When she came earthside

posted in: Toward Wisdom | 1

Her due date was 28 June.

It came and went.

On the night of 2 July I had some intense contractions and the midwives drove the two hours to our farm, which is situated roughly 2 minutes away from the  bright  shining  centre of nowhere.

By the time they arrived all labour signs had ceased. We all went to sleep.

They left the next afternoon after a very intense morning. But that’s a story for another time.

Monday night 4 July, 10 minutes before midnight my waters broke. I called the midwives. They said to call if contractions started, otherwise they’d see me in the morning. An hour or so later I had to call them again.

By the time they arrived all labour signs had ceased. We all went to sleep.

Tuesday 5 July was spent eating, drinking countless cups of tea, getting rubbed with clary sage oil, measuring baby’s heartrate, freaking out, doing ribozo, packing bags for hospital, freaking out, measuring baby’s heartrate and getting the birthplan printed. Sophea’s heartrate had slowed down and my midwife  team was not pleased as there was also meconium in the amniotic  fluid which indicated that my baby was probably stressed. We had to have the talk about getting ready to go to hospital, which was a good 90 minute drive away.

I was only 1cm dilated. My mind raced. I could not go to hospital, but I dutifully and quietly packed my bag whilst a storm raged inside. I am a strong, natural woman. I am healthy and vigorous. Pregnancy had been a pleasure and a joy. I COULD NOT GO TO HOSPITAL!

The thought of being hooked up to machines and cut open filled me with dread. My child was to be born at home, naturally, not in a strange place, under bright lights, being handled by strange people. This was not the plan.

I had a silent dialogue with my unborn child and told her she was safe and we were ready for her to come and she could be calm and start the process. The next Doppler check revealed that her heartrate had gone up. Relief.

But why the hell was I still not in labour?

More tea and food and long walks in the freezing cold. More water trickling out of me, clearing up thankfully, showing that my girl was calm. More rubs and pep talks.

Why the hell was I still not in labour?

Before going to bed that night we decided that I would take  a dose of castor oil when I woke in the night for the 3am pee I had been doing every night for the last nine months. Funny how I slept the deepest sleep straight through that night, not waking even once.

At 8am on 6 july I drank some castor oil. We went for a long walk. Had breakfast. Had tea. Got rubbed. Waited.

At 11am I drank another dose of castor oil. The frustration was intense. I could not pretend to be calm anymore and Mandi (midwife) encouraged me to release when I said I felt like crying. I had a good cry and Mandi asked if I felt like doing a bit of EFT on myself. Which I then did.

And the walls came tumbling down.

I have always been a total control freak. Severe emotional, mental and physical abuse at the hands of my alcoholic father had taught me that the only way to be safe is to control every situation I was in. I realised I was trying to control this birth. Believing I was in a state of surrender was an ego trick. I was scared shitless at the thought of letting go of control in this situation. I kept tapping, looking deeper.

Fear of death came up…  Not the physical death. I could feel my ego raging. If I surrendered my ego would have no way to remain in charge. My ego was fearing death. My ego had been protecting me for so many years from being hurt and now it  was threatened, because for life to come through me it had to go.

I kept tapping and found that subconsciously I wanted to go to hospital and be cut. I realised I was scared of accepting this power, I did not want to take responsibility. I wanted to be a victim of this birth. I did not feel worthy of the power of giving life.

I realised I was not waiting for my child. She was waiting for me.

I’ve heard mothers say how much their children teach them. I always wondered what that meant. And here I was suddenly, bowing to my child who was in the middle of teaching me the most profound lesson of my entire life. I cried some more. Thrashed it out. Had a chat to the midwives about what I found.

I put on some music, built my birth altar, burnt some Palo Santo and Tobacco. I made myself a huge peanut butter smoothie. I apologised to my Sophea and felt the tension leave  my body as true surrender took over.

We all went for a long walk and just as we turned around I launched straight into active labour. Wave after wave of intense power came over me. I managed to get home and into my birth pool and after 4 hours my child came spiralling out of by body and into my arms. I pushed for 5 minutes.

In the days and weeks that followed so much more on this lesson unfolded. Interestingly every time I took a shower the water seemed to unlock more of the teaching.

I realised that I was unconsciously wanting to give away my power because if I birthed at home, unmedicated, so far away from a hospital… If I did it, I would have no more excuse not to show up in my life. Proving my own power and worth to myself would mean that I could not make up any more stories about why I can’t this and that. I would have to accept full responsibility for the creation of my reality.

It meant that I now had to own the fact that the only thing ever standing in my way … is me.

One Response

  1. Amanda Busson

    Wow Liz! What a story! It brought tears to my eyes in the reading and it was such a powerful journey to have shared with you… thank you… beautifully written.

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