This is the story of making my dream come true for a gentle, natural, water birth of my baby, Mikhael.
Dreams Of A Natural Birth
It was after attending the Inner Child Workshop by Dr. Newton and Dr. Lakshmi that I truly realised the importance of conscious pregnancy and the impact of the first few moments after birth. Since that workshop, I wished to have a natural water birth.
Feeling Fear After A Difficult First Birth
My experience while birthing my first baby boy was a difficult one. Normally we tend to follow the doctor’s advice, thinking that they know it all. So, instead of following my natural instincts, I simply followed my doctor’s directions, as was expected of me. Because of this, I felt like I couldn’t tune into my body’s natural process of birth. For example, I ended up pushing at the wrong times, trying to follow the doctor instead of my body, which left me exhausted and with no energy for the final push. This made birthing difficult and created memories of fear. My husband, helped me throughout my second pregnancy to get over that fear, but I felt I could only resolve half of it.
Support From My Midwife
Despite my worries early in pregnancy, I found that by completely taking charge of the birth process, my second childbirth was miraculously beautiful. It was in the 6th month of pregnancy that I met my midwife. In the days following my meeting with her, the rest of the fear disappeared. Her wisdom through years of experience and trust about the birthing process helped me by leaps and bounds to get over my fear and anxiety.
Informed And Ready
In our first meeting my midwife said to me, “You know it and you will know it. You are in charge of the birthing process. Just trust your body. You don’t need anyone, but we will be there if you need us.” Her words had a huge impact on me. This is what I had thought birthing would be. Only the woman in active labour knows exactly what she is going through and when she feels pressure. I had a number of questions which were all answered by my midwife, leaving no space for doubts and fears. That helped me to be ready to take complete charge of birthing.
Creating The Atmosphere
Though my surges started very slowly on 5th July at midnight and I birthed my baby on 7th July in the evening, my gynaec and midwife were very patient and supported the birth process to unfold naturally.
On 6th July in the afternoon, my gynaec called me for a checkup, and on examination she said the birth surges had indeed started. She suggested to wait at her nursing home till the surges became strong enough to proceed to the hospital. At around 9 PM, the surges became strong and we checked into the hospital. My husband, Jitendraa, had everything under control and prepared the room for a gentle birth, as we had planned. He added rock salt to the birthing pool, queued up the birthing playlist for me, dimmed the lights to create a cozy, soothing atmosphere and had a comfy blanket and storybook ready for our toddler, Rudransh. I lit the candle, added natural essence to the aroma diffuser and answered all of Rudransh’s curious questions to get him ready for the arrival of the new baby. By the time the birth pool got filled, my surges became milder. So at around 10 PM, my midwife guided me to walk up and down the staircase to help pick up the surges. But, by 11 PM, the surges faded away completely. It was then suggested that I try to relax and go off to sleep. That night, nothing happened!
The Birth Waves Grow And Intensify
On 7th July around 4 PM, the surges started again and this time everything quickly intensified. It was time! My midwife was quick on her feet to fill the birthing pool. Rudransh fell asleep right when the surges intensified, giving me good time to work through the strong surges. I was breathing through the surges while sitting on the birthing ball, getting more and more eager with every wave to enter the birth pool. I anticipated that the water would ease the intensity of each growing birth wave.
The Warm Embrace Of The Birth Pool
My midwife helped me to enter the warm embrace of the birth pool. On entering the birth pool, I took complete charge of the birth process. The hypnobirthing audio played on. I asked that the temperature of the water be maintained as per my requirement. My midwife checked the baby’s heartbeat while I focused on the surges and Jitendraa held my hand to get through each wave.
With each birthing wave, I centered more and more and went in a trance-like state. I was centered in the middle of birth waves; I was one with the flow. I can say I had never experienced the power of breath until then. I could sense a flow of a strong energy vortex moving through the crown of my head towards my womb. I must say, it is a special gift that we women can receive, but many lose out on it because of the fear around birth.
The midwife and doctor insisted that I sip on some fluids as I was now entering the phase where the surges were getting closer, overlapping and increasing in intensity. Though the intensity was increasing every passing second, I was still so focused on the breath and on entering into a deeper trance. I can say I amazed myself in that I could stay centered in the middle of strong birth surges. But believe me, other woman can too. Yes! It is possible to be in trance while birthing. It’s true!
The Baby Is Coming!
After about 20 minutes, my gynaec arrived. She did a quick check and suggested that I change positions as the baby had started crowning. I now squatted on my heels in the pool to help my body breathe down the baby. I can still recall my midwife’s voice, when she said, “The baby is coming.” She had a big smile on her face and such confidence in me. Those words gave me a rush of energy to go through those last surges happily.
Arrival Of His Younger Sibling
The sun had started to set and the room was getting darker and cozier. At some point during this time, my toddler had magically woken up in his daddy’s lap, just in time for the arrival of his younger sibling. One last deep breath and the baby miraculously emerged from under the waves of the pool. He was face-up, soft as cotton and I found his hairy head in my hands on Thursday, 7th June 2016 at 07:18 PM.
I Was Humbled!
In this moment, my entire birthing paradigm shifted. It was a priceless moment: holding my baby in my arms for the first time. And my baby smiled back!This felt so different from medicalised birth in which babies cry frantically. I can still live the feelings I felt at that moment. A surge of love, strength, confidence, peace, happiness, excitement, amazement all at once. I burst into tears and then gave a hearty smile.
I wish, by reading my experience, women realise that they have all the strength, capacity, ability and are divinely guided in this significant moment of life to have natural birth. Unless, of course, medical complications arise.
Support That Surrounded Me!
I appreciate the care and support of my husband, my gynaec and my midwife in this beautiful journey; by just being and trusting me and by supporting me to follow my instincts, opened up a whole new dimension in me. Thanks to my birth photographer for clicking all these moments so beautifully to cherish forever. To thank my midwife feels too small a gesture for the support she has been, to make my dream come true and, even more, to restore my confidence in myself. Kudos to you, my midwife, for doing such great work so simply. You are such a lovely boon to mothers and little babies. The impact of the experience lasts for a lifetime. Love you! ☺
Image Credit – Neha Chopra, Out of Focus Pictures