciously surrendering. Contractions were strong and I could no longer walk to the cabinet for support. I rose off my yoga ball and leaned over the couch in front of me. My need to moan was helpful in releasing my body. I could feel my cervix opening and the pressure on my pelvic floor increasing. Our midwife arrived quietly, setting up her equipment in the adjoining room. The others were eating breakfast. Life around me was full of anticipation and excitement. I could feel the confident and unobtrusive support of my midwife as she gently guided Steve’s support and nurturance of me. I could feel Deirdre’s presence around me and smelt her perfume whenever she was close. She sat nearby watching and occasionally listening to the baby. She gave me water and gently applied acupressure through contractions. The intensity of the contractions grew and I buried my face into the pillows in front of me. Despite the warmth of the room I began to shiver and felt like I could not continue. I wondered how close I was to birth. With each contraction I wondered if I could face another. How much longer? How much further? Labour reached it peak. Deirdre brought a sheet and plastic to cover the floor beneath me. “Just in case your waters break,” she said. I didn’t want to birth on land. I wanted the water. I felt concerned about suggesting to go into the bath. What if I wasn’t very dilated? Could I handle the disappointment? Could I keep going? I expressed the idea of going to the bath. No one said anything. I waited a little longer. I knew it was time to go. Our baby was close. I could feel the intensity of my body and knew I needed to move – now. It was action on all fronts as Steve rushed to fill the bath to full capacity. I was on the move. The water felt so hot and the room sweltering. I stood in the water complaining until the next contraction, upon which I was fully emersed, oblivious to my discomfort. It felt so good. I wallowed and floated. Why hadn’t I come in here sooner? As I lay in the water our baby moved into position for birth. In a short time I felt my body shift. The urge to push had become clear. I felt excited. I knew our baby was close. Upon the next contraction I rose to all fours to feel an almighty explosion as my waters broke and shot across the top of the water. Then came the most powerful surge of energy and desire I have ever experienced. With all my strength my body pushed and my throat roared. I let my body lead, the power and strength of its knowing unable to be contained. Deirdre reminded me to breath through the overwhelming passion of my efforts. As I did my body relaxed and released allowing the passage of our baby’s head. My body paused between pushing, mustering strength. Our baby waited, his gentle entrance imminent. Again my body surged, our baby’s head emerging to his cheeks. My perineum burned with a familiar sting, my body ached. I felt so hot. Harry watched quietly alongside Deirdrie, focused on the baby with his torch. Steve continued to wipe my face, catching glimpses of our baby being born. Again my body surged and our baby’s hips emerged. “Nearly there” I repeated feeling the intensity of my perineum once again. He was nearly in my arms. One almighty last surge and our baby was born. The room was electric as we gathered around our tiny baby. He gazed peacefully around him, taking in the faces and smells – his birth gentle and complete. After waiting for his placenta to be born I snuggled into our warm bed, baby at my breast and Harry close beside me. Steve made some food and joined us in the bed. The rain continued to fall creating a gentle sanctuary around us. I felt enormously satisfied and renewed in my appreciation and respect for mother birth. It was a gentle beginning for our baby, a loving transition for our growing family and a renewed strength as a couple. Such a precious gift. I would like to dedicate this article to my beloved son, Baxter. I am forever thankful for sharing his journey. To my husband Steve, for his willingness to step outside his comfort zone and embrace the mystery and magic of birth. To my big boy, Harry for making the journey even more interesting!