In great respect and recognition to the gift of womanhood and all the ways we happen to be, express and live in the body of a woman, mothers or not, the feminine essence connects us all and we all come from her womb.
This is my story. By no means speaks about absolute truths or intends to be ‘this or that’, just shares part of my experience. I am aware of some of the difficulties that might be faced by women at the moment of conception, pregnancy or labour.
I decided to share my experience of giving birth to my first child, Uma. Maybe my story reminds you of your own story or happens to bring insight or inspiration if you are a mum to be, would like to become a Mother one day, or you are just curious.
This story starts when I realised I was pregnant, by May into June 2022. Surprise! not expected and not planned but fully welcome from the first moment even when the first trimester was a bit confusing, wonky and full of mood swings for me.
Soon, during pregnancy I realised how little education I had in hand about this biological transformation and how many things suddenly appear and need to be looked after in the process, the process on its own is fully capable, but what a gift to be able to have the recognition of another woman besides us. Thanks to the women in our life and the *sometimes invisible* work of Midwifes that provides us with such great company and sense of fearlesness amidst the challenges, specially to Pepi, the one by my side during my experience, who lovingly and firmly woke me up from insecurity to remember to walk away from fear into trust, from powerlessness into willingness, again and again.
It became clearer to me that the best advise someone can give, specially during pregnancy is to direct you back to your own power, no one can decide what is best for the expectant woman, but she herself. Same with what yoga postures or type of excersise she should do or should not do, If the woman has cultivated the relationship with herself and her physical body, nobody knows better than her inner knowing.
Turns out that all the education we need resides within, and is uniquely tailored made. Is called intuition mixed with the ancestral memory from women across the millenia, alive in our bodies and is ready to be used when needed be if we allow it to surface, in full trust.
The body of a pregnant woman, between countless evident as well as invisible transformations begins by creating a ephimerous organ to accompany, guard and nurture the live within, that is the placenta, the tree of life that connects the mother to the fetus. Isn’t that truly ‘amazing’?
The first trimester passed by as we, together, walked ‘El Camino’ on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela with prima Ana, settled in for a few weeks and opened the Summer season climbing up to the top of Africa to Kilimanjaro (best known as ‘Keoghmanjaro’). We also walked and bike rided to teach many yoga classes in Barcelona, a handful of relationships and unnecesary weights cleared out, served many pizzas and materialised our first retreat in one of my dream locations: Positano, Italy, where we also ate the essence of the land and its people in the form of pasta, pizza, sweets, gelatos *and so much more* always in great company, well supported and witnessed between the sky, the earth and the sea.
In a wink, I was already navigating the second trimester, I was feeling incredibly well in my skin after the storm of the first trimester and suddenly I had a big drop as my doctor suggested a medical procedure called amniocentesis to investigate some irregularities. Felt the fear, and slowly continued the path towards love, and that sense of trust I was telling you about earlier.
And then again, days passed by as I found myself riding the bike and feeling a bit innappropiate to ride with that big belly, that day I started walking more and put the bromptom to sleep at home. I was already on the third trimester, doing a bit less, used some of the time to make this website, read and nest. We taught the Sundays of Grace until the 29th of January of 2023, 11 days before Uma arrived.
The actual birth story begins as…
…I woke up by 6:30am on the 9th of February, feeling unusually wet. Broke the waters and for the doubts I decided to visit my midwife who works at the public medical center in front of my home. She confirmed the fact and the preparation began. As I waited for the ‘real’ contractions to arrive, I continued with my normal life, had some food, kept on moving and had a spa-like long shower, all the scrubs and delicious unctions on me.
My partner and I made our way to the maternity hospital (my choice for birth) by 7pm, still no real contractions. The doctor presented the options available for my case at the hospital and I took my decision. We spent the night at the hospital expecting that the official contractions appeared spontaneously during the night, yet they didn’t and on the 10th of February early in the morning I got induced with artificial Oxitocin (this was not my ideal scenario but I accepted the condition, I already knew the hospital protocols and by choosing to be there I was inevitably accepting them).
Finally, I estimate that by 2pm the real contractions started, I had no sense of time, and was absolutely not able to talk during those moments. Funny enough, I completely forgot to breathe and I knew beforehand how important that was during labour, thankfully the midwife pointed me back at the breath and mentioned that I was then entering the ‘active phase of labour’ which somehow really clicked and impulsed me to understand that labour is full of action, it must be done.
I heard my thoughts and everything around me clearer than ever before and as the contractions became stronger I started to think that I wanted someone to come and literally ‘take the baby out now’, yet, another shrewd voice, stronger and louder came in and I knew I could handle.
At some point everything went blury, I felt like fading away, I saw myself not moving, and noticed my energy levels dropping down during the peak of the contractions. I decided to ask for Gas and Air (Nitrous oxide, also known as the laughing gas) to help me out, the midwife brought it inmediately, explained how it worked and in the first breath felt an inmense sense of relief without losing my lower body sensitivity (which was what I wanted). The instinct to push appeared spontaneously and in no time I has surrounded by 3 midwifes and my partner as Uma was sliding from the womb out into that room.
We had our music playing and the vast silence of the Uni-verse holding the moment, Uma was born at 15:42 on the 10th of February 2023 (fun fact, that was her ‘due date’ on the papers). The eternal moment her weight landed on my chest and the vibration of her voice penetrated the space announcing her arrival, that moment, I became fuller woman.
I love you Uma.
Despite the challenges, for me, Motherhood represents an impulse, not an obstacle.