And, thank God we live in Vancouver. Homebirth is widely accepted in Vancouver among health professionals, and this not only gave us confidence, but gave us the much needed support in addressing the 'concerns' of our traditional families. We also hired a Doula, a wise, experienced woman named Debra, who won us over with her jolly laugh. Our Doula was an invaluable resource in our research and preparation for a water birth. She provided the birthing pool, and helped us source the other tools that we needed. She spent time with us at our home before the due day, and made us feel comfortable and prepared for what was to come.
We spent a lot of time thinking about and preparing for the day, and I believe that is important with this process. We also thought about 'worst case' scenarios, like if there were complications etc. We were at peace with having to go to the hospital if needed, which was important to our process, as there was no anxiety nor undue pressure put on ourselves to have the birth our way. The whole pre-birth experience was enlightening, as we learned so much about naturally bringing, or letting life, to peacefully enter this world.
On November 5th, we were 6 days 'over due' and were enjoying our daily 2 hour walk in a park, when Peggy's early labor began. It was gentle for the first several hours and she was unsure if it was labor at all. After dinner, she became more sure. And we gave our Doula a call, she assured us that it seemed quite like it was in fact early labor. But we were fine, just the two of us, and as we had heard that labor can take some time we decided to manage ourselves a while. By midnight, I had set up the pool in our 12th floor apartment, and Peggy was taking a soothing bath in the bath tub. At 3 am the conditions changed and Active labor was upon us, I began filling the birthing pool with warm water, and Peggy got in the bath tub again, shortly after her water broke in the tub, and she said I may want to call Doula Debra now. I did, and then the midwives, and Wow! Everything accelerated so quickly! Debra was at our apartment within 20 minutes, the midwives 30 minutes, and Peggy was in the still filling up birthing pool. The experience was 1000% intense, but it was 100,000% beautiful. How we connected and had confidence in each other, in our Doula, and in the midwives made everything seem right. I mean as right as 1000% percent intense can seem.
Seeing Peggy so strong, so raw, changed my perception of her, and I felt deeply humbled. I have a new respect for women that began on that day, and evolves still to now. Mothers are to be worshipped - they are literally God to a baby, a good beautiful God, that gives from every pore of their being. Our son was born in a warm water pool at 6:32 am amongst the tree tops in our 12th floor apartment building. He was super chilled from the moment, actually a little too chilled in that we were unsure he was with us. But after a bit of time on mom's chest and then a few pats and rubs, he coughed up the fluid in his lungs, and shared his first divine gaze. Peggy soon birthed the placenta and dried off and walked to bed, there our son was put again on her chest, and they bonded. One midwife and our Doula helped clean up and empty the pool. The other midwife examined Peggy, and made sure all was well with our baby. Measurements were taken right on our bed. Peggy was guided to breastfeed, first by the midwife, and then again by Debra. The midwife gave us the all good, and told us she would be back the next day, and she was. She came to our house 5 more times through the first 2 weeks to check up on mom and baby. Our Doula spent time with Peggy and baby, correcting the latch and further encouraging rest and bonding. Debra came back to see us two more times, and really focused on helping Peggy to feel confident with breastfeeding. This was so very valuable to us, as we come from families that don't have experience breastfeeding, but we understood the importance of breastfeeding for optimal baby health (and optimal mommy health too!). Debra helped us transition to a successful and confident breastfeeding lifestyle, and mentored me to play a healthy supportive role in the process. I wish all Dads could have the opportunity to have an experienced Mother figure help encourage them, how to support the healthy bond of new mom and child. Whether it is through an existing Mother in the family, or by seeking out an experienced Doula, I believe it is so very important to be exposed to this wisdom to evolve into a support system that encourages the beautiful, awe-inspiring connection between the new mom and her baby.
May the world be bright and beautiful! May all mothers and babies be bonded in love with wisdom.
Written by Clay D'Altroy