my story of becoming a mumma
Welcome to my first post on this journal, I would love to share with you my story of becoming a mother and a few words about how i feel about birth.
This is such a personal thing for me to share, and I am sharing this with full heart and I hope you can open your minds & know that everyone is different, and we all have stories to share, some might surprise others, yet bring courage and strength or even a smile to those who need it the most.
We were both blissed out about growing a babe. It wasn't a planned thing, but it happened and we were happy. I had been born at home myself. I feel so completely lucky that my mum had always shared the most positive and beautiful stories about her pregnancy & birth with me. Also having grown up in a very alternative community here in the Byron region, there are a lot of groups filled with women who are seeking to experience birth and pregnancy as a very beautiful and empowering journey. It's wonderful to surround yourself with others that are not necessarily going through the same birth scenario that you are but yet are all talking about ways of approaching birthing in a positive light and learning the preparations we can take to do so.. I remember the usual weekly gathering i used to go to and there was usually maybe 5-10 of us, no one really knew each other, we sat togother every week throughout months of our pregnancies, each week we would meet up in a quiet space, do some preggie yoga, snack on juicy fruit & completely openly share what we were feeling, tears and all, occasionally stopping for a morning sickness break, we shared the ups and downs that we felt that week, and so much more, i don't think i have ever so openly shared in my life! Emotional preggers hormones may have had something to do with that! It was so humbling to know that everyone was going through something, each different, some had already a couple of children, some were older, younger, wiser, innocent to it, lots of different backgrounds and situations including health situations. Some happy to be pregnant some not so happy. Some were alternative and some were conservative. We spoke honestly about our birth plans, our fears, our complications, our bliss.. This absolutly carried me through pregnancy with a wonderful support team. I also connected with 2 of my now very close friends through this group and Zephyr has 2 best mates born in the same week! I strongly suggest seeking something like this, hell, even putting a written note up on your community notice board to see if there are other mummy's to be around your area interested in meeting as a group..
I had always believed natural birthing was the normal way to approach birth, of course there are so many situations heading into a pregnancy where it isn't possible to birth naturally, caesarean may be needed or another story! BUT what i feel is that if it is possible for you to choose to birth naturally or at home, then of course you should take advantage of this gift you have been given! That's how i feel a hot it anyway! If you have an open mind and know that natural birthing is an incredible experience and an optimal choice, yet not always meant to be, sometimes you need a little help, most importantly empower yourself and understand all of your options thoroughly, be educated through your pregnancy and research the medical pathway and also the alternative way, google your nights away when you can't sleep and involve your partner/birth partner in it as much of it as you can, after all, that person will be with you while you are labouring and birthing and you want them to truly be there for you and to understand you can't be telling them every step to take while you are in labour, they should know what to do and simply be there for you calmly. Watch the film ‘The Midwives’ with Ina May Gaskin for some inner strength and woman empowerment! It's purely incredible and i watched it on a big projector in a hall in Mullumbimby in my last few weeks preggers. What a beautiful experience that was, the hall was filled with locals, women, men, children and all! Just an indescribably beautiful few hours. For you to be blissed out and birthing naturally at home with your lover, perhaps after a long property walk or a massage out in the garden, this is the way I had always envisioned I would bring a child into the world. How calm & loving, and really, how organic. Mum had dunked me in a bath of Frangipani & Jasmine flowers after I came out, dad had picked those for us while she was in labour. Hearing these beautiful stories from my mum gave me the confidence to try for a home birth with Zephyr.
All through my pregnancy I was blessed with a team of three of the most wonderful midwives through Mullumbimby birthing centre (which is now Byron Bay birthing) In the later stages of my pregnancy they would visit me weekly, and then daily. At the time we were living in a big farmhouse on a property just outside of Byron. I don’t think I was ever scared of birth, I definatly had those ‘what if’ moments, but I was probably more scared of having to birth in a hospital or have to go in an ambulance to the closest hospital (45 mins) than anything else. That made me feel anxious for sure. I felt my partner was really geared up with the vision that i wanted for the birth and i had mum ready to jump into the car, actually being the mum that she is, she didn't have a car, but she had a friend on call to bring her to my place!
