Beyond Anything I Could Have Dreamed
Our Birth Experience was surreal and beautiful. Sarah was born in 34 minutes of me arriving at the Birth Centre.
My waters broke at 5.30am that morning, everything was very calm. There was no sign of any sort of contraction until 9am. I called our Midwife/Doula who arrived at about 10am. She was surprised to find both Malc and I smiling, commenting on the beautiful day, drinking tea and in fabulous giggly spirits. She suggested that Malc goes for a nap, as in her view, this was going to take very long time.
Off he went, and I settled on the sofa in a Yoga Cobblers Pose. (Cross legged). Iran, our Doula, propped pillows on either side of me and told me to try sleep. I felt safe knowing that she was holding space and observing progress. So I fell into a deep trance like sleep, diving into all my favourite visualization.
The contractions were mild, even less than period cramps. Every time I had a contraction, my foot would flex and that is how Iran (Doula) was timing them. I kept visualizing the whole anatomy of the birthing process, I saw my cervix softening and opening and the baby moving knowingly down towards the exit. I still thought I needed to save my strength for the real stuff, as to me nothing was really happening that resembled the movies and everything I had once believed Labour to feel like. Nope, It was all too chilled.
At 12.20pm I woke up with the first proper contraction. I had to stand up and focus on my breath. Iran suggested waking Malc up and heading to the Hospital. She was tentative, as of course they would send us back if I was not 4cm dilated, and with waters broken, she did not want to investigate in case of possible infection.
To be safe, we got into the car and headed off, bags packed, all set for my water-birth. I had two contractions driving through Regents Park and I felt things were starting to get going as we arrived at the Hospital. Malc said he would park the car and follow us up. Iran and I headed in, through the entrance doors, I suddenly had a strong urge to Push and stopped, holding onto the vending machine. I needed the loo,
Little did I know that was the sensation you get in labour. Iran kept me walking to elevator and urged me not to go with the push. We arrived at the assessment unit, to be greeted by a cranky midwife who said, as it was my first baby, she wanted to warn me that she would have to send me home if I was not 4cm dilated. She then gave me a plastic jar and asked me for a urine sample. I tried not to be offended by her abruptness.
I took the jar , Iran's arm, and walked slowly toward the loo. I sat down, still with my sheepskin coat on, unscrewed the jar and then again,
"I really need to go to the loo " I said to Iran, "I have to push".
She insisted i don't push as she lifted me off the loo, got on her knees to check what was going on, and said.
"I see the head, darling don't push", The baby is coming. She opened the loo door and shouted to the cranky midwife.
Suddenly there was a flurry as they realized baby was crowning.
We were raced up to the Labour Ward. I recall Malc asking them to hurry up and fill the pool. (a water birth had been my wish) I heard the midwives telling him that it would take 15minutes to fill the bath and we did not have 15 minutes. They started running it to humour us which was comforting.
When we arrived in the room, I headed straight for a large bean bag in the corner and found myself in a sort of cat/cow position, on all fours. The midwife assigned to us introduced herself from behind, “I haven’t seen your face yet, she said, I’m Lucy” This introduction was then followed by 4 big contractions and with each one, I attempted not push, but allow nature to do the work. I also feared that at this hurricane speed, would I tear?
Sarah greeted the world head first, with face still clothed in amniotic membrane. Known as “Born with a Caul”. As the rest of her little body was about to birth, the midwife told me to reach around and catch her, I did.
It was beyond anything I could have dreamed of, this little life then sitting in my arms, tears rolled and I felt joy like never before. The midwife put Sarah onto my belly and straight away she crawled up like a primate and latched on.
It was a birth from heaven. Totally drug-free, not even a paracetamol. and thankfully no tears.
Malc and I were in awe of the miracle, Sarah's natural instincts in full force, the magical birth experience, infused with gratitude for the amazing support of the midwives.
I practiced yoga everyday until the day she was born, I taught up to 37weeks. I was on my mat the next day. I wholeheartedly attribute my birth experience to my Yoga Practice and Hypnobirthing.
Throughout the pregnancy, I kept up my daily practice as per usual, of course adjusting the obvious poses ie. Cobra I did not adjust my practice according to the pre-natal recommendations with regards to increased Elastin.
I practiced my visualizations, hypno-scripts and continued to educate myself about the birthing process and available options.
The knowledge made me feel comfortable and trust that I would know what choices to make in various situations.
Personally, I set my intention to stay present, connected and listen to the language my body spoke to me through the changes. This awareness helped me nourish and keep the inner life flowing and body supple. This whole journey has made me more grateful for my yoga practice.
She has made us value life, time and reflect on the deeper richer meaning of being.
Thank you so much for your amazing teachings/workshop and book, they were central to our beautiful journey and I am enormously grateful.
Sending you much love and hope to see you soon. - Jenny