I woke up that monday morning at 6 o’clock with a sensation in the bottom of my belly. It wasn’t really painfull but I woke Christophe, my partner, saying “I think it’s for today”, we were one week ahead of the term but as there was a risk the baby would come way earlier it was ok.
I tried to measure the time between the cramps which were getting a little more discomfortable but it was rather inconsistent, it went from 15min between each, to 8min, to 5, then back to 10.
We decided to call the midwives anyway. We had planned to give birth at the birth house but we wanted to stay home as much as we could. Tinneke said that we could take a bit more time since there was no regularity in the contractions.
I showered and we had breakfast with Christophe. It was getting a bit more intense.
At some point I felt it was time to go. We left home for the last time the two of us.
We arrived at the birth house around 11:00 in the morning.
Els welcomed us, it felt very comfortable, there was fruits, nuts chocolat and candles on.
We settled in and we went for a walk on a very nice path not far from the birth house. The weather was absolutely perfect for an October day. There was not a cloud in the sky, the wind was blowing just the right amount. The labor was getting stronger, Christophe would hold me in his arms every 20 meters to help me go through each contraction. I was glad we were outside, and I was very grateful for his presence and his help.
We went back to the birth house and from the moment we were there things got more intense, I guess I entered the active phase at that moment. I was on my fours on the bed and Christophe was massaging my back. I think Els started to run the bath but I had no more conscience of what was going on around or how the time went.
Els examined me, I was already at 8cm.
I went in the bath, I was standing on my knees facing Christophe. I can’t remember when Tinneke arrived but she was there on one side and Els on the other.
The few contractions I had at that moment were way stronger but very fast I felt the need to change position and to find something to hold on to. Els gave me the cord which was hanging from the ceiling and I started pushing. At some point she told me that I could feel the head if I wanted, I couldn’t believe it. I think it gave me strengh to continue pushing and It went very fast from there.
When I saw the head coming out I was quiet impressed but a few minutes later she putted Pavel in my arms, and I forgot about anything else. How amazing it was to hold this little being and to feel him move on my breast.
We spend the rest of the afternoon falling in love with him, we felt in a cocoon thanks to Els and Tinneke who were giving the needed cares as quietly and respectfully as they could. Christophe could take the time he needed to bound with Pavel and it was so beautiful to see.
We went home that night at 8pm, we were tired but so gratefull to have been able to live this experience so fluently.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the preparation we did with Els and Tinneke. They both in their own way gave us support and helped us navigate through the whole pregnancy and birth with confidence.
We did the cursus with Tinneke, I went to the prenatal yoga with Els and we had many appointments to check that everything was going well with the baby and myself. It felt great to have persons who listened to our doubts and could answer our questions.
It was always without jugement and nothing was imposed to us.
On my side I felt so relieved to know that I had options and except if something went wrong I could be the one deciding what was the best for myself. I could really follow my instincts and I think that made the birth so special.
I also did some work with a hypnotherapist and we integrated that to the birth plan, Els had really good knowledge about this therapy so it felt very natural talking about using auto-hypnosis for the birth.
The post-partum cares have been very important too, Tinneke came 5 days in a row at our home to help us with practical but also mental support. As Pavel is our first child we would have been lost without this help.
It allowed us to have some precious moments with our son without asking ourselves too many questions or worrying too much.
Of course during this entire journey to maternity and paternity there were up and downs but we couldn’t imagine having done it differently. Everything was at the right place at the right moment.
Again an enormous thanks to Tinneke and Els who made this experience possible.
Tara, Christophe and Pavel