It was late September, Spring time here and he was 2 weeks overdue, if he went 3 weeks over, he would have to be induced so i was sooo happy to feel those labour pains! I laboured through the night. Heading into labour I just gave in to the fact that it was going to happen & to be calm and trust that my body can do it. Women have been birthing forever and in all kinds of situations & circumstances. I wish more women trusted their body’s as I truly feel this guides you more than you could ever know. I had had intentions to have an active labour, where I would probably wander around the property with my partner and walk it off until I was ready to get into the bath and have a water birth! Yet I don’t think I barely left the bathroom, we had a huge bathroom with a spa bath and nice dark walls, covered in wooden panelling. I had a cosy mattress to lay on, some fairy lights up and we had Morning of The Earth playing in the lounge room (What better way to welcome a surfer babe into the world!) Zephyr's dad was occupied on being calming & amazing.. We had my mum there too, a definate necessity, and I just wanted as little distraction and as much space as possible, so I didn’t make the ‘get the midwife here call’ until I was probably maybe 7 hours into labour. My midwives were at another birth, just down the road! Wow, a little panicky, but they came as they were just finishing up there anyhow. One midwife came & she told me I would almost be ready to push, not too long now. I was 8cm when she arrived! For most of the labour I was just feeling incredibly strong sensations in all kinds of ways, yet it was tolerable. I was basically in a meditation trance through the whole thing, whenever I suffer migraines or serious pain this is my coping strategy. I feel like i had all these plans for how i would cope through the labour yet my body just took me, i had no real control over any sensation, when pregnant i thought i would really love to be massaged by my partner though labour, some nice essential oils, quiet calm music, nooo nooo i didn't want to be touched or even talked to, except mum, she knew the right kind of whispers that were tolerable for me haha.. When the back pain was at its very worst the midwife offered me some water injections for it, but I declined as seeing as i had made it this far, it was almost this overwhelming strength inside me that felt I didn’t need anything and I could do it!!! Insanely empowering to trust yourself like that. I tired to have a water birth but it just wasn’t for me at the time, I really had planned that I wanted to do that, but my contractions were making me so piping hot then freezing cold to the point I was uncontrollably shuddering. Again, plans not working at the time, but the important part is that i had the plan, so the option to try it was there. Out of the bathroom and into the kitchen/lounge when it was pushing time, i felt like i needed a new room that had new energy and a fresh feel to it, that hadn't been filled with my intense feelings of the last 10 hours of labour. The pushing part was probably the only part where I ever felt for a second, hang on, can I actually do this? Will we make it? His elbow was pointing up in front of his face, he was stuck there with the cord wrapped over it, so I think he had popped his arm up to try and untangle it. Oh Zephyr, my babe! By the time I was pushing I had my two midwife angels with me, and I do not use that term lightly, what they did for me was incredible and I feel eternally grateful for them. I had one midwife bending down on her knees next to me guiding me by speaking in my ear, gently but firmly. I needed that so much, firm and confident directions at that point were everything to me. Eventually he came out, my two dogs were amazed, they were just sitting right next to me watching the whole thing. They may have given him the first lick right then, on his bum! He needed oxygen and a bit of a wake up as he wasn’t breathing and was very blue, mum was crying, midwife might have sworn under her breath and from the looks on everybody’s faces this wasn’t good, not at all, but, I just knew inside that everything was going to be fine, I am saying this so honestly, I just knew it was going to be ok. He would be fine. And he was. Revived & straight on my chest at 6.30am on our kitchen floor, watching the sun rise through the door way, this was the happiest day of my life, the day I became a mother. I sat cradling him for a while, pretty sure he was straight on the boob but i actually can't remember. Placenta eventually out, cord cut slowly and Angel Midwives went home. We just laid in our own bed with our beautiful Zephyr in our arms. This was everything. He is everything.
I hope you enjoyed reading a very simple and lightly worded version of myself becoming a mumma. I could have easily ventured into the depths of my soul writing about this, but thought I’d keep it fairly simple for now. If there is any topic you’d like me to journal about in more detail, leave a comment below.