How joyful for a mom to be able to say: “I’m so grateful Harriet could enter the world the way she did. I’m grateful I can tell her this story and share a positive view of birth with her, that every year on her birthday I can revisit all the wonderful memories with her and with Mike and my sister. For me, it wasn’t an experience to be gotten done with as quickly as possible, but something to treasure and an opportunity to feel close to people I love. It was also an experience which made me feel very empowered, something I didn’t necessarily expect going into it.”
Baby Harriet’s Birth
I’ve put off writing about the birth of my daughter Harriet for some time now, even though it’s been on my mind a great deal, but not for the reason you might expect. Birth is hard to capture in words because when you’re going through it, you’re in such a different state of awareness. Especially because I used Hypnobabies, I was able to experience the birth process moment by moment, to really be present in it. But, if for no other reason than that I benefited from stories like these in the months leading up to Harriet’s birth, I will do my best to sum it up.
I had a feeling my baby (we chose not to find out gender beforehand) might be born when, on a Tuesday morning at work, I started to feel a dull sort of ache in my low back, similar to menstrual backaches I’ve had in the past. I continued on with my day, taking little breathers if I needed to and using my Hypnobabies cues. By recess (I work at a school) I told one of my colleagues, “I think today might be the day!” and the sensations in my back were getting stronger and more frequent. During lunch, I decided I’d better drive home before things progressed any further. I calmly gathered my things and headed out. On the drive home, I listened to my pregnancy affirmations track and tried to relax while concentrating on the road ahead of me.
Once home, I felt much better as I could stretch out and lie down in a warm bath. By now I was fairly certain the baby would come today, that what I was feeling was the real deal! I called my husband, who had just sat down to a mediation–he’s an attorney–and told him what was going on. Conveniently, I already had my 39 week checkup that day anyway, so when Mike got home he helped me to the car and we timed some waves on the way over. I could still joke and laugh a bit, but definitely needed to concentrate on staying relaxed most of the time. The midwife at our birth center said things were “definitely starting” but to go home and relax for a while longer.