My home birthing chronicles - Part 4. The birth of Shiin

Here is the final installment of my home birthing chronicles, and the story of the birth of my first born child, my gateway into motherhood, my opener of the ways! I give so many thanks for the awesome adventure that is motherhood and to each of my children for the blessings they have brought to my world!

My pregnancy with my first born child, Shiin, had mostly been my love and I travelling around Italy, Switzerland and France in our little blue camper van, without too much contact with friends and family, and definitely no books on the subject of pregnancy and birth and no internet! I didn't really know what to expect, but I focused on trusting my body and my baby to know what to do when the time came.
    Back in Glastonbury, my labour began early one morning. We were parked at the top of Wearyall hill. My waters began leaking straight away and mild contractions came and went. I was super excited and a bit scared too. My beloved made me as comfortable as possible and reassured me that this was early stages and could take quite a while, so we settled into a rhythm on the hill for a while. I remember being sick and the contractions getting quite a bit stronger. I was starting to really moan through them and we decided to go and find our Doula friend Joy. Rer drove us into town to get some supplies and there was a surreal few moments of labouring like a primal mama behind the curtains of our little van, whilst parked in the middle of the High Street! We then drove to the White spring to collect spring water and finally found our doula. At this point the contractions were almost overwhelming. I started to feel like I couldn't cope, and Joy arriving was like a cool gentle breeze to my fire. She wrapped herself round my back quite maternally, and made soothing sounds, and helped me to remember to breathe deep into my womb with each rush. Rer drove us to my parent's farm in a nearby village, where we had prepared one of the outbuildings as a birthing room with an old wood burner, some carpet and crystals. They helped me down from the van and into 'the nest' as we called our birthing room. Joy went up to fill my parents in on the progress then returned. I felt so relieved to be in our little safe space.
    Rer lit the burner and candles and made the place magical. I roared on my hands and knees. The midwife arrived quickly and she gave me an internal examination which was excruciating and put me off my flow for a bit. I was on my hands and knees and felt shocked at how powerful the contractions were. I don't know what I expected, but I think I thought actually pushing the baby out would be painful but the contractions wouldn't be!  Well I quickly learned that baby moving down the birth canal was a new and indescribable sensation! I would not exactly describe it as pain, but it was all consuming, powerful, strong, intense and required all my attention! Rer was repeating my birthing mantra, 'down, good, open, yes!' with Joy which helped my focus stay right down in my womb and out of the fear zone! I felt safe and held energetically by Rer and Joy as my body opened up to birth my baby.
   I could feel my body pushing on its own now. I was in a timeless altered space completely in my body now.  I was screaming and bellowing, and I think it was obvious to everyone but me that the baby was almost ready to be born. The midwife came and sat by my head and gently instructed me when to breathe and when to push and when to stop pushing. I followed exactly what she said and very soon felt the baby crowning, which at the time felt like I was a balloon just about to pop! It was sharp and stingy and the most powerful and huge sensation I have ever felt! The baby's head came out and the utter relief of having birthed his skull through my maiden's portal was immense! One more push and his body was out too. I felt such a mixture of feelings in that moment. The room went very quiet and Rer passed me my baby through my legs. He was very blue and did not seem to be breathing. I held him close to my breast and laughed and cried and talked to him and implored him to breathe. What seemed like ages ( but was probably just moments) later, he breathed and cried and started turning pink. Our little boy! He was so beautiful! I found it astonishing that he had been the one in my tummy all that time, with his little face and I didn't know what he looked like till that moment! He started feeding pretty quickly and we wrapped him in a towel. I can't really remember birthing the placenta but I think it happened fairly quickly. Rer put it in a big bowl to bury in the garden later. The feeling of joy and utter bliss was complete. The midwife examined me and found no tears or damage. My sweet Rer had rubbed cocoa butter into my perineum most days for at least two months prior to birthing which I am sure helped me to be stretchy!
   ( In my subsequent three births I found that my body knew exactly what to do and when, but I was only 23 back then, and extremely ignorant about the birthing process back then, so it was a bit more scary.)  I cuddled up with Rer and our little baba while the midwife completed forms and Joy went and told my parents they had a new Grandson! I am so grateful to have had a safe, beautiful home birth. Our little boy was 8 pounds 3 ounces and we decided to name him Shiin, which is an old Celtic name, but also means ' from the sacred lake of the double truth come waves' in ancient Egyptian.
Thank yo so much for reading my story. I hope it is helpful and inspirational to someone somewhere! Blessings x
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