Reflections on the birth

Everything I could plan for the birth, I planned. I had years to think about how I wanted to give birth, and the preparations I would do. I did a hypnobirthing course with Denny, I wrote a birth plan, and I planned everything you can plan for something like this, because the things, which I could control, I wanted to really control.

I think a lot of people thought, “What if things don’t go the way it’s been planned?” but I, of course, thought of that too. 🙂 I know how unpredictable childbirth can be. I was born by c-section because my mother didn’t dilate past 7cm. When I read the report of her labour, I think I may have been a ‘sunny side up’ baby (face looking upwards instead of downwards), and I’ve held on to that thought. It’s often true that women’s labours resemble those of their mother, and so I was a bit nervous of this happening, by I tried not to dwell on it. During hypnobirthing you learn to think positive, embracing the idea that you get what you believe in.

A lot of women who end up with a c-section feel like they’ve failed, or have trouble processing the birth. I don’t know why, but I don’t have this feeling. I feel like I did everything possible at that moment to enable her to be born naturally, thanks to the support of my wonderful midwife, and Denny. I wanted to give up sooner, but they motivated me and encouraged me to keep trying. We literally tried every position possible (see photos). The fact that they didn’t listen to me, but kept me trying to get from 9cm to 10cm at home for 2 hours is what helps me to look back with a positive feeling. In the end there was over 4 hours between me getting to 9cm, and the c-section.


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Photos Lobke Koppens Geboortefotografie

In the first days following her birth, I was just so glad that she was here. I do think it’s a pity that I couldn’t give her the start I wanted to give her. Allowing the umbilical cord to finish pulsing, and acquiring the intestinal flora that your child normally acquires with a vaginal birth, for example. But it’s not something which keeps me awake at night. I’m very grateful to live in a country where the standard of health care is so high. There are countries where mother and child do not survive a delivery if something goes wrong with a vaginal delivery.

Denny found it more difficult to deal with than I did in those first days. He was very sad that I hadn’t had the birth I dreamed of, and troubled by the feeling that I had experienced the birth in a very negative way. The midwife sensed his feelings about it, and a good talk with her in the first week after the birth helped him to start feeling better about it.

Now, when I read birth stories, or look at photos I’ve taken in last years of vaginal births, I do feel some sense of longing. I will probably never experience that moment that you, in my own opinion, can only experience with a vaginal birth. The sense of relief, and the feeling of primal power, but it’s something I don’t dwell upon. She is here, and she is healthy, and at the end of the day that is the priority! I also know that I carried her in my for 9 months, and I did everything I could during those months to give her the best possible start, and now she’s growing from my milk. I’m proud of that, like any woman would be, no matter what the birth was like.

So that’s how I’m feeling: proud, and head-over-heels in love with our little girl.♥

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