It’s now just a couple of weeks until we meet the tiny human that I’ve been growing for the last 9 months. If you’ve had more than one baby, you’ll know that the second pregnancy is generally much harder than first. You’re more exhausted, bigger and just generally a lot more fed up…this has been my experience anyway. With Luna I breezed through and I was so well prepared. I had bought everything months in advance. The nursery was full of gorgeous new baby grows, the car seat was in the car ready to go, the hospital bag was packed…I even stocked one of the cupboards with three large boxes of new born nappies…I was like the jedi of organisation. This time round, I’ve done bugger all. It was only last week when I suddenly realised that not only had I failed to go through and sort the endless boxes of clothes and bottles in the garage, but I was seriously under prepared for the huge moment of actually giving birth to my new baby.
I’ll be honest with you; my first birth was hugely traumatic. I was in labour for three days and what started off being something so wonderful, in the water with my amazing husband by my side, ended up being a painful marathon of diamorphine, spine on spine contractions, vomiting, an epidural, an episiotomy and a forceps delivery. I hadn’t expected this to happen, in fact I was COMPLETELY unprepared that anything like this could go on. It wasn’t remotely in my plan or how I’d seen it playing out in my head. It left me feeling like I’d been through a car crash and then I had to look after Luna at the very time I needed to heal and try and process the birthing journey I’d just been thrown down. It’s safe to say for the last 18 months I have blocked out that whole horrendous moment. I’m in tears as I write this. How sad that my experience of labour and meeting my little Luna for the first time was the biggest physical trauma I’d ever been through saying that I know a lot of you reading this will understand and relate to everything I’m talking about. For me, I was one of the lucky ones, and apart from a few weeks of the blues, I didn’t experience any serious post natal depression…but for a good six months I would get flash backs of those hours where my body wouldn’t do what I’d been told is the most ‘natural thing in the world’ for a woman to do. It haunted me and actually if I really go there now, it still does.
I’m not writing this to scare you, or to fill you with my awful birth story, I’m writing this to arm you with what might happen. Nobody sat me down and said, “you could deliver quickly and easily and with no problems but be ready for that to go out the window and mentally prepare yourself for something TOTALLY different”. I needed the knowledge of other options, other scenarios and all of the facts on what could happen during birth. Up until last week I had told myself that as soon as my contractions started this time round I would drive to the hospital and get an epidural. Basically blocking out any pain or feeling…I wanted to be numb so I didn’t have to go through it all again. This is so not me. I am a yogi, I’m holistic, I feel everything, I love with all my heart and I definitely don’t go around asking to be numbed. It was time to take a look at what was going on…
Photo Credits – Vicky Chilten Photography (@vicky_chilten_photography on instagram)
I’d done Hypnobirthing for Luna but obviously after everything that we’d practised went out the window, I had lost faith that this was the way forward for me. Then a chance meeting and a phone call with Rosie Goode (she’s @hypnobirthingrosie on Instagram) made me think I needed to revisit a practise that felt really natural to me. Rosie turned up on my doorstep last Friday, with a big smile and a warm hug and we settled down to three hours of visualisation, breathing techniques, affirmations, most importantly we pressed the reset button on what is going to be a very different birthing experience to the first time round. I massively needed to address, face up to and most importantly let go of what happened with Luna. Rosie showed me that everything is different now…my body knows what to do, my cervix knows how to open up and dilate and the whole process will be quicker and easier. I came away understanding for the first time what “an amazing birth experience” could actually feel like! The women that talk about breathing their babies down, going into the zone and that final rush of oxytocin…I get it, I saw myself doing it and now I know that I might have that moment too, it feels possible, how amazing is that.
I feel so ready now to meet my new bubba. I have no idea what the journey will be to get there but what I do know is I’m not heading down the same path as before. I’m not frightened, I trust my body again and at the end of it he or she will be staring back up at me…whatever happens, I can do this and so can you.
Mammas, we’ve got this.