Natalie gave birth to her daughter at home, with only her husband to help. It wasn't an accident — it was her choice. It's called freebirthing.
Figures on the number of women choosing to freebirth are not collated, but researchers and midwives believe it's on the rise.
There's concern those numbers will grow because of a change in two years' time.
That's when the one company that provides cover to private midwives will no longer be able to.
That could spell the end of private homebirths in Australia, leaving women determined to homebirth with little choice but to go it alone.
"The safest birth is where the woman feels relaxed," Natalie said.
"I have never been happier, more proud, more joyful, more fulfilled."
But Natalie, 43, also acknowledges the birth of her daughter Cyan 14 months ago involved risk to mother and baby.
"The very small risk that was posed, I felt that I was prepared to take and if there was a death of my baby, or a death of me, then I was capable of grieving," she said.
"We didn't go into it naively, or in denial. We went into it with a calculated risk assessment of what may or may not come of that."
During labour, Cyan's shoulders got stuck.
"My body tried to push and induce some contractions but she was lodged," Natalie explained.
"So I tried a squat and that didn't do anything, that can actually lodge them deeper.
"I do remember feeling a shift, and there was another shift, and then a contraction came and it was really, really strong and powerful, and I did a sort of guttural sound, and that was her shoulders birthing."
Cyan was born floppy and quiet, but quickly recovered and started crying.
But Natalie herself was losing a lot of blood.
"I did pass out a couple of times, I sort of was resting, I call it. I took a little bit of a rest," Natalie said.
The bleeding, thankfully, stopped and neither mother nor baby needed medical attention.
Homebirth vs freebirth
Freebirth is very different to properly supervised homebirth with a registered midwife.
In 2019, private homebirths in Australia may end altogether.
That's because only one company, MIGA, offers insurance to private homebirth midwives in Australia, and that cover does not include the most high-risk period — labour.
The Federal Government provided an exemption in 2010 that allows midwives to attend homebirths despite being uninsured during labour, but that exemption expires in December 2019.
Without it, private midwives would be committing an illegal act by conducting a homebirth while uninsured.
When homebirth makes the headlines, it's usually because of bad news.
In June, deregistered midwife Lisa Barrett was charged with manslaughter over the deaths of two babies at high-risk homebirths in South Australia.
In 2015 a baby died in New South Wales at a freebirth near Lismore.
But research by the Victorian Consultative Council, presented at the Perinatal Society of Australian meeting earlier this year, found a properly supervised homebirth is safe for many.
The research studied 15 years of homebirth in Victoria.
The head of obstetrics at Monash University, Professor Euan Wallace, was part of the research team.
"For healthy women, planning to have your baby at home is as safe as planning to have your baby in hospital," Professor Wallace said.
A "healthy" pregnancy is characterised by the mother being under 35, with no major health issues, the baby positioned head down, and preferably a second or subsequent birth.
Australian hospitals have some of the highest intervention rates — such as caesarean section and forceps delivery — in the world.
Despite that, only about 0.5 per cent of Australian women choose to have a private homebirth, where intervention rates are much lower.
There are only about 12 publicly funded homebirth programs around the country, and women must be low risk to access them.
Professor Wallace is an advocate for properly supervised homebirth, but he is deeply concerned about women choosing to freebirth.
"That is the unfortunate norm for most low-resourced nations around the world. We know what the outcomes are and they are not good," Professor Wallace said.
"So when women in Australia are choosing to freebirth, we need to understand why they are doing that. Because there isn't a need for them to do it."
Natalie says a traumatic hospital experience with her first child, and a lack of other options, drove her to freebirth.
Pregnant with her daughter, she was rejected from her local birth centre as too high risk to birth only with midwives, as was her preference.
The only private midwife in her area was male, and she wasn't comfortable with that.
The 43-year-old is aware of many other women choosing freebirth.
"I know of quite a few and some of them might even be saying they were accidental, but they were real freebirths," Natalie said.
She believes most are making that choice because they want to have a natural birth without intervention, and social media is spreading the word.
"Sometimes these women are high risk, like I would technically be categorised as high risk, and so to have the smooth, beautiful, joyful, safe birth that they want, which is unhindered, they actually have to birth at home with no medical care provided," Natalie said.
These women are 'refugees from mainstream maternity care'
Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney Hannah Dahlen describes women like Natalie as "refugees from the mainstream maternity care", and says their stories reveal a deeper malaise within the system.
She and her colleagues are researching the impact of birth trauma and the connection to subsequent freebirths or high-risk homebirths.
"We are in a situation where I've probably never been so concerned as I am now," Professor Dahlen said.
"Our research is showing us freebirth is rising, the use of [unregulated] birth workers is rising. Women just can't access midwives — if they can access them, they can't afford them."
Professor Dahlen said unless a solution to the insurance problem was found urgently, more private midwives would stop practicing.
"So in December 2019 when the exemption for insurance expires, there is a real potential that women will not be able to access a registered midwife for their homebirth," she said.
"So they will turn to [unregulated] birth workers or they will turn to doing it themselves and that is a real concern."
Professor Dahlen said a lack of insurance was just one of a number of factors causing private midwives to leave practice.
She said in the past five years, the number of private midwives had more than halved to about 100.
In that same time, Professor Dahlen said about half of all private midwives had been reported to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
"The current climate for private midwives in Australia, I think, is toxic," she said.
"I think there's a witch-hunt going on that doesn't involve fire, but involves an incredible amount of trauma."
'I was a health practitioner … operating without insurance'
Kelli Zakharoff can attest to that trauma. Until recently the private midwife ran a thriving practice in Brisbane.
She delivered hundreds of babies at homebirths, without being insured during labour.
"I'm a health practitioner. I have a degree. And I'm operating without insurance," she said.
"I'm probably one of the only medical persons, professionals that actually doesn't have insurance for what she does.
"So it's very difficult. It's scary, it's really scary."
The ABC has spoken to numerous midwives who say they have been reported to the medical regulator, AHPRA, by other medical professionals opposed to homebirth.
Ms Zakharoff is the only one who would speak publicly because she has recently left practice.
"A lot of midwives have had reports against them. They are vindictive, they [the reports] are used to possibly start removing — for want of a better word — midwives and stopping homebirths," she said.
"I dislike using the word 'witch-hunt', but … it's something that's real."
In her case, the two separate reports were made by hospital staff after she transferred women from an attempted homebirth to hospital.
"The maternity system in Australia wants women to birth babies in hospital. And homebirth really isn't something that they want to support or be seen to be supporting," Ms Zakharoff said.
She cried as she said the final straw was being the primary midwife at a homebirth where a baby was stillborn.
The midwife closed her practice down while under investigation for the two initial reports and the stillbirth.
Months later she was told by AHPRA they would not be taking immediate action, and "the practitioner is not a serious risk to patients".
Despite that, Ms Zakharoff said she doubted she would return to private midwifery.
"As much as I want to. It's just harder. It's hard. It's almost too hard," she said.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has long held a blanket opposition to homebirth.
RANZCOG declined an interview request on the future of private homebirths in Australia, but confirmed in a statement its position on homebirth was currently being revised.