As a Doula, most of the couples whom contact me are wanting a natural birth and are going to have their baby in hospital. Sometimes birth centre or labour ward in a public hospital and sometimes private hospitals.
As a professional in the birthing world I know that just by stepping inside a hospital and choosing to have your baby there, you are signing up for a set of protocol and agreements that make your wishes for a natural birth harder to achieve.
Some of the rules you are agreeing to are there, in part, to identify any risk factors and put in place preventative measures. This is done by ultrasound, blood tests, Group B strep test, blood glucose test, mental health questionaire, estimated due dates etc.
Once you are in labour the monitoring amps up, as does the clock watching by the health professionals. Things such as prolonged rupture of membranes, stalled labour, failure to progress all point you in the direction of induction and the increased possibility of the cascade of intervention, which means a number of interventions that result in an instrumental delivery or caesarean.
In my work as a Doula, a big part of the preparation with my clients, is going through every possible intervention and educating them about that proceedure, and in what scenarios it would be suggested. As well as going through all the choices they will be asked to make once they have reached their due date, are in labour and after the baby is born. So that in any circumstance they will know what is being asked and what the consiquences will be for the baby, mother, partner and birth.
In my Shamanic work I meet with the mother or couple to help discover a spiritual connection to their baby and birthing. I do drum journeys with the pregnant Mother, where she journeys to her womb to meet with her baby, she can ask questions, and receive information about aspects of the labour, birth or any situation that may arise. She can travel to this place to consult with her baby during labour, to check in and listen to her body wisdom. We also journey to find her power animal for the birth, and sometimes the baby’s power animal appears too! These allies are called upon during birthing and come to hospital with us.
We also create a sacred birthing circle, which usually involves Mother and Baby, Partner and me, and sometimes stretches out to contain the whole birthing team, Midwives and Doctors. This birthing circle holds the highest good for the family, knowing all of their wishes and desires, love and holding and trust in the process.
We carry the relationship and connections that we have developed over the months in the couples home into the birthing room.
In developing these worlds during our preparation for the birth, the physical, bodily, practical information world, and the spiritual, higher knowing worlds with my clients we can feel much better prepared to enter the hospital system. The couples are informed and educated about the process and the system and are in touch with their inner knowing and body wisdom, so they can stay true to their wishes and beliefs upon council within.
I have found over the years, that if my clients feel fully aware of all their options and choices, and they are guided by their inner knowing and trust, even if the birth doesn’t go as they had planned they feel empowered in the choices they made and trust in the process that was their birth.
I wrote this story with one of my beautiful clients. Her journey encapsulates what I am talking about. She is a wonderful wise woman and Mother and I am so fortunate that she asked me to be part of her sacred birthing circle. I honour her for sharing her story, as there is much wisdom in all she journeyed.
Naomi’s Story of energetic healing after caesarean.
Naomi and Alex dreamed and prepared for a intervention free birth in hospital for their long awaited first baby, known in utero as Gem. As part of the preparation Naomi attended Jane’s Inner journey pregnancy workshop and a Calmbirth course, preparing spiritually and physically for the birth. She and Alex invited in a sacred birth circle, her sister Michelle and shamanic merwife Talulah to hold sacred space in the medical environment.
In doing the Calmbirth visualisations and meditations, and 25 Ways to Access your Birth Power, by Danette Watson, Naomi envisioned the birth process many times and had a very clear concept of what birth was going to be.
At 42 weeks Naomi’s ultrasound revealed low amniotic fluid levels and decreased movement of Gem and the induction process began.
Naomi and Alex spent the day together in hospital, along with Talulah, going for long walks, talking about their journey to being at this moment in time, about to meet their baby.
Talulah quietly called in the elements, all of their guides and teachers, the Goddess and God, and helped Naomi to connect with Spirit. Naomi asked Spirit if induction was in Gem’s and her highest good. The answer was ‘Yes’.
In her conscious birthing of her baby, Naomi was trying to feel if she was holding on in any way, what did she need to do to clear the way for Gem. She called her Spiritual Kinesiologist, Robyn, who did a remote check in and clearing for her and Gem, removing any unconscious energetic obstacles.
Labour began with the syntocinon drip induction and Naomi felt her dedicated practice helped and prepared her for this immediate onset of intense labour. When left undisturbed Naomi was able to connect deeply with Gem and her body, seeing her contractions as waves and Gem moving towards her, with the mantra ‘Just this one’.
The birth circle was strong and protective. Naomi felt completely supported and held in love.
After 14 hours of intense labour and good progress, baby was distressed and meconium present. An emergency caesarean was advised.
Again Naomi’s preparation helped her through the surgery, staying calm and surrendering to what was required of her now.
The strength of Naomi and Alex’s sacred birth circle was very clear to the Obstetrician and medical team, so much so that against all rules and regulations 3 support people were allowed into theatre! Her husband Alex, her sister Michelle and her shamanic merwife Talulah (who was able to sneak in Naomi’s large rose quartz heart, that had been part of the baby’s journey from conception, in her bra)!
Baby Gabriel was born! Hearing his cry, and having him placed on her chest, to open his eyes to hers for the first time, was a moment of amazing relief, wonder and love.
Life as a family began. Naomi and Alex returned home with their darling boy feeling they had had a different birth than they had planned, and yet an empowered and calm birth.
In the early days after the birth, Naomi became aware that there was a sense within her body that a process had not been completed, that she still had to give birth. As if her body was in suspended animation. It was an urge, a desire to keep the energy moving through, to complete the process she had visualised countless times. In talking about this with her husband he likened it to an interrupted orgasm. He was spot on!
In verbalising this, Naomi went on to visualise the completion of the birthing process over and over, and in doing so her body started to relax as if it had completed the birth process. Michelle, Naomi’s sister, who is a Bowen Therapist was able to give a balancing treatment, in which Naomi physically felt her body release and let go of the sensation of tension. Also seeing Robyn, her spiritual Kinesiologist again, Naomi cleared any energetic patterning of the birth experience and the feeling of suspended animation that followed.
In clearing this sensation Naomi felt her body to be reconciled with her experience of giving birth. She still however needed to mentally and emotionally reconcile the feelings she had over this experience, which took some more time.
After telling her story to a wise friend Naomi now understands that her soul knew that this was the birth she was preparing for, even though she didn’t consciously know. Receiving that message has given Naomi a sense of peace and has released her self judgement over her experience. She is now connected to the divine rightness of her sons birth and the sacred contract signed in heaven by them both.