I didn’t know that at the core of my delayed labour lied my belief that I was unworthy to have this beautiful baby… but it became crystal clear the moment I saw it. Seeing it for what it was, caused a painful ripping through layers of stuck patterns that were holding me like a corset - because I was holding them. And when I let it all in, magic happened.
When my good friend and I got pregnant at the same time for the first time, I thought this was the most amazing coincidence ever. We compared our bellies and our symptoms. At my birthday party, a friend mentioned that her boobs were already big but mine looked the same. I didn’t tell anyone that I have been bleeding as well. When I miscarried at 9 weeks, I thought: of course I couldn’t have this kind of luck. What was I expecting…
But I had a dream of birthing a baby girl. In the dream I could see my fears on the surface of us not being ready, of the relationship not being stable enough, of us struggling too much financially, of us not being good parents - but I also saw that underneath I was grounded in knowing: That I knew exactly how to do this. And that my daughter knew exactly how to do this. In the dream, at first there was a lot of pressure during the birth and then all of the sudden complete flow and ease. And I saw how it had changed me. In the dream I visited my family and I stood my ground when my brother asked me to visit them at their house with baby, because I knew that it would have been too much for us with the newborn. Before baby I would have probably given in to make others happy instead of honouring what we needed. This dream was one of a kind. I even heard clearly my daughter’s name in the dream: Amaris. And I was told the English as well as the German pronunciation. When I woke up in the morning, I looked up the name right away on the Internet. I loved it immediately, but I had never heard it before. The name existed! It said that in Hebrew it meant “given by God”, in Spanish “you are loved” and in Sanskrit “child of the moon”. I was blown away and so touched. Of course there was no debate about how we’d name our first child.
When I was full term with my first daughter and all of the sudden started to bleed quite strongly, it reminded me of my earlier miscarriage… it was a terrible night. However, I was too polite to “bother” my midwife in the middle of the night. We went to see her the next morning. My husband and I were fighting on the way to the birth centre. I didn’t want to be late and he was moving slower than I wanted. I felt he should have been more sensitive to what I was going through, but he was stressed himself. The car ride was very painful and stressful.
My midwife said it was good we came and that she wanted to have a better look at things in the hospital and suggested an ultrasound. At the hospital, we did the ultrasound and expected to be sent home soon. It was already evening, everything took so long and we felt tired and ready to be released. When we got the results of the ultrasound, all of us, including my midwife, were absolutely shocked: Placental abruption - which is an uncommon and early separation of the placenta from the lining of the uterus. It wasn’t just a small abruption, but a significant one. Nobody could believe it because I seemed totally fit and healthy and I hadn’t fallen or anything. It didn’t make sense.
My midwife signed me over to the doctor immediately. She said this was out of her league. She hasn’t encountered a placental abruption like this in the many years of being a midwife… although she was very experienced and had lots of years under her belt. She said this was a case for a doctor. The call she made, made a lot of sense - still it felt like the person I prepared for the birth with for 9 months had left me when I really needed her and I was left alone with only my husband by my side. It was almost 2 more weeks before the due date. My doula was still in Japan and my amazing medical intuitive friend who I really wanted to have by my side was in Israel. They were on the other side of the world. I felt so alone.
The doctor insisted that I stayed in the hospital so that baby and me could be monitored. So my husband went home to get the hospital bag I happened to have packed the day before I started bleeding (although I was totally counting on a home birth), food and other items. The birth pool was set up at home. It felt like an eternity before he came back. I called my mother in Germany. She gave me good calming words. As I was lying awake, belly attached to the monitor, letting go of all the dreams I had of how the birth would go. I was in a sweet space of gratitude and surrender, but also worried about my baby. I didn’t sleep the whole night. Nurses kept on coming in, the monitor kept on falling of my belly, I couldn’t get into a comfortable position on the hospital bed. My husband seemed far away curled up in the chair in the corner of the room, separate from me and my pain.
I think I finally slept for 30 minutes, when just before 7am the bright light was turned on. The doctor and the nurse came in. I was told they had to check things down there and whoops the doctor’s hand was in my vagina. I felt a sharp pain and moaned “ouch!”. Then the doctor strongly suggested that we should do an induction, since there was no point in waiting, “baby was ready”, and why risk my baby’s life or me bleeding to death? I thought all this was going too quickly and I inquired about options. I was more concerned about the common consequences of an induction than about a natural birth being led by baby and my body. I had read the stories in Ina May’s “Spiritual Midwifery” and I knew something in that, even without having had any experience myself with birthing a baby. I asked “what about a membrane sweep?” to help bring on active labour, as was suggested before my hospital staff. The doctor told me, that she just did that. Ah, that would explain the sharp pain. Would have been nice (or appropriate) if she would have asked me before… It was quite obvious that the doctor would have preferred to sign off on an induction before the end of her night shift. I guess I thwarted her plans.
