I was 38 weeks pregnant and that day I had a few appointments. When I returned home, I decided to relax on the bed for a short while. When I got up I suddenly felt a gush of wetness. Did I just pee myself? I thought. I went straight into the bathroom and sat on the toilet. Sure enough, more fluid continued to flow out. It was clear with some bright pink blood. I instinctively started to laugh out of mere excitement and slight nervousness. Then I yelled out to my husband, “I think my water just broke!” “What?” he called back. “Call the midwives!” We did. This was around 5:00 pm.
My husband and I quickly switched gears and began to prep our home birth space. He blew up the birth ball and placed fresh linens on the bed. I prepped a hospital bag (just in case) and prepared a few herbal infusions. I had been taking herbal infusions throughout my pregnancy and wanted to have some postnatal infusions ready to go (click here to find out more about one of my herbs of choice).
By 6:30 pm I started to have contractions. They felt like short intense menstrual cramps. We called the midwives to update them. They had instructed us to try to get as much rest as possible and to call back when the contractions increased. I decided to take a shower and do my best to stay relaxed and calm. Meanwhile, my husband began to set the mood with my favourite mantras playing in the background. That was a lovely surprise that helped to ground and centre my energy.
I tried to rest in bed after the shower, but the energy of the contractions were too strong and too frequent for me to lay still. It felt good for me to move my body. I would roll my pelvis and hips on the birthing ball, stretch out into a wide child’s pose and then find some stillness sitting on the toilet. With every wave of a contraction I would lean into my husband for his strength and stability, both physically and emotionally. We took long deep slow breaths together. I kept my heart and mind focussed on allowing the contractions to move through me knowing that I had to open and allow for the experience.
The contractions were coming in hard and fast, so my husband called the midwives again. This time they said they would be at our place right away and arrived 15 minutes later. They checked my cervix and said I felt “soft and stretchy”. I was moving through some contractions and had begun to feel the urge to push. The midwives advised me to listen to my body and to push whenever it felt right. I didn’t know exactly what “right” meant, but I knew I had to trust my body and the force of nature moving through it.
It was around 2:30 am and I was in a deep child’s pose on my bed when the next contraction came with an immense amount of pressure. I knew I had to push, but something inside me resisted. My body tightened up. “I don’t want to be on the bed!” I shouted. One of the midwives suggested that I sit on the birthing stool that she had brought with her. The birthing stool is basically a very low wooden stool that supports a deep low squat. I sat on the stool and leaned back onto my husband. The amount of pressure was building. Each contraction was like a massive wave of energy pushing my baby lower and lower.
I must open and allow. Open and allow!
The contractions weren’t so much “painful” as they were powerful. The most powerful force of energy I’ve ever felt. Pushing now felt so right.
Deep primal sounds rose from my core as I continued to open and allow. The “ring of fire” stretched and pushed me into a boundless depth as my baby’s head began to crown. I knew I had to continue to hold space for my baby. We’ve come this far! The sound of my husband's breath in my ear was an anchor that pulled me back into the strength of my own breath.
The wave of the next contraction pushed his head out and through my body. Oh, what a sensation! What a release! The contractions paused. It was as if Mother Nature was offering a gentle moment for me to gather myself and prepare to meet my child. Sure enough, the next contraction came and out gushed his body. At 3:02 am Sage Kalani was born and placed immediately into my arms. I held him skin to skin, heart to heart.
Moments later, another mild contraction came and I birthed the placenta. We waited for the pulse to subside before my husband cut the umbilical cord. Then the three of us moved onto our bed and cuddled up together. The amount of joy I felt is truly indescribable. We laid there in bed holding each other skin to skin with no rush to “clean” or weigh the baby.
Sage Kalani entered into this world without hesitation!
I truly believe that my ability to open and allow stemmed from a deep trust in the Divine. I trusted the process of natural birth. I trusted the manifestation of the Divine plan. I also trusted my support team that was no doubt a part of that Divine plan. As long as I got out of my own way, leaving fear and anxiety aside, I was able to lean into that trust and become receptive to co-creating a sacred birth space for Sage Kalani to enter into.