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The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 2

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 2

Posted June 01, 2015

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 2 If you missed out on Part 1 of this story please CLICK here to catch-up. ++ So, we left off at the point where my waters had broken yet labour had still not kicked in. My induction date was set and there was no going back. At this point I was accepting of the situation. It felt weird to ‘know’ the due date of my baby – the lack of randomness felt odd and overly planned to me, but nevertheless I was ready and this was happening and I’d finally let go of the fears I didn’t even know I had! On the morning of March 5th my husband and I pottered around the house, packed the car and had a beautiful breakfast together. Once at the hospital we set about making our room more comfortable. I put on a playlist I had created, started burning some ‘surrender’ oil and hung up the prayer flags my ladies had made me at my blessing way ceremony. We closed off the curtains to all the unnecessary medical equipment and dimmed the lights. Immediately the room felt calmer with a focused energy holding the space. Myself, Chris, my midwife and my doula spent time chatting and warming up to each other…warming up to the journey ahead. There was laughter and lightness – exactly what I had hoped for. At 11:30 I was administered the syntocinin – synthetic oxytocin to jump start the surges and get labour going. I was warned it can sometimes take a while to kick in with new mums… but not this mama! In less than two hours I was feeling my first ‘real’ surges, although I was still able to crack jokes in between. Within an hour I was plunged into the surreal ‘here and there’ space that comes with the intensity of full-blown labour. Naked. Swaying. Body rolling. I stood beneath the shower, feeling the hot water ease the aches and tingles that radiated from head to toe with each contraction. My body and my baby bearing down, earthbound, to open and release. There was no time for airs and graces. This was not the time for self consciousness or insecurity. There I was, out in the open. All woman. Moaning and rocking and breathing through it all, one moment and a time. Each surge, each contraction felt like a tidal wave rolling through my body… building in intensity and taking me with it. I found myself vocalising the intensity and loudly moaning and ‘omming’ through each wave. I had always imagined I would be very quiet and inward, but in the end I was very vocal – my inner warrior loudly took over. Now, I don’t want to use the word pain here — after all pain is dependant on how you perceive it – but there were moments when the sensations were so overwhelming, I felt overtaken by them. I found myself quietly repeating ‘it’s not pain, only a new sensation’ in order to stay present and ride the peak of the surge… and as I descended towards the end of each surge, my breathing would slow down, my attention would move deeper inward and my body and mind would move into stillness. I would stay here for what felt like mere moments, but in actual fact were minutes, between each surge. And then, once again, the wave would rebuild. My Doula, Lauren Falconer, and my husband were integral in supporting me through each surge… massaging me, hydrating me, wiping my face with a cold cloth, whispering supportive words… I felt held and completely able to surrender to the intensity knowing I had the most loving team backing me. It also allowed me to do what I feel every woman needs to do – let go of the outside world, of dealing with questions and concerns from the hospital or even worrying about time… I was able to let the beast of birth consume me and take me into it’s deep dark belly. If I clicked into my analytical, left brain I would start to question my abilty, my resolve or even the possibility that I could cope with this experience. But truthfully, when I stepped away from that headspace and stayed connected to my heart, my feeling space, my own inner wisdom, I knew I could do it. The most astounding thing that I can now see in retrospect is a birthing mother’s ability to be clear about what she wants and needs with diamond clarity – there was no confusion about what I required nor any fussing about in asking for me. Water. Massage. Be quiet. Hold my hand. I found myself almost barking orders to my team – something more powerful had taken over ensuring that we (my body, my baby and I) had exactly what we needed to move through each stage. I was also hyper vigilant… if anything happened that I felt unsure about or that sent shivers of insecurity through my body, I was onto it. At one point I saw Chris leave the room and I couldn’t settle until he had returned. I heard myself say on repeat “Where is Chris. Is he coming back?” I later learned that my beautiful mother, who was restlessly waiting for news at home, decided to show up at the delivery suite. Chris had been called out to see her! Probably not the best time to come, eh mum! ++ Ok…So there I was, deep in established labour and I intuitively had this feeling that my body was opening quickly. I asked my midwife when she was planning on checking my cervix for dilation – I had previously indicated that I wanted minimal interference including cervical checks. At this point it was 4pm and my midwife indicated she wasn’t going to check me until 7pm. Upon hearing that I almost fell apart. I now realise I was overcome with fear for a moment. Labour had become so intense I was starting to question my […] Read more

