The powerful transition into motherhood
I always thought I would give birth at night.. but my contractions started at 6 in the morning. I was 7 days overdue and it seems our Kai had waited for the full moon that day. They had told me that it would take a while so better to let my husband sleep. I laid on the sofa breathing deep, going through the contractions. In between I had to use the toilet a few times, I started feeling nauseous and I had to throw up. By 7 am the contractions were already very strong and not so far apart so I woke Jivano (my husband) up and told him to call Mikel (our midwife) to let him know it was happening.
I had planned a home birth and I had a full team attending me; Mikel (the midwife) my pregnancy yoga teacher Jaja who was in training as a doula, another doula Cristina and my best friend since childhood Dothan who works in Holland doing post-partum care.
While we waited for people to arrive we prepared the room closing curtains and lighting candles.
I thought I might be nervous or panic when I entered in labour, but I felt calm, maybe because there wasn’t really any time to concentrate on anything else but going in and out of the contractions closing my eyes, breathing and going inward.
A workshop I did on labour pain helped to remind me that every contraction only last so long and that the peak is only a few seconds before it eases again.
Laying down seemed to be the worst and Jaja, Dothan and Jivano kept helping me trying different positions. Some hours went by like this, squatting, standing hanging, hugging and holding on tight to my husband and my doulas. At some point I remember Dothan started singing a song we used to sing when we were young and we sang together going through the contractions. When Mikel came to check I hadn’t broken water and I hadn’t dilated much. Not to discourage me, Mikel suggested to brake my water and to help with dilation doing some internal massage. It worked and some time later I had opened a few centimetres more. The internal massage he did a few times during my labour, it was very painful but helped progressing the dilation.
At some point they had prepared a warm bath for me to help relax the muscles. The bathtub was nice and Jaja and Dothan sang for me and I sang with them. Also Cristina was there pouring water over me and placing her hands on me to release the pain.
After some time I felt that my contractions were stronger in the bathtub and I wanted to get out, by this time I complained a little as I was told I would have more breaks in between one contraction and the other and it seemed to me there was no time to recuperate from one to the next! (although afterwards they told me I fell asleep in between contractions)
Finally we came to the pushing fase, it was hard but I was happy cause it meant I was closer to the end.
With Mikel in front of me, Cristina helping him, Dothan and Jaja on each side of me and Jivano holding me strong from behind I started pushing.
I had a lot of swelling around my vulva and Kai had a hard time coming out.. at some point Mikel looked at me and said he wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to finish at home and that we might have to go to hospital.. I was always aware that it might be necessary and I was prepared to go to hospital if needed. At this point though, in the middle of pushing i really did not want to go to hospital..So I put all my effort into making it happen. Mikel must have noticed and he hang in there with me. They kept on telling me I was almost there, I swear Jivano behind me was pushing just as hard as me, and it helped, feeling as if we were doing it together.
When still Kai was not coming out i started feeling a little desperation and that i couldn’t give much more.. almost there they kept saying, and I said they had already said that 10 times!!
Mikel, with my permission, decided for a small cut and with one last push Kai came to the world crying loud. As they put him on my belly the world stopped for a moment as I held this crying beautiful new being in my arms.
But my labour hadn’t finished yet, I asked everyone around me to stay with me a little while longer while Mikel stitched, I had torn a lot and ruptured an artery so some last concentration was needed. Jivano cut the cord and then with a last contraction the placenta came out.
Now, looking back i am so happy to have given birth at home, it might have gone very different in a hospital. The decision wasn’t easy as it is not very common in Spain and many doctors didn’t consider it a good idear and less so because I suffered from pregnancy diabetes.
But I am happy to have been able to choose how my baby came to the world and who was there with me to make it happen.
It wasn’t easy of course, but it was the most beautiful and empowering experience of my life. A new part of me was also born that day and I am eternally grateful for the way things went and the great team I had around me for Kai’s birth.
Laya joined the pregnancy yoga classes I teach in Binissalem early in her pregnancy and I absolutely loved to observe her evolution throughout the months. Her openness in sharing her feelings, worries and emotions that are a subject of such a huge change in pregnancy was so inspiring for other mums to be.
She searched outside and inside for the right answers for her and her new family. The day Kai decided to arrive, she had to cross over the threshold of birth, not only birthing her beautiful son Kai, but as well herself as mother.
What amazed me the most on her challenging journey, was her focus and determination. Driving to their home I could hear birds singing, sun slowly rising and the new day awakening and when I entered their home I could feel all the love that was surrounding her, even from the apartment above, where her mother together with her mother in law laid on the floor and chanted mantras together to support the descent of their first grandson.
Everyone of the great team was there to support her on her journey and I could literally feel how her husbands dedication was lending her strength when she needed it the most. When Kai arrived, all got settled and Laya was resting in bed with her newborn son on her chest, we gave each other a big hug and as I drove through the countryside back home, I felt the day’s energy slowing down, getting ready for the night, birds settling in their nests and the sun slowly staring the journey on the other side of our planet. New life, one of thousands that day on our planet was born, yet so unique and precious.A new beginning of a wonderful family that will create the future of our planet.
With deep admiration and gratitude to you dear Laya & Jivano & Kai