The time of birth is oh so near
Your little girl will soon be here
With each of her heartbeats your journey is shorter
To meeting your perfect beautiful daughter
So even though the road seems long
Remember the words to this little song.
Fiona Henderson 28.5.2009
At 3p.m on 29th May 2009 I felt an excited relief and that unmistakable warmth that meant only one thing - my membranes released, my waters had broken. The universe timed it all to perfection you see I'd been into town in the morning and had a picnic with a dear friend as it was a beautiful balmy day and was now on my way home. I had just picked up the very last supplies I would need before the confinement of birth and babymoons, everything was now ready. I didn't wait to get home to call my sister Fiona and Cliff and both as excited as I arrived quickly and once all the kids - Fiona's & mine were packed off to their Grandma's my surges started to be tighter and more noticeable. We put the birth pool up and gathered candles and oils and things into our living room chatting, folding washing all the while. We started timing the surges (I still have the piece of paper we recorded them on - on the back of a shopping list from that day) and I put on the disc of ambient psychedelic chillout music we picked up at the Glade festival three years before. The surges were regular and consistent at 4 minutes apart 45 seconds long and they stayed at this rate for 5 hours in which time we chatted, giggled, drank tea, listened to sounds of the ocean - waves crashing on beaches, mountain streams flowing over rocks and alpha music by a local musician. I basked in all of the practises we'd studied finally manifesting on this day of my daughters birth and I think we prolonged the experience by not instantly zoning out and entering into that deep connected yet disconnected place I would need to go to actually birth her. But everything happened as it should, I think we were meant to spend this time, this non-time together holding hands, bonding.
We did the deepening script we'd learnt a few times which were so effective in their relaxation and anchoring from the hypno-birthing lessons that throughout their duration I seemed to completely skip the surges, I just didn't feel them, not in the slightest! We played with this to be sure and honestly this is magic, pure magic, mind over matter and oh so much more. Connection, surrender and trust of the deepest sort. Every time a surge approached I went into an instinctive relaxation, dropping my head slightly, closing my eyes and doing the surge breathing. My sister gave me light touch massage which decimated any surge tightening I was sensing and to be honest it was just plain lovely! As the surges remained at the same rate I decided I'd get some mindful rest and spend half an hour doing the rainbow relaxation and maybe have a nap, see where it took me. Cliff chose to retreat upstairs as planned at this point. For me birth is a place for the matriarchs, the women folk of a tribe and Cliff does not feel comfortable in such situations anyway - we discussed it at length, this is how we wanted it. It is no bad thing that a man chooses to leave this to the womenfolk who have knowledge and experience it isn't something a man is programmed to be able to deal with and work with, there is no instinct there no experiential empathy, only frustration at lack of comprehension and powerlessness. I know it isn't the same for all couples but for us it was. The rainbow relaxation was deep and lovely and again I seemed not to notice the surges during this time, I didn't nap but dozed as I listened then as dusk fell and candles flickered underneath dusty pink orchids on my windowsill I got up and all of a sudden we stepped up a gear, the surges dropped to every 2 minutes and my belly became tight, tight as a new drumskin, tighter than I knew was possible. This time I was not affraid, I knew my body knew, this Mama was birthing, Gaia was arriving.
I consciously deepend my relaxation even more, now was the time for leaving the chatter behind, I needed to stay focused and breathe deep deep deep, sink to an ancient place of knowing. I let the walls of my house bear my weight and support me as I wound and moved my hips with the surges. My sister called the midwife, I had stalled on this all day adamant I wanted as little of their presence as possible so long as we felt all was well. I wouldn't have minded if they'd not been there at all but that wouldn't have been fair on Fiona to expect her to take responsibility for our two lives. Another element called ... I got into the pool. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It was blissful to be held by the deep warm water. My body finding comfort here quickly stepped up yet another gear and the surges became rapid and deep. I held tight to reiki charged Unakite and Moonstone beads and inhaled the soothing familiar scent of Clary Sage and Lavendar letting the herbs and crystals play their important parts. The midwife arrived and respected everything I'd set out in the birth plan and in our home that night. She seemed in awe of the aura we'd created and deeply honoured to be part of it. It was only 30 mins later that my baby was born.
I knew she was on the final part of her journey into the world, I just knew, I could sense her moving through the tunnel of the birth canal which was comforting. Fiona read my favourite of the birth partner prompts and reminded me of my birth colour, that deep tarragon green I am still hopelessly in love with and the flowering rose visualisation. I think I might have lost focus in that 13 minutes of active labour had she not been speaking softly all the time as my body took over my whole being the whole mindbodysoul that is Rose. It knew what it was doing, I tapped further into ancient instincts and wisdom's and through the haze of this zoning in or zoning out I heard Fiona's sweet voice and a clear reminder to turn the experience over to my body. I reached down and felt my baby girl's head as it crowned. It stung a little as she crowned as I stretched. I started J breathing, focusing on my sister and all she was saying the whole time, her sweet soul embracing mine, looking deep into the flames of the beautiful candles alight on my windowsill.
Once she crowned it was just one more long breath and my baby was born and it was so empowering to simply hold this knowledge this time around. I knew the process inside out from studying I knew what to expect and when to expect it. I knew what followed what, I was truly empowered. I planned to catch her myself but in the moment I felt I wanted the midwife to, she passed her through my legs still submerged so that I could bring her out of the water myself and on to my chest where skin met skin and those tiny eyes opened. Cliff put his head round the door to announce he was popping out the house for a cigarette only to find to his complete surprise that our daughter had arrived. I had been so soundless in my labour that he had no idea where we were at and that the job had been done.
I sank back on the side of the pool, sighed satisfied and declared 'that wasn't so difficult at all'. I felt blissed out, almost disappointed that the experience I'd prepared for all these months was over but totally satisfied and happy to be in my own home and in total control blazing like a fire between worlds. It was a spiritual experience - the first I've shared with my sister, we'll always share the special memories of that night. I bought her a dragonfly pendant set in amethysts and moonstones to mark all we'd been through together ... it is only now I know the symbolism of a dragonfly is emergence ... how ... perfect. And it was that night I realised I had to become a midwife, doula, companion, sharer of birth wisdoms, healing and empowerment to any women who seek it.