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1

Posted May 25, 2015

The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1 Bringing Soleil into the world… It’s been 11 weeks since Soleil was born, to the day (as I write this), and it’s taken me this long to write and share with you our birth story. It’s partly taken me this long to process the birth and also to simply find the time to write this epic story. I want to share this story simply because I truly believe child birth (however it happens, including caesarean) is a miraculous, powerful experience… and within that experience holds the opportunity for deep transformation and growth. It tests you – even just thinking about it – to your limits. It is the birthing of my child, earth angel that she is, and then e birthing of me as a mother. We (baby and me) are both equally important in this birthing process… working together. I remember saying to my husband, two weeks before giving birth and just after experiencing quite an intense practice contraction, that I could see that labour was going to require ALL of me. What did I mean by ALL of me? My body – and all its strength My mind – and its ability to focus My heart – staying open and trusting My soul – remaining fearless and connected to purpose And, well, it did. I had to throw ALL of me into the birth, not to mention the days and weeks following… Soleil’s birthing truly brought me to my knees (literally!) and cracked me open (oh yeah, literally too!). So, let me start with a little background insight first on my child birth… The question I asked myself frequently in the early days of pregnancy was, ‘What kind of birth did I want?’ And I use the word ‘want’ loosely because there is no way to plan something so out of our control. What I hoped for, what I intended and what I preferred to happen was this: A natural, drug-free birth. A birth without unnecessary intervention A chance to bond with my baby post-birth for as long as possible A loving experience – surrounded by supportive people who understand me A birth that happened spontaneously A safe, healthy, quick experience A divine, empowering experience A birth peppered with humour and love. Add to that smaller desires, such as not managing the third stage of labour (cutting and clamping the umbilical cord too soon) or speeding up the release of the placenta. Well, the universe gave me some of what I wanted but threw in a few curve balls for good measure. Yes, they tested me, yes, they threw me off course, but they also provided the chance to completely surrender, to drop my agendas and expectations and to leave my ego at the door. One such test was being two weeks overdue. I was due on the 19th of February but bub arrived two weeks late on the 5th of March. I was (mostly) enjoying my pregnancy – as much as is possible when you are 17kgs heavier, filled with fluid, waddling and sleeping poorly. Despite that, I didn’t feel rushed to ‘get to the end’. It was a glorious summer of daily swims, outdoor yoga and lots of quality time with my husband. I meditated two or three times a day, my journal was my confidant and I ate delicious home cooked meals. I’m so glad I savoured that time because life with a baby definitely doesn’t allow for such indulgence (for now!). During those two weeks over due, my body and mind did a few somersaults, twists and turns. Everyday my body showed signs it was preparing for childbirth – I’ll spare you the graphic details but suffice to say it was ‘on’ – but it was turning on slowly. My little Soleil seemed reluctant to complete her journey to this earthly plane. She knew it was time, I did too, but there was some resistance from both of us. I knew she was coming but I could feel she wanted to come on her terms. In the near future I’ll share about Soleil’s first ‘cranio sacral’ therapy session where we discovered she felt the need to be ‘reborn’ and make peace with how she was birthed. ++ The conversation on ‘induction’ began with my midwives at exactly 40 weeks. That’s what happens when you hit your due date, not to mention when you are nearing 42 weeks gestation! I wouldn’t say I felt pressured, but when you are part of the modern hospital system you are often burdened with scary statistics and fear tactics. It’s hard to hold your ground… I wanted to go past 42 weeks but I faced a big fight to make that happen, which I didn’t have in me. I’m going to be completely honest here and say I had such resistance to being induced. I ‘knew’ too much about what can happen with an induction – often it leads to an epidural because the contractions are too intense (apparently much stronger that a spontaneous birth) and often that then leads to a caesarean because labour can dramatically slow down with pain relief. To add to that, at 27 I was my sister’s birth partner. She was induced and it was a horribly quick, intense, dramatic and very messy experience. So, I had a (huge) stigma attached to induction to say the least. The more the ‘induction’ word was thrown around, the more my resistance and internal fears boiled up. I spent hours daily journalling, meditating and reflecting on these feelings. 
Why did it matter so much to me? What was I really afraid of – the induction itself or the fact that it wasn’t a ‘spontaneous’ birth? How could I drop this story and embrace a new one? Is it possible for this to be beautiful? Is it possible for me to drop all judgment and therefore all anxiety? I also spent a lot of time conversing with bubby, mostly inviting her into […] Read more

