Finally vaginally

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What a great birth! I almost didn’t believe they existed, so elusive as the natural, drug free, vaginal delivery been (this is my third birth: no1=induction, no2=planned C section). I mean, it wasn’t orgasmic, but it was pretty brilliant (in between contractions at leastand the recovery was too. Just think it’s worth singing out the positive experiences sometimes, in case it all gets skewed in favour of emergency-room drama. Because people’s stories of glorious births inspired me and gave me faith when I needed it.

Here are some thoughts about that:

    Body wisdom rules, and babies have it too

The difference between an induced labour and a natural labour was the clarity between contractions, moments of “wow I’m doing this!” and even riffing about how much I love my already-growing-up baby children, how gorgeous and funny they are. Moments of being centred. Moments of grunting for water or a bath topup. There was just me and Chris for most of it, and a deep bath with some ambient music and low lighting. If not the spiritual experience some have raved about, this birth was embodied at least; alternating between viscerally physical and mindfully centred. That was sheer luck. Luck that my baby and body took charge at the right time.

Imogen seemed to know exactly what and when to do it, even managing to arrive the day before my my mum left and on the day our marvellous friend Janet arrived to take her place as our helper, so they all got to meet the newbie. Imogen arrived the day before the induction was booked.

    Snookered

I don’t want to romanticise it too much, since you still have to push a baby out, and although Chris told me that part only took a few minutes, it seemed that the bit where you’re utterly debased with a baby halfway in and halfway out and no choice but to push into the pain if you want to get out of being entirely snookered, when I remember yelling “baby!” and “I want her OUT!” at the top of my voice, went on for much longer and certainly lingers longer in my memory. I’ve read that “the universe never gives you more than you can handle” (Byron Katie). I think that’s true. All of my births felt like they were at the limit of my endurance. We will not be having a fourth.

This “pushing into pain” to get out of a tight spot must be a metaphor for something. I look forward to learning more here.

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I’m having a maternity leave. Have you noticed I haven’t posted much? I’ve had the urge to write, I still have plenty to say, but I don’t want to wish away these days with our family either. So expect erratic blogging for a while!