Birth can indeed be a surreal experience if a woman trusts her body, has a supportive birth team and labours in a safe and secure environment.
Prachi, a first-time mother with a low-risk pregnancy, was under midwifery care, attended all the childbirth classes and was very keen to have a waterbirth. She went past her due date and was looking forward to an intervention-free start to her labour. Prachi and her baby were carefully monitored. At 41 weeks, Prachi set into labour. She came to the hospital and was assessed by the Midwife. She was found to be 1 cm dilated. Prachi and Mahat were given an option to go home and return once the waves progressed, but they wished to stay back at the hospital. Prachi was taken to the birthing room and was supported by Mahat, her doula and midwife.
The aura of the birthing room added to the sacredness of the birthing process with dim lighting, aroma of lavender, soft music playing in the background, and the walls adorned with birth affirmations, family photos and fairy lights. The waves progressed quickly and Prachi was finding it difficult to cope. Her doula kept massaging her aching back and gave her plenty of juices to drink. Prachi seemed to find a lot of comfort sitting on the commode with warm water being sprayed on her back alternating with sitting in the opposite direction on the chair. So that was exactly what her birth team did, serving her just the way she had wanted them to.
All this while the baby was being carefully monitored by the midwife. They went one wave at a time, holding space for Prachi as she soared through her waves. She soon started feeling a lot of pressure and began bearing down. The midwife got the pool ready and helped Prachi get into the pool. She slowly began to relax, following her instincts and changing positions from sitting upright to the all- 4’s position, from standing to squatting in the pool. It was getting intense for Prachi and she used the Entonox gas to help cope.
Prachi soon began to vocalize while feeling the ring of fire at her perineum. Within a few minutes, the baby’s head was visible at the perineum. Slowly and steadily, she followed her body and began breathing her baby down. Her birth team continued playing their role as cheerleaders. It was truly a magical moment seeing Prachi and her baby lock eyes even before the baby was completely out of her body. A few minutes later, Mahat took the privilege of bringing his son out of the water and placing him on Prachi’s chest as she embraced him adoringly. It was indeed an emotional moment watching the new parents as they welcomed their bundle of joy into the world. Twenty-three minutes later the cord pulsations stopped and Mahat cut the cord. Prachi was helped out of the pool. She had a few sutures put while Mahat provided the skin-to-skin to his son. When Prachi was ready, she continued providing the skin-to-skin and began breastfeeding her beautiful baby boy.
It is so important that we stop viewing every birth as an emergency, because it is not. Only if we attempt to understand and accept this, can we help pregnant women believe in their bodies, trust in their ability to birth and find their true power.
Congratulations Prachi and Mahat for achieving the birth you wanted.