Thoughts on freebirth, one year on
When my daughter turned one I began to think more about her birth and the experience.
Since that wonderful day, I have appeared on the BBC, the radio, had awful and great things said about me (I refuse to read the awful ones!)
People were so offended by a woman prioritising her needs in birth, by refusing to follow their ingrained narrative!
I know now that my desire to freebirth changed so much for me. For me it was about proving to myself that childbirth was fundamentally safe, that the woman’s experience was paramount to its safety. That I was the one in charge. That trust has woven its way into my life and my work and given innumerable benefits to myself and clients.
My son’s birth allowed me to process a lot of the body shame and hatred I had carried around with me, he taught me that I was built for birthing. It was a euphoric realisation. I had set out to prove to myself that I could do it. I knew then that I could do anything.
My daughter’s birth helped me release all my birth hangups. You cannot work in the birth field for long without being exhausted by what you see and hear from other women. I must admit, by the time it came for me to give birth, I had lost my way somewhat. I wanted to know, once and for all, what a truly physiological birth was. And I saw it. I felt it. As the intensity gripped my body and I flushed and shook, as I felt her wriggle between contractions, slide her head into place, and denied I was in labour until the very end.
My favourite memory is hovering in that in-between space, hearing Carolyn Hillyer singing the song about giving birth to a fish with a moon between its lips, neither here nor there, my eyes wide and wondrous, seeing Sam’s wry smile and her eyes dancing with mirth.
Me, laughing, the antenatal teacher saying “Oh no” as she anticipated another contraction. Operating on instinct rather than instruction.
The way I just knew that I needed to change the position to allow her to slot into my pelvis with ease. But didn’t realise until later.
Her birth taught me the deep connection that women have during labour, I recall how acutely aware I was of everything. I can still remember the amazing feeling of sinking into a birth pool that is the perfect temperature.
I know more than I did then - and I would still choose my choice.
The mother that was born this time is a fierce one. When you are pregnant you are watching, waiting, growing. Autumn-Violet, the energy building in my body. As she was born she awakened my protective nature, set me on a long and tumultuous journey in reclaiming my power and myself.
Happy birthday my love, my catalyst.
When I think of your birth I think