A Yoga Teachers Birth Story. Sonia shares her Magical Journey into Motherhood!
My Daughter, Mika Angelina was born on 30/12/12 at 1.28pm within 34 minutes of me arriving where I had planned to have a water birth.
She was one day earlier than her due date; she certainly does not get that punctuality from me!
My Birth Experience was surreal and undoubtedly the most magical experience. Throughout my life I have had an intense fear of childbirth, to the point that I passed out cold on two occasions when girlfriends recounted their birth stories to me. To be fare, they sounded horrific. Still, my family would laugh at me every time someone spoke of childbirth I would make a swift exit. My sister used to say she was sure that in another life I must have died in childbirth. I also used to get such intense period cramps I thought, if childbirth is worse than that I’m never having a baby. So this certainly made my experience even more incredible.
Looking back, this fear served as my fuel to study diligently through my pregnancy. Nature is magnificent and there is no reason why a healthy body cannot have a magical experience. I started to research; I wanted to find out about all those good birth stories and the one’s you hear about having those “orgasmic birth” experiences.
I wondered if they were true, or just some urban legends.
My discovery blew my mind. I hope this sharing serves to inspire you to step into your “Goddess Feminine” energy and embrace your “Pregnancy to Birth” Journey.
My waters broke early on Sunday morning. As a first time mother you tend to wonder how this is going to feel. For me it was an obvious flow of water that woke me up, feels like you just wet the bed ha-ha.
It was actually really exciting; we were about to meet this little lady who had been incubating in my tummy for 9 months.
We were blessed to have my husband’s aunt Iran (who is a midwife and a doula) offer to be with us through this sacred passage into motherhood. She was the first person we called and she came over straight away.
We were both in great spirits when she arrived. Mo had made a birthing cd compilation of all our favourite songs and we had that playing which has an instant feel good factor. I was sipping on camomile tea and generally feeling the anticipation of it all.
In the back of my mind I kept thinking “Perhaps I aught to save my strength for the serious stuff”. Even though I had practiced yoga everyday, including the day before, and done all my visualizations and imagined exactly how I wished this day would be, I still was not sure how this was going to play out.
I was smiling a lot, on purpose, knowing the effects physiology has on our biology, I kept reminding myself, “SMILE” keep smiling and the brain will release more serotonin. This was an amazing thing to do, because after about 30minutes of making myself smile, I could not stop smiling.
I started to feel some very mild period-like cramps. They were not strong enough for me to even look for Paracetamol, let alone take any.
Iran suggested I sit on the sofa and try to sleep. She also told my husband to go and have a nap as she felt that this could be very long, as nothing seemed to be happening really. She even said it was possible that baby could arrive tomorrow.
I sat in my most comfy position, Cobblers pose, with pillows propping my arms up. I decided that I was going to close my eyes and dive into my visualization, the one that I had done all the way through my pregnancy.
In seconds my imagination transported me to the most beautiful beach, water gently lapping onto shore, the air sweetly scented by the blossoming Jasmine. I recall falling into a semi-trance as I allowed myself to relax deeper and deeper. The Contractions got a little stronger and again, I kept visualizing what I had learned over the past months. Understanding what is going in inside your body makes you feel in control, safe in the knowledge that everything is as it should be.
I was connecting to baby getting ready to birth herself. I felt gentle movement, like she was adjusting herself. I trusted the power of nature to know exactly what to do and I knew, all I need to do was allow. Every time a contraction came, I stayed with it; I felt the uterus doing what it is supposed to, contract at the top to squeeze the baby down toward the birth canal. In my mind I helped it by diving into the contraction and visualizing my whole pelvic floor relaxing, broadening and preparing for the birth.
I was so grateful I had studied all this, because understanding it allowed me to feel calm, collected and in my full feminine power.
