She Births® was really fantastic for me and Nick. Nick really got a lot out of it and thought you were a really special teacher too. The women’s circle in between was amazing and has totally shifted my energy – so we are big fans of you. Think you are an intelligent, sensitive and intuitive spirit and will most certainly recommend the course to others…
Our birth story:
I was certain my baby daughter would come early so I made sure I was totally prepared at around 36 weeks. Bub had been engaged from around 30 weeks and my belly had dropped down low. I was doing regular yoga and swimming and felt confident that the birth would be good. I felt strong in my body, knew my body well and had a good relationship with it. I had some fears around being a mother but I knew I was relatively fearless around the actual birth. I felt excited about it.
I had this amazing foundation of feeling confident and armed with techniques and skills thanks to She Births®, so even though the birth took some unexpected turns, I still felt empowered and great about our experience. I am very grateful for our whole birth experience, Freya was actually born via caesarean section.
At 10 days overdue I had tried everything to bring on the labour; curries, the eggplant parmigiana from the She Births® library (which is seriously delicious), acupuncture, walking up and down stairs Bondi to Bronte and back again and sex (way more than either of us wanted at this time). I finally had a teaspoon of castor oil and bingo the waters broke within half an hour.
I had been getting internal examinations from the midwives for the past 6 weeks and they had all assured me my cervix was paper-thin and they could feel the babies head easily – I must be close. They had all mentioned that the opening of the cervix did, however, feel scarred and that it had not dilated yet. But I was not worried – I was ready and excited. The scarring was from an old fashioned style of cone biopsy I had when I was 17 years old. That type of procedure is now outdated but can sometimes heal by fusing the opening of the cervix.
The labour played well for the first 12 hours, gentle contractions, really enjoyable surges. My doula dropped over and gave me acupuncture to help things move along. I went to the birth centre to be checked and suddenly bub moved from being engaged to being side-on. A doctor was called in and Nick looked worried and for the first time, I felt scared. My cervix still had no opening and I was moved to the delivery suite. I was checked again after I emptied my bladder and she engaged again and everyone relaxed a little. The doctor recommended I stay at the hospital and go on the syntocinon to keep things moving while she was engaged (as it was clear there was room for her to disengage and I realised she had been doing this a lot – once I was aware of the change of shape). I felt this was a good idea even though I had been completely anti- into up to this point. It felt the safest option for bubba.
My doula arrived and we set up the room so it felt homely with music and scents. The pressure from the synto was strong and so my focus immediately went within. The outside world was less important, kind of blurry. I remember different midwives and doctors passing through vaguely. I just focused on opening the cervix and breathing deeply, bouncing and stretching over the fit ball.
I kept visualising my cervix opening like a flower but every time I imagined it there was a block of some sort. I went deeper within. I started to feel that for some reason the cervix would not open. After 5 hours I asked a doctor to examine my cervix. I said to Nick and my doula if my cervix had opened slightly I would continue, but if they still could not find an opening I must change tactics. All up I had been in labour for around 20 hours so I felt there must be ‘some kind of opening’ to my cervix. I had gone deep into the labour and I felt fearless, ready and strong. There was nothing I could find in myself that was holding me back. The doctor said she could find no opening, just scar tissue. She suggested this happens to some women after that surgery and sadly the only way forward was a caesarean.
By this point, I had moved into the birthing pool – still with the synto. Bubba had had some irregular heartbeats. I was still very deep within not really speaking to anyone, I knew Nick and Naomi (doula) and Heidi (midwife) were in the room but I was deeply searching out what was the right thing to do through very fast contractions. They stayed calm and really supported me on this journey.
I suddenly stepped out of the bath and very loudly said “I know my body well. I would never choose a caesarean unless it was the only way. And I know this is going to be the only way. My cervix will not open and it’s OK. We have tried our best and this is what we need to do for bubba now.”
Everyone agreed; the doctor, midwife, doula and Nick. It was clear as day. Then before we knew it bubba was on my chest breastfeeding to her little heart’s content. She has always been such a good feeder.
Still to this day, I cannot connect with where that voice came from. It wasn’t my normal rational voice. But, I am told by everyone in the room, that it was very clear and very strong.
It felt right. It was right for me to surrender to how it was – rather than the ideal way I may have visualised. It was humbling and I felt great. And, it felt amazing to have our beautiful daughter with us, more than anything, healthy and divine.