(attention! long read!)
2 years ago like 2 days... It was my first pregnancy, and it was my first labor. I'm not going to discuss right from the labor but from the events led me to it.
Two years ago, it happened to me that I was in India on Hatha yoga teacher training. It was an incredible experience that absolutely changed my values. Having meditated for every day during the courses, I realized that my aim is to help women, but did not know what to help with. Therefore, I decided to take prenatal yoga teacher training. I found such a course in China and started my preparation for it; simultaneously, I started learning more about midwifery, woman’s health, the labor process and gentle birth. In China, I did not feel satisfied being just a yoga teacher, and it came clear to me that I want to study midwifery seriously. I like the idea of labor as a natural process, where a doctor or a midwife is not as important as a mother and her child. At the same time, I merged into the midwifery world through watching some webinars and reading books of William and Martha Sears, Grantly Dick-Read, Frederick Leboyer, Ina May Gaskin and many others. I encountered lotus birth through Robin Lim and her natural birth center Bumi Sehat on Bali; participated in Michel Oden’s workshop, where I found out wonderful news – I was pregnant. I thought, what an experience it’s going to be! First, to understand if I like it, second, to practice the knowledge.
On the one hand I felt confident in the theory of birth process, from the other I practiced yoga almost every day, I was preparing my body and mind for the upcoming birth. Fear caused by unknowingness, that's why I never was afraid of birth or pain. Moreover, with yoga’s help, I realized that I have to accept everything with joy and gratitude, whatever happened, happened for a reason...
In Budapest, I decided that I am going to have a home birth because I did not want doctor’s protocols to lead my labor, in other words, I did not want them to disturb my labor by injecting Pitocin, checking my cervix all the time, piercing amniotic sac, cutting the cord, and so on – I did not want them to disturb me and deliver my child for me. I did not want to think that someone is judging me. Instead, I wanted to move, sing, breathe as I want, and do it in silence, warmness, and darkness – I wanted nature to rule.
Texas, the place where I was going to have a birth, homebirth is legal, and there’s a midwifery association, which seemed to be wonderful. However, I could not find my midwife, a midwife that would meet my expectations. Thus, I came up with a crazy idea – why not do it myself? I started my preparation. I knew about possible problems and difficulties, what to do and how to do, and, of course, when to call 9-1-1. I was very confident, and of course I thought that I might change my plans and might go to the hospital even if everything will be fine, but I will be afraid. I was ready for everything. It was absolute and concert trust in nature.
Everybody, including me, thought that my labor would happen on the 38th week. Indeed, starting from the 38th week I had Braxton hicks contractions. It was the 41st week, but the delivery didn’t seem to happen, nobody wanted to get out. I was a bit worried about it, but then I put up with myself being forever pregnant. Therefore, on December 10th I decided to relax: I ate pizza and ice-cream, played cards, as usual, went for a walk and again, I had little contractions. Braxton hicks again, I thought. So, my partner and I went to a mall for shopping, where on the way to the mall I could not walk going through upcoming contractions, I stayed while having them. My partner excitingly asked if it was the beginning of it, I said, “No way!” because I thought it was not something like “this is it!” While we were shopping, I noticed that the interval between the contraction was getting shorter. We timed the intervals – it was 5 minutes. I thought it was strange, tolerable, and nothing special, just something down my belly. When we finally came home, I suddenly realized that our fans are not plugged in properly and I forced my partner to correct it; then I did the vacuuming - I still had doubts, I couldn't believe that I am in real labor! After tidying our apartment, we played cards, and I felt that it’s getting harder to breathe, my contractions became more intense and happened more frequently. I started making the room for the labor, my nest of blankets and pillows. I felt okay just breathing. Meanwhile, the intervals got shorter, about 3 minutes each, and I realized it’s about to happen! The birth! It got painful. I tried the cat position, staying on my feet, nothing helped. I decided to take a bath, water might help. I merged into the bath, but I didn’t feel better. Plus, I couldn’t find a good position to go through contractions, I tried to release the pain through singing, and I got out the bath five minutes later when my singing turned into screaming. The intervals between the contractions were getting shorter and shorter. 12 am.