At 12pm, with my first big-ish contraction, Iran suggested we go to the hospital (UCH London).Because my waters had broken it is not recommended doing an internal examination to check dilation as there is a risk of infection. So, we headed across the park to the hospital. Very aware that as a first baby, there was a risk of being sent home if we were not 4cm dilated. As you know, 10 cm means “Baby is Coming”. From 4cm to 10cm is the period known as “The Up Stage” of labor. This is when most people ask for painkillers, epidurals etc.
My husband dropped us in front of the double doors and said he would follow directly after parking. As we walked toward the elevator I told Iran I just need to pop to the loo. She said absolutely not. I now know that the feeling of wanting to go to the loo is a sign.
We arrived at the reception desk and were told that if I were not 4cm they would ask me to go home. I had known this and as I felt pretty good considering I wondered if they would send me home. They asked for a urine sample, so I took the little beaker and shuffled with Iran to the loo. The moment I sat down I felt like I need to push, I told Iran I need to go to the loo. Very quickly she pulled me up off the loo, crouched down and said, “darling, I see the head, the baby is coming”
Iran opened the door and called out to the midwifes, “The Baby is Coming”. So, within minutes of arriving at the hospital, they assessed the baby was actually crowning (which means I could have had her in the car) and I was already 10cm dilated .I had gone through the entire “Up Stage” of labour without feeling anything worthy of a paracetamol.
It was like a sudden frenzy, as they rushed me into the elevator to get to the Labour ward. My husband arrived at this moment, startled by the speed and frenzy. He had planned to come up, settle me in and then get my hospital bag. So, the bag I had been preparing for months that would have made a pregnant Mary Poppins proud did not even make an appearance.
ROOM NO.6 – POOL ROOM
I arrived in the a Water-Birthing room, headed passed the empty pool on my left and straight for a large bean bag over in the right corner and very organically moved myself into a Yoga Cat position, on hands and knee’s, laying over the it.
In the background I could hear my husband asking them to hurry up and fill the pool (I had so wished for a water birth).
I heard the nurses telling him that it would take 15minutes to run the pool and we did not have 15 minutes. Still, he insisted. So, I had the comforting sound of water as the backdrop to my Mika’s birth.
The midwife assigned to us introduced herself from behind me, “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 tried to deeply relax and let nature take over.
I breathed, I did not push. If I could explain what I did in a word, it would be “Allowed”. I just allowed it to unfold, no thinking, no controlling, simply being part of this great mystery of feminine being.
My Doula, thankfully, was by my side. Reminding me softly, that my body and baby knew exactly how to birth beautifully.
Mika 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 Iran told me to reach around and catch her, I did.
There are simply no words to describe this moment, this little life sitting in my arms. Ecstatic Loving Energy filled the room, surrounding us all in the miracle of life.
The midwife put Mika on my belly and straight away she crawled up and latched on. It felt like a wild life programme that I was both witness too, and part of “Life”.
It was a birth from heaven. Totally drug-free, not even a paracetamol and thankfully no perineum tears. I had worried about that in the final moments as she was coming so fast; I even said to Iran, do I need Vaseline or something. Again, she said, “You are going to be perfect, don’t push, just breathe”. It was the most prefect reminder.
My body felt like an elastic band, it stretched for the “SHOW” and bounced straight back when the show was over. I am not exaggerating when I say I was up and about making coffee a few hours later and I was on my yoga mat the next day.
I wholeheartedly attribute my birth experience to my Yoga Practice, Consistent Daily Visualizations and Hypno-Birthing.
Personally, I did not adjust my practice according to the pre-natal recommendations with regards to increased Elastin. Though, of course, I adjusted my practice to accommodate my belly!
This whole journey has made me more grateful for my yoga practice. I now teach Prenatal and postnatal Yoga in London.
I hope to Inspire more woman to embrace their beautiful journey with curiosity, courage and excitement.
Mika is 21 weeks old (at the time of writing this) and we are well into the new chapter of this book, and loving it.
Sonia is the founder of “the Secret Bliss” channel where she shares FREE yoga tutorials, inspirational interviews and Health and Beauty Tips.
If you would like to find out more about Pre/Post Natal Yoga Classes with Sonia in London, you can contact her by email: email@example.com