Every woman’s birth transforms her to the deepest of her core. It rocks her out of this world and into a deep inner space. I saw this transformation many times in my profession as a doula before I had my own daughter, and I knew the things that would help me get to that primal space. Yet, you never can really know until you are in it and breathing through your own waves of contractions.
It began during a storm day, the island was flooding, and it was two days before Christmas. Luckily, I worked from home and although my contractions had begun early that morning, they were light. I was expecting a New Year’s baby with my calculated due date January 3rd and had not been prepared for her to come so early! My midwife came over and confirmed what I couldn’t believe, I was in labor.
I called my husband home and quickly got to work on wrapping all my Christmas presents. I watched Love Actually, wrapping presents, pouring rain outside, pausing to breathe through my contractions. By 3:00pm I could really feel them. By 5:00pm we decided to make the move to my parent’s place in Haiku where we planned to birth our daughter. It was just my parents, my husband, and my brother, with permission.
I immediately got my Man-Doulas to work applying counter pressure on my lower back. I remember thinking “Where are the women?” They soon arrived at 7:00pm. My three midwives (this was one of Aunty Tina’s last births) and a close friend. My cervix was 8-9cm dilated and by 9:00pm I was complete at 10cm.
When the urge to push came over me, it felt like my backside was going to burst! I resisted against this feeling, sending my energy up. I soon realized that I was either going to stay like this forever resisting, or I could let go, face the unbelievably scary unknown of that pain, surrender to it and trust that I would be OK. As soon as I did, I moved through that sensation into another, of my daughter crowning, and then a few pushes later she was on me!
I was so relieved. She was calm and quiet. My husband was there beside me the whole time, hardly saying a word, massaging my back. He was my total rock and helped bring our daughter into this world.
It was a beautiful experience to birth at home surrounded by the love of my family. And the best surprise Christmas gift ever.
Image Credit: Sonya Niess