Hello, beautiful mamas.
Today I am sharing my natural water birth experience with you. Please know if you are an expecting mama every birth is unique and your experience may be completely different. My intention of sharing this beautiful journey with you is to inspire you to make this special moment all about you and your baby, to set your own environment, and, rather than grasp for control, aim for presence and acceptance.
I also recommend you prepare your mindset beforehand as it can truly make a world of difference. To read about how I prepared for my passage, click here.
I went into early labour in the wee hours of the morning (1:30 am to be exact). Contractions were coming consistently and by the time the sun rose Brad and I had made a plan to head from our home in Orewa to my mum’s house in Milford (a short 5min drive to the hospital).
Side note: I had a friend who has been caught in work-day traffic when she was in labour and she just made it to the hospital in time (wow) Hence airing on the side of caution.
Arriving at mums, Charlise and I settled in for what I thought would be hours of waiting. Brad headed off to work in the city. Little did he realise jumping on the bus that morning that I’d be calling him within the hour telling him to come back so we could go to the hospital. With much excitement, and with slight fatigue due to the early rise, I awaited his return.
At 10:30 am we meet Tracey, my midwife, in the hospital birthing suite. After completing an internal examination, Tracey recommended breaking my waters to assist in speeding up labour. Although the early labour pains were bearable, Brad and I agreed to the recommendation as I didn’t want to waste all of my energy on early labour when there was much greater work to come. Breaking my waters would be the only ‘intervention’ of the day.
A few weeks prior to this moment I had confided in Tracey and expressed my deep desire for an all-natural (and if possible) water birth. With my first, Charlise Jayne, I was induced due to carrying 12 days over my due date. By starting labour via induction it is very common to require further medical assistance to progress through labour. This was the case with Charlise. The hospital midwife broke my waters, I was put on a drip of Oxytocin to increase contractions, and, once the pain became too much, I ended up having an epidural.
The health of my baby girl and I was paramount and I have no regrets from her birth, however, I did feel like I had been cheated out of my right of passage. And so my desire for a natural birth sat deep within my heart.
By midday, active labour was upon us.
To ensure the environment was pleasant I had set up my essential oil diffuser, Brian Eno was playing on the sound box, and I was pleased to find the birthing suite came equip with a swiss ball. This is where I spent most of my time in active labour, sitting on the ball with my head resting on the bed.
Labour, second time around, was very different to my first. Although I was far more prepared for what was to come I found my senses were extremely heightened. If a pin dropped outside my birthing suite door I swear I would have heard it. Innately, I used the acute sensitivity to my advantage and went into deep meditation as I rode the waves of my contractions.
With my eyes firmly closed my mind would take me to a grassy beachside knoll. Looking skyward, leaves of a big Oak tree filtered the sun’s rays that danced upon my face. I had not used this vision in my preparation meditations but it was fondly welcomed. The smell of balance and wild orange essential oils from the diffuser grounded and energised my physical and emotional state. from time to time, I used peppermint essential oil dropped on a tissue and inhaled for a burst of alertness.
Although I found moments of peace during this process it was equally met with moments of great pain and cries of ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ and ‘give me an epidural’. This is when my support team had to truly step up to the plate.
Brad was an ‘A’ grade supporter and coach. He guided me through the worst pain I will ever experience and brought me to the other side over and over again. Tracey had nothing but faith in my ability and assured me of this every time I mentally fumbled. The decision for those you invite into the room to experience this sacred journey with you is crucial. Don’t feel pressured into having people in the room just because they want to be there. Be sure to ask only your most trusted for the job companions.
As the contractions continued to ramp up, fatigue was getting the better of my physical body and my emotional state. Every contraction came with deep animal-like sounds and cries of pain followed by an affirmation from Brad to remind me of my capability. I honestly doubted I would make it to the finish line. And then, the moment came, ‘I feel like I need to push’.
Tracey gave me the words I was eagerly waiting to hear, ‘Ok Saskia, it’s time to move to the bath.’ Strategically she had waited until I was in the final stages of labour to ensure the warm water wouldn’t slow my contractions and send me back a number of paces.
Hopping into the water was a huge relief with the weight of my tired body taken away. The warmth relaxed my muscles and reduced to aches just enough to give me some brief comfort. In this moment I thought of my birth pray.
Take my physical body now and erase all fear and doubt, tension and anxiety.
Breath courage into my cells, allow my heart to expand and elevate me to a place of acceptance.
Gift me with trust, love, and allow me to embody my higher self.
As my natural instincts take hold, and my intuition guides me, offer me a state of surrender, peace, and reverence.
Divine Mother, rinse me of limitations, boundaries, and restricted beliefs.
Remind me of my strength, to be soft, and to rise to the occasion.
Remind me of my right of passage.
I am open and willing to transform, to expand, to be re-born.
This is my pilgrimage.
And so it is.
The time had come, Brad awaiting his next instruction, on receipt his hands entered the water as I moaned out the final push. And there he was, our beautiful baby boy had his first swim in the big blue and was brought to the surface by the hands of his most loving and trusted male companion.
Great relief washed over me. The journey was exhausting and I needed a breath to focus in on my boy upon my chest. Then, as magical as it was with Charlise, a rush of love erupted from my heart. I was filled with ecstasy. Welcome to the world little one. Welcome to the world Dane Keith James Coley.
Date: 28th November 2017
Time: 4:13 pm
Weight: 9 pounds 3 ounce
Height: 59 cm
And so he is.
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