Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

The baby that came bearing gifts - Part 2

So I've made a bit of an executive decision........due to flooding and my crappy satellite connection, getting it together to upload photos is proving too tricky.  And I know there's people itching for the rest of the story, ( and there's no photos of this birth anyway, just the afterwards ) soooooo, I'm gonna post the rest of the story, and then when I get near a computer that uploads again, I'll post a stack of photos.  Happy with that?  Good. 

A bit of a recap…

After a day long but empowering trip to the hospital, to find out that my dating of the birth had given us the gift of two extra weeks when we thought our baby was premature, then flying emancipated from the hospital back home, birth was progressing all stately and graceful towards a conclusion, then stalled completely.  After another empowering act of creating the birth space that I needed surrounded by the people I needed to be there, a deep spell of sex magic with my Currawong, and another serious chat with my birth helper Annetta, I headed into the second night of this birthing drama slightly oppressed with worries about future possibilities, but feeling like I at least had a clearer idea about what was going on.  I climbed into bed and cuddled up with Currawong, glad that I could finally sleep.   

And then woke up again at quarter to 12 that night.  Yes, this was a good time to start labouring I thought, as I had an intense contraction.  I went out into the lounge and gently cleaned the space between tightenings, and lit some candles, and thought they were coming closer.  I woke Currawong, who was in an intensely grumpy mood having been woken after so little sleep, and we sat and grumped at each other about how little sleep we’d had and how grumpy and unready we were, as the contractions slowed down again…..  Then we both pulled each other back on track, and shook off our grumpiness, and decided that if the time was now then of course it was perfect!  Till we were sitting in a lovely, dusky, candle lit room, with nothing happening again, and decided we’d go back to bed and sleep while we could.  The rest of the night was a strange world where I had strong uterine contractions every hour or so, and would jump out of bed to stand knees bent, in the position that I’d worked out relieved them, while Currawong jumped up equally quick and rubbed my lower back.  Surprisingly enough we woke up well rested, and I at last had made up for my sleep deficit over the past few days, and was feeling unexpectedly fresh and optimistic.

A sleepy Annetta, and a Currawong expecting the worst but trying to be positive, both looked at me to see what the mood was, and maybe both were thinking that now was the time for the dreaded talk about transferring into hospital again, to see what was going on.  And I surprised both them and me, with a Pollyanna-esque proclamation about how regardless of what else was going on and happening around me, I couldn’t help but think that there was nothing wrong with me or my baby, and that it was a normal birth, though strung out over a few more days than is usually expected, and the time just wasn’t right for my body and baby to engage in the birthing dance, and I really wanted to give them the opportunity to get there in their own time.  Any drugs that they gave me in hospital most likely wouldn’t work, as they are designed for healthy women giving ‘normal’ birth and to quicken the process up, not at all likely to work well on a ‘grand multiparous’ woman (which means a woman who’s birthed more than 5 times) whose uterus needed a bit of a help to contract enough to birth, or to create that unidentifiable spark from a baby that triggers off the birthing process from within.  I would be likely to be unresponsive to intervention, and maybe even become part of that cascade of intervention drama that folk talk about.  Again it’s likely that most roads in hospital would have led to another caesarean, considering the ‘risks’ that surrounded me, and I would probably have been best off to just request a caesarean straight off, rather than mess around getting tired again.  And I was fully prepared for all of this, and had thought my way and approach through it, and would be totally into engaging that path………..if I could have shaken the feeling that this was a normal, healthy birth that was drawn out because of the plug leaving a bit early, and having an overwhelming and compelling feeling that I really wanted to give my body and this baby every chance to come into birth in their own timing…………..and that it would all be allright.

“Fine! fine….” Said Annetta, and Currawong had a look of delighted surprise on his face, as we all felt this birth swing along a positive road again, and we could all leave behind the dire possibilities and worries for a little bit longer.  “If that’s how you feel, then that’s what we do, and if you’re feeling okay with it and the baby’s doing well, we can take a week if you need to!”  Bless her heart, and her intuition, and her experience, our Annetta was totally into acknowledging how I felt and regarding that as important, and heading down the groove we were laying out.  She asked me if I’d be into going to see an acupuncturist friend of hers who was known for helping birth along, and who did home visits, but we could also go and see her if all was well.  I jumped at the idea, greatful for any external stimuli that could help us along.  So we organised for Currawong to take all the kids into Nimbin for supplies, while Annetta and I went to visit Ingrid in her home on a community. 

