Birthing my baby naturally without interference from any medical assistance was my plan from the beginning. Giving birth is something that the female spirit has been doing since the dawn of time, it is the very definition of natural. In our culture, however, we have become very separated from the un-clean, bloody, rawness that is giving birth. We are “protected” from all that. Personally, I had only seen birth in videos. I have seen the horrible, screaming women hooked up to tubes being wheeled around hospitals and I have seen the orgasmic and peaceful births of women with midwives giving birth at home, at birth centers, or in the ocean… Of course I wanted that perfect, peaceful, maybe even orgasmic birth! But it turned out to be way more intense than I imagined… Let me just say, women are ferocious and powerful forces of nature!!
It all started around 1:30am on October 29, 2013. I woke up and felt very cramped in my lower abdomen. At first I thought I was constipated… then I pooped… a lot. I was in labor!!! My surges (contractions) were mild, but from the very beginning they were happening every 5-7 minutes and sometimes only 3 minutes apart. I tried to go back to sleep but every time I laid down I felt totally horrible so I decided to get something to eat and take a bath. It felt way better to be moving After an hour or so, I woke my partner Carlos to let him know what’s going on. It was pretty smooth sailing and I was handling the surges really well.
Since I opted out of taking the mandatory beta strep test in September, our midwife had to quit seeing me. She was prohibited by the state of Arkansas to assist me in the birth of my child. I was not “allowed” to have an “out-of-hospital” birth. I still had my doula though, and I felt comfortable with giving birth on my own. It was time! I let my fabulous doula Annie know that I was in labor and kept her posted throughout the morning. Around 10am my dad took me and Carlos over to our friend’s cabin in the woods. Our plan was to have the birth in this beautiful cabin with woods to stroll in, a birth ball to sit on, a wonderful jetted tub, kitchen to cook, nice open space… everything I need.
This cabin was so perfect and beautiful and with my amazing birthing companions there, things were going beautifully. Annie came over around 11am and by noon, it was getting a little more intense. I took walks, sat on the ball, got in the tub. All of these things helped. During really tough surges, it helped me a lot to sway my hips in a circle and make low humming sounds or growls with a relaxed, open mouth. All of this helps to open up the birth canal.I was doing great.
Eventually a reality hit me and fear struck in. Around 7pm I felt like I hadn’t opened considerably in a few hours and I felt stuck. No one there knew how to check my dilation, there was no midwife or doctor to tell me things are okay.. just my faith in knowing that I can do it. For a long time I had total faith, but then I began to question myself. I began having doubts. We called my midwife in Arkansas to see if she could come to me or help us in some way, but she couldn’t do it. She was a total downer, fearful of our abilities, and her advice was that I go to the hospital. Of course this scared me even more.
Although I had this intellectual knowledge that women are perfectly able to birth unassisted, I am still conditioned like anyone else in our modern day civilized society to think that we need help. I knew that I could do it, but in my heart there was fear. So I decided to go to the hospital about 8:30pm. Once I decided to do that, my water began to break and I felt a lot more open but the fear was still there… so we went.
We got there around 8:45pm and I was fully dilated. I was a wreck at the hospital. It did nothing to ease my discomfort or pain. I was yelling, not following any of their wild instructions (like sitting and laying) and I just felt out of control. But I did it and my perfect baby boy was born at 9:18pm! I did it without pain killers and without much medical intervention and I learned so much from my experience.
Doubt and fear create the environment that allows pain in. Next time I will definitely have a trained midwife to guide me and offer me comfort that everything is perfect. Because it was.
Congratulations Kalani Rain Gabriel Fleck-Ferrer, you have joined us here on earth and you are in for a beautiful experience.