Willow Magazine CREATING LIFE - Page 93

journey yet surrounded by love.

Throughout my labour I kept focusing on my breathing, I was calling upon all the strength from all the women in my life and what felt like all the women in the world! I kept picturing the women from Ina May Gaskin's amazing film (Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin and The Farm Midwives). I envisaged and felt all their strength surrounding me and had complete faith in my own body and ability with knowing what to do. Believe in yourself my strong and powerful sisters!

So my labour naturally started in the morning around 5:30 - 6ish. I was pretty sure I was in labour but didn't want to rush into anything too early, so I lay there for awhile listening, breathing, being...then turned on my laptop to listen to my lovely, positive Hypnobirthing affirmations and barely got through it as my expansions went from 20 to 10 to about 6 mins apart.

I then took a shower and called one of my midwives who said I sounded good and to call them back later, in my mind I was thinking 'What later?! My contractions are 6 mins apart, are you crazy?!' But managed to keep this voice inside my head calm. I then called my stepmother Machatarn who luckily, happens to rent out birthing pools in the area (www.birthafloat.com). I said 'How quickly can you fill up the birth pool for us?' and she was over in a flash! Jesse's aunty Priscilla was also staying with us that night (as the Blues Festival was on that weekend). Also, Jesse and I were meant to be doing a photo shoot with my friend that afternoon AND we were meant to be picking up a fence to start another garden bed! However all that certainly didn't happen. I woke Jesse up after the shower and he said to me 'Well, we'd better go get that fence from your dad', I replied with 'Um, we're not going anywhere...pretty sure I'm in labour!'

From then on it was all stations go: Machatarn was onto filling the pool, Jesse was helping me drink my breakfast smoothie for energy and Priscilla was helping set up the birthing space; 3D ultrasound picture of bubby, incense, candles, birthing necklace, relaxing music etc. I wasn't fully prepared yet and in the midst of it all, we ran out of hot water so everyone was madly boiling water on the stove and in the kettle to fill up the relaxing birth pool for me. By this stage I was mostly using my exercise ball to lean on, using my knees and trying to create space within my stomach.

We were also trying to get a hold of my mother Ananda, who lived about an hour away (we have since moved closer) she was out cleaning at the time and didn't own a mobile! So there was a bit going on that's for sure. I was just breathing through it all and going with the motions. Using my voice and breath while telling people what I needed from them. It was very smooth overall, Feather treated me very kindly. Overall my labour established pretty quickly (approx 8 hrs in total) and while I was on the floor leaning on my ball, my waters broke with Jesse and Machatarn in the room, where Machatarn suggested getting in the pool and that's pretty much where I stayed from then on in.

At one stage towards the end, the midwives had to get me out of the pool and gave me a catheter as this was in the way of my birthing, there were two bumps instead of one! Cut to the chase ~ (thank you Great Spirit!) my mother Ananda made it in time and was offering me coconut water. Macahtarn and Priscilla were filming and taking photos with my permission, Jesse was supportive and encouraging, in the pool with me whilst the midwives were all offering support and checking bubby's heart rate every now and again which was fine the whole time.

Jesse was truly my rock in keeping me grounded and supported when I needed him with his strength, gentle patience and guidance. And now, being on the other side, I now understand what my prenatal Yoga teacher Soflana was saying about 'your body working with you and wanting to birth your baby, the same way your body wants to 'expel' when your stomach purges its contents, it's just in the other direction for birth'...

Perennial massage I believe definitely helped me as I helped to guide our baby's head out into the world, it was pretty amazing feeling her head and hair in the water yet still inside me ~ she was so close to us! This for me was probably the hardest part, getting her head out as everything was truly opening and stretching. It's always a good idea to send some love, light and gratitude to your perennium such as 'thank you for stretching easily for the birth of my baby'. And also remembering to surrender to the process, just letting go...

Once her head was out our midwife Leanne (there was also Christine and Maureen there - so great to have all that support, they were truly amazing) however Leanne was very intuitive and instrumental at that imperative time in my birth. She was trying to take the umbilical cord from around her neck as this is how she was born and was trying to unravel it before my next expansion however it wasn't long enough, it was too tight and was blocking the birth from going any further. So as I started going into the next movement she told me in a firm voice 'Stand Up Varesha!' once I stood up, gravity played it's part and she came sliding out! Suddenly it was all over and we had an amazing bundle of a baby, covered in vernix and on my chest. And I was thinking 'Oh my goodness! I have a baby! What am I meant to do now?!' It was so surreal and amazing, overwhelming and emotional, not to mention hormonal, just so much flooding through my body all at once! It still does.

Feather took a little while to take her first breath and make her first noises however eventually did, we were thrilled to see she was a little baby girl as we thought we were having a boy ~ what a lovely surprise indeed! Feather truly amazes me every day with her existence, what a creation! Thank you for choosing us Feather Autumn Morris.

P.s Some people also suggest uttering a sweet wish or positive affirmation to baby as the first words that they will hear once they are a part of this physical world. I still utter to Feather when she is awake, going to sleep and asleep, a sweet affirmation to go into her fontanelle opening to take forward with her in her life. I whisper to her: You are Loved. You are Blessed. You are Cared For.

Lots of love, light and happiness birthing, Varesha, Jesse and Feather.

Here are some useful links all things baby related:

• Birth Alfoat: http://birthafloat.com/

• Bountiful Bubs: http://bountifulbubs.com

• Lisa Jay Photography: http://www.bylisajay.com/