Some people climb Mont Everest mountain, some people learn how to fly a plane, some people win athletic competitions. For me my biggest peak experience was to give birth to Victoria. Like in high performance sport, your birth depends on how well you know your body and how much trust you have in a positive outcome. With babies there is always an outcome obviously, although sometimes there is a lot of struggle if a woman is not conscious of what is going on with her. As for the Mont Everest climber is crucial to learn about his muscles, it’s crucial for a pregnant woman to learn how her utero works and how to make it open smoothly without pain. I believe that every woman can give birth without pain and at ease. It just not what most women experience during birth because of many negative preconceptions about birth itself and because of fear. I don’t say that I wasn’t afraid at all. I was afraid and I practiced to transform this fear into a beautiful birth experience.
Two months before giving birth to my second baby, I started feeling very heavy. I was still active with work and business work made me stay in my rational mode of thinking. I felt that I needed to connect with my body to experience the baby that is going to be born. I asked my female friends to come over and give me a massage and hugs and blessings for the baby girl inside me. I experienced that the baby liked it. She was happy moving and kicking her legs in a way that it was visible from the outside. It was as if she was expecting to be honored and celebrated even before being born. For the baby it must have been a big transition and somehow she sensed that her conditions in the womb were changing. She felt much more each day with her senses: hearing, vision (changing light from the outside), touch, smell, taste. She was growing inside, her neuronal paths were developing each day and she was longing to be more involved in my life, to be touched more and to think and be loved. I also felt that she became heavier each day.
One month before the birth, I almost stoped working and I was spending time relaxing, reading books about positive things about babies, homeschooling, organizing my home and positive birth stories. My midwife was coming over once in a while to feel the baby and see how she is doing. I concentrated a lot of energy into relaxing my body and hypnobirthing techniques. When I was going to sleep or couldn’t fall back to sleep after going to the bathroom during the night, I was breathing deeply or listening to birth affirmations. My baby was used to this deep way of breathing and relaxing as well to sleep. I collected songs that I would play during the birth and I asked a female friend who was an experienced doula to massage me during the birthing songs.
I knew that many women in the western countries complained that birth is painful. I already experienced with my first baby boy that you don’t need to feel pain when you are relaxed, use the breathing techniques and you are immersed in warm water. I didn’t feel pain with my first birth. The birthing positions that I implemented that used gravity forces were probably also very helpful. I still don’t understand why many women in hospitals have to give birth laying down – it’s against gravity! It puts a lot of pressure on the mother and on the baby. How much more efficient is a standing, squatting or on all fours position!
Pain, I had it covered. I didn’t feel it in the first birth, even though I gave birth to a 4,3 kg (9,5 pounds) baby. Therefore it should be easier with the second one. Still, I was a bit afraid and I felt that this baby would be a bit bigger. It took me 9 hours to give birth to Thomas. It was a good 9 hours, with no pain, but I didn’t want to go through an all-night birth experience again. I needed to work on my resistance. At the same time, my midwife trusted in me and everything was fine with the baby and me. I knew that the utero is a big muscle. If I relax it enough and focus on breathing to my utero enough, the utero will open the gate and bring this baby to life with no pain. Pain is stress. You feel pain when you contract the muscles that should be opening. When you let go of any control, of any tension, your utero will open up like a flower and exactly the size it needs to be to let the baby free. I realized that I still had some limitations to work with and to breath out in my meditation in order to have a joyful relaxed birth.
We had some external problems as well: there were electricity cuts a couple of times in the last two weeks whilst waiting for the baby. It was due to the strong winter wind in February. We also had problems with hot water – it wasn’t hot enough for the birthing pool. It needed the additional creativity of my husband, Patryk, to become the right temperature any time I wanted to take a bath. So we were worried that at the moment of giving birth we would experience similar problems with water and the electricity. I was visualizing that I would give birth during a day when our gardener/plumber can help with water. I also accepted the difficulties: We have no power, we can use candles. If there’s no hot water, Patryk can heat water on the stove. And I relaxed to the difficulties.
And then one night at 6am I felt a complete silence in my body. My baby was sleeping tightly inside me. Nothing was moving. But I felt that this silence was meaningful. I went to the bathroom, hugged my husband and went back to sleep. At 8am in the morning I felt mild kind of menstruation cramps. And I knew that this is it, even though it was very mild. I asked Patryk to call my midwife that was sleeping in a different part of our house and I took a shower. After the shower I went back to lay in bed and I didn’t want to eat anything, just laying in bed on my side was good. At 8.30 my midwife came and we organized what should be done this sunny Sunday. It so happened that our gardener/plumber was coming over at 9am any way, so he could help with water. We sent my son to stay with the nanny. My midwife helped Patryk to organize the other room where the birth was going to take place.
At 9am I started having really strong “expansions” (I don’t like the word contractions because the body is really expanding, not contracting). I stayed in bed breathing deeply to it. My midwife was staying with me and following my breath. I was almost in trans or in actual trans. I remembered that I really felt something opening in my body. My utero was expanding and it was an amazing feeling. My midwife noted that at one point my “expansions” never stopped, there is no pause in between. It was 10.15 and I asked for my husband and told him that he needs to be ready now with the pool. I felt that if the pool is not ready in the next few minutes, I’ll just stay in bed and pull this baby down on all fours here. I almost didn’t care where I’ll do it.
The pool was ready at 10.25. Patryk and my midwife helped to immerse me in water. I looked at the beautiful view we have from the window looking to the mountains and the sea. And I just relaxed for a moment. I asked Patryk for the lavender bath essence that I wanted for him to pour in the water. He couldn’t find it (in my experience, men are quite zoned out during births), so my midwife helped him. I bet that it was my baby craving for this smell. And when the essence was poured, I took a sip of water and a new kind of “expansions” started. This was probably close to 11am. This time I felt that the baby is really moving down. I started using the rope hangers we put over the birthing pool to keep myself in the upright position and I started making really strong noises instead of breathing out. At one point Patryk joined me in the pool to support me. The baby was probably crowning. And I just roared like a real tigress. I didn’t know that I had such a powerful voice. It sounded so powerful like a queen of the jungle!
I touched the top of the head of my baby and it encouraged me to give it more power to breathe her out with the next “expansion”. First came the head. With the next “expansions” the arms and she started moving like a fish who wants to swim out of me. With the third “expansion” I released her lower parts. She was caught by Patryk who helped her to get above the water and my beauty started to breathe. She looked at us and made sounds for 1 minute as if telling us about her experience. Then she just hugged me and we hugged. And hugged. And ate from my breast. And hugged looking at us and the world. And then slept for 5 hours. We named her Victoria. She was a big newborn – 4,5 kg (9,9 pounds). Victoria was born in a bliss at 12.15pm on a Sunday afternoon, in 3 hours, with no pain for the mother. I believe that the birth was so short and positive because I mastered the breathing techniques and hypnobirthing, so I really did give birth in an amazing trans and my baby was in a trans as well!