Tuesday, June 5, 2007

the birth of india

i was 27 when i was pregnant with my first child. an amazing transformation took place in those months; i suddenly became acutely aware of my surroundings, of what i was putting in my body, of what i was watching on tv and of where our precious planet was headed.

suddenly i could not read enough. i literally devoured every website i could find, every book i could check out of the library and soon i found myself at odds with much of the mainstream world.

i decided to have a homebirth with my midwives and i read every study, statistic and article i could find. my instincts told me it was the safest option for me and i soon found that the facts backed me up.

i never worried about my homebirth, people asked me all sorts of questions and i never had a moment's second thought. it was on of the easiest decisions that i've ever made.

labour with india was LOOOOOOONG. i wan 9 days overdue but happy. i went into labour on a Sunday - hung out with my family, walked around the local malls and played cards with my husband. my contractions remained fairly insignificant. i didn't get any sleep at night though, and by monday evening i knew things were getting serious. contractions were more regular and not so much fun anymore. i had a bath and a glass of champagne and revelled in my last moments of "freedom".

by 11:30pm my midwife arrived and settled in. i made her some soup and she took a nap. i was horrified to find out that i was only 3 cm dilated and thought for sure i was going to be in labour forever. by that time i could no longer sit or lie down. it was far too painful and so i walked. i walked up and down and around our apartment. at around midnight my water broke (thanks yoga ball!) and then my midwife says she knew things were picking up because i lost my sense of humour. there was a small amount of meconium in the fluid and we discussed the option of tranferring to a hospital but my instinct told me that all was fine and we stayed at home.

i continued to walk. i had my husband pressing on my lower back through each contraction and i got in and out of the tub and shower to relieve the pain. i tried to meditate through the pain - i used pictures of the dalai lama, i used a prayer wheel, i used my husband.

at one point my midwife told me to eat something to keep up my energy and so i chose some jello. as the early morning approached, i was losing energy and feeling hopeless. i cried. i threw up. i tried to cancel the whole thing.

my husband was a rock throughout everything. he cheered me on, did exactly what i told him to and held me hand the whole time. FINALLY around 6am my secondary midwife arrived and after they checked me they told me that i could start to push whenever i felt the urge. sure enough, a few minutes later i felt that unforgettable sensation. i started pushing while sitting on the toilet (not a pretty image i know) and my midwives helped me focus my energy to get the most out of my contractions. finally my husband looked at me and said "i can see her hair!"

at that point adrenalin kicked in.

they got a mirror and i was able to see the full head of hair that my daughter had. i was so excited. i was about to be a mother.

i pushed some more and then moved to a birthing stool. DH held me up and my midwives guided me through it. once her head was out they suctioned her (because of the meconium) and i noticed my midwives look at each other. i focused on a couple more pushes and out she came. my gorgeous baby girl.

my midwife put india on me and tears of joy and relief poured down my face. i held her and told her a million times that i was her mommy. it was then that they told me she had been born posterior. a sunny side up baby. a 9 pound 3 oz direct OP baby.

within a few seconds, india was breastfeeding and thus began my life as a parent. it's a memory i cherish more than anything. for weeks i felt like a superhero. in fact i think i still feel that way.

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