Birthing Owen
Son and second child to Angus and Tanya

Tanya IMG_2567-2web

Work with what you can see of the Big Picture in life.’

Tanya at nearly ‘full moon’ pregnancy with Blessing Way necklace.
Photography by: Loren Berry Photography.

On Sunday 8th February I had some beautiful women visit me for a Blessing Way; Andre, Jane, Christine, Zoe, Lavina, Annie, Kerrie and my midwife Susan. The space they created and held was beautiful and I felt deeply nourished and supported. Their words from the day carried with me through to the night as I was up and down with my 3 1/2 year old who had developed a cold and was finding it hard to breathe. While tending to her I noticed I was having contractions and feeling them in my lower back but I was ruling them out as simply needing to empty my bowels more than it being anything to do with labour.

After Bella was settled I had time to gather my thoughts and realise that amazingly I could be in labour even though I was 9 days early. I was slightly anxious as I had had such a big day and a late night and needed sleep now. I was also in a feeling of bliss that my birth was to follow on from such a beautiful time with my women friends and that I was able to fully carry their words and sentiments with me into labour.

I looked at the clock and it was midnight. I decided to sleep in the spare room as I thought I would be up and down, which I was, to continue to empty my bowels. I was trying really hard to go to sleep and conserve my energy but by 3am I went into Angus and told him that they weren’t going away. We cuddled in a sleepy daze of what was to come, I’m not sure if it fully registered with Angus until he felt me go through contractions.

At about 5am Bella came in and slept with us which felt complete to start our birthing journey all together. Angus called Susan at about 7.30am as contractions were around 10mins to 15mins apart. The contractions sensations were largely focused in my back and I was a bit anxious that it would continue as Bella’s posterior birth did, with intense pain, but I had hope that it could be better because I could also feel them in the front of my lower pelvis as well. I paid some more attention to the focus on my breathing as labour continued.

Two Years Later
My recall of my birth with Owen is now quite less detailed as I relay it in my head now two years on. My focus of recall, I imagine as I write, will be on the more intense moments of energy and beauty.

I remember being out on our veranda by myself being present with the strong contractions in my back and noticing my midwife arrive. There was a feeling of safety, stability and joy to see her but almost a need to share with her my internal thoughts of “damn it I’ve got really intense back pain already and I’m scared it will continue the same as my first birth”. I strongly wanted to discard those feelings knowing that I needed to remember what I had worked through with my midwife and Angus and myself with The Pink Kit.

I remember Annie and Kerrie arriving, completing my circle of support. Kerrie had brought music and her beautiful figurines of women in full pregnancy, woman with a child and other significant items that had been part of my special Blessing Way. She set them up next to the birthing pool so I could see them as I needed. These things she did was everything that I had been thinking about to ask her to do. She did it intuitively, for which I am grateful.

I remember the beautifully light and sometimes intense smell of the rose oil that Susan diffused throughout the day. I remember the space that Susan held quietly, observing and methodically writing notes, applying wise oils and monitoring me and baby. These were all things that I needed for this birth, women eagerly holding a space of  birthing wisdom, giving me a feeling of safety and trust to birth at home in my space and a knowing that I could do it.

I remember mostly my time in that hot, hot pool leaning on Angus and knowing that I could pass on the intensity to him as I needed. The warmth of the pool was comforting even though it was an incredibly humid and sweltering day. I remember too that Angus needed to be with Bella putting her to sleep and then I heard the phone ringing.

In those moments when he was on the phone I knew that my noises had to go within, my strength and focus had to come from within and I remember that I felt in powerful control that I could direct and go with the energy. It also felt really intense to ‘hold’ or handle the birth energy flow and I wanted to escape the pain as letting out the noise with contractions had made it seem easier. I think though if I had have stayed with that intensity and that position birth may have been shorter. I feel blessed to have experienced that special time. I remember it being broken as I could hear someone eating and realised that I too was hungry.

I remember after sometime Angus and I looked at each other and come to an unspoken realisation that as it had been such a long time in strong contractions that my cervix was doing the same unique opening as it did for the first birth and was not dilating properly. I remember feeling between my legs and not knowing quite what I was feeling but accepting that I wanted Susan to do an internal examination.

We transferred to our bedroom and there she did an internal massage to help my cervix to open. This was incredibly intense and tiring, after a while Susan suggested we rest for a while but that she would need to do a further cervix check and perhaps massage. I know after the internal massage three drops of Frankincense and one drop of Jasmine were put just over my pubic bone and beautiful hands held over it. During this time of rest my waters broke with a noticeable pop (The water was clear and there was umbilical cord).

After what seemed a long time of intense contractions and not the relaxing intimate space with Angus that I had hoped for, I realised that I felt quite tired.

Susan did a further massage and once finished it wasn’t long and baby was ready to come. Susan suggested if we wanted to move to the pool that now was the time and I remember feeling horrified at the thought of moving my body and almost wanted to scream at the thought. I remember then trying to focus on breathing and not pushing and wanting to let out so much noise. It felt so good to get loud. I couldn’t put into words what I wanted to say so it came out in my loudness (hear me!).

I remember the pushes and the familiar stretching the body needs to do as baby crowns and then our baby was there. It was perfect and I remember the divine feel of him and seeing that it was a boy. I remember all the delicious moments afterwards surrounded by beautiful support people.

Yet, then there was the intense moment again of birthing the placenta. That amazing adrenalin that rides your body to complete its tasks to birth baby and then a placenta followed by the bodies slow decent into an overwhelming tiredness and need to be close to baby and for both to sleep! Birthing bliss follows with a continuous smile of what your body has achieved and given birth to, it is truly wondrous and somewhat addictive to experience and trust your body in such rugged rawness of birthing.

Guest Author: Tanya Scown