Read Karin Zurbrügg's wonderful account of how a hospital caesarean birth can be an empowering and joyful experience with the right team and clear communication of her wishes for the birth. She hopes that her account inspires and empowers many future mums.
I was delighted to be pregnant with my third child at age 44. When I had my now teenagers and had separated from my husband, my wish for a third child seemed unlikely to come true. But deep down I knew that I was meant to have another baby and that his soul would come to me eventually.
And his soul jumped to the first opportunity when he got invited to join my family!
My then partner and I decided to start trying. We had one unprotected intercourse during a beautiful storm. The conception was magic, lots of amazing lightning and at the moment of joined orgasm, I visioned and felt this immense light and sensations of love, of sweetness.
The pregnancy itself went smoothly, apart from a big scare at the beginning. The love I felt for my unborn baby was infinite, as was my awe for the miracle of life and my body. I was in pregnancy bliss. A dear friend and Doula accompanied me, we worked together on my fears and beliefs. My other two births were traumatic for me, with the feeling of having all my power taken away coupled with a sense of humiliation.
My first born was taken away right after my emergency cesarean. I couldn't speak, nor understand the language, I did not understand what was happening. I only saw my baby after two hours that seemed like eternity, left alone in a room, not knowing, not being cared for, after just having given birth, despite having carried him for 9 months..
My second birth of my daughter didn't go as badly, I was able to give birth vaginally, but I still felt powerless. At the moment of birth I had a team of strangers standing by, chatting amongst themselves, looking at my vagina. I felt that this needed to be an intimate, safe moment. Although they were there in case there were complications, I still felt that they could have been more discreet and considerate.
So with my third baby, I was determined to live a different birthing experience.
Healing, journalism, reading all about natural, empowering births, deep connection, communication with the baby, and being very clear on what, I, we wanted, made me feel prepared and confident. My doula Kim was such a precious support and her guidance was amazing.
Kim really helped me to get very clear on the birthing plan and my wishes. This serves as a very important document during the homebirth as well as at a hospital. You can quickly and clearly communicate your wishes and consent and non consent. This is the doula's role, so the parents can focus on the birth.
I was excited to try to have a natural home birth with my midwife and doula. At the end of my pregnancy there were fluctuations of the amniotic fluid levels and I had to be more closely monitored. During a checkup at the hospital in Lausanne, the low levels meant I had to be induced to provoke the birth.
I managed to negotiate one more day at home, tried acupuncture, osteopathy and all the possible methods to get the contractions going, to no avail. It was not easy to let go of my dream of giving birth at home, but despite it, I felt calm, knowing that my doula would come to support me and make sure my wishes were heard at the hospital. (Not all hospitals allow doulas, this needs to be verified during the pregnancy)
For three days, despite having the medication, methods, I only had little and inconsistent contractions. I had to make a decision, I could choose to go home and try the home-birth with what seemed now huge risks for the health of my baby, or I could consent to a conscious cesarean, or as I like to name it, bellie birth. Before the operation, we cried about the loss of the dream of the home birth, but I was looking forward to the bellie birth.
We communicated our birth plan wishes to the team. They were amazingly open and agreed to all of our wishes that were deemed medically safe. We had a little time before the scheduled operation, so we went for a walk in a park and did a ritual.
Back at the hospital, after being prepared for surgery, I walked to the operating theater. I was greeted with applause, they said I was only the second person that dared to ask to walk to the surgery, instead of being rolled in a stretcher.
Sitting on the operating table to receive the anaesthesia, I closed my eyes and meditated. I imagined and felt like a queen, or like a star in a theater. I had demanded to be informed of each step and that I could tell them when they could start cutting the skin on my stomach.
I took a moment when it was time to get Ezayah out, I talked to him and recognised the magnanimity of living this very important moment - the moment he leaves my body and is being born. Despite having momentary thoughts of "I should hurry, they are waiting," I listened to my instincts and my baby's message. The surgeons had to pause as this was previously agreed. When I and Ezayah were ready, I opened my eyes and gave a clear Yes!
Few moments later, I had this amazing soul in this tiny, muscular body, on my chest. I could feel him, take in his odour, I could feel his body moving on mine. He kept crawling up towards my face. Wow.
The midwife had prepared a heating blanket and we got those very precious, first moments uninterrupted. We welcomed Ezayah with songs, joy, love and celebrations.
Because of the heating blanket, Ezayah was able to stay skin to skin all the way with me, until I could leave the operating room. (Normally it's too cold for the newborns in the operating room, so they get taken away while mum gets stitched up again.)
Just a quick ten minutes of separation during the medical check up and I held my baby in my arms again! He started to feed straight away. The staff were touched and thanked us for inspiring them to provide more conscious cesareans, bellie births. We thanked them. There was respect and "humanness."
Throughout the whole process I felt totally empowered and confident, I was super clear on what I wished for, asked for it and received most of the demands.
It was the most healing, beautiful experience I ever had.
My advice for future mums:
Remember, it's your body, your baby. You have a right to ask for your birthing experience wishes. Get a doula.
Be clear on your yes's and no's.
May you have a beautiful, empowering, magical birthing experience.
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About the author:
Karin practices conscious parenting, is a trained Medicine Woman, Sound and Energy Therapist. Her passion is to guide women back to their innate worth, power, joy and love, with transformational coaching and shamanic trauma release. She is also an outspoken feminist, humanist, a believer and creator of magic, loves to feel alive, a domestic abuse survivor/thriver, loves to be in nature and be with her friends, ride her Ducati motorbike and loves laughing!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. Miyara Women does not undertake any financial/reputational/legal/misrepresentational impact or other obligations/ liabilities that may arise from the content.
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