It's been a while. Our beautiful son Rowan was born here at home on June 18th, only a few hours after he was due. Perfectly timely. And perfectly perfect in every imaginable way. After a few hours out in the garden and then in the birthing pool, he was finally born in our bedroom, next to our bed. It was the most challenging day. Full of love, pain, laughter and tears, as every birth should be I imagine. Such a grand test for the mind as well. The only pain relief I chose was a glass of prosecco on the 23rd hour, to give me an additional kick of strength to help push him out after a long tiresome day. And of course all the motivating reminders and encouragement by my super supportive partner who was as much part of the labour as I was. I want to share the whole long birth story with photos one day, just a few thoughts in the meanwhile:
This was from the day before due date, the day before it started. I felt strong and good. We were so ready for the adventure that is childbirth. We knew it would be the greatest challenge of our lives, we knew there would be pain. But we were so ready to finally dive into the process that we had envisioned and spoken about for so long.
My wishes for the birth were:
- Birth at home. In the company of my partner, his mother, his brother and our doula. Family style. Being close to people who love and care about your child as much as you do. As opposed to being at risk of being in an environment with people (doctors, nurses) who want to rush you or have you do things for their convenience, for the sake of time, money and space pressure. Not everyone would choose their mother-in-law to be next to you as you give birth. Mine happens to be a really cool one, besides she's given birth many times before, one of which was a home birth (my partner). Neither my mother nor grandmother were alive to attend unfortunately. But I fully believe in the comfort and peace that it gives a woman to be surrounded by only good energies during birth. Surrounded by love and care. And that it is massively beneficial to have other strong, caring women's support on the day where you essentially wish for all your ancient feminine power to come through.
- Get to know the process profoundly. I had so many questions. What does it mean to give birth naturally? I knew that the female body is made for this. But what part would be the most challenging? What revelations would I discover? What sort of power would it bring from deep within me? How would I handle the fears that potentially would pop up? One of the affirmations I wrote down a few weeks before birth was: "I look forward to feeling the process fully" - which is something I momentarily may have regretted asking for, while in the midst of the most intense contractions 22 hours into labour, 2 hours before our son was born. But it did give me the full on experience I now, afterwards, am so grateful to have gotten a proper insight into. Would have never wanted it any other way. There were a couple moments when I shouted: "Why the hell have I put myself through this bizarreness? Never ever again!!"- but interestingly I now am already looking forward to our next birthing experience. Would I give birth at home without pain relief next time as well? Hell yes! This experience only reaffirmed my belief that hospitals only are needed when you are sick. That by learning how to control your mind, you can win over your fears. And that I would never want to give away my own strength and power into other people's hands if I really didn't need to. We women are capable of so much more than often is believed. I have so much to say about this but saving it for another time. Also, I now have more experience, and can imagine the next opportunity to give birth to give me additional meaningful insights. Learning and growing and doing things real and raw are what I live for, after all.
- A sunny day. It's been raining here this summer approx 75% of the days so far. We were so lucky to wake up to clear skies and sunshine on the day that the contractions began for real.
- And please not too much tearing. Feeling incredibly lucky to not have had to stitch anything. Got a couple light tears, but none which needed stitching. I can imagine this to be one of the most common fears women have. For many weeks prior to birth, I had envisioned my vagina to become super big and flexible. It was also one of my affirmations that I read out loud to myself during labour. Perhaps that was helpful. Either way. We came out of it with minimum damage which I am utterly grateful for.
The first half of the 24 hour labour was quite calm, gentle and harmonic. The second half was increasingly intense. The membranes didn't break before the 23rd hour. And the pressure on my bottom parts was obviously deadly painful when that big bulging water balloon pushed with each stronger contraction. When the water finally broke, I got re-energized and our baby boy was born relatively quickly with a few pushes.
But more about all that another day. It's funny, back in the day I used to find it weird that people would share something so intimate and personal as their birthing experience online. Now it feels like the most obvious thing in the world. Especially as an unmedicated home birth ties back to so many of my other holistic world views and my life philosophy as a whole.
He is so perfect. Mesmerizing and beautiful. I can imagine every mother on the planet saying that about their kids. And of course they should. All children should be loved unconditionally.
Our son is as calm yet determined as we had imagined him to be through the mostly quietness, and occasional extremely hard kicks that we felt through my stomach while he was still in there. He stares at us with such depth and wisdom already, and we look so much forward to be able to speaking to him one day. For now we're enjoying all the cuddly hours we get to spend with him in this adorable mini size. Can imagine time to start running really fast if we are not paying attention. Full presence is one of the most important things we are going to give him.
Thank you universe for this gift!
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