A young mom shared how she wore full make up as she delivered her own baby in the bathtub after just two pushes, sharing the event with nearly 700,000 viewers on YouTube.
For the past four years, Legaci Allong has documented every aspect of her life on YouTube including a heartbreaking miscarriage and the birth of her youngest son Hero's arrival on January 12 in an unassisted water birth at her home in Ontario, Canada.
During the 21-minute video she also shared tips with other moms on how to keep calm during labour, including “embracing" the pain of contractions by saying "yes" and "that feels good" out loud when they hit.
Legaci also has two older sons, Prince, four, and Romeo, two, with her partner Chazz Fall. She continues to offer a raw look at motherhood to her hundreds of thousands of fans through her videos aimed at empowering women.
“I wanted my childbirth video to go very in depth and give a real insight into what happens, how it feels, and how you keep calm," she said.
“Giving birth is empowering. Afterwards, I felt like, 'If I can achieve this, I can achieve anything.' I want to inspire other women to make their own birth choices and to know that, no matter how difficult or painful it may seem, they can do it."
Legaci and her family – partner Chazz and sons Prince, Romeo and Hero (PA Real Life/Collect)
“Of course, giving birth on YouTube came with all these extra challenges and considerations, too – things you wouldn't ordinarily think about during labour like lighting, battery life and angles, to make sure it's all family friendly and there's no nudity," she said.
Legaci runs her own company offering virtual doulas, pre and postnatal support and birthing plans to moms-to-be.
She personally had a natural water birth at home for her first child, Prince, in November 2015.
“I did it without any medication and felt really calm – even though it was my first. The midwives that were there with me were impressed, and kept saying, 'You're made to give birth,'" she said.
Legaci pregnant with Prince (PA Real Life/Collect)
Legaci decided to set up a YouTube account in early 2016, where she could share advice about pregnancy and birth with other moms and started posting daily videos when Prince was a few months old.
“The idea of putting myself out there like that took some getting used to," she said. “I felt quite nervous at first, but in time, the camera because invisible."
“Before long, I felt almost naked without it."
Legaci in labour with Romeo (PA Real Life/Collect)
In early 2017, Legaci discovered she was expecting once again, this time deciding to document every aspect of her pregnancy and birth.
“Chazz and I talked and decided to document the entire pregnancy. I really wanted to give women an honest look at what it's like," she said.
“Our followers that were watching along with us almost became like family. They were so excited about the birth – there was no way we weren't going to show that, too."
What are the early signs of labour? It's not always clear but we take a look at the symptoms:… https://t.co/eqdVl1DYtA— NCT (@NCT)1478024120.0
Legaci went into labour with her second baby, Romeo, on December 4, 2017.
“My first birth had been pretty good and made me realize how capable I was, but it was also easier the second time round as I knew what to expect," she continued.
“For example, I knew for sure when I was having contractions."
Prince and Romeo (PA Real Life/Collect)
Legaci gave birth naturally and without medication at home, this time requiring even less hands-on help from midwives who were by her side throughout.
“With each birth, I've pushed myself more and more. I've tried to be calmer each time and, after Romeo, I was determined to have a completely unassisted birth for my third," she said.
Legaci found out she was pregnant for a third time in 2019.
“I already had two boys, so I was convinced baby number three was going to be a girl. I was so happy," she said.
But tragedy struck just before the 12-week mark in March 2019, when doctors discovered that she had lost the baby.
Rather than hide away, she made the brave decision to record a candid video about her experiences for YouTube.
Romeo shortly after he was born (PA Real Life/Collect)
“Doctors don't know why I lost the baby. I think it's best not to go over every little thing and wonder if it was this or that – it's not healthy," she said.
“The loss showed Chazz and I that life is precious, and not every baby is guaranteed. It was hard on us as a family, and heartbreaking to share on YouTube. Even now, I struggle to watch the video back."
“But I didn't do it for me. I did it for anybody else out there who may have been going through what we were, to show them that they are not alone, and that I can relate to what they're feeling."
