I woke up at 4am on 15th March with mild contractions.
They were quite regular but weak enough to sleep through so I went back to bed until 6.30am just in case things got more intense quickly. I wanted to be well rested to avoid getting exhausted like I did last time. I was having contractions all morning but they were irregular and varying lengths so we all decided to go to the beach before lunch.
It was a stunning beach we’d not visited before, the sea was calm and the sun was shining and Tate was so happy. We stayed there for a couple of hours watching the waves, toning and building sand castles and then came home for some lunch.
By 7pm the contractions were getting pretty intense but were still irregular. I went to the birth centre and had an examination at 9.30pm. I was 4 cm dilated and the midwife gave me a stretch and sweep (not that I was asked first, she just did it!) I worried that the intervention would cause problems with the labour and felt really down about it.I went home and the contractions began intensifying and getting more regular. By 11.30 they were consistently every 5 minutes and lasting a minute each time. My mother in law, sister in law and Phill were with me massaging me through each contraction as I sat on the birthing ball toning and singing mantra.
At around 12 my mother and sister in law went home and at 12.30 the midwife arrived, I had moved into the birthing pool at this point and could tell I was getting to transition point as I was feeling overwhelmed with the pain and was questioning my ability to give birth naturally. All of my fears surrounding my last labour (44 hours, posterior labour which ended in a dramatic transfer to hospital) came up for me and I was in a real place of fear. To top it off Tate then woke up and was hysterical. I felt like I had to hold in the sounds and tears and it all got much more painful. I felt hopeless. I asked the midwife to examine me so I could “prove” I wasn’t progressing properly like last time and got out of the birth pool, walked up the stairs somehow and lay on the bed. I was 6cm dilated which I took as very bad news. I felt that was slow progress considering how much pain i was in. I felt I needed to sit on the loo at this point so went into my bathroom.
Then something else took over – the sounds that were coming from my mouth were gluttoral and wild. I lost touch with “Michelle” the identity and became completely animalistic, something much bigger than my “I am” came into play now interrupted only a few times by my left brain trying to convince everyone that I couldn’t do this. The midwife tried to tell me that she could see and hear that I was now progressing even faster than she’d thought but my “I am” told me she was trying to make me feel better. I could hear Tate was now ok downstairs watching a dvd with Phill. They were talking about labour too but he wasn’t scared of what was happening anymore.
I got the urge to push, my waters broke. The contractions intensified hugely. I then felt (and announced) that I needed to do a massive poo! I heard the midwife phoning for the second midwife and telling her to make it fast. She then came in to me and told me to move to my bed or risk delivering my baby on the toilet. :0) Somehow I made my way to the bed and got on all fours growling and toning the whole time.
Then I visualised a group of women surrounding a pregnant woman on a beautiful beach. They all walked into the ocean. I could hear the soothing lull of the sea and I could smell the water and the sand. The woman gave birth to her baby as I felt my own babies head crowning. I could hear the sounds I was making but I felt disconnected somehow. My body knew exactly what to do, I just had to stay out of the way and allow the sounds and sensations to flow through me and that’s exactly what I did. The next thing I knew my daughter was being passed to me. She was born at 2.33am on 16th March – on her due date!
It was so perfect and beautiful! Mayumi is beautiful! Tate and Phill came up when they heard her cry and Tate just said “Wow”!
I delivered the placenta naturally and it was put into a glass container ready to be encapsulated (naturally)! :0) I had a raw placenta smoothie on waking later that morning and my milk came in 24 hours later instead of the usual 4 – 5 days! Magic placenta!
I have lots of energy, feel positive and in control and encapsulated my own placenta today too while playing the himalayan bowl that I played daily through my pregnancy and toning.
We have decided to name the baby Mayumi Ligaya Tala Holmes (Bright Star of Joy and Humility in Tagalog)
Thank you to everyone who sent me beads, cd’s, books, gifts, energy, sound and love. This was such an empowering experience and if you are pregnant I hope that your birth will leave you with all the same feelings!
Michelle is a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in Devon and Cornwall, UK.