On Sunday, I was invited to join in the welcoming of Oliver meet his family earth side.
I had been visiting and educating this family for the past several months, and though all families seem attentive there is always this uncertain factor around every birth, the labour. Although it can be a walk in the park for the select few, most of the time it permeates with intensity and our inner forces are challenged to their maximum.
This family had their first child five years ago under very different circumstances and an elective c-section was performed to birth their first, therefore, no labour of any kind had been present for that birth.
This time, they really wished for a natural experience, and an awesome midwife group from West End Midwives helped in making their wishes come true. As their doula, I was present throughout the pregnancy to inform, educate, and hold space. The parents really did not want any kind of intervention as far as pain management and opted to labour quietly at home for most of the early labour, I was there to coach and suggest, as they navigated from the shower, to the birth pool and mom especially loved her yoga ball to get through the waves of labour.
All was going quite well and though labour was edging forward slowly, progress was happening, later in the afternoon of Sunday we decided to meet at the hospital where the midwife was waiting for us.
Labour continued without too much incident until around 8:30PM when we discussed the possibilty of releasing the waters, active labour had begun about 3 hours ago and with no medication and a limited diet, as Mama did not want to eat anything, we thought it would be a good idea to speed up the birth process by releasing the waters, and so the midwife, did just that, and with the next 2 contractions, boy did things start to happen, there was a significant amount of meconium, however, there was no cause for concern as baby was doing very well with no change in heart rate whatsoever. Mama was a champion in every way, she knew what she wanted and was determined to birth this baby her way, not once, did she mention that she wanted something for the pain, she just used her breathing and her moves to get her through every 2 minutes at this point.
I helped Mama and Dad with the surges as the midwife got everything ready for the birth, she called in her back up as things were moving very quickly, and we knew there was not much time left before Oliver made his way into Mama’s arms. I kept her focused and kept her cool with a cool facecloth, she was working hard and she was perspiring as is very natural. I repeated to her many times not to fear, that all was well and she was strong. When the midwives were more or less ready, we decided to start pushing baby out, Again this amazing Mama knew exactly how to birth her baby and in a few pushes Oliver was born, He arrived just before 10PM. The excitement and the overwhelming joy on the parents’ faces and our pride in Mama’s power to birth will never be forgotten. 2 hours later, after a huge clean up, we were all on our way home, Mama, Dad and baby too.
Birth is the most beautiful and empowering moment anyone can witness and I am so blessed to have been part of this vaginal birth after caesarean, with absolutely no pain medication, just determination and strength.