The other title of this article could also be ’Journey into the absolute unknown’… Or ’How to Lose 10 Kgs in 10 Days’. Or it would make a ’Birth Story’ in any small childhood online forum.
Anyway, the point is that all these estimations are true and fitting. I have just taken up a new job: motherhood. Without knowing what the future brings. Writing a story of a new life’s beginning. And I’ve lost 10 kgs with and after my baby’s birth by the time he is 10 days old.
On March 29, 2010 we started one of the most arduous roads I ever walked down in this life (believe me, I had walked quite a few dusty paths, tough roads of surrender and icy ways of high altitude). Once upon a time, when I used to run marathon races I saw a Nike advertisement: ’if you find the limits of human endurance, call us’. I guess I can give a call now to the sport equipment company. In my case these limits stretch at approximately 74 hours plus a lot more (at least 16 more until delivery and there come the week long afterpains), as physical ‘unease’ and hard work didn’t stop there. My child’s fantastic father started timing and writing labour contractions at 5.35 a.m. on that Monday, March 29. Our baby boy saw the dim lights of a surgery room shortly before midnight of the 1st of April, Thursday.
With the onset of rushes I cried of happiness at first: finally our son is about to come. Little did I know then that three days later I would still be writhing in pain and slowly losing control over breathing and imagination exercises versus painful mountains of rushes. Wednesday at dawn I still refused synthetic intravenous oxytocin and breaking the membrane, as I still believed in being able to perform an all-natural birth with as little medical or surgery intervention as possible. By Thursday dawn I was however finished, utterly tired and I gave in. I accepted all I had wanted to avoid: epidural anaesthesia, intravenous glucose, membrane breaking, IV antibiotics and the thing I had dreaded and refuted most, episiotomy and use of vacuum. I had read a heap of midwifery literature plus gynaecology-obstetrics studies and I quite knew what each interventions entails, hence the more I suffered consciously receiving all of it.
I was prepared as much as I could be. I practised pain coping techniques, visualisation, perineum massage, I had a complete set of homeopathic remedies (inclusive the knowledge on how to use them), I drank herbal teas and mixed special massage oils, I attended birth preparation courses, I read everything that Michel Odent, Grantly Dick-Read and Ina May Gaskin wrote on childbirth, plus hundreds of birth stories written on various fora. I watched birth videos of every kind, those of home birth pioneers bringing their child to this world in plastic bath tubes in the middle of their salon, without any medical aid and also those who were put from wheel chairs onto horizontal beds, numbed from waist down and told to push when a screen indicated a new contraction... And I knew how and what kind of birth I wanted. I was prepared to make it happen even in our bath tub or at the private Clinique, doesn’t matter as long as I have the freedom to move around, to choose position and to say no to scissors and timing.
In the end it turned out totally the way I didn’t want it and me, the “anti-medicalist” turned out to be grateful to the friendly obstetricians who finally helped my baby out to this world, as around the 88th hour I was on the verge of losing all my strength. I will never analyse what and why went wrong if anything went wrong at all. Anyone is free to take any conclusion. Maybe it was karma. Maybe having Mars (ruler of blood, sharp instruments among others) in my 12th house of hospitals and confinement, having Uranus, ruler of sudden developments, high-technology in my 8th house of death and rebirth AND having the hard and slow planet of compelled change Pluto in my 5th house of childbirth and creation wasn’t a very fortunate chart. Maybe it had to happen this way, regardless of my plans and hard preparation efforts. Maybe I am a poltroon body that gave up too early – some would certainly say so. My dear ‘husband’ Zoli who was with me throughout this time rather says he is very proud of me, knowing I had a tough share and I put up a long fight. Now it’s over, I wrote it down and I will forget the horrendous details.I had a few tearful days of baby blues, but that is gone too. I don’t care anymore about views and judgments of childbirth styles. With this new, quite sleep-depriving job the only thing I can now care about is to make my son’s babyhood and childhood nicely happen... This is really a journey into the unknown, therefore I love it even more.