Harli’s Birth Story


Harli Jay Van Der Plas

? Born: 9/12/21

? Weight: 8.4 pounds

? Length: 49 cms

?Time of birth: 4:40pm

?Planned Birth: Water birth in the birthing suites at St George

?Actual birth: Home birth


I went to see my midwife in the morning of Harli’s unbeknown birth. I had been having mad cramps & Braxton Hicks, & had felt horrible all week, I was 40 + 2. She did a stretch & sweep & assessed things, I was already 3/4 cms dilated, and she was dumbfounded that I hadn’t gone into labour yet as everything looked & felt ready! I came home & was feeling sore, tired & over it ?

Around 2pm I called Shaun & said I think you should come home, I was having minor cramping & what felt like the early stages of labour ?? (but was still thinking ‘yeah right’??)

I jumped in the bath at 3pm, & was on the phone texting people, & organising Leo’s 8th birthday party, clearly things didn’t feel that bad then ?

When I got out, I felt ok, and Shaun even said to me, ‘I hope this baby does come as we have the kids sorted with family & I’ve told work that I won’t be going back’. ??

Next minute my waters semi broke & I lost my mucas plug.. I said to him, ‘I think he’s definitely on his way’, so we put on the ten’s machine for the pain (which then started to accelerate at the speed of light ?).

This was around 4pm..

Shaun’s mum popped in on her way home from work (randomly), and we rang the midwife who was at Christchurch hospital about to help with another birth, but she could tell that I was well on my way and knew things would move fast ??

She asked if we could get to St George, I was like yeah sure.. then when I stood up,   I was like ‘ummmm hell no this baby is coming now’ ???

The rest of my waters broke, and active labour was ON!

Another midwife was called to come as mine wasn’t sure she would make it on time as she was now stuck in traffic, so midwife 2 was also on her way to get to us as quick as possible ?

I was laying on the ground in all sorts (Shaun & his mum were both amazing at helping, & I had my midwife on the phone). Both midwives arrived around 430pm, I was waiting for them to arrive ‘to push’, and I was screaming ‘this baby is coming out’!! ??

They got me up on all fours over the couch, and within 10 mins our baby boy was born at 4:40pm. Super healthy, and as beautiful as ever, I couldn’t actually believe what had just happened ???????


I had envisioned a home birth, but never really seen it as an option. But given the high standard of mid-wifery care here in Nz, I’m so pleased that I got to experience it. No intervention needed, and an amazing support team with family near by ?

A very empowering, surreal, and amazing experience, which was my goal for this birth, I just never dreamed it would happen in our living room. Didn’t even need to go to the hospital at all, and we got to spend some quality time at home, and the family were all welcome to come and meet Harli – just perfect ??

I carried a lot of trauma from Leo’s birth, and the one thing I wanted to take away from this birth, was for it to feel empowering & positive ?

Now I’m not over here saying it was easy.. holy moly, it was intense, painful (don’t like using that word), loud, incredibly hard & fast! But… I am so freaking proud of my body, and the female body in general for being equipped to deal with child birth physically, mentally & emotionally!

My birth experience was powerful, and from now on I’ll be sharing those good vibe positive birth stories, & encouraging women to feel empowered leading into birth, not fearful ?