The story of Soleil…

The story of Soleil…

Posted April 28, 2015

The story of Soleil… My little light beam, my daughter – Soleil Margarita Rivera – was born on the 5th of March 2015 at 6:43pm after what can only be described as an EPIC birth at lightening speed. But before I share with you my very personal and precious birth story I want to dial back a little to the beginning. Soleil is an earth angel that has been with me (energetically) for many years before she actually graced this earthly plane. Let’s start some 18 years ago. Yes, that’s how very long ago this love story began. This is the story of Soleil and how she came into my world. This story is also about signs. Noticing the little winks and directions from the universe. It’s about trusting in something you can’t see or confirm in anyway. It’s all about following your intuition. So, back we go, 18 years…I can’t remember why but I remember one morning, dressed in my bonds chesty singlet and pyjama shorts (standard sleepwear for my 15 year old self), I entered the kitchen and sat down. My mum was there… I looked up at her and said “Mum, I don’t know why but I think one day I’m going to have a little girl, and her name is going to be Soleil.” My Mum, who speaks French, knew immediately that Soleil meant Sun. And she too, in that moment, felt what I felt – that I was speaking a truth from an unknown source of wisdom. I remember her saying… “Oh that is beautiful. Your little sunshine. Of course you will. Inshallah (God’s will).” So there she was. Little Soleil had shown up, just like that, and made a home within my heart. And the idea that she would one day be in my life… well, I felt and believed this to my core. I trusted in this so much so that on my very first date with Chris, right after I realised that I would be marrying this man one day (I knew this in the same way I knew that Tuesday follows Monday) I shared with him about my unborn daughter, Soleil. And, no he didn’t freak out (tick!) Fast forward 7 years. I was 22 and travelling in Thailand and I wanted to get a tattoo… flicking through a book of tattoo suggestions in a bamboo shack on a remote beach, I remember thinking that the Sun and the Ocean were two of my greatest loves. As I thought that I glanced down and saw a word, written in Arabic Script (a touchstone to my heritage), with the translation written underneath – that word was ‘Soleil’… I decided on that tattoo instantly. Jump forward again to age 32… Chris, my husband, and I were celebrating our wedding with a belated honeymoon in Thailand. We had loosely discussed that starting a family might be on the cards soon, but we both still felt nervous about jumping in… As if we had any control over what the universe was dishing up for us?! Within a few days of our trip I noticed my period was late. After taking a test it was confirmed that yes, we truly have NO control. A little bub had found its way into my body and into our lives. As we walked the beach trying to process this HUGE change in our lives we glanced up and saw a restaurant (that we had passed countless times and never noticed) named Soleil. Chris and I both got goosebumps – the usual way my intuition tweaks like a puppy dogs ears, pricking up to a distant unheard sound. To drive the message home, that evening, at dinner, we sat near a German family – two little girls ran around in circles. The eldest calling out to her sister to follow her…. ‘Soleil, Soleil!” And this was on the very same where I first had that tattoo done. I couldn’t quite believe I was hearing this – a name I’d never heard before was now being sang around me… two little girls once again hammering the point home, that Soleil had decided now was the time. ++ As the pregnancy progressed I was ambushed (lovingly) with people’s opinions – It’s a boy, you’re carrying like a boy! Often other people’s intuition was so strong that it swayed me… including my husband who insisted it was a boy! So I started to wonder – am I having a boy? Could Soleil be taking a little longer to show up? But every time I would go off track a little signpost would redirect me back home to the truth… One day I was handed a gift from a family friend, filled with boy’s clothes. The bag they were in? A Cirque du Soleil bag. The day before I went into labour, Chris and I went for a spectacular sunrise walk on the beach. As I watched the fiery, bold, powerful sun rise over the ocean I couldn’t hold back the tears… as I realised my own Soleil was rising up, and getting ready to beam her light into my heart. I asked for the universe to send me a sign – to show me a Lady Bug (in the flesh, a picture, drawing, whatever!) And the signs kept coming…I had written in my journal, asking the universe to send a sign that Soleil was coming. I asked for two clear signs – anything fish related (as I was certain the baby was to be born a Pisces) and Ladybugs! One beautiful Sunday when I went to meet a friend, a Lady Bug flew at me and landed on my arm. This same friend had also told me she’d had a premonition it was a girl. That night as Chris walked into the kitchen I heard, “Claire, come here….” and there she was again, another ladybug sitting on the wall. My doula was in a bookstore and happened upon a random book with a HUGE picture of a […] Read more

Claire Obeid

Hello there, I’m Claire

What am I about? Oh-so-much. A soul-centered and heart-driven life. Inside-out wellness. Shadow work (from the darkness comes the light!) Truth-seeking. Leaning into the joy of life.

Read more about My Story