I got to have a drive in the 4WD home on wheels, and chatted with Annetta, as we drove up to a tranquil garden, with tropical plants looking loved, and a small wooden studio with pot plants, garden, artworks, and raw wooden beams spilling round.  One of the first things Ingrid said when told about how many births and babies I had, was how she thought the world was overpopulated. I really love that kind of honesty.  Gave me the opportunity to try out some of the justifications that sit in my head as a result of copping criticism in the past, and she laughed when I told her my kids were here to help wake us all up so we could share and respect our planet again, as there’s more than enough for all of us if we lose our greed and materialism and stop spending all our resources on war.  And then the three of us proceeded to spend a divine time together, chatting about art, and life journeys and children.  I could feel the needles working on the energy in my body, and then she hooked up these little electrodes to make them ‘zing’.  And at one point, as I lay there with these two gorgeous, vital, compassionate and loving, wise German women on either side of me, chatting about this little baby inside me, and Annetta telling Ingrid how she’d noticed that when she laid a palm on my belly, the little one inside kicked her hand to let her know it was there, and the wonderful warm smiles on their faces as they indulged in a moment about the wonder of birth with their hands on my belly………I felt like the luckiest woman in the world.   When Annetta and I told Ingrid how we thought this baby was a girl, and that she’d be called Batsheva, the little one inside kicked Ingrid’s hand, and we all took that as another positive sign, and an acceptance of the name.  ( HA! )  The treatment over, Ingrid invited us into her haven, and we sat drinking herbal tea and eating German sweet breads.  All around was an orderly, organic, sweet scented arbour of grape vines and plants and a large indoor outdoor deck.  Artworks and amazing gifts from nature displayed on warm wooden walls and a sweet little kitchen sat at the back with the sitting room and bedroom, as the only walled rooms in this gorgeous home.  I felt like I’d been plucked out of a busy and noisy existence to spend a sacred and precious little rip in the time space continuum with these two stunning and graceful women, and a bit like the kid who’s been allowed to stay up late all on their own, to sip tea with the grown ups.  We chatted, and snacked, and I was full to overbrimming with love for the creativity around me that keeps throwing such beautiful moments at me, and my extreme fortune with the wondrous people that keep coming into my life. 

And it came to me.  With a bit of help by Annetta and the conversation and the period of grace in the middle of our birthing proceedings.  I felt like I understood why it had all happened this way.  As an excuse and reason for empowering events first up, but also, as a chance for me to finally be pregnant……for a moment.  What with dealing with our collective past, and then fleeing to the warmer climes of the sub-tropical north, and then finding a home and setting it up and then getting visitors……I hadn’t even had a moment to really sit in myself, and with my body, and say ‘yes, we’re pregnant again aren’t we.  And who do we have inside?  And which particular fears are we going to face this time?  And how is this baby going to come into our lives, and what are the stories going to be around this birth?’  Hadn’t quite caught my breath again since the plug came away either.  Hadn’t really got to the point of knowing that the time was NOW!  Annetta drove me a large bit of the way home, while we continued to talk, and I was blown away by the big heart of this amazing woman.  Over the last two days she’d observed, and asked perceptive questions, and was piecing us all together in a rather intricate amount of depth.  She was telling me all the pertinent stories she had in her birthing tool box, and suggested I go home, clear myself a birthing space, and just focus on me and who was in my belly for as long as I could when I got home.  Lock all the kids out for a bit, and just really sit in my experience. 

