Real Life Stories: The Baby Moon of Felix
The Birth, and Baby Moon of Felix
5th June, 12.15am.
After 2 very rapid hospital births, the first through choice and the latter very much not; I had spent approximately the last 6792 hours preparing for this day…this mild Sunday. I was a huge, very emotional pregnant elephant and on the day, it felt like every minute was a year. The past 2 weeks of seemingly constant Braxton hicks, false starts and a gaggle of people constantly asking me if I was “sure I only had one in there” had left me well beyond my breaking point.
So anyway, back to the mild Sunday afternoon…
My doula came over to give me some support. I phoned her on the verge of tears because I was so mentally drained. She came right over and gave me some really fantastic advice…to spend the next day “pretending I wasn’t pregnant”. This may sound odd but we went ahead and made plans to go to the cinema the following day, and then spent that afternoon watching the one lone Manchester concert and have some quality family time when at around 7.45pm I felt a pop and my waters started gushing…..everywhere.
We phoned our Doula to come back over, along with our two birthing partners and my mum. After this, my doula did a sideline release; a technique from spinning babies, to get Felix in to a better position. My once massive bump had deflated and completely changed shape, making us all think baby was going to be of average size. Daniel, my 3 year old; helped his dad massage my back whilst my doula helped keep my breathing steady. I was asked to go into the birthing unit, but in the throes of labour, I “politely” declined. By 11.30, things had massively ramped up, and it was obvious that Felix was well on his way. I made my way to the air bed we had prepared, whilst my doula held my pelvis and a paramedic was phoned.
The intensity of this labour was beyond my ability to describe! Hannah, my 5 year old was awoken by the commotion and came in to watch on in fascination. We had prepared both the children beforehand with lots of conversations about what would happen, along with lots of home birth videos on YouTube; so they knew what was going to happen. In just 2 minutes, at 12.15am; Felix was born!
The cord wasn’t touched until after Felix had fed and the placenta had been born; by which time Felix had got the full amount of goodness from it, and it had turned white. His dad then helped to cut it, with the kids watching on, still in complete fascination. My doula helped me tie his rainbow cord tie on, and then he was weighed. 10lbs5. TEN POUNDS FIVE OUNCES! The entire room erupted in a mixture of shock and humour at the fact that me, only 5’4 in height, had naturally delivered this giant child without even a taste of a paracetamol, in 2 minutes with not even a graze.
In the first postnatal days, I was left alone to bond, feed and heal; which was completely what I needed. My birth partners were my lifeline of support, and came over to help cook, clean and provide me with copious amounts of tea and pain relief. These wonderful women had held me up throughout pregnancy and were still holding me post birth.
This period of time spent with just myself and my babies led me to do a lot of inward reflection. It taught me to stop being so hung up on perfection (something I have struggled with my whole life). And to stop being so afraid to ask for help.
I also finally understood, and connected with all of those women I had read about in blogs who wanted to tell anyone and everyone about their amazing birth story; and I had a new respect for the amazing work that doulas do. Without my doula, my pregnancy and birth would probably have been completely different. On that Sunday, I needed her and she came without hesitation. Without that seemingly small pep talk, my mental state going in to birth would probably have been completely different, and I wouldn’t handled the situation as well as I did. She enabled everyone to have their own space, and made the entire atmosphere calm and confident. I could not thank her enough.
On day 7, she came out again to do a wonderful closing the bones ceremony with me. This involved a gentle abdominal massage with some beautiful oils; and some spinning babies sifting with a rebozo scarf. This helped to realign all of my muscles and really helped me to say goodbye to the last 9 very long months. After she left, I had the most beautiful milk bath with Felix; made with oat milk, lavender and chamomile oils, Epsom salts, dried rose and lavender petals and chrysanthemums. It was extremely healing; and such a different, more peaceful experience to the first baths of my last two children.
I’d like to finish this by saying to anyone who reads this; that your birth is possible, you are enough, trust yourself, and never underestimate the power that a tribe of women can bring. I started this journey a complete sceptic of mindfulness, and the power of positive thinking. I had trust issues with almost everyone, low self esteem and stopped myself from dealing with any of it by trying to be perfect at everything, and keeping myself busy. This whole experience has been more healing than I can define, and I wish that everyone could have the chance to have the experience that I have. I hope that if just one person reads this and it helps them, then I have enabled someone; like my tribe enabled me.