Elbereth's positive home birth: 'This experience changed me so deep'
After a traumatic first birth in 2009, Elbereth decided on a home birth for her second baby. In her story, she explains how her positive birth experience left her feeling stronger than ever.
This is her story:
"Dear Line, I take a little moment to write about my super fantastic home birth experience, while our little Athena Gabrielle, now 8 days old, is taking a nap.
I think I'll start this by saying that I've had a traumatic birth back in 2009, and it took a long time before I could heal this trauma.
My healing journey started with reading the book of Marie Mongan about hypnobirthing, and getting exposed to positive experiences of birth, especially via free and home birth groups.
So when I got pregnant last year, it was just obvious: it would be a home birth, and it would be with hypnobirthing.
My man was pretty skeptical, to say the least!
But then we started your beautiful course, and he also dived into the entire subject of home/free birth, becoming suddenly EXTREMELY dedicated to this preparation.
The course was great for both of us, and soon we both were having dreams (literally) of a peaceful birth.
These dreams told us we were ready on many levels, it was such a fantastic feeling: not only my trauma was gone, but also I was already replacing it by a deep, deep positive print!
As my term was approaching and I wouldn't be bothered to even hear about induction (somehow I never heard as much about it as in Norway, I wonder why, maybe Norwegian babies just need a longer preparation before facing the environment?) so was I speaking to my baby girl, telling her how we were ready to welcome her earth-side, and that we couldn't wait to meet her.
2 days later, I woke up at 4h00 and hanged in the living room as usual, and started to feel something that looked like contractions around 7h00.
But hey, that was just super duper easy, even though it was 5/6 min apart.
I sent my man to work, telling him that I'm just perfectly fine and will keep him posted.
So goes the day, the contractions come regularly and the intervals are slowly getting to 3 min.
I'm still just moving around, knitting or relaxing in my sofa, feeling this is virtually painlessly.
When my man came back home, we agreed the birth had started!
So we prepared all our little things and drove to his own flat, where we decided to have the birth.
It was around 17h, and everything was just super fine, I even had a chat with the neighbours on the way.
Arrived at his flat, we cook, watch some TV, cuddle on the sofa, while the contractions are becoming more powerful.
Gradually, I feel more need to focus, so we turn off the TV, and play our birth setlist.
At this point, standing up and circling my hips was what I wanted. It's now about 21h, and I need to focus on my breath a bit more.
My bubble started to build up in a beautiful way, and time was fading away.
The waves became more and more powerful, so I went in the shower, still circling my hips softly, and vocalising some looooong "Om" sounds on the exhales.
My man was of course by my side all along, breathing with me, giving me sips of water, stroking my arms and back.
Around 00h30, he called the midwife, as the waves were now steady at 1 min intervals for a while, and the intensity had become really high.
I was still vocalising, standing and circling my hips.
When the midwives came, I had started to squat, supporting myself around the neck of my dear man.
The water hadn't broken yet, and I was feeling that little frustration: baby was still high up, while I kinda felt pressing contractions now.
Tiredness also started to seriously kick in.
So I went to the bed, on my knees, while still hanging around the neck/chest of my man.
With the increasing tiredness, focusing on the breath was tougher, my vocals started to switch to more high pitched ones, in long exhales.
That's when I started to doubt myself.
Fortunately, the midwives and my man kept empowering me and telling me I was doing great, so, I just followed the flow.
At some point there, the water EVENTUALLY broke, which gave me a bit of energy and faith, but, I complained that I still felt baby was very high and not descending.
The midwifes then asked if they could check me, which was OK for me.
And it appeared there was a cervical lip.
It took a little manipulation during a pressing contraction, and baby passed it!
And that moment.... Here I am, and all I feel is the immense effort I'm doing.
And I push down, on roaring exhales (because I'm so exhausted then that it has to go wild hehehe) and I feel that I bring her to crown!
And... Then I stopped everything, and breathed, and took all the time to feel my perineum stretch and feel ready...
This moment was magical...
And when I felt ready, I breathed out with strength, and my baby girl came out AT ONCE, all of her!
I think the midwives caught her flying!
My placenta followed 5 or 10 min afterwards, baby had already found my breast, and I was feeling both exhausted and totally euphoric after these 21h of labor.
I would say that it has been 18h of calm and totally relaxed labor, and 3h of very positive wilderness.
This experience changed me so deep!
First, I was fully energized by it (5h of sleep and I felt like I hadn't given birth at all), and second, I love myself like never before.
I feel so STRONG! And somehow it's something I want to tell every single woman: you are so beautiful and strong.
Also, I think my man and I are in love more than ever, and I truly feel that we've done this birth 50/50.
He literally supported/carried me all these hours, and was at the same time running around to bring me whatever I was asking for (I suspect he mastered cloning himself for the occasion).
And also: not a tear!
I did the perineum massage the last weeks with the weleda oil, and I believe waiting before the last push was also a very nice thing.
This homebirth was simply fantastic.
I felt perfectly safe at all point, and the midwives were awesome and so empowering! I'm so grateful for everything."
Thank you so much for sharing your birth story, Elbereth!