True stories about birth and giving birth

Day 369. My earlier fears dissolved in love (Attila)

Child abuse? I had forgiven, accepted, forgotten it.

I had a son, and everything was beautiful.

Then I became expectant with my second baby.

During the prenatal care I started to worry and soon fear was born inside. Iron, spasms, magnesium, week 41, the baby wasn’t born. I was to give birth but there were no contractions. So I was “examined roughly”, but still nothing. I got oxytocin, I was in fear, and tears, and then the water was artificially broken, the cervix enlarged. A baby girl came into this world.

For a long time I didn’t have milk, but a lot of sorrow and discontent instead of happiness. I changed. I jumped and pushed away my husband’s hand when he was trying to caress me unexpectedly at night and I was extremely afraid. Bitterly we accepted that it was the new me. It happens to many women that they turn into a virago some time during their marriage. It happened to me then.

Our marriage was at its worst but I was bearing our coveted third child. So we had one more reason to become better people and hope that it could happen. This time we were preparing for homebirth with Ági Geréb.

The midwives and doulas in Napvilág ABCs treated me with loving care. On week 32 Ági invited me for a personal talk the aim of which – apart from getting to know each other – was to bring the previous experience of shame or violence to the surface, because that might interfere and stop the process of delivery.

During this discussion the long-buried memory came to the surface. Ági was so tired that she could hardly keep her eyes open, but she was noting my words half-asleep, and her heart and soul were alert. All my fears dissolved during this loving preparation and the delivery. I changed again. The rejecting wife left, and the loving one came back.

While we were getting ready for the big date I realised that not only a new baby would be born on that day, but also new parents. I hoped and I wished that my self-knowledge would improve, which is a great help in our everyday life to cope with it more safely.

On Sunday evening the more serious contractions started. When I was about to call Ági to come my mobile in my hand rang. It was her. She asked how fast they should be with the other midwife. I didn’t hurry them. I knew if they had been fast I would have got along faster and by the time they had to be there they would be. So it happened. 

It is true I wanted to be “present” when they got there to see them, feel their love, have a word with them, but I had just found a comfortable position and something drew my attention to inside. I wanted to look my helpers in the eye, but I couldn’t find anyone’s eyes. Not even their face. Their body disappeared and they surrounded me like guardian angels. The only thing I could see was the little sanctuary lamp opposite me on the wall over the icon of the holy family.

The world closed and a new one opened.

Two touches and the caressing of a kind pair of hands (those of my husband) will stay with me forever. I could feel one of the touches at the peak of a strong contraction, when a warm soft hand touched and caressed my hand lovingly – I could hardly feel it. I wasn’t alone. I wanted to see her, but I couldn’t see anything outside, still I knew it was the other midwife’s.

With the help of supporting hands I headed for the carefully prepared bed. Halfway I had a little rest, then one more step and I found my place. It was pleasant that Ági Geréb massaged me. As it is comforting for an aching heart to listen to music, the feeling of the gentle fingers on my sore body doing their job in harmony was relieving.

“I have a pungent feeling somewhere in my vagina.” – I said and Ági Geréb covered the sensitive point with her finger without my further request. I was more than amazed. This is the other of those two memorable touches.

Meanwhile I got a clary poultice, which also eased my pain. Surrounded by these delicate touches our baby was about to be born.

When I felt I would be torn apart, I was supported by warm hands from below and we were protected. I felt he would arrive into good hands and a good place, because since his conception we had been preparing to his arrival together. I told him about it, and hummed a short song to encourage ourselves.

The moment seemed to arrive and I could even touch his tiny head. I felt I shouldn’t have pressed harder than my body dictated it to me, only to keep the press for a little moment longer and his head would be outside, but I didn’t. The idea seemed a bit violent so we waited for the next wave instead. As if he wanted to spare me and give a little more time to dilate. I was grateful for this.

The very same thing happened at the next contraction. It was a good feeling to let him back. Strangely, in spite of the vertical position (I was on my knees in front of the bed) he could go back to his conventional home. I knew the next wave would bring him to us and I said so, thought everyone knew it.

His little head and body came out with a strange tuned noise, but he stopped again with half of his legs still being inside so I helped his small feet outside. Meanwhile Ági Geréb could get of the cord from the baby’s neck over her head.

Then the lips of the midwife and the lips of the baby locked for a short while, then a suck and a spit and the respiratory track was clear. I knew it would happen so, still I was extremely thankful for and amazed by this loving treatment.

I knew my son was safe and then I got lost in my emotions. I asked Csabi, who was also greatly overcome, to take our son while I got some strength for the first hug. Everybody was behind me, I couldn’t find anybody, I was just panting heavily and I was worried that I would make it more difficult to breath for my baby in the eddy currents I created myself. I started to sit up in the bed awkwardly, then I got some help and I reached out for him. And I was trying to make my breathing more slowly.

Then the miracle happened, that washed away my sudden vagueness: little Attila looked at  me. Csabi sat besides us and the baby looked at him and then me one after the other with his open, clear eyes. He welcomed the new world, which made us unbelievably happy. When the pulsating of the umbilical cord finished he cried out softly then came to my breast to get comforted.

Thank you:

B. R.

Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.

This post is also available in: Hungarian