If the heart is open, the body will open. Right when you feel like you physically, emotionally, spiritually feel like can’t take anymore, the miracle appears – your baby!
My birthing story is nothing like how I believed birthing to be. I was raised very conventionally and was fearful of the entire experience. I only trusted the “experts” aka the doctors. Everything about my birthing education came from either horror stories of friends and family members or from Hollywood movies.
What had me rethink everything I had known about birth was the documentary “The Business of Being Born by Rikki Lake.” When I started learning about women’s bodies and a more empowering way of bringing life into the world, I began to question EVERYTHING! “Why do I need to be lying on my back in a bed if that doesn’t feel good?” Why do I need to rush this if I am managing everything myself and both my and baby are healthy.” “Why can’t I trust my body and baby?”
After questioning A LOT, my husband and I decided to have a home birth. We wanted only people there that were going to bring a positive, loving energy to the space. We didn’t want to be rushed, judged, or challenged. We wanted to create an environment that felt safe and beautiful.
We selected our birthing team very specifically which I believe contributed to the success and beauty of our birthing experience. Present at our birth was our midwife for myself and a midwife for the baby (the second midwife was called upon when I entered transition). We also hired a Doula, which in my mind was priceless and highly recommended. Mainly because of the unbiased, constant, expert attention that was given to both myself and my husband.
Hypnobirthing was something that was presented to us that we felt called to do, so we tried it and LOVED it. It really helped ease my mind to the fear that will inevitable trickles in, but doesn’t have to stay there. I learnt about my body and what was happening while being pregnant and giving birth so I didn’t have fear of the unknown. I knew what a sensation (contraction) was so I envisioned in my mind’s eye what my body was doing which is very relieving and less scary.
I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy with a little morning sickness for the first few months. I kept very active, walking every day, yoga twice a week up until I was 39 weeks and ate primarily a vegetarian diet. I believe that continually moving our bodies is key to a healthy pregnancy. It prepares us for delivery. Labouring and delivery is not a sprint; its like running a marathon. You wouldn’t run a marathon without training first, so why would you expect to do the same having a baby?! I am so grateful I did this and prepared my body as I ran a 25 hour marathon for our son!
My mucous plug dislodged at 9:30pm on August 14th and my water broke an hour later. My husband and I didn’t sleep a wink all night as I was so excited and experiencing mild sensations. We called our midwife around 11pm and our Doula and both said to call them back when sensations were at 4-1-1. By 7am the next morning, the sensations were at that point, which is when our midwife and doula arrived. I can honestly say, we had a great day. It was a sunny, warm day so I laboured outside for a while, on the toilet, on the couch, on the floor, on the bed, and finally in the pool where I ended up giving birth. I basically moved around my house exploring different positions. I just did whatever made me feel good without having to worry about anyone else’s agenda.
In addition to selecting a birthing team that you feel comfortable with, what also was critical to the success of my natural home birth experience was that I discussed with our midwife before going into labour, that I didn’t want to know what my ‘numbers’ were. I didn’t want to know how far dilated I was at any given time. Knowing this number was only going to set me up for anxiety. Again, I knew I had reduce anxiety as much as possible in order for my body to open; anxiety closes us and constricts us which is opposite of what our bodies need to do in order to bring a baby into the world. My midwife did check me three times over the course of 23 hours, but she kept the information to herself. Only if there was a reason for concern was she to share that information with me.
Finally, around 11pm, I will never forget it, I was downstairs in our basement labouring on the toilet when our midwife said “It’s been almost 24 hours since your water broke, I think we should consider moving into the hospital.” I immediately stood up and said that wasn’t an option. I literally stood up and ran up the stairs. By the time I arrived upstairs, I was in transition. I got into the pool and started pushing. An hour after that, our son was born! It was the most magical, empowering experience of my life.
Everything I learnt from my pregnancy and birthing experience I use in my daily life. I take that entire experience as one of the greatest teachings of my life. I question when things aren’t working just like I did after I watched that documentary, I trust my body even though it is very hard to do sometimes. I always remember that right before I think I can’t take it anymore, there is still something in me that pushes me, graces me with just an extra nudge to get me through whatever it is I am facing and therein lies the miracle – in this case, life!
Watch the birth video – Natural home birth of baby Sullivan.
*Positive Birth Story by Natasha Grey
Did you enjoy this inspiring birth story? Get much more where that came from in A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth and featured Positive Birth Story in every digital issue of Empowering Birth Magazine!
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