I don’t get to tell my birth stories very often but since this one is 9 years old tomorrow, I felt inspired to share. Daisy is my rainbow baby, my baby born after a miscarriage less than a year earlier. It wasn’t the most peaceful pregnancy and leading up to her birth was actually completely stressful.
But her birth is the best thing to have ever happened to me. The best choices and decisions I ever made resulting in the most empowering life changing experience that lead me to (train) become a doula.
5 days before my waters started to trickle, so I called out the midwives as you are told to do. Big mistake! This resulted in 5 days of booked and cancelled inductions, many trips into hospital and high levels of cortisol stopping me actually going into labour. The midwifery team were great in supporting me in my decision not to be induced. I met SOM’s (supervisors of midwives), Consultants making me cry telling me I was selfish and my baby might die etc etc etc.
My doula was always available on the phone listening to me cry and rant. I remember feeling the injustice that animals have better conditions to give birth than humans. All I wanted was to be a cat and climb into a dark warm airing cupboard and give birth. On the 14th September I came back from a monitoring session at the hospital and a scare warning from a consultant obstetrician. I was so angry. I was so so angry and I started to let go. I wanted to book an induction for the Monday (would have been 7 days post waters breaking), I wanted everyone to go away and just leave me alone.
That evening I was restless and couldn’t eat my dinner. I just was so uncomfortable and fidgety. After Tom (age 22 months) had gone to bed, I was wide awake and couldn’t sleep. I felt compelled to stand in the shower. At about midnight I remember looking at the time in-between the waves of pressure that were coming regularly. They weren’t intense just uncomfortable. There was little rest in-between and I ran a bath downstairs and called my doula and midwife. My midwife came first whilst I was in the bath. I asked her to take me into hospital and get me induced if I wasn’t in labour. I was fed up and hot and bothered and couldn’t be still, or comfortable. She laughed and said ‘I think you will have your baby soon”. She then asked permission to examine me. I had not really thought about vaginal examinations but don’t remember being particularly against them. I laughed at the midwife, Rita. I couldn’t think of anything worse than having a vaginal examination and she took my ‘no’ graciously. She asked me another few times over the labour but never a problem with accepting my decision not to be touched and interfered with.
When Nicola (my doula) came I was lying on the sofa on my side and I remember her telling me I looked all dreamy. It wasn’t long before my body started to bear down. Rita (midwife) said ‘if you want to use a birth pool, you best get in. Why don’t you go to the toilet first”. Nicola (my doula) said “you can pee in the pool it is sterile ;)” So in the pool I got.
It was lovely with Rita and her frosted pink lipstick swaying to my tunes on the stereo and Nicola chilled on the sofa. After about an hour of my body bearing down, this hugely squishy 9 pounds 6 oz Daisy appeared. She still has the same sparkle in her eye!
Her birth was perfect, at 3.27 just before a beautiful sunrise spread over the sky to celebrate the day had come. Tom awoke after 5 just as we were all going to bed but luckily I got to just go snuggle my little girl.
Daisy is such a joyful happy child whose beauty shines from her soul. She is kind and warm to everyone she meets with a strong sense of injustice. She is inclusive of everyone and so dedicated to everything that she chooses to take part in, particularly performing. She is creative and talented and her birth made me feel like I can do anything. I went from a woman with low esteem into Hannah, who knows she can do just about anything she puts her mind too. Birth is not just about making babies. It is about birthing strong women.
I know all births are not like this and I put this down to a medical system that undermines women at all opportunities in their pregnant days. The testing and intervention takes inner power from women at a time when they need that inner power the most.
A woman knows if something is wrong, she won’t put her baby at risk. Birth works when women are left to just get on with it. It is not your doctor, your midwife or your partner/husbands choice where you have your baby. It is yours. When you hold the responsibility and decision-making for your birth; and are surrounded by people who believe in you. Magic happens and the body works beautifully. When it doesn’t and you have those people around you, you will continue to be loved and nurtured all the way through whatever happens next.