So I did.  I cleaned the room, and layed all the (all three of them!!) clothes that I’d collected for this baby out on a space in the studio, and cut up some cotton material that would work as wrapping cloths till later.  And the other blankets I could use.  And the nappies that I’d bought earlier.   And I’d been worried for a while about where this new baby was going to sleep, as the twins slept next to my side of the bed, and Balthazar slept next to Currawong’s side of the bed…..that was until we’d got our new beds, and scored a king sized bed for me and Currawong, and through serendipity and experimentation, worked out that with the crates we had, we could arrange a bed next to Currawong’s side of the bed that was the perfect height, and had room for all three little boys to lay sideways instead of longways.  So on a wooden table, and tucked in by walls and the door, I made another little bed with a stuffed alpaca mattress next to my side of the bed.  A little nest by my side for our new baby to land in.  Currawong made a bed for Max, Merlin and Balthazar in Griffyn’s room, between him and Jess on a mattress on the floor, so that if birthing did happen, I could do it undisturbed by babies in our bedroom.  It’s the most comfortable, sacred, and cave like space in the house.  I figured if babies like best coming out in the same conditions as they went in……there was no better place to birth on land than in our great big bed.  And I was going to sit in my clean bedroom baby space, with my baby altar all set up, and crochet a pair of pants to go with the vest, and the hooded sleeves that I’d made for this baby for winter.  When I was worried about where and when we were gonna find a house, and worried about dire predictions, and just worried because I was pregnant, I’d been making a vest and a cute little pair of sleeves with a hood, and it was almost like I was crocheting this baby into a healthy existence.  All that was needed to complete the outfit was a pair of pants, and I was imagining that I’d finish them, and this baby would come, but it wasn't to happen that way.  During my nesting, I’d had a few more intense uterine contractions, and then some light, moving, dancing contractions started to come, that felt completely different to the expansions I’d had before. 

And then I remembered my previous twin birth, and how after Max had come, and we were waiting for Merlin, I had a visit from Russel the Ayurvedic Masseuse and Alison to help us along.  And after Russel had left, I’d had some really intense uterine contractions, that were a case of trying to stand still and in a certain position to make bearable, and then when the uterine contractions had finished, I’d moved into birthing contractions, which were different positions and movement was needed to assist with them.  I recognised the difference, and on feeling the change, and needing to move about when they happened, I realised that birth might finally be on the way.  No time to crochet pants.....

So I danced and I moved and I breathed and a smile didn’t leave my face, and I felt like we were actually getting to the space where we’d soon be meeting our new one. (again…)   Steady as a creek heading into a river it started flowing towards the evening, till the magical time when our babies go to sleep and dark and peace descend.  It was all green lights this time, with no hitches in the proceedings, and we all knew that this time it was really going on.  Children had been well fed and peacefully went off to sleep, the three little boys in with the two biggest.  And I rang Annetta to tell her that we were on again……….and how the contractions had changed.  She got here and we all settled into the birthing space.  Stories had to be told about the artworks in our bedroom, and birth expansion stations had to be set up.  Positions tried out and suggestions given.  Instead of moving about the space between contractions and standing still to have them, I was resting between contractions and moving with them. And then it just happened.

I settled into one of the most amazing birthing places I’ve ever been in.  Dim candlelight and tranquillity sat in the background with initial panic turning into delighted knowledge in front of them.  Birth expansions out of water were fun.  I found myself in all these intensely sexual positions, totally unashamedly, as they all decreased the levels of intensity.  Stances I’d only ever seen other people do, far too self conscious to do them myself, were all of a sudden the most comfortable ways to be.  And having Currawong, or Annetta rub my lower back was just incredible.  It was stronger and more intense all at the same time as being quicker and somehow more complete.  All consuming and all internal……..juxtaposed with deep perspective and external conversations between.  So many things were making sense.  Fears were being explained, and understandings were being had.  Legs spread, and back arched, and bum out and off we went.  Currawong really loved standing behind me, getting wafts of birth, that was a smell he was really getting to know well, and rubbing my back while I rocked through contractions.  And we were kissing lots in between expansions, and all of it felt like a prolonged love making session.

