My fourth pregnancy flew by, running around after a 2 yr old there was no time for the luxury of daily yoga and meditation I had practiced in her pregnancy! The weeks passed quickly and my belly grew and grew. My community of women gathered around me just 3 weeks before his birth to honour me with a Blessingway; I used this opportunity to voice and give away my fear of the birth.
You see I had had only 1 out of my 3 previous births ‘go right’- ie naturally without intervention. My last birth I narrowly avoided a c-section, and I spent a lot of time afterwards wondering what had gone wrong and why my body had ‘failed’ me.
I was given the chance to heal that birth and given back my confidence in my bodies ability to birth this time!
Twinges started around 38 weeks, they were regular and sometimes woke me, but this had happened before, so this time, instead of getting excited and filling the birth pool, I ignored them, trusting I would ‘know’ when it was really time!
After almost 3 weeks of twinges I was getting fed up! I allowed the midwife to give me a stretch and sweep, knowing it probably wouldn’t work- well it hadn’t last time. She said I was about 2cm dilated (I wondered if i’m always about 2cm dilated after 3 births!!). The twinges strengthened but not too much.
The next day, twinging away every 5 mins or so, I went for a long walk (toddler and hubby had gone out for a few hours). I walked across fields, climbed gates and eventually found a sacred stone that called to me, I sat against her and I called to Mother Earth from my soul, I called to my angels, to Grandmother Moon, and of course to the little one inside me, I had had enough, it was time, I was ready and I felt my baby was ready too. The voice of the baby spoke to me, telling me his/her name was to be Forest! I prayed for a safe home birth and to be supported.
The twinges were strengthening. My husband went to his usual football game- he was generally home within an hour and a half so I wasn’t too worried. I also didn’t say anything as I wanted him to relax and enjoy himself- and I wanted the time to prepare myself.
I put Dorothy to bed and came downstairs to prepare the room, my Relaxed Birth and Parenting cd playing the whole time, Dominique’s voice on the cd soothing me. Candles and incense were lit, lights dimmed, pictures, affirmations, crystals and goddess figures around, I swayed and danced. Tom came home and I asked him to put up the pool…he said “OK, great” smiling, knowing.
I bent forward at each surge, breathing, relaxing, tuning in to the voice on the CD. The midwife was called, and arrived fairly quickly, she sat quietly, reading my birth plan, observing me. She offered an examination which I agreed to- I had refused last time and pushed on an unopened cervix causing it to swell. She examined me and said ‘its just pre labour, you’re about 2cm, I’ll write up my notes and go home’. I was devastated, but part of me knew- this was it! My daughter had woken, so I went to lie down with her, giving her a feed, suddenly the surges got stronger and quicker, I couldn’t stand to be lying down and I had a strong urge to use the loo. I came downstairs quickly, contracting and emptying my bowels – which was not fun! The midwife was still here, and could see it was happening fast. Tom called a nearby friend to come and be with Dorothy and I climbed into the pool!
I was breathing and going with the contractions really well, they were extremely intense and coming fast, then I lost it, I began to wail and prayed for help, I was scared that ‘I couldn’t do it’ the pain was feeling too much to bear. In that instance I felt hands soothingly stroking my back and a voice that said “breathe waves of golden light”- (midwife was in the kitchen and Tom was in front of me, holding both my hands) this immediately refocussed me and seconds later the midwife rushed in and said “and theres the head, pant now, little pushes”- I had almost done it, the next push was easy as my baby slipped out, being caught behind me by the midwife and passed up to me, for Tom and I to see the sex ourselves- a boy! Dorothy came down to meet her brother and helped daddy cut the cord -once it had finished pulsating- the cord had a ‘true knot’- a double knot!
The timing from my internal exam to birth was exactly an hour!
After a couple of days we named our baby boy Emrys Forest William. (he was born on the birthday of my great grandfather William).
Big sister Dorothy with her baby brother.