My Birthing Experience
The birth of my child has been the most beautiful and powerful experience I ever had. When I discovered I was pregnant, all the right information seemed to land in my hands, including the idea of not needing too much information! I read the most inspiring, positive books and stories, joined an Active Birth and Pregnancy Yoga class which greatly contributed to the amazing experience of birth I had, the strength I felt in knowing what my options were and the confidence to make my choices known and respected.
As a result, I felt empowered and trusted myself, I let my body follow what it wanted and knew how to do: birth my baby. I did that in the comfort of my home and surrounded by those I love. The atmosphere couldn’t have been better: private, stress-free and familiar. I felt supported, secure and cared for.
I had a couple of women friends assisting me. One of them, a fabulous Shiatsu practitioner, was massaging me all the way through the process, touching all the right spots. The other, a wonderful rebirther, was helping me to stay focused on my breathing. I could not have been better cared for!
My partner was the gatekeeper and the link between me and the world outside. He made sure the space was safely guarded from any disturbances and dealt with the communications with the hospital and midwives.
I have to confess that when my waters broke, I felt unprepared, nervous and a bit scared of the unknown. It seemed that I had forgotten all I had read and talked about in my birth preparation and yoga classes (it turned out I hadn't, it was all stored somewhere in my subconscious). So I called my good friend, yoga teacher and doula, Patricia Whitworth. She, very calmly, reassured me and explained what was happening and told me what I needed to do - 'remain active, calm and keep breathing'.
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A few weeks before, we wrote a letter to the hospital to inform them of my wishes and preferences for my birth (no drugs, no unnecessary interventions, etc.) and to ask them to only send a midwife that was very experienced in homebirth.
When my partner called the hospital, they said there were no midwives available for home visits and that I would have to go in. My partner’s response did not give them many options. He said: 'Is not an option for us. If you cannot send a midwife, we are having our baby without one'. In less than forty minutes, we had two midwives at our door, one of which was the head of the midwives and they were both very experienced in homebirth!
I said to my partner that I would only allow one in and not until they had read my birth-wish. Then, one of them came in to hear the heart beat of my baby and said I was doing very well – ‘I will be outside if you need me’. She did not ask to come in until she heard I was pushing. Then she told my partner how to catch our son and stood back. She was very respectful and grateful to witness such a beautiful birth. I let the other midwife in after my son was born.
Meeting my son for the first time was something I cannot describe. I felt exhausted and as if I was in another world. My partner passed him to me in between my legs and I sat back bringing him to my chest. I thought it was done, I completely forgot about the placenta! I birthed the placenta an hour and a half later. The whole process took six and a half hours. It didn't seem as long to me...
...the hormones, the breathing, the movement,
the support and the care,
all helped immensely and I can say: yes, I enjoyed it!