Then Max woke up.  Currawong was the only one who could calm him, and he was getting progressively more pissed off the more time it took, and at how he couldn’t leave Max without him crying again.  Annetta was giving me amazing massages and catching the expansions with me, but it wasn’t the same.  I wanted my Currawong with me.  So in an inbetween moment I stormed in the other room and informed him that Max was just going to have to cry, or maybe Jess could take him for a walk, but he wasn’t missing out on this birth, and I NEEDED him with me.  Empowering moment no. 42……..  Jess got him quiet and sleeping, that also kept her occupied, which was kinda good, as it was hotting up on all sorts of levels.  And I had my Currawong back, who was delighted with how different this birth was progressing.  On all fours on the bed it really started to get intense. 

How can one truly express the intense land that is transition?  And what would a more human friendly term for it be?  The world between worlds where I'm shocked out of and into my body all at the same time.  No room exists for anything else to be happening, heard, seen, felt or any other bloody thing at all, to have any sense of solidity or reality.  A place where if I could turn my torso one way, and my legs another to escape the crunch I would.  A place where what’s happening in my body is so incredibly huge and real and full on, that if I could climb out of my body  I would.  A place where I feel like every nerve ending is being pushed to its extreme limits of coping.  A place where I say ‘oh my gawd, we’re HERE again, and how did I knowingly as a mother make a conscious decision that would bring me HERE again, didn’t I remember how it was last time, and how I didn’t think I could cope anymore when I was HERE again???’  It’s not exactly painful in an ‘ow I’m hurt right here and the rest of me is okay’ kind of ache, as in a whole body calling on all it’s resources to manage and sustain and survive.  But also a place where I can feel like a viking valkerie, or a screaming banshee in the wind, or any other mythical goddess or woman role model I care to create for myself.  Standing on the otherworldly battleground in an ancient tryst for my soul, and the continuation of the flow of evolution towards a magical future.  And a place that I've got to know quite well having lottsa babies.  The pinnacle of the experience, is also the breaking of the wave, as I've learnt that HERE is also when it’s nearly over……….

Or at least should be, if you don’t have something like a lip of your cervix, just holding back a little on the head, and just enough to keep that head behind skin……..which I had.  And that little lip was just enough to stall the whole show at that intense transitionary, initiatory space.  'Oh fuckitall' I thought, I remembered that feeling when birthing Merlin, and how it went on for hours, and was the hardest and loneliest work I’ve ever done in my whole life.  ’Ohshit, not here again’.   I rolled over on my back and Annetta just knew what was going on.  ‘I think  you have a lip…..would you like me to move it?’  she asked.  I couldn’t believe it, and I straight away said yes, and I lay on my back for a moment, and she moved her fingers into me as I had a contraction.  She warned me it might hurt, but it didn’t, and within seconds I had to get off my back and turn around onto all fours again on the bed.  One almighty push and his head was moving towards the world, opening me in that gorgeous vulvic, yoni like, curved and angled oval shape of a head coming outside.        Annetta grabbed Currawong’s hand and put it over me, and over the soft soft head of our baby coming through.  And for weeks after, and to this day if he ever tells that story he cries…..and notes it as one of the most amazing moments in our birthing together. 

Two more pushes and our baby was out at five minutes to one in the morning, and Annetta guided Currawong’s hand again, as they both swooshed the little person under me, Annetta saying ‘here is your baby girl!’  ‘Are you sure?’ I drawled, as I moved the umbilical cord away to see a little penis and testicles…….got the gender wrong againJ  I sat up and hugged him to me, and Currawong laughed, and even though now we didn’t have any clue of a name, I didn’t feel disappointed for one second.  Instead I got a rush of a rememberance of sitting with my 4 big strong brothers either side of me at church, and looking at them all and being so proud of my  beautiful brothers.  And realised that one day I’d be standing looking at my big strong and beautiful sons, and hopefully in a functional enough relationship with them all, that I’d get to be with them for life!  And share their lives and loves and experiences, and be with them through their trials, and for the births of their babies if that’s what they want.  How could I be disappointed when this little boy had given me such an easy pregnancy, given me the impression that if we just let him be, and come into the world, he wouldn’t be any problem…..’promise!’.  Had given me a real rush when I laid my hands on my belly, like he was charging me up from an incredibly strong internal battery.  Had lain inside so quiet and peacefull…… And had just come out in the quickest, most sexual birth I’ve ever had.   A few days afterwards, Annetta said that I was ‘the epitome of the volutptuous, sexual, birthing feminine’………and you know what?  It really felt that way from my perspective as wellJ  And Currawong’s……….

