Oh, my grandmother was so right, us woman can do anything. The birthing of our second child Oliver, was so different than the labour of our first son Martijn. Such a beautiful experience that I’ll do it again and again.
The first time I gave birth I felt, not listened to, not seen, I had no choice over my own body, decisions, and control over my own baby. To make a long story short: I had a traumatic labour. Something I did not want to experience anymore. Therefor I decided to go to a coach who helped me to go through the feelings I had, and helped me open up for the new labour. This time Dennis and I wanted to have support from a doula.
We were at 41 weeks +2 days pregnancy, and had already been `stripped` twice by my midwife. My midwife made an appointment for me to talk to a gynaecologist at a hospital, to see what the possibilities were, because I was overdue and I really wanted to deliver at home. Something my doula warned me about during pregnancy: "Silvia think very well what you'd like to do once the baby is still inside when the due date has passed". After I had been called by the hospital, my lamp inside my head went on, and I thought: "let's try one of those exercises on the birth-ball that seems to help start labour". Perhaps it was coincidence, but the same evening my contractions started. While my boyfriend setup the birth-pool, I prepared a napkin with some lavender-oil drops. During the night I stayed calm by sniffing the napkin and preforming a body-scan (something I picked up from Yoga-nidra).
Our plan A (pro-tip: make multiple plans, so you'd not be very disappointed if your one plan doesn't go through): give birth at home inside a birth-pool.
Once it became morning, the contractions became pretty intense, smelling the napkin was not enough anymore. We tried using the TENS, as I hoped it would reduce the back-contractions I was having. Around 9:30, my midwife Elsemieke arrived. I was listing to music, and had my headphones on. I was completely focussed in giving birth, in my own bubble, in my own home, with my boyfriend, my son, and mother nearby. I felt completely surrounded with love. Like a butterfly, Elsemieke, came into the living room, she looked at me and said nothing, she let me be, she respected my focus and once my contraction finished, she said to me: "you are doing great, how do you feel?". I gave her an answer and she said: "If you feel like, and when you feel like may I check the dilation? You don't have to lay down, okay?". I was totally amazed; I was standing and she felt my dilation, it was only 3 centimetres. At that moment the numbers were not really important to me, I did not want to get my focus away, for the midwife it was all good. In the meantime, I contacted my doula, whom arrived at around 10:30. The midwife saw I had everything under control. So, she went to check on another woman in labour.
Elsemieke, the midwife, returned an hour later, I was still catching the contractions, standing, while listening to music, in the living room. It was a very warm day; my son was playing outside in the garden with my mother. They kept going in and out of the living room, as they wanted to see how it was going. With the birth-pool ready (I prepared mine with fairy-lights which make it very cosy), I always dreamed to give birth in a pool. I prepared myself for 9 months for this moment, yet at this time I was apprehensive about removing the TENS, I was afraid to remove it and go into the birth-pool without. Elsemieke asked if she could check the dilation, I refused and said NO, she listened to me and was totally okay with it, she trusted my feelings, she respected my decision. I caught one more contraction, and slowly moved into the pool. Dennis, my boyfriend and my doula, Maddy, have helped me very well.
Both Dennis and Maddy did not leave my sight. They were always there and never for a moment eft me alone, I wanted them to be there and it was so good to have them there. They kept giving the positive support that I needed. During pregnancy we already spoke about what I needed to hear during labour, which helped a lot. In particular because they knew exactly what I did NOT want to hear. The birth-pool was so warm, such a nice feeling, floating in water was a big relief, yet I could only stay in one position. The house had a relaxed atmosphere, everyone was silent, waiting for the moment we could all welcome our son into the world.
The midwife checked my dilation again at 1 PM, this time I could stay in the pool, yes, 8 cm and almost ready to start pushing. Elsemieke suggested to move to my right side, but I simply could not, it was painful, I wanted to stay in the comfort of that position I already found, and that was fine for everyone. From the pool I could see Martijn with my mum, sitting in the kitchen, talking, relaxing and having a cup of tea (and some chocolate). Elsemieke start preparing for all the things she neede for labour, we were almost there, time to call the kraamzorg. The persweeën were coming, intense, a bit painful, I stayed focussed because this was the part that I was scared the most for, inasmuch it was the most painful part during my first labour. Elsemieke got called by her colleague, her colleague was coming to take over her shift and my labour, but sweetest Elsemieke decided to stay with us until the baby was born. Around 2 'o clock I started to push, what a burning feeling that was, but I knew the baby was almost there, I kept my focus on the fact that soon our son will be in our arms. The kraamzorg arrived, a very sweet and caring woman Renee.
Almost an hour later at 15:09 our baby was born, he was born but only until his hears, the midwife helped me to change position and at 15:13 Oliver Giacomo was born. Because labour took so long we could not stay in the birth-pool longer, because the water became too cold unfortunately.
What a beautiful feeling, I just did it by myself, it just went the way I wanted.
With some help I got out of the pool, and while Oliver got checked I went to rest on the couch. Oh, I was so proud of myself, I was proud of my team. We were just there in our nest, all together. Everyone gave us the love and the space we needed. Dennis, that even though was a bit worried (seen how the previous labour went) did not show it me at all and totally supported me in any decision I made, Martijn (our oldest son) my mother, whom passed by a few times looked at me like yes Silvia, you can do it! Maddy my doula whom knew very well what I wanted, she helped me through everything, Elsemieke the midwife, even though I never met her before read my birth-plan very carefully and as soon as she introduced herself was very welcome in our team. She respected me, she helped me, she was very lovely. The same goes for Renee, the kraamzorg, a very sweet attentive woman. We had such a magical atmosphere. Finally, the placenta got born at 15:29. Dennis got Oliver in his arms and he could be dress him up. What a big boy Oliver turned out to be.