Day 533. Perfect (The true tale of Andris’ birth)
It happened 15 years ago.
A week before the official date, towards the evening, I started feeling slight contractions. At first it seemed unlikely that birth may be knocking on the door but in a few hours there was no doubt: labour had started, and kept coming in ever growing waves of pain.
I was not ready in my soul. It took me unprepared. I made myself busy, put covers over small pillows to have them at hand in case of need, as learned – but soon enough I lost touch with external tasks. I asked my husband to call Ági Geréb and notify our families about the arrival of the second grandchild. I transferred further preparations to him – I myself needed to concentrate on birth. Don’t expect anything else from me! I have ceased to exist for the outside world.
It was pleasant to have the room mildly lit, and the soft classical music humming in the background helped me focus on the process inside me. I was only partly aware of the arrivals of Ági and the doula, of my mum. It was only me, the child to be born and the Universe, not just around us but in each and every cell of ours. For the first time in my life, I felt God – with us, in us, helping us.
I was seeking the best position to take the pain, trying to consciously relax my muscles in order to make the baby’s job easier. In between the pain waves it was nicest to walk up and down, while at the times of contractions I leaned on the bed. Ági and the rest were quietly watching my needs, asking soft questions every now and then. Nobody tried to take control from the outside. Nobody intruded into the perfect Whole the common efforts of my baby, the universe and myself created. I let my body do what it felt like doing, breathe as it felt right, take any position that offered release. It was great to know that I was free to yell, should I need it, without bothering anyone. The baby’s needs and mine dominated the situation, nothing else mattered.
I had no idea about the time passing, never remembered to check the clock.
There was no shaving, no enema. Whenever Ági checked me, she adapted to the position taken by me, never trying to dictate what and how I should do. She respected me knowing best when the pain was coming or going, when it was time to relax and collect strength. She tried to ease my pain with massage and fragrance oils, touching me only when I approved.
By the time labour started to climax, I found my favourite position: kneeling on a mattress on the ground, with my head buried in a pillow and my butt up. This is how I found it easiest to survive the contractions and, later, to push in assistance of my son struggling to be born.
I panicked when the first expulsive contraction caught me: what is this excruciating, unbearable pain?! There was nothing like this at my daughter’s birth in hospital (there, one pushed when ordered to push, and I only realized later that he doc had pressed Noemi out of me in between my numb-from-suspension legs, through my cut-but-cracked-further perineum without waiting for the final stage to even start). I was not prepared for any surprises. An overwhelming, superhuman energy wave wanted to shoot through me from top to tow but I, suddenly frightened, fought it back with all my strength. I opposed it. I understood that it was supposed to sweep the baby out of me and I suddenly felt unprepared. No, please don’t! Not yet! Wait, don’t come! Let me think, let me work on it a little more! Once you come out, my life will turn upside down again – will I be able to cope? I suppressed another two or three expulsive contractions, shaking, whining, adding further to the already hardly bearable anguish. I kept the baby back from the gate…
And then the moment came when I could let the panic go. Perfect peace floated all over me, and I knew that I was ready for him: I had wanted him, I had carried him, and I would now give birth to him.
I assisted the next contraction by pushing and pushing with all my strength. The energy rushing through me helped my son further out, our forces united and the entire Universe was working on this birth. It was a truly transcendental experience. Meeting God. It was neither about me nor the baby – it was about all people being one.
I have no idea how many contractions it took for Andris’ head to get out. This is not a story of numbers. The head rested in Ági’s hand who helped the tiny body out with understanding, gentleness, love and humility. The next thing I remember is me sitting on the floor by the bed, with my son in my arms; his father and my mother, Ági and the doula by our side, quietly marvelling at the newborn child. We got fully absorbed in this endless, unspeakably happy moment. We were perfectly together. This moment was perfection itself, lasting for a long, long period of time.
Giving birth to the placenta brought some more pain which surprised me, but the experience dissolved almost the moment it was over. The scab on my perineum left after my first birth experience did not break. Everything was just right.
Andris didn’t cry at all. Not for a second. When the air reached his lungs, he gave a quiet click, and that was all. No probe in his nose, no drops in his eyes, no washing off the valuable vernix which got absorbed into his skin by the next morning, no combing his head – as opposite to his sister who had been born in hospital and cried loudly and helplessly through the process. My son was not grabbed by unkind hands or taken away from me for even the fraction of a second, neither was he blinded by harsh light. We were in quiet peace, getting acquainted in an undisturbed atmosphere. Andris, with his undeveloped sight, seemed to be looking around, getting to know his home.
I kept him on my breast all night long and he fed a little every few minutes. We were half asleep and half awake, in a blessed unity: father, son and myself.
Andris was finally with us.
Véletlenül kiválasztott mesék.
This post is also available in: Hungarian