Meanwhile, I was losing a lot of blood.  One of the risks for which the doctor suggested I stay in hospital for.  There is a tendancy for a woman to bleed a lot after having had twins, especially a ‘grand multiparous’ woman like me.  Annetta quickly helped me push the placenta out, to aid the uterus in contracting to control my bleeding, and Currawong cut the cord, as we’d all decided this time, with the newness and the weather and the cuddling factor, that this time we’d forgo the lotus birthing……which was just as well now looking back on it.  Cause a lot of bleeding was a full on thing for my body to cope with, without having to deal with washing and salting a placenta as well.  As it was, when I’d tried feeding our beautiful little boy, and then sat up, I was feeling a bit woozy, and all the family were awake now, as they all realised that our newest member of the clan had arrived.  They all gathered round to oooh and aaaah, and stroke his little head, and giggle about how another boy had been born.  Griffyn smilingly admitted that he’d never really thought it was going to be another boy, but had been saying it the whole way through the pregnancy just to be different to everyone else.  But he was glad nonetheless.  Annetta pulled out a turquoise blue cloth, and weighed him – seven and a half pounds of baby flesh.  We all sniffed and watched him up, and I was surrounded by eight bodies that had all come out of my belly.  Always trips me out when I have those moments of realisation!

And then Max spewed all over the boys bed.  Which made sense of why he’d been so awake and unsettled earlier in the night.  Poor little cherub had a sore belly.  So Currawong and Annetta cleaned up, and Currawong went off for a shower to clean it off him and Max, and in the process realised he had a paralysis tick in his groin.  Swearing lilted from the bathroom, and he removed the little parasite, whilst still cleaning him and Max.  Meanwhile, it was important for me to get off to the shower, and I found myself very dizzy on the walk there.  I had to stop halfway and have a lay down on the lounge, with my new baby nestled into me, and as I heard a buzzing in my ears that wasn’t the vociferous nearby frogs, and my vision started to blur, I thought ‘oh no, don’t make me have to go to hospital after all this!!’, but didn’t faint.  Laid for a bit and ate some toast and had a drink, and then Currawong held our new baby while I crawled to the shower. 

First thing when I got in there was a big release of blood clots, and then an instant feeling of getting better.  My uterus had contracted down nicely, (Annetta said later it contracted back into place as good as a twenty year olds!) and the worst was over.  I got clean, and felt more human, and rather than over exert, I got to kneel on a rug and get a magic carpet ride back to the bedroom, as Annetta and Jess pulled and pushed me down the hallway.  I got my baby back and snuggled him between me and Currawong, all the other babies were back asleep, everything was cleaned up and orderly, and we all went off to blissful sleep, while Annetta went off to her magical 4WD home outside the house, so she’d be there as soon as we woke up. 

And now a little aside.  I’ve been rather vocal in the past about the need for internals, of which I was positive there wasn’t any.  One of the only things that freaked Jess out in her witness of all the births I had after her, was me being given internals.  Despite the blood, and the yells and screams, she had a big problem with someone putting their fingers inside me.  And I agreed with her.  It had never felt nice, and always a bit odd, and like the information gained from it wasn’t really necessary either, if you were just gonna take the birth path and trust the timing, rather than over-medicalising your experience anyway.  Other midwives I’d birthed with had to be almost begged to check me out internally, as they really didn’t like to interfere in any way, an approach that I was completely in approval of.  But I’m here to tell you sisters and brothers, that a sensitively performed internal, from an empathetic birth helper, is a whole other kettle of fish.  A birth helper with midwife skills, who can do such a thing as push a lip back so your babe can be born in minutes rather than hours…….can be a real gift. 

