Positive Birth Stories
If you would like to share your empowering, positive Birth Story, feel free to email a short version of it to me and I will post it on this page: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Birth of Jude by Alexandra Florschutz 15.01.2000
I had the birth I dreamed of: natural, pain free, loving and peaceful in my own home. I awoke at 4.30am to a slight period-like twinge and when I went to the toilet I had the customary ‘show’ of blood. I felt a mix of fear (was there supposed to be so much blood? Maybe something was wrong?) And excitement (‘this is it… show time’). I rang the hospital to register so they could send a midwife later. I was told everything was ok and normal, to take a Paracetamol and go back to bed. Now why would I want to take a drug that would go into my blood stream and into my baby – with all the nasty side effects that drugs contain – when I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort whatsoever!?! So I avoided Paracetamol and just pottered about, went back to bed, rested, and later went for walks, climbed the stairs two at a time, ate nourishing food, did some drawing and listened to my empowering relaxation CD (called ‘Having a Baby Is The Most Natural Thing In The World’ by Binnie A. Dansby), in my birthing pool. If it is possible to have a birthing pool, then I totally recommend it – especially if you like water.
It was not until twenty hours later at 1am that the midwife arrived and until that time I was totally free from pain or discomfort. Between 1am and 4.27am the process gained momentum but it was nothing I could not handle. I had two painful contractions and this was because I was asked to lie down on my back for a dilation check – on reflection, a total waste of time as the baby was coming in his own time anyway. The second painful rush was when the midwife asked me a pointless question and jolted me out of my reverie! Never disturb a birthing woman! It was energetic, it took all my strength, I was tired yes (I like my sleep!) and it felt extremely powerful to be conscious of what I was doing every step of the way. I remember being slumped over the side of the pool, moving my hips from side to side and exhaling a deep guttural sound. The pool was in the sitting room and a dim light in the corner emitted a soft glow and I may have had some relaxation music tinkling softly somewhere. I was really tired and wondered if I was at the beginning, middle or near the end.
The midwife interrupted me at one point worried about how long I was taking and if I didn’t hurry up she would think about transferring me! The audacity. She was, however, speaking from a place of fear and was trying to do her best. When she went out of the room I spoke to my baby and said to him “Hello my darling, we need to get you born…” And then there was a sinking sensation in my belly and the water’s broke. My midwife came back into the room and checked the baby’s heart rate which had increased slightly and she checked the broken water for Meconium. This is the first baby pooh which gets ingested by the baby during labour causing potential problems. Luckily it was ok and I think I told her I would like to be left alone. On my own again and all was well. I then felt a powerful need to push. It required a complete letting go of all resistance. So if there was anything I was still hanging on to… I had to let it go now! On later reflection, I sensed I had been holding on to self control a little because I was so used to this way of being. In the last hour or so the pushing was quite amazing and full on, like riding luxurious wild waves. It requires the same letting go and expansion like having an orgasm – you cannot hold on in fear and have a whole body orgasm.
I simply continued to focus on my belly, tune into the rise and fall of the body sensations (commonly known as contractions!) and do my best to flow with the intense energy. Wanting to sleep was my main concern rather than the so called pain (which was definitely manageable!)
My husband had a friend staying that night (talk about perfect timing) so he spent his time between us both. I wanted to be mostly on my own because I meditated through the process and did not want to be disturbed; he felt nervous and a bit helpless so his friend became a helpful distraction and support. Even though he came from a culture that considers birth easy and natural, he was still on his own without his support network. He was there during the last ‘pushing phase’, cheered me on and seemed to be in tune with what I needed. I had no interventions, no drugs or pain relief because I wasn’t in what I would describe as pain, except for the four hefty pushes at the end to extract the head when I did feel a stinging sensation. I wondered if the head would actually come out and the midwives helped me to breathe and release the baby. This only took about ten minutes so it was bearable. (It was not any more painful than trying to extract a constipated pooh). I read this apt line in Spiritual Midwifery, ‘Don’t think of it as pain. Think of it as an interesting sensation that requires all of your attention’ (Gaskin, I. M. 2002). I remember every detail with such joy and gratitude that I have always wanted to share my experience.
I believe I was empowered towards this achievement by exploring my internal world and expressing myself through art, positive affirmations and surrounding myself by people who trust the natural birth process. I believe everyone has the same chance to attract all the love and support available to be empowered givers of life.
I was inspired by this experience to write my book The Art of Birth: Empower Yourself for Conception, Pregnancy and Birth (published by Engage Press) to help YOU have the birth YOU desire.