One of my beauties awoke one morning last week at 5.30 to her husband’s alarm, and birthed her baby at 7.12 on the bathroom floor. A physiologically perfect birth, no tearing, placenta delivered on her bed soon after. Intense, a bit of a shock, but incredibly empowering and inspirational, particularly after a fairly managed first birth experience. As I went through the range of emotions of pride in her, joy for her, awe and amazement, I was then struck by the green eyed monster. So JELZ.
“you just had my dream birth!!” I told her amongst my congratulations. Because I think I dream of a birth that just happens, without time for too much thought or fuss. Just a woman’s body cracking on as it knows how, her mind quietening and surrendering to the sensations. In her own home, using water for comfort. Just a part of the day, to quote Ina May Gaskin.
Then I realised our late pregnancy experiences have been quite similar- both second babies, Goddess X (as she shall be known…) and me have both experienced a gradual build up to labour, both of us imagining we were on our way only for everything to calm down again. I’ve had a few rounds of this now, and this prodromal beginning has prompted my own instincts, my doula, and a lovely midwife client of mine to suggest that, in all likelihood, when things do get going it will be quite quick.
So now I’m lined up to emulate this dream birth, how does it feel? Nerve wracking! Mainly because of the possibility that I’ll be dealing with at least 90 minutes of this potential intensity alone with a toddler. Who will definitely want to “help” fill the pool. And to get in.
I’ve also realised that after a long labour first time round (17 hours from first surges to baby born), perhaps I’m more comfortable with a slow build up. That scenario feels familiar and manageable. Plenty of time to get into the groove, for any last minute essentials (I’m talking urgent food cravings) to be collected.
So what do I want? What we all want, of course, a healthy and empowered experience for me and my baby. But short or long, day or night, bathroom floor, birthing pool, or ice cream shop (where me and toddles are spending a significant portion of our time). These things are out of my hands. My dream birth will be the one that unfolds, the experience I need to have, and one I will be prepared for.
Repeat after me:
“My birth will be just right for me and my baby.”
“My baby will be born at the perfect time and place.”
“My toddler will fill the pool promptly, hygienically and at the right temperature, and offer comforting words and calming strokes until my husband gets home…”