The Story of Soleil’s Birth Part 1
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 my world.
I reminded her that I was ready and willing to be her mama and asked her to choose how she wanted to enter, and I would embrace it wholeheartedly.
Two days before my induction date I had a breakfast date and acupuncture appointment. But first I decided to do a huge cleansing session using EFT. As an EFT practitioner I use this technique with my clients and myself with great success in clearing and cleansing those negative emotions and beliefs wedged deep within us.
The resistance I was feeling was making me quite anxious and emotional and I was done with feeling like that. I wasn’t willing to enter my birth experience – however that was to be – feeling so wound up.
First I meditated, focusing on the feelings and emotions deep within and allowed them to truly surface and be felt. Next I sat and journalled. I poured out those feelings from ink to paper… Pages of stuff came out, stuff I didn’t expect either.
And finally, I started tapping. I worked through the bigger, juicier emotions and within seconds I was sobbing, uncontrollably releasing everything I was resisting, every hidden worry, and slowly I blew away the cobwebs of those fears.
I felt lighter… yes, worn out, vulnerable and raw, but a sense of freedom and acceptance washed through me.
After breakfast I headed off to my acupuncture session. I had these almost daily in the lead up to the birth and truly feel that they made a HUGE difference in how my body responded to labour. It was the most peaceful, blissful session. And towards the end, as I lay there, I remember calling out to my baby and saying to her simply, “Just give me a sign that my body is ready to birth you and that you are ready to meet us.”
And with that, I stood up, and my waters spontaneously broke.
We are talking a dramatic Hollywood moment. I had to walk to my car with a towel between my legs in the middle of peak school pick-up traffic! Classy.
Despite that, my body didn’t get into full-blown labour within the 48hours the hospital will permit you to wait after your waters break, which meant an induction (now simply an Augmentation instead of the full induction process) was still planned for the 5th March.