I kept on asking questions: “What about intercourse? I read that it could help bring on labour.” The doctor agreed but said “You can’t do that here.” I asked about walking around in the hospital to help bring on labour. They warned me because they wanted to monitor baby for any signs of stress and I couldn’t walk around without the monitor. I insisted on walking, so they “allowed” 20 minutes at a time. I went for walks up and down the hallway. Snuck into the stairwell. My husband and I were giggling walking up and down the stairs, turning into different corridors, trying to avoid hospital staff in order to gain a few more minutes of freedom.
The hospital staff increasingly upped the pressure. Told me that since I wasn’t in “active labour”, I had to leave the room, be without the monitor, and then there would be no way to see if baby was in distress and it could be too late by the time we’d notice. The danger was that if the placenta would come off too far, the baby would be cut off of oxygen and at that point they wouldn’t be able to get the baby out quick enough with an emergency c-section. They said the delivery section was full and was in need of the room. My husband told me later that every time he was out in the hallway, he felt and heard how the nurses were judging us… but he saw that there were several free rooms right next to me! It was made up so that we would align with the hospital time line. I said that I thought it would be a good idea to let baby and my body get ready on their own and give it a bit more time. They replied that it could take another 1 - 2 weeks till labour started. When I talked to my midwife by phone, she refrained from giving me any advise. It was my decision.
I tried to slow down the speed of the train that I had been put on. I had to think. It didn’t seem right. On the one hand it made sense to me what the doctor and the nurses said. Why risk anything? Why not intervene and get the baby out right now? She was pretty much full term. Less than a couple of weeks before the official due date. They’ve done it probably hundreds of times. And what would I know? I haven’t done this before. But something in me knew that I didn’t need to rush like I was made to believe. And an induction didn’t come without small risks either. I just kept on rolling around the question “If baby was ready, if my body was ready, why did labour not fully start then?” I wasn’t fanatic about a natural birth, but I didn’t feel anything alarming in my body. I wasn’t in pain (and the hospital staff was surprised that I wasn’t, since I was internally bleeding) and I didn’t sense any urgency from baby either. I was open to an induction or whatever needed to be done, but something in me told me to slow down.
Interestingly, we had an appointment booked that day with an intuitive medium. We were gonna talk to her about career choices for my husband. We suggested to take advantage of the booked session and meet with her in the hospital instead, talking about a more urgent topic of course. The hospital staff didn’t like that we “procrastinated”, but had to respect our decision to have the session with the medium first. Just as the medium arrived, my mother in law all of the sudden showed up. She had heard from a family member, who I had texted, that I was here. We didn’t contact her yet because we didn’t want her to worry and we wanted to first figure out what we were going to do. Of course, she meant it well, wanted to be present at birth. But all we really needed at that time was space and peace, and not more distracting concerns, opinions and energies to deal with. So after a little while of visiting, we asked her to leave, knowing how deeply offended she’d be… but we had to do what we had to do. This wasn’t the time to please people.
I asked the medium if she could see what the right answer was - to wait or to induce? She said that she doesn’t know… and that it didn’t really matter how my daughter would be born, but she said that November 5th was a powerful date in terms of star signs (that was the next day). She said that my daughter did that, that she had caused the placental abruption, because she wanted our attention. She said that we were set on a date and were not ready, but that baby was ready. I asked, if she was ready, why hasn’t labour started yet then? She said because we weren’t ready. I remember when I said that baby might come early (since it had felt like that to me although everyone said she’d come late for sure since it’s my first baby, “I shouldn’t worry”), my husband answered with “Don’t do that to me!” He had time off only around the due date. He said later he was just joking, but it felt serious to me and I didn’t want to inconvenience him.
The medium said that I thought that there was something wrong with my body and that I didn’t feel worthy of having this baby. When she said that I cried immediately from such a deep place of knowing the truth of what she said. I cried and cried… letting in all the pain and shedding layers of false beliefs. It was so powerful to relate to the seeing of that there wasn’t anything wrong with my body, letting go of blaming myself, and accepting this incredible blessing of having this baby in my life. It was somehow so painful to let in this beautiful truth, because subconsciously, I was convinced that I wasn’t worthy.
