Births Can Heal: One Families Journey to Healing
There are many reasons why births don’t always go as planned. In these instances, sometimes we are left feeling like we lost something, or had something taken away from us. In addition to loss and grief, we are often left feeling disempowered.
This family’s first birth was like this.
Their baby came fast and powerfully. Although Mom had an unmedicated, intervention-free birth; there was a complication. Due to this complication, the baby needed assistance and had a NICU stay for over a week in another, more well-equipped hospital farther away. The result was a high-paced, traumatic experience for the family. Breastfeeding and bonding time was delayed. Something that was planned to be a smooth birth, was anything but which left trauma in this families life.
During Mom’s current pregnancy, the family chose to seek support in finding peace with the past and losing some of the fear that surrounded their first birth. With the support of their team (including their doula, midwife, yoga instructor, and counsellor), the family was determined that this birth would be calm, quiet, non chaotic, and unhurried. She wanted to “snuggle the crap” out of her baby. Most importantly, she wanted for everything to move slowly, she wanted to be present and involved, and she did not want to hear “no.”
Fast forward to March 27. The family’s second Baby was coming.
I arrived at the family’s home to find Mom hunkered down in the kitchen, where she was labouring peacefully. As things began to pick up, she stayed with each powerful contraction. She was strong and beautiful. After one exceptionally strong contraction, she said it was time to go.
We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 and walked to Labour and Delivery. We arrived in the room at 9:38 and Baby was born at 9:41--unmedicated, fast, furious, and powerful. However, this time mom birthed with eyes wide open. When her waters broke I immediately told her they were clear, and she let out a sigh of relief. As the baby was placed on her chest, the room slowed down as per her wishes.
She took the time she needed to say hello, breastfeed, snuggle, and get to know her little one. She cried, let go of the past trauma, and accepted the healing. In short, she enjoyed and relished those first few moments that were taken in the rush of her first birth.
It can be scary to birth again after trauma, loss, or emergency c-section, but it can also be incredibly healing to a family who needs healing. A healing and peaceful birth gives back some of the power you feel that you had lost previously. It gives you back the confidence you had in your body and the birthing process.
No two births are the same. In the absence of fear and the presence of trust, if you need birth to heal you, it absolutely can!