Prince on his second birthday (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I wanted them to know they had me to be a friend to them and help them overcome the pain," she added.
The following month, Legaci found out she was pregnant once again.
This time, she decided not to share her news with the world until she had reached the three-month mark.
Not sure what to say when someone you know experiences a miscarriage? Take a look at our suggestions on how to supp… https://t.co/sUhiqcV0FO— Miscarriage Association (@Miscarriage Association)1597069216.0
She began to relax a little more and focus on the idea of meeting her new baby.
“I tried not to let the worry of history repeating itself take over," she said. “I kept focused and lived day by day, trusting in my body that I would be able to handle whatever happened. My mantra was, 'What will be will be.'"
And on January 12, Legaci went into labour with baby Hero.
Legaci whilst in labour with Hero (PA Real Life/Collect)
As a distraction from her intensifying contractions, she did her hair and make up and got dressed in a pre-chosen birthing outfit.
“It was important to me to feel good about myself," she explained. “I wanted to look back on the video and feel proud of myself."
“I also knew that, as we were filming for YouTube, I had to be aware of any nudity. I wore a skirt, so that I was covered up but still able to move and feel comfortable."
Legaci and her family at Hero's gender reveal (PA Real Life/Collect)
Throughout the day, Legaci kept herself busy, dancing with Prince and Romeo and making herself kale smoothies to keep her energy up.
“Chazz was on hand to get me anything I needed and we'd set up lots of fun things to do to make sure I wasn't focusing solely on the pain," she said.
Then, as she entered the transitional phase she positioned herself in her bath, ready to deliver her own baby.
After an eight-hour labour, she delivered Hero herself in just two pushes as Prince, Romeo and Chazz watched.
“The most beautiful part of the whole thing was having the kids there with me to witness life. I understand why some moms decide not to have their children there, but it was really important to me that they were," she said.
“They'd come to every midwife appointment and deeply understood that I had a baby growing in my belly."
Prince as a baby (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I'll never forget the look on Prince's face when Hero arrived. His eyes were full of life and wonder. He still talks about it, saying, 'Mum, remember when you gave birth?'" she said.
“I'm so pleased I've got to give him this memory of what a calm, positive birth looks like. I don't want it to be this terrifying thing for the children. Hopefully, with what they have learnt from me, they can one day be there for their own partners if they have children."
Now, Legaci is blissfully happy as a mom-of-three and all her boys are perfectly healthy.
She continues sharing birthing tips through her YouTube channel and Instagram page, and receives a flurry of messages every day off women from around the globe.
Some of the most popular pearls of wisdom she has shared include using the upright birthing technique, and visualization.
“Visualization is where I close my eyes and picture my baby coming down my birth canal to meet me. I'll say, 'Come to, Mummy.' It helps me focus my mind," she said.
Legaci after delivering Hero (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I also teach women to reverse the psychology of pain. As soon as you think of a contraction as a negative thing, your body reacts accordingly. That's why I get people to say out loud, 'That feels good,'" she added. “Even if it doesn't at first, it will help change your mindset and, in turn, your body."
Legaci also believes that being at home made for a more relaxing experience, although she understands that a home birth is not always an option.
By sharing her story, she hopes to inspire and inform women, giving them an honest, no-holds-barred look at labour, birth and beyond.
Legaci and her family – partner Chazz and sons Prince, Romeo and Hero (PA Real Life/Collect)
“Thankfully I've never got any negativity for sharing my life on YouTube. I get lots of messages from women who say that my tips have helped them have the home birth they wanted," she said.
“I know that unassisted, unmedicated births aren't always possible – especially with high-risk pregnancies – but I also want to reassure women that they are powerful and capable."
“Not only are my videos there to help anybody that might need them, but they're also for my boys to look back on when they're older, and watch precious moments of their lives that they are too young to remember."
You can watch her full home birth YouTube video below:
Follow Legaci on social media at www.instagram.com/legaciallong