Birth Reflections

photoFor me, my second birth helped me to heal the first one, as the first one didn’t go as I had imagined this amazing birth experience to be, as I had planned to be at home, but ended up with an emergency caesarian. The second birth at home, the ‘perfect’ birth helped heal the first experience. I didn’t feel complete as a woman after the caesarian, so afterwards to have a natural birth at home was so wonderful. As I didn’t know what to expect in the first birth, I asked Amanda and Val Taylor (an independent midwife) to be my birth supporters, as I knew they would provide that mothering, nurturing support that I needed. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t tried to progress the birth, as  I feel there was too much emphasis on getting the baby out. Looking back I don’t think the baby was ready to come out and maybe I should have gone back to bed and waited. It was 48hrs of labour and I was so anxious to bring this baby out and meet him and I was trying to force the birth.I had an idealistic view of how birth should be, down to which essential oils should be burning.Being a perfectionist I was trying to plan it all and then it all went in the opposite direction. My main issue with the birth was not knowing if he got stuck as he was posterior and a long baby or whether it was an emotional issue as  I was too scared to give birth to him. It may have been my intuition knowing that it was not safe for him or for me to give birth naturally and this fear was driving my emotional response or was my emotional fear creating the physical response. This I will never know.

It was only with my second birth that I was able to deal with the fear and felt supported enough to let go. It is not easy for me to let go. The first birth was as beautiful and as emotionally amazing , even more emotional in some ways as it was so powerful and we were blown away by it. A natural birth goes through the smooth waves of the different stages and so you know more of what to expect and it all fits together. It was  a softer experience not so dramatic and how it is meant to be.

The emotional power of seeing your baby after a caesarian was very powerful. My partner and I really needed each other as we were being pushed to our limits. During the delivery we maintained eye contact and it was incredible to be that close with him. At home he was more in the background as both Amanda and Val were occupying  that space. Important to just let things be.

There is a sense of completion in me since I have given birth. It is such a privilege and is the magic of life. To give life to another human being is phenomenal.

The second birth was all about letting go, trusting and accepting guidance from nature , love or God. I used the mantra that Amanda and I discussed during my counseling sessions with her “God is the strength with which I birth my baby.’ What helped me was knowing that it was all of nature, the whole of mankind and life  that was behind me. It wasn’t me doing it alone as an individual.To let go and not to be fearful, as it is so powerful. The mantra was truly helpful as it helped me to trust and to open up, as was the gas and air! The gas and air helped me to relax towards the end as fear stopped my cervix around 7cms, but the gas and air helped me to relax through it.

There was a lot more fear around my first birth and I didn’t really manage to work through it, but with my second birth I worked through it and finished the story and completed the process. Having the faith that it is all ok and allowing myself to let go into it.

Breathing went out the window! For my second birth I felt really comfortable lying down on my side on the sofa. I imagined I would be in the pool or standing up, but lying down was right for me at the time. I used the pool for relaxation and was in and out of it during the labour, but I wanted to be lying on my side out of the pool for the birth.

Ultimately do what feels right in the moment. Classes are helpful, but maybe we over think the whole process.

The key for me is to drop into the trust and the surrender. I trusted that both my births were perfect and I ended up where I needed to be for that birth at that time.

Rev. Amanda Edwards B.Ac. M.B.Ac.C
Registered Acupuncturist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, Spiritual Counsellor
Active Birth and Yoga Birth Teacher, Doula

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