Morning came and we all awoke to being well rested, with a new family member, and me feeling tremendously better after my blood loss situation. But I stayed indoors and quiet with my new baby boy for 2 weeks just to make sure that his entry to the world stayed healthy and wholesome.  And to keep him safe from the twins.  Max’s welcome was an attempted gouge to the eyes, while Merlin just wanted to cover him with kisses and pat his head.  A bit later on the day he was born, our guest with two girls who’d been staying elsewhere came to pick up the rest of her stuff, and delivered a few packages from the women of Nimbin.  When I’d gone to hospital I rang the dear friend who put up our guest so we could have our birth space, and she’d asked me if there was anything I needed.  I told her that I had no clothes or wraps or anything like that for a new baby yet, and unbeknownst to me, while all my other birthing events were evolving, she’d sent an email around to her friends, and was busy picking up donations from all around the area.  Touched and feeling special doesn’t do the awareness justice, when I realised how family like our new home was. 

And there’s more to tell, but that can come a bit later.  This is the bare bones of the story of the birth of Zarathustra Cyrus Wildcat.  Born on the 19th of December 2011, at 5 minutes to 1 in the morning.  The baby that came bearing gifts……..



 


21 comments:

  1. Well, now I can breathe again! Thank you for your generosity in posting this wonderful story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really love how connected you get to my stories!!! Very encouraging......

      Delete
  2. *Sigh* Just so Beautiful ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  3. ahhh, shivers! gooseypimples and a sigh of delight. I love you guys, as ever.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Phew! Love it. Just reading it brought me gifts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so cool:) Love that it resonates with you!

      Delete
  5. you enspire me to become the mother I want to be. I desperately want more children in our family, and now I am going to eliminate all the things stopping it from happening and open my heart and soul so it can happen for us :)
    Thankyou so much for sharing all your amazing life and mothering experiencines xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And thankyou so much for digging it! Yeah, go the big family, or bigger family or however it works for you! It's such a hoot, and they've always got someone to play with, and share with....the begginnings of community!

      Delete
  6. You are such an inspiring woman Hellena....bless your hand spun, crochet sox!
    Beautifully written as always, you must write the real womens guide to child birth.
    Take care and enjoy your new abode and community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loving our abode and community, and this year is the year that I try really hard to get some of my writings into a book format.....kinda thinking that it will be about all of it really - birth, and the alternative lifestyle. And I've still got that book that I wrote 12 years ago.....

      Delete
  7. Love this story. Welcome to the world sweet baby boy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love that you love it....it's a big story!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just found the story now, been anticipating it for a while, reading your tales while pregnant with my second. Turns out she was born the day after. Hope your enjoying newborn smiles all over again, and those gorgeous booby giggles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How's that for syncronicity....nice one. And did your birth go well?? I'm loving the baby vibes, and all the other associated glories that go with new life...

      Delete
    2. Birth went really well after a stop start day of it, turns out she needed room to turn and once I facilitated that she powered ahead! Back pains on and off all morning, moved to all fours for a contraction and the switch was flicked into hyperdrive. Born at home through the public system in northern adelaide. One midwife came at transition, and another 20 mins after but they video'd and left me alone. Husband busy with toddler all day, who didn't like my noises, arrived 30 secs before her head! Pulled her out of the water myself and she took ages to make a noise because she just quietly looked up at me. Cord took forever to pulse out! Shes growing beautifully and almost out of 000. Not a great nipple latch though.... Loved lying in bed with her just now, feeding to sleep and gazing
      adoringly.
      Look forward to hearing how Zara grows up, within the family

      Delete
    3. Sounds incredible, what a great birth story! Love that she just quietly looked up at you...what a stunner:) And I really get that gazing adoringly thing, and am so very very glad that after eight babies I still feel this!! I was even moved to tears in the middle of the night with how much I love Zarra...what an awesome love to feel:)

      Delete
    4. I totally get that. And the moments when you realize that everything about them is completely and utterly perfect!

      Delete
    5. And then how nice is it when that love and realisation of perfection translates to the rest of your life as well....after all, to create such a perfect being you must be perfect, right?

      Delete
    6. Ooo I like that conclusion! :) emmy is cuting teeth and the whole family has sinus infection.... Good time to look for perfection. Perfect mushroom circles on the lawns! Huge plate sized growths.

      Delete

I love your comments, and your feedback......it makes this whole blogging thing worthwhile. Peace and blessings to you!