Birthing With Intention
Before and during my first pregnancy, I had more free time and read as much as I could about childbirth and parent. My research led to a desire for a calm, gentle, natural childbirth with a midwife. Back then, I lived on a different island that did not have a hospital. Because so, my aspiration for a home birth was shifted to a birth center in the major city located on the mainland, an hour away. What I wanted was an intervention-free childbirth, but that didn’t happen. After many hours of labor at home, I had an additional 4 hours of labor at the birth center but did not go through transition. Instead, and when birthing my son, a midwife applied fundal pressure, pushing downward at the top of my uterus while bracing her feet against the wall behind her. Visualize Spider Woman. Less than five hours later, I was in the back seat of our car with a newborn in a car seat, headed home.
Processing my childbirth story revealed where my birth plan got derailed. Because this birth center was very popular, my childbirth and postpartum were rushed. Interventions ensued. Did I have a natural childbirth? Yes. Was it intervention free and what I had planned for a calm, gentle birth? No. But I got another chance and in between, I poured myself into co-founding, writing, and managing The Science Behind the Hippie Mom (Facebook.com/ HippieScienceMama).
For my second pregnancy, I found the right midwife who during my first appointment/interview made me feel immediately comfortable and supported, which I considered the most important attributes about the caregiver I wanted to help me birth my child. Sheila, an older black woman with long, black dreadlocks, was not associated with a birth center. She came to women’s homes and vice versa for prenatal and postnatal care. Sheila arrived by my side (in a warm birthing tub on our living room floor) at 2am, and my daughter was born minutes later. I wish I had known Sheila during my first pregnancy. She assisted me in having the childbirth I wanted, the true form of midwifery. For me, experiencing my birth plan (an intervention-free childbirth) was achieved because I felt super comfortable in the place where I wanted to give birth, my home. And for months, I had planned and prepared my body and mind for a gentle, natural childbirth, something women have been doing for millennia. And lastly, call it what you may, but I now recognize it also needs a little luck/karma/divine intervention/blessing to experience a calm, gentle, natural childbirth.
May you and yours experience a caregiver throughout pregnancy and labor who elevates the maternal mama to a platform where she feels comfortable and supported, so that she may experience her birth plan.