The Grand Finale……a celebration!
At 34 weeks pregnant with our fourth child, I woke up one morning with a very strong sense that I wanted our boy to be born in a very beautiful place…. this was not going to be just a ‘normal’ home birth!
I knew deeply that this birth was very significant for me. It would be the fourth and final time I had the privilege to bring a child into the world. A part of me felt a sense of deep sadness, marking the end of my own season of beautiful birthing. I wanted to make full use of the opportunity, and make it as special as I possibly could imagine. I wanted it to be a grand celebration, of my own journey of life, of birth, of joy and of love.
This birth would not only be the birth of our son David, it would also be in a sense, the birth of ME ! It would be a celebration and honouring of my own profound journey and awakening of feminine beauty. This has been largely facilitated through the births and pregnancies of my own 4 beautiful children. Each one of my children have touched me deeply. They have been my teachers, every one of them so unique and very special. My journey into motherhood deserves a grand ceremony, and for this a beautiful birthing room was to be build!
With only 6 weeks to go until my due date, the building of a birthing room seemed like an impossible task, yet I did have a very strong sense that my baby had given permission, in fact, he was nudging me to get out there and do it!! So I immediately set to task, and got a builder to come around that same afternoon for a quotation. By the next day we had a full on construction site going and a massive transformation of a previously dark and dingy outside entertainment area was taking place!!
Allowing myself to grow and love myself as a woman while being pregnant has been up to now the most profound and meaningful experience of my life. Each child has reminded me, through their birth, of my own inner power and beauty as a woman. It is this experience, this deep primal instinct that was re-awakened in me during the births of my precious children that I am so excited to share and make available to other woman.
And so the Bella Rose birthing room was completed with two weeks to spare !!
In 4 very short weeks a magnificent birthing room was miraculously build! Being a Doula myself, my intention behind the project was to provide a beautiful space for woman to birth. Away from the confinement of a hospital environment. It would be set deep in nature, amongst dense indigenous trees and natural rock outcrops and flowing water with ample privacy, light, space, and tranquillity.
The inside of the room has added luxuries to enhance the birth experience. A warm Jacuzzi for relaxation and pain relief, large oval stone bath for birthing, high pressured shower, private toilet, kitchenette, all with large glass doors opening onto an outside deck with amazing views.
The timing of the project was perfect, my own family and I would be the first to experience it, as we brought our last child into the world, what a joyous celebration !
After telling our David for so long that we were not yet ready for him to come, as construction was still under way, he very kindly gave us 2 whole weeks to spare at the end. Enough time to get peaceful after the hectic project had been completed.
David James Loudon arrived on Sunday the 2nd of March at 4.21pm on a very hot Lowveld afternoon. He was born in the Jacuzzi in our newly build beautiful birthing room.
Labour started off very gently for me at around 9am that morning. I almost had to keep reminding myself that I was in labour !! It was wonderful to be at home, in relaxed Sunday mode. I was able to spend time with our daughters Jessica age 6, Hannah 3 and Mary 15 months, while gently preparing them for what lay ahead. We baked a cake, picked flowers, played music, lit candles, got the room looking beautiful and spoke a lot. It was very special family time, and there was much excitement to finally get to meet this brother that we had been waiting for, for so long !!
At about lunch time I could feel that this was getting more serious, yet strangely I still didn’t feel pain. One is so programmed that labour is painful, that when the pain isn’t there, then it is not progressing??? The thought did cross my mind a few times, but fortunately I managed to shift the focus. I kept very active, walking, swimming, singing and dancing, all the time interacting with my family. I was actually enjoying myself !! We had recorded a lovely selection of music beforehand which really added a lot of joy to the experience. Dancing for me was a wonderful way to let go, and not think about the pain. It was very liberating, and totally took the focus away from the contractions. I had a huge amount of energy and felt very joyful and light.
At about 3 o’clock with an hour to go, the contractions got very strong, my body was working beautifully!! I got into the warm Jacuzzi and began going inside myself. I was able to go into my own private space in the water, which felt to me like a cocoon of instant comfort. The water held me and soothed me, while I could focus on breathing through the contractions. I was still fully aware of all the love and support that surrounded me. Especially from my wonderful husband Shaun, who allowed me the freedom to labour in my own special way, never interfering, yet always there as a firm pillar of support and love.
The one memory that remains the most special to me of the whole experience of the birth of David, was the rare privilege of having all three my girls with me during my entire labour. Each one of them, in their own way contributed, supported and loved me. It was beautiful !!
Hannah was actively involved, she was right by my side all the time. In the water with me, having full on conversations, as if nothing was going on, even as the contractions got really intense. She would imitate me and move like I was moving. At one stage my husband Shaun thought to remove her from the water, but she very sternly replied “No Daddy, mommy needs me!” Quite something for a three year old!
Jessica was there for me in a different way. She chose to watch from more of a distance, ever so often coming to me in her soft, caring and gentle way. She kept me well hydrated throughout the hot labour, bringing me juice, whispering in my ear every time that she loves me.
I was aware of Mary our little toddler running around too. As far as she was concerned it was just another day, just that mom was spending quite a lot of time in the Jacuzzi!
All three my girls were there with me throughout the labour. There was nothing to hide from them. We had spoken a lot beforehand about birth and how babies come into the world.
They were amazing and very comfortable. They shared fully in the experience of bringing their baby brother into the world. This for me was indeed very special and something I will cherish in my heart forever.
It is my prayer that by sharing in my experience, that they may forever have a positive and joyous association with birth. That they may know their own power and wisdom as a woman, and her natural ability to bring a child into the world. That birth and labour is not an ‘illness” that you need to be taken to hospital for, but rather that it is a beautiful and very natural experience to be celebrated !
As well as the support and love from my family, I also had a wonderfully loving and very respectful medical team of doctor and midwife with me. I felt totally safe and supported in there professional, yet very unobtrusive care. Not once did I feel pressurized or uncomfortable by their presence. They were a very special part of the delivery and I am deeply grateful to them, and truly honour them for making home birthing available in the Lowveld.
Doctor did a final examination in the water and confirmed that I was fully dilated. It is at that stage that my body goes into ancient birthing mode, which I so love! The wisdom of my body takes over, my mind is not in the way and my baby gets transported magically out of the birth canal into the warm receiving water of the bath. This while I do my very primal ‘bear roar” as Doctor jokingly calls it! I could not imitate it now, even if I tried!! It happens for me spontaneously and is an amazingly deep and powerful involuntary groan. It has come with all four of my births naturally, and is awesome !
This for me is the profound experience of birth, this deep primal reflex that is programmed into a woman’s body. The mind knows not how to birth a child, the body does!
The birth of David felt to me like a grand show, a celebration, something quite spectacular and out of the ordinary. Just the way I wanted to end my own personal experiences of birth. The Grand Finale !
We even had a professional photographer in to take pictures. Something I can highly recommend, as we have some magical footage which we will have forever.
A wonderful afternoon of very special family bonding, with an amazingly loving medical team.
After the cord was cut and the placenta delivered, All 6 of us, Mom Dad, Jess Hannah, Mary and new David got into the oval stone bath together. It was a moment of sparkle, of unity, a treasure I will never forget, our family is complete !!
Thank you David