My only fear about giving birth was,
that I wouldn’t be ready with all the practical
things I wanted to get done and that my waters would
break in an unsuitable place like Woolworth’s.
But my body gave me a good warning the evening before:
I was shopping in town and suddenly felt as if my
belly was sinking towards my knees.
I could hardly walk or talk. Then I knew labour was
on its way.
That night I woke up at 2.30 a.m. Some water was dribbling
and I wasn’t sure if this meant my waters were
broken. Emotionally I felt quite fragile. Being a
single mum with this baby had come up before and now
I was facing it again. I had a good cry, but then
went on to get ready for giving birth.I did all the
things I knew I wouldn’t have much time for
once my baby was born: I had a nice long shower, painted
my nails and tidied up the house. I also relaxed a
bit with my visualisation CD.
During all that I was
having contractions at intervals of 15 to 20 minutes.
Then I would sit down and sing ‘aaaaaaah’ which
I felt was very helpful. I also exhaled for an extended
time, which helped me release the period-like pain. Thus
I was not worried and didn’t feel the need to call
anybody yet. I enjoyed being in my own space, getting
prepared for this long awaited big and holy event.I went
a few times to the toilet, mostly with diarrhoea and
a bit of bleeding.
At 7.30 a.m. I decided to call my midwives
and support people.
One midwife said, that I seemed to be having all the
right signs: diarrhoea, mucous, blood and water and
that she and the other midwife would come in the afternoon.
At this point l thought the birth wouldn’t happen
before the evening.At 10am my doula arrived. I welcomed
her with paper, pen and clock to time my contractions,
which by now were coming at intervals of 4 to 5 minutes
at a length of 30 to 40 seconds. Although the pain had
become more intense, I was still able to do things. When
my doula did a last interview with me for a pregnancy
and birth video that I wanted to have, she noticed that
my contractions had stopped during the time I was in
my thinking brain and talking.My doula kept making me
raspberry leaf tea and giving me drops of a homoeopathic
labour remedy. She also applied moxa to some points on
my feet and it felt good someone caring was around.Until
then my contractions were very bearable and singing ‘aaaaaaah’ was
all I needed to do. However, around noon I started to
feel very uncomfortable especially in my bum area. I
tried all sorts of positions, but nothing satisfied me
anymore. I was exhausted and decided to lie down on my
side. The doula sat by my side, massaging my lower back.
one of the midwives walked in. The pain was intense
and I let out my first big scream. She suggested I go
into the bath. I had almost forgotten about the bath,
although I had intended a water birth! But first I
to know how much I was dilated. We were all in for
a surprise when we found out that I was already 8 centimetres!
now on the pain was intense. It felt as if there were
hardly any breaks between the contractions. I felt
less pain in the bath, but I started to feel hot. Then
the second midwife arrived. Somebody brought ice cubes
to suck on and a cold washer for my face. By that time
several bits of meconium were floating in the water,
which I noticed, but since I was in what I call my ‘beyond
brain ‘ I didn’t judge this observation.
Even in the bath I couldn’t find a comfortable
position. I was squatting and leaning forward. The midwife
kept checking the baby’s heartbeat, which was now
getting slower. She wanted me to change position, but
I didn’t want to move.
The next time she checked
the heartbeat, it had gone down to 96 (normally it
had been around 120 to 130bpm)
and with more urgency in her voice she asked me to
step out of the bath. I thought she must be joking. I
so weak and it was even hard to breathe, how could
I move? I surrendered and managed to get out of the bathtub.
The midwifes positioned me standing and holding on
the doula who came to sit on the toilet lid.
I felt a
strong burning sensation. It was so intense that there
wasn’t any time to do big breaths in.
I just focussed on pushing out, which felt like making
a big poo.
I was squeezing the doula’s hand to
balance what was going on in my uterus. After standing
for a while, I felt a lot of energy coming back to me.
I felt like biting someone and I can’t remember
if I really did.
I was feeling in a way I had never felt before - quite
a spiritual experience. I was in a state where whatever
was going to happen, even the baby or me not making
it, would be o.k. I was in a state of let-go without
and no judgement about anything. Awesome!
During my pregnancy
I had learnt about different birthing positions and
always disliked the standing up ones. But
here I was giving birth standing! I must admit, it
felt good to stand. Pushing was suddenly much easier
needn’t spend much time standing, because my baby
was only 4 pushes away!
After one really strong push I asked ‘is the
head out?’ The midwife said ‘soon it will
Then I looked down and saw two tiny legs dangling – to
my surprise my baby was breech!
The baby was now three
pushes away. With the next one he was out to his
belly button and with another one
to under his arms. Between contractions the baby
wriggled his arms out by himself. Then there was only
to be born and the midwife said ‘you can let
go now’. The moment she said this, my hips automatically
tilted forward, which is exactly what had to happen
in order for the head to come out.
Jeremy arrived at 1.45pm in a harlequin
colour, which means he was half white and half blue.
The midwife had an urgent voice again when she asked
everyone present to give him lots of attention and
she asked me to talk to him. I was quite exhausted,
but pulled myself together to welcome my beautiful
boy who had his eyes wide open. I talked to him and
told him how much I loved him, whilst the midwife
was massaging his tiny back in an upward motion. Within
seconds not an oxygen machine had made him pink, but
all our love and attention. He let out his first cry
and it felt like he was telling me all about his journey.
We both were lying down on a mattress
next to the bathtub and 20 minutes later with one last
placenta was born. I wanted to have a lotus birth,
so we didn’t
cut the cord. The midwife explained to us the different
parts of the heart shaped placenta, pointing out
the veins that looked like branches of a tree. Then
wrapped it up in disposable nappies and for 3 1/2
days it was
carried along with the baby; then it fell off by
itself and we buried it under a new jacaranda tree.
don’t know why people make such fuss about
breech birth – it’s not harder or scarier,
its just different.