The warm room was dark, Christmas lights snaked the window. It sounds romantic, but for me, it didn’t. My screaming was getting louder, my partner was sitting in other room, because I didn't want any interruption and I didn't need any help, and I was getting angrier that neither breathe nor yoga helped – it was painful, very painful! I can’t say it was the power of nature, I was working, and the work was hard. I quickly remembered all the possible options: water, massage, cat pose, lying on my side, standing, knees-elbows .... nothing helped! I tired of crawling on the floor and finally ended up with lotus pose, leaning my back onto the bed and … oh, Heaven, it got better! I was afraid to move and continued to breathe in the same pose. I simply was trying to live, breathe, and help my kid to come to the light. Starting lightly, reaching the peak, and releasing me, every new contraction was catching me in waves and going through every part of my body. I realized that I had to live and breathe through the peak, and then it was getting better. At that moment, I thought about nothing, my head seemed to turn off, and occasionally seeing some lights, I was breathing, I needed nobody. I remember, that I thought - who can help me and how? Nobody, it’s my work. Therefore, I was happy to see my partner understood me and was sitting nearby. A few minutes later I wanted to go to the toilet – what a challenge it was! I reached the bathroom during one of the intervals between contractions. Sitting in the bathroom, I got a new contraction, and it brought me back from my thoughts to the Earth. I felt that something new was coming. With a blunted mind, I forgot about the pushing stage because my water didn't break, I didn't see my mucus plug, and there was no blood shown. I barely reached my room, where I tried to breathe in the lotus pose again, but it didn’t work. Suddenly, I got a push. It is impossible to miss that feeling when a woman delivers with her natural hormones there is always a moment when a woman feels bursting from within and nothing can hold that power. I began to roar and cry. During breaks between the pushing, I was exhaustedly lying on the floor, before coming back to the cat pose for the contractions. I was breathing, and I felt like I had to help my kid to come out, and I started to push. It all seemed so rapidly! Then I felt a need to stand, leaning against the bed, and my partner said that he’d seen the head with blond hair! I felt such a joy because I couldn’t think it might happen so fast. Three hard pushings and Leo’s head came out, while I was standing. By the way, I hadn’t thought that I might deliver while standing. One more pushing, my waters came out and my partner caught Leo right in his hands. Immediately Leo started crying, or roaring, like a Lion. We felt such joy!
2:45 am, I couldn’t believe that it would be so fast! We placed Leo on my belly and started taking care of me because there was one more thing that had to come out – placenta which got out easily in the next 30 minutes. During that period, our boy got relief from this fast labor, and crawled to my breast by himself and got it without my help! Yes, it can happen if the newborn is on the mother’s belly right after the delivery, the baby can find and suck the mother’s breast. We did not cut the cord. Therefore, my lotus boy, got all his blood and vitamins needed.
There was the same darkroom, where the same Christmas lights snaked the window, but I was different. The birth was the work for me, and finally, I got my reward for it, which is now sleeping on my hands. I did it. I gave birth to 38 sm. head baby without any scratches. And yes, he was full 42 weeks and his weight was 10,5 pounds. And after that, I believe in every woman. We were created to give birth and our bodies are just perfect and amazing.
Now I am a doula, with future plans to become a midwife. I want other women to know that labor has to be as they want, and we all deserve respect. I want them to know that not doctors or nurses, midwives or others are important but the mother and her baby. Everybody has to listen to them and support them first. I do not want to force anybody to anything, I just would like to say that women should feel safe and confident and study their bodies. If you feel confident and safe in a hospital - it is wonderful! If it is home - it is wonderful too! Just think about the pros and cons of someone’s interventions and listen to yourself and your baby. And I am here to help you to find all information you need. Everybody has his or her own way to be born either through cesarian birth or a home-birth. There is no right or wrong decision. Every decision is right for this exact time, and we are making it always because of the reason. The most important is to be healthy and happy. I am here to be alongside you, to support all your wishes and to try to make your labor as more progressive as it can be.