Our darling Ziggy Lionheart Anderson arrived at 5.19am on 20 February 2021 at the Gold Coast Birth Centre. It was a phenomenal and dramatic birth. Despite Ziggy being my third baby (and son) in 5 years, my pregnancy, labour and post-partum experiences were radically different to Forrest and Charlie’s journeys. I’ve learned so much from him already. Here is a detailed overview of what transpired. 2022 Update – Happy 1st Birthday Ziggy! 2023 update – Read about my recovery from anorexia to become a mum of 3
Want the 5 minute version of this? See Ziggy’s Birth Story in Numbers (it includes a video of us talking about the surprising delivery)
Ziggy’s DOB gives him a (2+0+0+2+2+0+2+1) = making him a pure 9 life path in numerology, aka an Old Soul and Global Thinker. He’s part of the next generation of children, who know their purpose by primary school (in Ziggy’s case, he will know his mission by 9 years old). This is 3x faster than Kris and myself*. His birth reflected his personality – quick and efficient!
*Kris is a 28/10/1 life path Pioneer, who earned his Aikido black belt at age 28, preparing him for life as a peaceful warrior. I am a 29/11/2 life path Spiritual Messenger, who began studying numerology and uncovered a line of mental health tragedies in my family at age 29 (on 11/11, no less!)
These revelations inspired me to leave fundraising to become a psychic. I knew that I needed to take my views public if I was going to recover from health problems, fall pregnant and live a long life. Find your life path
Note: Although I published my other sons’ birth stories after their arrival, it’s taken me 11 weeks to finish this post. Why? Because it’s been a complex journey and I wanted to write an objective story. Thank you to everyone who’s helped me find the courage to get this out there.
FYI, I refer to core services midwives and birth centre midwives below. The former work with doctors and mums in the wards, so are more used to inductions and giving epidurals etc. The latter work with mums who have been accepted to the birth centre. They are trained to assist with active labour techniques, water births and to deliver women-centred care.
All three of my children have been born in birth centres (Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital x 2, Gold Coast University Hospital x 1).
Already read this post? See Ziggy’s Dramatic Arrival at the Gold Coast Birth Centre – A Mother’s Review (Part 2)
Hello Ziggy! His Precipitous Birth
I’d been labouring quietly in the Gold Coast birth centre, doing hip circles for 20 minutes, when I felt Ziggy’s head crowning.
Turning to the woman beside me (who I later realised was a core services midwife), I said ‘the head is coming out’. I was as calm as someone ordering a sandwich. As a third time mum, I wasn’t afraid. I’d been looking forwards to meeting Ziggy for months.
She looked at me – fully dressed with my shoes on, and felt for the baby’s head. He was emerging into my underwear. She went pale.
“I need you to get on the bed!” she said, and started pulling me over. I was standing in a corner for privacy and she was concerned it was an inaccessible location.
I stared at her in disbelief. With Ziggy’s head between my legs, moving was not an option. Plus, I wanted to birth upright, as I had done before. I didn’t want to have another tear. Unfortunately, the midwife didn’t know my birth plan. We had no connection. I thought she was an admin, because she was filling out forms at the computer. Didn’t even know her name.
Looking into her eyes, I saw panic. An image of Ziggy falling to the floor flashed through my mind*. That shocked me, as I wasn’t expecting fear. In my previous labours, birth centre midwives had held and encouraged me to birth calmly, without stress in their body language. I heard her asking Kris to press the button for help, but no one came.
Trusting my (s)urges, I bore down. One contraction and some loud yelling later, Ziggy was out. Someone pulled him from my underwear to safety. I thought it was the midwife but found out the next day that it was my husband, Kris. He caught the baby in a towel we brought from home then passed the baby through my legs to the midwife.
When she tried to give me Ziggy, I said, ‘I’m in pain’ and shook my head. In hindsight, I wish I had taken him, but I think I was upset at her for raising her voice. Turning to the door, I was suddenly surrounded by 5 staff. One of them said, “we have to check if the baby’s cord is compromised”. Our birth centre midwife had arrived and called a ‘birth emergency’.
After the cord was cut, the core services midwife seemed shocked. She left without saying congratulations or goodbye (despite Kris thanking her). I lay on the bed dazed, while checks were done by a birth centre midwife. No tears. Baby in perfect condition. Placenta intact. Phew! As per birth centre protocol, we were discharged 5-6 hours later.
Due to the hectic experience, it was hard for me to hold Ziggy or do skin-to-skin, let alone breastfeed, until the next day. I was a nervous wreck and didn’t feel like touching anyone. The peaceful labour I was hoping for – that I had discussed with the birth centre and experienced with Charlie in 2017, had not eventuated. It would take months for me to understand why…
*I recently saw in the paper that GCUH is being sued for a baby falling to the floor during a fast labour – in that case, the mother was denied a caesarean despite her requests, which is different to my case. Interestingly, that baby, who is brain-damaged, looks a little like Ziggy.
9 Challenges of Ziggy’s Birth and their Hidden Blessings
Challenge 1: He arrived after less than 4 hours of labour. I knew Ziggy wanted to incarnate ASAP, as he’d been giving me Braxton-Hicks contractions for a month. I’d also had false labour signs at 35 weeks. Still, it was intense to give birth so rapidly. My labours have halved in duration with each child (16 hours, 8 hours, 4 hours). Although I knew what to do, I didn’t have as much time to gather my team around me.
