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Diary

Lucinda Barrett

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ELLA and KATH

MOTHER and DAUGHTER

Here is our second story. Like us, Kath and Ella are mother and daughter. We have known Ella for a few years now and she and Kath have been wearing our jewellery since the early days.

Claire, who you met in the last story, came along with us as she is good friends with Ella. We all spent the morning in Kath’s beautiful Muriwai home eating strawberries, sharing stories and laughing in a room full of love.

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Lucinda: Tell us about your connection, what is it based on and how did it begin?

KATH: Well, I am Ella's mother

Lucinda: And where were you born? Were you born in Auckland?

ELLA: I was born in National Women’s. You should tell the birth story.

Lucinda: Yeah, is it a good story?

E: Mum was telling me that the other day, because it is part of this course that I’m doing

Lucinda: And this course you are doing is to be a Doula...?

K: Ok so Ella came a week early. She was born on the Sunday night, and on the Friday night I went to bed and woke up dreaming that I was about to give birth. I called my midwife and she came around and checked me out. She said ‘no no you’re fine, you haven't dilated but maybe you should go to the hospital just in case.’ I was living in Mt Eden so Pete, Ella’s dad and I, and a couple of our friends thought we would just walk there thinking it would bring it on. We get there and there was a young doctor who said ‘no no you’re not ready for another week, go home.’ I had a friend of mine, Peter up from Dunedin, who was coming over for dinner that night, and his wife Nicola, who was a midwife was going to fly up a week later for the birth. And so Peter came around for dinner and I just started going into…

Lucinda: …major labor

E: Weren’t you washing the dishes?

K: Yeah I was washing the dishes, and he...

Lucinda: Was he a doctor?

K: No he was just a great friend, he was an archeologist, and so he ended up coming to the birth

Lucinda: Instead of his partner who was the midwife?

K: Yeah, and he ended up staying the night because he was just blown away that I was in labor. Then my sister Nicci lived next door and at first she didn’t want to come to the birth, but then she had a dream that I didn’t tell her that I was going into labour and I had gone off to the hospital without her, so she ending up coming too

Lucinda: So everybody was dreaming it up

K: Yeah, so I ended up staying at home till 3 in the morning and then we went to hospital, and my other sister Denise flew up from Christchurch, so I had both my sisters at the birth and two Pete’s, and Ella came out waving

Lucinda: Like ‘hi everybody!’

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E: But one of the most amazing parts was that Peter wrote a letter of his experience straight after the birth for mum to give me on my 21st birthday, and they flew over from Australia for my 21st and we opened it together

Claire: That’s so cool you kept it

K: Oh no I treasured it, I didn’t want to lose it because obviously it was a special time

Lucinda: What a great experience, and so once you got to hospital it didn’t take long to have her?

K: I went to hospital at 3 or 4 on Sunday morning and didn’t leave till about 5 or 6 that evening

Lucinda: Oh so took a while

K: Yeah it was a long labour actually, so yeah that’s how we connected. But I've always felt connected to Ella

E: A little team

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Lucinda: So how do you feel about that story?

E: Well mum is so the centre of my world, we have always just been a little unit. I don’t know, I just feel like I haven’t needed much more than a mum

Lucinda: And has that been an influence on your doula thing?

E: Well I think as I am sort of thinking about it...

Lucinda: …it seems to be opening up more of a story?

Claire: What do you think of Ella doing her doula training? You must be really into it

K: I was really surprised actually that that was what she wanted to do, just because I didn’t know anything about it. But I think it makes a lot of sense because she has got that strong empathy and you are very good at making people feel at ease, you are very supportive but very matter of fact as well, you can be firm when you need to be but you are really in tune with what people would need

E: Actually we were talking about how if something comes up as an option and you are like ‘oh my god yes!’, then follow the impulse. So a friend of mine told me, I gravitated towards her at a party (because she was pregnant) and I was like ‘tell me all about it, what are you doing, what’s your birth plan’ and she said ‘I’ve got this doula’ and I was like ‘what is a doula’ and so she told me about the Byron Bay course and actually it wasn’t until I went to the Juliet Allen talk and she spoke about her background as a doula and I was sitting there going ‘oh my god this is the second time!’

Lucinda: see that’s a sign

E: Yeah and I think you know, there has always been lots of women around and both of your sisters were there when I was born, there is quite a lot of female energy, and then I feel like mum and I obviously have that mum and daughter connection and that is super strong

K: Well I think to, I was a single parent until Ella was six, until we met Marty and so those years...

Lucinda: …yeah those are big years

K: It’s a strong connection in those early years, that’s a lot to do with it too, and you’ve always lived at home (in New Zealand)

E: Yeah I think our connection has probably had a lot to do with that

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Lucinda: And so how has it changed now, now that you are both grown ups. Or it hasn't?

E: I don’t think it has

K: Well Ella is 28 and I was 25 when I had her and its hard to think that she’s actually older...

Lucinda: …than you were when you had her

E: You were 27 weren’t you?

K: Oh yeah sorry I was 27, 25 when I got married

Lucinda: So that was your Saturn return, having a baby

K: Yeah so the old Saturn return, Ella was telling me about that

E: And actually when I think about it, we have always been so constant. Mum and I don’t fight, or fall out or anything like that and actually we are both wobbly when we haven’t spoken, so mum's like ‘oh my god you didn’t ring me on your way home yesterday’

Lucinda: So do you speak everyday?

E: Everyday, sometimes twice a day

K: And I’ve always just thought communication is so important

Lucinda: Yeah communication is where its all at

E: Probably the biggest wobble we’ve had was when we were sitting on the ferry to Waiheke and you told me you were going to move to Gisbourne

K: Oh yeah

E: And you haven’t yet

K: People always say to me you’ve got such a lovely daughter and I just go ‘I’m blessed’ I’m just really lucky.

Ella and Kath are both wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison

Ella and Kath are both wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection
Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison