So to set the scene for this recent birth, we’d all just got to a really nice place with each other, after a long long time of being observed and judged and in other people’s spaces, and sorting through recent trauma’s, and were all cohesively living and loving together and playing and having fun. The description of this time was in my last posting about Love….. Lasted about a week.
Only thing we needed to settle us, and before we got serious about baby preparation, was beds, cause the rest had been catered for. So one day we get beds, the next day we drive to get our big girl from the airport, and the next day a friend turned up with her two young girls. That same night a fellow community member dropped in too, and it was all of a sudden too many other people in our sanctum. We slipped into our bedroom that night and felt overwhelmed and like we’d made a big mistake. We’d finally got to a good and private place and then invited the world into it, and gave it away, what the hell was with that? When were we gonna be free to be ourselves in our own home again? Went to sleep feeling slightly silly, distraught and ominous, after lots of activity and socialising….
She drove up in her awesome 4WD home, and parked outside, walked into the front door, gave me a huge hug and kiss, and then scooped up a baby bat that was sitting in a corner between the bathroom and hallway doors. “You’ve got a baby bat” she said as she held the little one up, and we looked for something to hold it in. I brought out a basket that I’d made as a meeting between crochet and basket weaving, nice and wooly like a mamma bat, and we popped it in there, till I could pass it on to my big daughter and the other kids to look after later. We both decided it was a good omen, bats being considered good luck by many peoples, and a baby bat to boot….. And I told Annetta about how we were all sure that this baby coming was a girl, and how Currawong had liked the name Batsheva for years, with it’s meaning being ‘daughter of seven’ which we all thought was apt. We chatted, I told her the story of the day, we had cuppa’s, and then she checked me over, felt the head that was down in my pelvis nicely, heard the baby’s heartbeat, and checked me on the inside to see how I was going. The only danger now was one of infection, as the plug was gone, but if I kept clean, drank lots of water, and showered regularly, all that risk should be avoided. Everything was tickety boo, I was so relieved and greatful to be home and out of the hospital, and we smilingly went off to bed, hoping that the next time we saw each other would be early in the morning while I was in labour, and could ring the hospital and cancel that ultrasound, as my baby had come and was safe at home.
3am in the morning I woke up and started having tightenings, sat up for a while on my own, and then Jess, my big daughter, woke up and joined me. We had a lovely time out of time together, in the endless seeming hours of the early morning, as I told her stories about how horrendous I felt when I realised that I was 37 weeks pregnant in the hospital and thought I’d ripped us all off a homebirth, and how glad I was that we were home, and how strange it was to be birthing without my mother around for the first time, and how freaked out I was about birthing out of water…… A really bonding and connecting time. She started timing the contractions, and they were very nicely and evenly heading down a narrowing tunnel of focus towards contractions close together and getting more intense. In between them I kept chatting, and was getting more and more excited and empowered as I realised that I could manage my tightenings out of the water! I was finding a position that tucked my bum in, while hanging my pelvis in as relaxed a manner as I could, rubbing the top of my bum, breathing out through a wide open mouth, and rubbing just under my belly all at the same time. Currawong woke up feeling well rested, and joined in the dance I was creating through the house and the verandah, and we were both feeling happy and like we were going to meet our baby soon. The contractions were getting closer and closer, and Jess went out to wake Annetta. She came in too, and the dance kept winding round the house, and in between contractions I was brilliantly alive, and intense, and telling them the magic of this baby. This new baby was all about letting go of the old and my attachments I decided. I’d lost my birthing necklace with the Kali cow bone bead that I’d had since Griffyn’s birth, to Balthazar bashing it to smithereens early on in the pregnancy. I’d left my breastfeeding dressing gown at my mum’s house. I was birthing for the first time without my mother around, and interestingly, was out of the water and out of my traditional birthing position on my back, that was the same position that my mother had birthed me. I’d been into the lion’s den of the hospital, thinking that my anxieties and that dire prediction had won, but had been released to birth at home, and was finally able to shrug off all those negative omens!! I was standing on two feet strongly grounded, and looking birth in the eye! I was wearing a lanolin soaked, handspun, bird cape with a raw fleece bustle that I’d made for Tribal Fibres, as a wrap to lend me power and magic. I was meeting birth in a different way than I’d ever met it before, dressed in power clothes, standing tall and strong, perching my pelvis in a way that relieved the pain, and with my Currawong firmly at my side, instead of running around boiling water and making sure that the bath was the right temperature. He was just as delighted with the new fangled way that this birth was happening. I was grinning and smiling and laughing with delight at the fears I was facing, and the new birthing paths I was treading. It looked like we were heading nicely towards birthing in time to ring the hospital with our awesome result, and then get on with the rest of the day…..
And then our guest woke up. She had breakfast, and was telling stories of herself and her relationship and her births, and chatting to all my people who’d been dancing with me, and the contractions started to slow. I tried to entice her into the birthing cocoon we’d been weaving, and she joined in the dance for a moment. But then we were hearing about her plans for the day, and her daughters woke up, and my expansions virtually came to a stop. I was bereft. We were heading so cleanly and strongly towards birth weren’t we? What had happened? How could it have gone away so completely? I came to the conclusion that I needed to ask our guest to leave. I needed to reclaim my birth space, and keep it sacred and for the people who were in on the dance with me, and immediate family and my birth support person only. Our guest didn’t take it too well, and felt like she was being kicked out, and was very pouty about it, but I stayed strong. Which was actually a really big thing for me. Underneath the strong alternative exterior, I’m actually quite a wus, and have often given what I want over in the face of opposition. I’ll compromise what I want to make others happy before just sticking to what I want and exactly how I want it. But I was clear. “This isn’t about you, it’s about me, and what I need for this birth, and who I want around me, and it has to be family only. Bummer about the timing, and thank you for your help yesterday, but that’s just how it is.” I organised with a dear friend closer to Nimbin for our guest and her girls to stay in their community house for a few nights, and after packing up she was gone. And so was my birthing process that had felt like it was coming to a conclusion.
We sat around for a bit, I had a few spasmodic contractions, and tried hard to not feel like I’d failed in some way. Annetta decided to head off for the day, advised me to rest, and said she’d be back later that night after the babies were asleep, and we’d see what happened then. We all agreed that we’d give it till the next morning, and if nothing was happening then, we’d have to consider hospital again. That day was a bit despondent. I tried all the things that I knew could bring on labour….walking around, squatting, and other positions to give my body every chance to kick back into the birthing process. The hospital rang to see how we were going, and Currawong told them that birth had been happening and then stalled, and we were waiting to see what the rest of the day brought, and if nothing had happened by the next morning we’d be considering coming back in. But the highlight of the day was Currawong’s favourite birth starting procedure…..making love. And this was the first time in our birthing career that it actually worked. All the other times we’ve tried it have been with lots of people around, and as a purely mechanical antidote. Currawong’s enjoyed it, but I’ve been unimpressed, unfocused, and interested in what it might do for my body only. But there was no-one around, the kids were all off on a walk, there was nothing else happening, and our lovemaking session did kick off a few contractions, but that was not the main aim of the exercise anymore. We actually had the time and space to melt into each other, and visited the special place we create together, with the added spice of immanent birth. I climaxed quite a few times, and Currawong was crying as our bubble of us drew to a close, telling me that watching me love him was what he was born for. That moment he was watching me, was the moment he was born to witness. Gotta love a romantic bird man.
Birth meanwhile, had gone on a very extended coffee break, and wasn’t coming back into the space anytime soon. The day dwindled into the night, and well fed kids went off to bed, and Currawong again went to bed early with them. I sat alone and waited for Annetta again, sad, and depressed, and tired after two days now of little sleep and big stress. She came in again like a breeze of hope, and just hugged me and let me hold onto her. And then she checked me over again, checked the baby’s heartbeat and position, and we sat as she explained what she was piecing together. After having so many baby’s, my uterus was looser than normal, and hadn’t quite contracted tight enough to start pushing out a baby. My body had been taken by surprise by the plugs defection, and a bit like my birth preparations, just wasn’t quite ready. There was nothing wrong with the baby either, and it seemed like the little person inside had been caught on the hop as well, not quite ready to shimmy down my birth canal. The culprit it seemed was the fact that my cervix which, again after having had so many baby’s, had been dilated and open for quite a while beforehand, and had left the plug vulnerable and exposed to the hungry bacteria that live in every healthy vagina, which had snacked on the sweetness of my mucus plug. And then stresses, and moving, and cleaning and the like had helped weaken it, till it came away earlier than my body and baby were ready for. So there was nothing wrong with us, except a mechanical fault that had thrown a spanner in the works…..so to speak. And we seriously spoke about how getting this far from the plug having come away, there was still an increased risk of infection to me and the babe inside, and I had to finally and completely let go of the idea of a water birth, as water increased the risk of infection too. I went to bed despondent and tired, but I felt like I at least had a clearer picture about why this was happening, and that there was nothing wrong with my body or baby.
And guess what……..I’ve reached my self imposed limit for a blog post, so I’m going to finish the story in another post. We have another situation of a ‘to be continued’. It may not be twins, but it goes over days again, and a lot can happen in three and a bit days!! And sorry, but this birth was far too engaging and intimate for any of us to have bothered with taking many photo’s, so you’ll have to imagine how it looked in your minds eye………….