I have been trying to find the words to write about my recent experience of childbirth for a while and to be honest, have started to write a few times and given up. I have been going through quite a transformative time and each time I’ve tried to find the words, I have felt like I should wait a while to look at the bigger picture. And now I think I understand that bigger picture.
“Find your strength in learning to surrender”
This is a message my doula Mel gave me hand-written on a heart at my blessingway. Well to be honest she didn’t give me it, she intuitively wrote two messages, one for me and one for the beautiful Kat who I shared my blessingway with. I now realise, after finding the heart message the other day, I was meant to get this one, as it perfectly sums up my journey over the last few months. My birth story, my massive change of heart which lead to massive life changes for our family, my journey through post natal depression and finding light at the end of the tunnel!
I’m not going to go into lots of detail but would like to touch on my experiences to provide hope to other mums out there who are experiencing the problems I have overcome.
During late pregnancy this time I felt great and very at peace. I should have done really as I was taught pregnancy and birth yoga from one of my best friends and had some hypnobirthing sessions with another, I listened to my VBAC natal hypnotherapy cd most nights & took homeopathic tissue salts. I had the support of some lovely friends who were ‘experts’ in natural birthing and the support from my doula.
I felt deeply connected to the little baby inside my tummy and also to something bigger than myself. The thing that niggled me wasn’t the birth, but the months after and how I would cope with massive life changes. Moving to the other side of the world with a newborn and to somewhere I’d never actually been terrified me, but I wasn’t admitting it to myself, I was just saying it would all be hard, but it would be fine. I should have listened to that niggle.
At about 35 weeks I got annoyingly itchy on my hands and feet, so much so that it would wake me up some nights. I remembered a good friend telling me about a condition she had in late pregnancy which made her really itchy and she was induced a month early, so I thought best to mention it to my midwives.
3 weeks later I was diagnosed with obstetric cholestasis, a pretty uncommon condition you can get in pregnancy which affects your bile acids. It isn’t too bad for the mum but increases the risk of still birth, so at 38.5 weeks, on the Tuesday, I was told in the next few days I would need to be induced or have a c-section to get the little one out. Well I was pretty devastated to say the least. And worried.
But it was ok as the little one, or maybe the universe (or both) had other plans.
That night after a good cry and trying some of the various labour starting techniques I went to bed ready to ring and book in for a c-section in the morning, meditated and spoke to my baby. “Hello little baby, I love you and I’m so ready to meet you now. There are lots of people who will love you out here and are ready to meet you too. If you come now it will be in your own time and you will have a nice peaceful birth I promise”.
And he listened! My lovely little boy decided I’d put so much effort in that he’d gladly oblige. I woke up in labour at 3am!
Felix was born 12 hours later at almost 3pm. No pain killers, just a peaceful hypnobirth (until the last 20 mins a bit of pushing to get him out). It was magical though – although I went to hospital at 10am and about 4cm dilated, I was accompanied by my favourite midwife, who was meant to be off that day and stayed throughout my whole labour. I believe she’s an earth angel! I also had my wonderful doula Mel and my strong supportive husband by my side throughout. They were all a great team and made sure the birth stayed as natural and calm as possible. I couldn’t have wished for anything better : )
So that was the birth. And I had my beautiful and very chilled little boy. And we went home and I was still very sore and wondered was the natural birth worth it. But I knew it was. I was in shock my body and mind had actually done that and very in awe of it all.
Then a few days later the anxiety kicked in again and similar feelings I had after having Jude came back. Feelings of being totally overwhelmed and worrying I couldn’t cope with two kids by myself. The the added pressure of selling or renting our house, rehoming our precious dog and packing up to move to Brisbane. Aaaagghhh I started to feel like I was slowly going crazy again.
Ok so I had thought I might feel like this so I visited my homeopath and hypnotherapist that sorted me out last time. It didn’t seem to help. I was getting so worried about having to move way from my support network feeling like I did, so ended up going to see a client of mine who offered pschyotherapy. I signed up to 6 sessions and after 4 we got to the bottom of the problem. I didn’t want to go to Australia and I hadn’t wanted to admit it. I didn’t want to let everyone down especially my husband, but also others who I had talked about moving abroad to for years.
But I had to admit it as it was making me ill. So I did. And that decision then changed everything!
To cut a long story short we still ended up moving, we moved in with my in-laws about 1 hour away from our old family home, as we decided if we weren’t going to Oz we still had to move on, we couldn’t both carry on with the same life. We’ve been here two months and I must say it has been one of the most challenging times of my life.
I’ve had to deal with the guilt of letting people down, annoyance at myself for not being able to do it, being away from my supportive friends network, the uncertainty of our family future and all while being shattered and getting used to having two children.
But my belief is that hard times are thrown at us for a reason and we can either fall apart or we can try and look at the bigger picture and what lessons we need to learn. And I can now see the lessons I have had to learn were to trust and surrender!
Trust in myself and to trust in the universe. And everything else will fall into place.
I can now see this from Felix’s birth. I made my wishes clear, surrendered and trusted it would all be ok and it was. He has truly taught me a lesson that will stay with me and has helped me get through such a tough time. I think my placenta essence also helped but that is another story I will be talking about once I get the courage to!
It has made me think more about birth and becoming a mother (even if it isn’t for the first time) and how much it can transform us. It is my belief that sometimes our children come to transform us and we can either take that on spiritually and do the work on ourselves, on our fears and old thought patterns that don’t serve us anymore. Honouring each emotion and letting it flow through us. Or we can ignore it, call it post natal depression, block our strong emotions and try to carry on the way we were before. But should we carry on the way we were before, or is each child here to transform us and move us forward on our spiritual path bringing us into more love and light? I believe so.
This is something I want to look into, think about, research and write about more. I’d like to use my experience to help other mothers going through tough times and am hoping to explore holistic ways to do this in the future. I’d also like to hear from other mothers who feel their children have transformed them, whether they went through a tough time with it or not.
And I truly hope this post has helped people to see that having trust and surrendering to what is true to you is a must in being a mum. If we do this and can ride the storms it will equip our children to do the same in their lives too.