After this experience, I told the hospital staff that I just wanted to rest for a while since I had barely slept for the last 2 days. I said when I wake up, I’d make a decision around the induction. I had my eye on the clock. It was the early evening of November 4th. After I sent everybody out of the room, I said I wanted to have a shower and rest. I told my husband that I wanted to make love in the private bathroom of my hospital room. We did the deed… not that it was fun, but I thought why not give this a try as I had read it being successful in several stories in Ina May’s book. It had worked for other women, so why not give this a chance? After that, we lied down closely together, without stress, in my small hospital bed for about 45 minutes. I finally relaxed and was about to fall asleep, when I felt something wet between my legs. I felt the labour come in. I pulled out my phone and timed it as I had learned. The rushes were exactly what I was told to watch out for: 1 minute long and 4 minutes apart. The nurses came in and started to prepare the room silently. I said “I think my water broke and I think I’m in active labour”. They said they knew, since they saw it on the monitor.
I was amazed how it had worked! I called my midwife and she came back. I was so glad that she was there. The labour continued like clockwork and came on pretty strong right away. During the first few rushes I said out loud “thank you, thank you, thank you” and thought I could keep this gratitude practice up, but soon the intensity swept me away and the pain was so hard to bear. I had to go completely inside. I forgot about everything around me. Everything disappeared, it seemed to be just me and how to move in the pain. I didn’t even connect to baby or my husband or my other friend who had spontaneously come to support. I didn’t think it would be like this, just inside, again it felt like I was on my own.
I kept my eye on the clock and thought I had to make it at least last till midnight till baby was born. I had the remote for the tense machine in my hand. Not sure if it gave any relief at all, but I felt a tiny bit like I was in control of something, turning the electricity on and off with the rushes. After several hours of increasingly intense labour, I had the thought I couldn’t do this for much longer. They gave me laughing gas, it didn’t do anything for me other than making the rushes feel even stronger. I didn’t know anymore which position to move in - everything was uncomfortable! I thought bouncing on the birth ball and squatting would be such great positions. I always felt baby’s head was in the way. When I felt like I was done with what I could bear and had a desperate moment of wanting to give up, something changed in the labour. Instead of it being in my back and my belly, it moved down and felt like my vagina was about to be ripped apart. All I could do was surrender and open to it, and, that moved the baby down. A few strong pushes, I couldn’t even look down there, I held on with my life to the hospital bed railing… and there she was! My midwife took care of the whole birth, but the doctor came in for the last 5 minutes to pull the baby, since she had to officially deliver the baby. My midwife put the baby on my belly and Amaris made her way to the boob. Just before, she looked at me, right into me. We met for the first time outside of the body. Then she went for the nipple. She knew what she was doing.
It was 1:31am on November 5th. 11 days early. When we she came out, she couldn’t have looked more perfect. She looked like an angel. I though babies would look squished and deformed just after they come out, but she looked so symmetrical, round, juicy and peaceful. This baby didn’t look stressed for sure like I was told, I thought to myself. I believed that my daughter had initiated the whole drama. This drama that was my amazing opportunity to trust my body and my baby more than any outside influences, well-meaning advice and threats. We felt victorious! It was interesting that nobody had said “Good you guys waited! Good for you!”. Just silence.
I learned so much through becoming a mother. I started to step into something new, started to embody something that was different from what I was before. Standing in my knowing although it was utmost uncomfortable and even might’ve looked crazy to others, trusting my body and my baby first, becoming vulnerable and asking for what I need, speaking up and sharing my story was huge for me. I’m not sharing this in order to give anyone advice. I’m not saying other mamas should do what I did. There is never just one way. It’s never really about what you do, but how you do it. Where you’re coming from. This is about an inner movement that I know to express. I’m sharing this so that it may touch and inspire wherever there’s fertile space for the sparks to land and start more fires. May the fire spread freely. May you never give up, never stop asking questions and looking for solutions till you find them. May you never believe “It’s not possible.” May you never settle for less. You’re allowed to break the “rules” for goodness.
The rest of our story and more juiciness of what I came into when I became a mother, I will share in my book “Dragoness Rising”, dedicated to my daughter Amaris. Today I just want to share how you came into the world, Amaris. May you never forget what you are: a fiery magical love goddess who doesn’t hold back expressing her truth and following her knowing. You are beyond this world, beautifully different, with a new perspective. Don’t stop sharing your gifts and ignite everything around you. Ever. I love you in a way I didn’t even know I could love before you came. Thank you for coming to us. It’s way too good to be true ;-)
Book in the making...
and stay tuned!