Editor’s Note: Gone are the days when the only birthing options were either a normal one or through Cesarean. Now water births and hypnobirthing is taking over. Our member mynt tells us how her child was born through water birth. Share your child’s birthing story with us here.
My “due-date” was October 17th. Corinna, my mid-wife at my birthing-centre in Goa, had told me first babies are usually late. It was such a relief to know that she was willing to let me wait it out – as I was convinced baby was fine and not at all “over-due”. When I reached 41 weeks – Corinna encouraged me to try some natural methods to help nudge the baby. So lots of power walks, cinnamon teas, aromatic tummy massages, accupuncture sessions and yes, even castor oil!
On October 30, I started getting some mild pressures waves in my back, lasting for 30 seconds and coming every 8 minutes. This continued over the next two days and on November 1st the pressure waves began getting more intense – lasting for a minute, and peaking every 7 minutes. It was still only in my back so I wasn’t completely convinced that they were actual labour contractions (for some reason I thought contractions should cause stomach cramps). I spoke to Corinna on the phone, and she told me to meet her later in the day.
So at 8 PM K (my other half) and I hopped on to our bike and went to the birthing centre – me clutching at the “labour bag”, and breathing through the pressure waves, and hoping this was real. When Corinna saw me, she told us to stay the night – as she was positive things would begin to move along.
She showed me how to breath effectively through the waves, gave us some hot delicious herbal tea to drink and left us in her beautiful birthing room. This room is honestly more like a place were babies would be concieved, rather than being born! Soft lights, lovely soothing music, mildly scented cool air, an inviting king-sized bed and a large pampering bath-tub…
The intensity of the waves increased gradually – and for me to ride them through I needed to breath deeply, bend over and do a strange hip dance. They were radiating from my lower back through the tail bone. K was blessing. Massaging my feet, my back, and shoulders. Making silly jokes and getting me to relax and laugh.
At around 1:30 things began to change. The waves were so close together that some of them were back-to-back. I began to feel like something inside me would burst. Almost like a huge balloon pushing on the inside. Corinna now arrived and helped me breath in a new rhythm – deeply inhale and long exhales… She began to fill up the tub.
When I slipped into the the lovely warm waters – I almost purred with pleasure. It was soothing and relaxing and dulled the intensity of the building pressure. In a while though, the feeling of something about to burst inside me began to itensify. It was a sensation I’d never felt before, I felt like I was losing control of my body and this began to scare me. Corinna sensed my fear and reassured me that it was the bag of waters which was pushing down, and it was nothing to fear. “Don’t fight the sensations. Just accept them. Go along with them”, she said – and I did. The bag broke and the bursting sensation stopped.
“The pressure will began to get more intense now”, said Corinna, and she got K to support my arms and help me keep afloat when the waves hit me. Each wave was ridden with a long yogic “oooo” chant and K breathed with me to help me keep the rhythm. At some point I began to feel an urge to push. Corinna guided me on how to push and breathe so as to help baby move down. It took me a while to get into the rhythm of pushing. I was completely lost within myself and the sensations. From the time I’d gone into the tub my eyes were closed.
“That’s a good push. Now take a deep breath for the baby. That’s it…” Corinna’s constant encouragement helped me focus and it suddenly felt good to push. After each pushing contraction there would be a period of nothing. I almost felt drugged. And I actually fell asleep in some of them while Corinna and K patiently waited for me to wake up!
“I can see the baby’s head. Baby has lots of hair!”. That brought me into full senses and it suddenly became all real. A baby, an actual little being was going to come out and soon be in my arms! That gave me a renewed rush to push as efficiently as I could. After one of those pushes, I felt the baby’s head being birthed – “The baby’s head is out – and now it’s easy work” said Corinna. And sure enough with the next wave, baby’s body came slipping out into the beautiful warm waters. Corinna’s strong and gentle hands held the baby and she put the little one on me. November 2. 6:07 AM.
Speechless. I could only stare, while the baby opened its eyes and locked it’s gaze into mine. It raised it’s left arm and gave me a small punch on my cheek! A couple of seconds later a strong little wail – while K and I could only still stare at this new person.
“So what is it?”, asked Corinna, I looked at her blankly, “Boy or Girl?”. I had totally forgotten about that! I lifted the cord – “Oh she’s a girl” I said turning to K. A beautiful beautiful girl.
K cut the cord and she settled down on his lap. Corinna was with me and we waited for the placenta. With the next contraction, out it came. I was quite fascinated to see this amazing organ which had nurtured beautifully our little one. Corinna checked it and said it was a large healthy placenta and showed me its different parts.
A warm shower later, I had to receive two stitches to sew up a tear, as the baby had come out with her hand beside her head.
That done, baby was now weighed. She was a healthy 3600 grams and measured 55cm.
Corinna dressed her in new-born clothes, and left the three of us to absorb it all in.
She came back with some snacks for me, as I was famished, having not been able to eat since the afternoon before.
At 9AM we were home. Happy and whole, and with a gorgeous baby.
Today it’s a month since her birth (that’s when I wrote this – but only got to post it now!). And I feel blessed at how easy and beautiful it has all been. My little girl, Alya Rumi, is a happy healthy gorgeous baby, and I couldn’t be better.
I couldn’t have had a more beautiful birthing, or a more beautiful baby.