I had heard the rare story of a good birth, mostly by mothers dismissing their ability as being one of the ‘lucky ones’. I was much more used to the tales of difficult, painful births, such as those on One Born Every Minute, and so, expectedly proceeded to have that kind of birth with my first child.
A wonderful friend I made soon after that told me how much she absolutely loved giving birth! That it was an empowering and beautiful experience! She sparked a seed of curiosity in me, albeit sceptical, it now existed. This led me on an educational discovery of the importance of relaxation, self belief, and acceptance of this ancient, natural and safe experience.
So we got to work. My husband and I attended a Hypnobirthing course which taught me above all how to relax, birth in an environment which relaxes me and anchor myself in positivity and belief. I had a few aromatherapy pregnancy massages to learn what smells calm me. I joined Sally’s Joyful Babies yoga classes where I learnt to listen to my body and move in the way my body wants. I researched a lot and read that homebirths can be safer for low risk pregnant women. We hired Sarah and Siobhan from Cambridge Independent Midwives who did all pre and postnatal checks at our house as well as supply everything we needed for a waterbirth at home. (Including an abundance of moral support and expertise!) Importantly for me, they were overflowing with success stories of countless, easy, natural homebirths.
My contractions started two weeks before Sofia was born, which gave me plenty of time to warm up and start to put into practice all I learnt. After a ‘show’ the day before, I woke at 12.30am with contractions that were stronger and closer together than before. I woke my husband and we excitedly played the relaxing playlists we prepared and started to fill the birth pool. I was so relaxed being in my bedroom, listening to music, nibbling on the delicious food buffet my husband made for me and smelling my relaxing aromatherapy oil scents. I sat or layed down for rest in between each contraction and during them I swayed in whatever way felt good, whilst focusing relaxation on my birthing muscles. I listened to the Hypnobirthing relaxations and affirmations which all led to me being in a very calm and comfortable state. Sarah arrived at 7.45am when my contractions were every 6 minutes. She knew me well and how to unobtrusively support me. I didn’t have any intrusive checks for dilation – it made no difference to me or my midwife how dialated I was… Sofia will arrive when she and my body was ready. At 10.20am I felt she was close to coming and so went downstairs to our dining room which was now hosting the birthing pool. My husband had lit candles and played our playlist: it was just like getting into a relaxing bath at the end of a day 🙂
Soon after my contractions changed to stronger pushing ones. I relaxed through them and let my body do what it was made to do, without pushing, tension or uncertainly. This was it! My baby was coming to me!
A few contractions later Sofia floated into our world where she was lifted into my arms and silently took her first breath. Without crying or causing any tears or soreness to my body. It was beautiful, gentle and peaceful.
Now I hold her close, breastfeed her whenever she wants and shower her with love. Our son is a proud brother; my husband and I incredibly proud parents. Not just because of creating a life but because we worked hard at ensuring she arrives gently and safely, for her benefit and for mine.
Since then I’ve been full of energy and even took both children to the park on my own on day 5!
I hope this story encourages you that your body was made to give birth and can do so seamlessly, gently and beautifully.