"Don’t only wish for a beautiful birth, prepare for one."
On December 6, 2014, I had the delightful experience of giving birth to my daughter. I decided to deliver at home, in water and in my daughter’s bedroom. She was born in just under eight hours, from the very first contraction to holding her in my arms.
I made it through the early part of my labor while I was sleeping. I woke up a few times dreaming I was giving birth and having contractions. I thought it was just a dream because every time I woke up I couldn’t feel any contractions … until I finally woke up and realized I was going to deliver Nayara in probably the next few hours—and that my contractions were real, not just a dream!
I had an undisturbed birth. No medical assistance, no drugs. It was a natural process, as women’s bodies have been designed to give birth. I used some essential oils for my lower back pain and to activate the contractions. I was given massages on my lower back and hips, and I was surrounded with a lot of love from my husband, Victor, and our doula, Lisa. My midwife arrived about an hour and a half before I pushed my daughter into this world (in only three strong pushes)!
Everything went very well. I was in a dream state during the whole process, but I was very present, embracing every second, connecting to myself and to my baby. I lived every second as it unfolded, thinking I was going to meet my lovely daughter very soon. The expression “going with the flow” never made more sense than while I was in labor.
I was filled with my own strength, my trust to know how to give birth, surrendering to my body’s wisdom, connecting and listening to my baby’s needs. I was in another state of consciousness. I remember welcoming every contraction/expansion and working with my baby to help make her way down as easy and fast as I could. It was an incredible experience that I will always remember with such a joy and excitement. Thinking about that day fills my heart with so much love.
Ever since I knew I was pregnant my mantra was: Don’t only wish for a beautiful birth,
prepare for one. It was a process that started for me during my pregnancy, with a rather worried question: How am I going to get this baby out through this small passage!? I am sure I’m not the only one to have this question!
So I started to do some research. I watched many positive water birth videos and various documentaries on birth, read and practiced hypnobirthing techniques, attended a BellydanceBirth workshop, practiced prenatal yoga (I have been practicing yoga and mediation for the past 10 years), had some pregnancy massages, did some acupuncture, did an osteopath session, made love with my husband, walked, took ocean swims and did everything that made me feel amazing to prepare for birth.
To give birth, I wanted to strip away all of my fears. I decided to trust myself, my body and my mind. Trust is actually all you are left with when you are in the process of birthing your child. No one else can birth your child for you; you and your child are the only ones who know this mysterious dance of life.
I was amazed to experience the intelligence of my body, allowing myself to let the natural birthing process unfold. During labor, your body will speak to you, and you will have to listen and do what you feel needs to be done to progress. That is why it is important to trust the process and be undisturbed by external factors.
I decided to bring my daughter into this world with all of my unconditional love, my trust and my strength, giving birth the way I imagined and visualized. I gave birth at home in a swimming pool, in my daughter’s bedroom and surrounded with people that I love and who love me. I strongly believe that in most cases women’s bodies are designed to give birth to the baby they create and carry for 40 weeks. The body is very clever; only a woman knows how to birth her baby. No one else can do it for her, she has to birth her own chid with her body’s wisdom and trust. Women are powerful, and birthing our child is an extremely joyful experience, a very important right of passage for the woman and her child who enters this world.
It took us seven days to name our daughter. Her name is Nayara. Yara is indigenous-Brazilian, and means the protector of the sweet waters. Na is the syllable from her Ayurvedic Astrological chart.
About 14 months later, on February 14, I gave birth to my second child, a son. The birth was intense but very short. With my son we chose his name the day before he was born. His name is Hayan, it is a Hindu name, another name for the “Lord Shiva” and means the first ray of the sun.
I always refer to my birthing experiences as the most incredible and enriching spiritual experiences of my life so far. With each child, I felt I was birthing a quality that was buried deep inside myself. With Nayara I birthed my strength; I felt indestructible. With Hayan I birthed my confidence; I affirmed myself through my passions and creativity, without being scared of judgments. They both brought me different gifts.
Feeling my babies pushing themselves down was the most intense, incredible feeling of satisfaction. It was such a joyful and rewarding experience to bring them to life surrounded with so much love from my husband, doula and midwives.
Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!