The Support teams identity has been protected in this story and will be known as D and M.
Im a little unsure of where to begin the birth stories of my two beautiful children, Xanthe and Grace.
The first ended in a c-section after 26hrs – a challenging experience on all levels. The result was a beautiful baby that I fell in love with and adore. I was disappointed (to say the least) with the c-section, however counted my blessings that I had carried and made such a gorgeous happy, healthy baby! I was grateful for the easy pregnancy and consoled by the fact I had made a super effort during the pregnancy to connect with my baby and despite not breastfeeding for 21hrs after her birth I still managed to breast feed her easily for 18months. There was a silver lining protecting and supporting my cloud.
By contrast, the second birth was an extremely healing and empowering event – a water birth at home. Once again I had carried, made and connected with a gorgeous happy, healthy baby who I fell in love with and adore!
I did suffer postnatal depression both times. However with the love and support of my husband and daughters I got through it. With every fibre of my being I deepened my spiritual practice and held on to hope that as Buddha taught all things were impermanent and that “this too will pass” – with time it did.
I cant change the first birth or what Xanthes feelings about this might be in the future, however I wanted to do everything in my power to heal my family, heal the bond with my honoured body and show to Xanthe that birth was a natural, physiological and empowering part of family life and a womans sacred journey. A womans body knows how to give birth and although she was delivered by c-section, she too will know instinctively how to birth.
On a day when it was 40 degrees and was the hottest summer on record, Xanthe, at 38 weeks was posterior when my waters broke. The whole ordeal was tremendously difficult on all levels. I had a high temp of 40-41 degrees, accompanied by vomiting for the duration of the entire labor and I was severely dehydrated (likely, I had a virus of some description).
My midwife that I was suppose to have was away on holidays (I was booked in at the birth centre), we were left with a midwife I did not know, who turned out to be completely unsupportive (not even in the room; this would have been fine if things were OK!).
I believe in taking responsibility for your birth and for the choices you make, I also believe when things arent going to plan that you get the support or help you need.
It was 26 hours later that Xanthe Rose Creighton was born on the 31st of December 2005, at 1.57am and weighing 6.12 pounds, our beautiful baby girl. After the c-section, I was so sick I couldnt get in the wheel chair to go to see Xanthe in the nursery. I was separated from the beautiful baby I had carried. My saving grace was that I knew that every day I had connected, talked and meditated while I carried her in my womb. I was also consoled by the fact Russell was with her in the nursery, and despite this horrible separation it was one or two days out of the rest of our lives together.
Through counselling, I was firmly reminded that despite all the mixed emotions, being a mother was not and is not about the birth experience alone and birth is not something you can succeed or fail