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I’ve never been too keen on the mother archetype, so when I got pregnant, I was like, “Sh*t, okay, well, let’s try to make the giving birth part as cool as possible.”
I didn’t want to educate myself at all but my super conscious, divine, sexy mama friend, Mana Mei, who gave birth like a boss in a concise eight hours, was like, “Here, dummy, I’m buying you this hypnobirthing course.”
I’ve never pissed Mana off and I wanted to keep my track record intact, so I did the course.
That course taught me almost nothing that I remember, but one major lesson that I feel every woman who wants to have a baby should know:
When a woman is in labour, she releases oxytocin during her contractions, but if she feels unsafe or stressed, she releases adrenaline. Adrenaline will send blood down to her limbs, as this hormone signals the need to “take flight.” As blood travels into her limbs and away from her womb space, she will experience more and more pain during her contractions.
For me, this bit of info was gold, because it meant that the key to graceful birthing was pleasure. Being that the best way to stimulate pleasure is through play and intimacy, I got the confirmation I needed to build the birth experience of my dreams.
My labour was 42 hours long, starting on July 11th at 5 am with a splash of water on my bedsheets. Day one was a blur. I remember showering, walking up and down stairs, getting rebozo from my doula, monkeying around on the grass, laughing a lot, and eating delicious food.
But hanging over me like a stormcloud was a warning from my midwife that water breaking means my baby would be at risk of infection if I didn’t deliver him within 12-24 hours. This meant that I would need to go to the hospital if I didn’t make significant progress within that time frame.
I feel that birth gives us all the medicine we need to prepare for motherhood. For me, it was about trusting my instincts and believing in my vision.
I knew from the start that it wouldn’t be feasible for me to push out a tiny human in 24 hours or less. I wanted to give my body all the time it needed. So when I was encouraged to drink castor oil and take homeopathic medicine to speed things up, I politely declined.
Intuitively, I felt that everything was working as it should and that I should not worry. By 11 pm, my contractions had gotten quite strong but since I was still breathing through them rather effortlessly, I decided to snuggle up with my partner and go to sleep so I could conserve my energy for the next day. My midwife reluctantly agreed.
I woke up the next morning ready to have a baby. On this day, I decided to take homeopathic medicine to help with my progress.
The rest of the journey was a mix of magic and stress. Anytime anyone started talking to me about anything practical or technical, my contractions simply stopped. At no point were my contractions regular enough to really know what was going on. By the middle of the day, I started getting really worried, so I grabbed Logan and asked for a deep intimacy session to call in our baby.
We didn’t speak a word about our fears, we simply shut the doors, turned the music up, and dropped into presence. He played the shamanic drum and called out to our son through my belly. We cried and held each other, he ran his lips over my skin and breathed with me through my contractions. I prayed for all of this to work.
When my midwife came back to check me, I got the confirmation I needed: my cervix was 5 centimeters dilated, and after an epic 35 hours I had finally reached the active labor stage.
The next few hours were a blur. I remember eating, squatting by the fire, and splashing water out of my yoni every time I felt a contraction. I had no idea what this meant.
What I learned was that my water never fully broke. My baby had been protected the whole time, and there was never anything to worry about. My body had set up my labour perfectly, breaking water gradually during the active labour stage.
In the final two hours, I felt as though my entire being had been taken over by a wild beast. I remember that final push, feeling the tears in my yoni, and knowing I would just have to deal with those consequences later. Some refer to this as the death of the maiden archetype and the birth of the mother. The pain was extreme (more preparation massages on my perineum would have avoided this), but it was too late now.
One last guttural exhale and time stopped, a sigh of relief, and suddenly a tiny wet ball of innocence, breathing tenderly on my chest.
There are many ways to give birth, and I’m certainly not here to say that homebirths are for everyone. However, what I learned from my story is that more love, fewer procedures, more symbiosis between man and woman, less mind, and more trust in nature, makes masterpieces.
It’s been six weeks now since I had my son and one thing I know for sure is that the amount of care and love a woman receives in pregnancy and labor, directly affects her nervous system, her birth, and her baby’s nervous system after he is born. The postpartum time is also extremely tender, but that’s for another post.
Birth is an invitation for every woman to trust her instincts on how she wants to bring her baby to this earth. Confidence is one of the greatest gifts of the mother archetype. I’m grateful to everyone who showed up in my life to co-create this beautiful vision with me so I could learn and grow from this experience, and to my son.