Hidden blessing: Ziggy manifested a 100% intervention-free birth, without even a dilation check. I was prepared for a precipitous birth as my midwives, friends, even the receptionist who wheeled me into the birth centre said third babies can come fast – they are wildcards. Due to his speedy delivery, the pain was totally manageable, as happened with Charlie. I only needed a heat pack and Elle TENS machine (which I bought – you can also hire them). The first person to hold him was his father Kris, which I believe was a past-life healing (based on Ziggy’s astrology).
Note: I have done yogababy classes, PT with Leah Williams and bellydancing for years. These exercises helped me have a better birth.
Challenge 2: ALL our birth plans went out the window. I am a planner by nature (hence my occupation predicting the future). My original birth centre midwife Stacey and I met over several months to prepare for Ziggy’s arrival. She’s a 40/4-22/4 hybrid life path Heart Healer and as detail-oriented as me. We are both 11:11 See’rs and I felt confident that we could create a great birth together.
However on the day, Stacey was off-duty, her replacement was new, our babysitters weren’t available or didn’t have their phones on, I’d only had 30 minutes sleep (compared to a full night with our first two kids). Plus, we were delayed getting to hospital then had dramas with the core services midwife. Did I mention, it was also the end of a Mercury retrograde?!
Hidden blessing: Despite the chaos, I experienced SO much love from my tribe. Our 3yo Charlie came in with a crystal to help me labour. My friend Suki woke just before I texted at 3am and came with a helper to mind the kids. Forrest’s midwife (from 2016) woke at the same time, after a Spirit voice called her name (!) Kris had my back at all times, and my crystal healer Deniz Akan did a distance clearing of the room.
I’ve also met dozens of profound women and healers, as a result of Ziggy. Kate Porter from Sacred Birthkeeper has been bringing me food and homoeopathics. Mashenka Barlag helped me pre- and post-birth with Spinal Flow and kinesiology, which I found cathartic and healing. Savitri from Qi Clinic Acupuncture helped me with blocked milk ducts. After facing some of my worst fears, I feel less need to control now and more able to love myself. I even dyed my hair for the first time in 3 years as an act of self-care.
Challenge 3: The birth centre midwife on duty didn’t believe I needed to come in. When I called her at 3.30am, my waters had broken and leaked out. Usually my waters break just before delivery, so I knew Ziggy was coming. I’d had 45 minutes of contractions every 5-7 minutes and felt things were progressing. Still, I kept my voice down so as not to wake the kids.
As a long-term meditator, who’s Chinese and uses Hypnobirthing-type techniques, I don’t show my feelings much. The midwife kept saying she didn’t think I was in established labour (basically, that I was ‘too calm’). After we’d organised a babysitter, I called again at 4am and begged to come in (which was painful, as I hadn’t anticipated having to convince her).
It took 17 minutes to get the midwife to agree. She didn’t want me to come in too early and have to go home or risk intervention. She said she would see me in 40 minutes, took 55 minutes, and sadly, missed Ziggy’s birth. I tried to wait until she got there, but just couldn’t hold him in.
Looking back, I wish I had made a bigger deal of my contractions and asked the midwife to speak to Kris. He would have told her I was a third-time mum, who knew her body and had high intuition (I work with baby Spirits). He could have also said we’d had weeks of Braxton-Hicks contractions and some false labour scares. I have no doubt that if Stacey had been on call that night, she would have admitted me straightaway, due to her experience and knowledge of me.
Hidden blessing: I inspired change in the birth centre and my midwife. I had met this midwife one week prior and liked her immensely. We talked about how she delivered a big baby standing up without a tear, and how I didn’t want observers due to a drama with Forrest’s labour (when a student came in last-minute). She reassured me that the doctor who told me I should have an induction at 39 to 40 weeks due to my age (40) and low PAPP-A, couldn’t overrule me. I felt Ziggy wanted her at his birth. FYI he came at 38 weeks and 6 days, cheeky bugger!
That said, we had misunderstandings on the day. After discussions with her and management, improvements were made, which were much-needed. I encouraged her to trust her instincts more, and to have more faith in the mothers birthing with her (birth centre mums tend to be well-educated).
Challenge 4: When we arrived, the ER receptionist got lost pushing my wheelchair to the birth centre. We parked in the emergency (ER) carpark as my contractions were so close together. When the receptionist saw me waddling in with a towel between my legs, she tried to find a warden to help, but no one answered. So she offered to wheel me upstairs. Only thing is – she was small and I am big (almost 6 foot tall), so I could hear her huffing and puffing. She didn’t know where the birth centre was, so we went up and down dark corridors for 10 minutes until Kris stepped in!
Hidden blessing: The receptionist gave us a good laugh before what turned out to be a difficult birth. You couldn’t have asked for a nicer person. She just didn’t have a sense of direction (same as me!) While she was calling on her phone for help, my contractions stopped, which was a welcome reprieve. It really was Fawlty Towers meets Mission Impossible-type stuff…
All Ziggy Lionheart articles including:
Ziggy’s Birth Story in Numbers (includes video – posted above)
My Birth Mentor Suzanne Swan from Yogababy Brisbane
Baby Ziggy says ‘Hi’ at 8 weeks and ‘Yeah’ at 10 weeks!
10 Ways Making Breastmilk is like Making Money I donated breastmilk after Ziggy stopped taking a bottle. It was a thought-provoking decision.
Conscious Parenting, Pregnancy and Fertility Resources including:
7 Discoveries About Babies That Blew My Brain – A Psychic’s Tale
Hello Charlie! My 333 Angel Baby Arrives (born Aug 2017)
Forrest’s 11:11 Birth Story – A Piece of (Chocolate) Cake (born Feb 2016)|
Also see Birth Time – The Documentary (fascinating movie – I will review it soon)