Birthing A Better World

Roma Norriss: Doula & Breastfeeding Counsellor ~ Bath & Somerset ~ 07919 896 901

Nakhedi’s birth story

Nakhedi is one! Her birth is the most empowering experience of my life. Muna and I worked very hard with ourselves to create the space we needed to bring our daughter into this world peacefully. We met some very special people along the way who gave us guidance and strength. She arrived just after midnight on 25th February, 2012 into her loving fathers hands. I will always remember the gaze that she gave me with her big, dark blue wide open eyes. I am truly blessed to be a mother.

Muna and I took kundalini yoga classes together, sound healing gong workshops, breathwork, daily meditations, and crystal healing. I also loved dancing often! It felt so good to nourish my body as I knew that this would create a wonderful safe space for our baby to grow. I felt very connected with my body and felt so held by the energy within my womb. I even climbed a mountain whilst on a conference in Austria. Doing all that work meant that when it came to our birth choices, we were very confident and assertive with midwives and family, who may have been a little surprised at us wanting to do things differently! I’d read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and gained lots of information from there on the importance of going with the flow during birth. I was adamant that I didn’t want or need anyone checking me to see how far along I was. I really don’t know where there would have been space to do that anyway, as once our labour started it just increased in intensity and before too long I was at transition!

I woke up in the night before Nakhedi was born with four or five strong expansions (I had decided to call them this although they did actually feel like contractions after all!) and called Roma, our wonderful birthing partner. She had been an incredible inspiration and support throughout our pregnancy and we were so happy to be working with her. She had just had a gorgeous little baby girl, Artemis (the goddess of childbirth) when we met who was also with us all the way. She is a very special girl and is totally made for the birthing arena. She would always want to join in with our breathwork sessions. In one session we had with Roma, I felt Arte communicating with our baby in my womb and this beautiful flowing energy between them.

So when I heard Roma’s reassuring voice on the phone, I felt much better and went back to sleep. She sounded calm but excited! The next day was a relaxing, precious still time of small, delicious twinges. The ball felt really good to sit on whilst this was happening. I’d done a very energetic session of bellyfit the day before and really felt things were getting moving. I had a bath that afternoon and the rushes were coming on strongly in the water, moving my body around and creating waves in the bath. I washed my hair and body to be ready for the days to come as I knew it would be the last one for a while! Muna had been at college in Bristol for two days, so I knew he was coming back soon. I sent messages to all the women who had been in our birthing ceremony circle to let them know the birth was happening. They were all wearing beaded bracelets and I had instructed them to cut them at this moment, sending all the loving intention towards us for a peaceful, ecstatic birth! I took a homeopathic dose of colophyllum and these together really got the labour going.

Muna came home but hardly had time to take off his shoes when he found me upstairs, contracting fairly heavily! I asked him to rub my back and squeeze my hips, and we were getting really excited together in between expansions! I kept saying ‘ooooh, that was a big one!’ We called the midwives and I was so happy to hear Debbie on the phone, saying she would come over. We let Roma know and after my waters had broken conveniently when I went to the toilet, Muna started setting up the birth pool. I was telling Muna how I was happy that I couldn’t feel my hips any more, as my body was producing hormones that were numbing them!

I can’t recall the full intensity of each contraction but I would describe it as rushing power which takes over your whole body and beyond. Expansions came fast and freely and I became more and more focused on my body and nothing else. The rushes would forcefully push my body from one side of the pool to the other, and back again. I remember as I was reaching full dilation that my conscious awareness began to come back and and that point I said, if this goes on much longer I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to deal with it, to which Roma cheerfully replied ‘you’re at transition’! I said ‘ohh, ok’ and felt much better, as I had read lots about this stage. My awareness then came fully back into my body and I felt like I’d woken up, and my eyes focused on the digital clock on the TV recorder. After that I started getting excited and talking to Muna. He was there in the pool with me and it was amazing to hold onto him. We kept very still in between rushes. I was really exhausted by then and forgot about the ‘birth dance’ where the baby moves up and down the uterus. I could feel her head but would be disappointed when it moved back after a contraction! It felt so nice touching her head, it was all smooth and soft. Roma showed me how to breathe down rather than yelling and letting all of the energy out of the top of my body, which really helped. She also pressed on the muscly part of my hand which really got things moving more quickly again. It was really stinging when the baby was crowning, but before too long and when it became almost too intense to bear her head popped out at the end of a super long expansion! I was so surprised, and thought her whole body had come out so was feeling around for her! I thought I might have sat on her head in all the excitement! Everyone came over to the edge and on the next expansion I felt her shoulders wiggle, which felt so wonderful, as she wriggled herself out. The relief was amazing! When my eyes opened Muna was holding her out in front of me, I felt her cord tugging as she was brought towards me, as it was wrapped around her shoulders like a pair of braces. Her beautiful, wide dark blue eyes looked deeply into mine whilst her arms and legs waved around, and I said ‘hello’! It felt like ages whilst we untangled her but after a couple of seconds she was cuddled up to my chest, the best feeling in the world. She was so tiny, and perfect, and I was whole. I felt so proud and so full of love, which continues to flood through my being daily, over a year later. I felt so proud when Roma described me as a ‘birthing goddess’, I felt like I hadn’t done much but allow and trust, in my self, the birthing process, and my baby.

I love you Nakhedi! Our beautiful rising star, you are so welcome here! Thank you for the amazing journey you undertook to come here and be with us now. You have changed my life completely and I feel like I can do anything, I am so very blessed to be your Mama. I’m always here for you, special, wonderful, strong and mighty one.

Nakhedi was lotus born, she kicked her cord off when I was changing her, three days after she was born. It felt amazing to hold her body to mine and know that she was really here. Her placenta is planted under a beautiful red acer tree which is just coming into leaf, called ‘bloodgood’.

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Thank you for such worthwhile help and support you give. It’s so hard to place confidence in your body to provide for all their needs when you’ve not done it before.

At 10 days: Can I just say a massive thank you for your time and for suggesting trying the skin on skin and laid back position. I have found this fascinating… and she’s managed it twice once on each breast. The first time almost instantly which amazed me most after all the trying with more basic conventional holds. She just got it so quickly and easily and is much more comfy for both of us than sitting up straight.

 At 6 weeks: We made it to 6 weeks exclusively breastfed yesterday, so the stressful bits were worth it. Thank you again for your time and support.

 At 12 weeks: Thank you again as we are at 12 1/2 weeks now and still exclusively breastfeeding. Makes me realise that if I can do it then really almost anyone can do it. There’s always the ‘what if’ niggles about supply, but we’ve relaxed a lot about things and the night feeds are lovely, calm affairs. I love that she doesn’t end up sobbing and screaming in the middle of the night for food as its all so quick and convenient.

Vicki

Mother, U.K.

The job of the Birthkeepers

“The job of the Birthkeepers is to pave the way for the Earthkeepers to come through. Get hooked up to the Earth Mother, connect with your intuition and trust it” Robin Lim Last weekend I returned from Findhorn, to where there was an unusual exodus of birthkeepers for the Healthy Birth Healthy Earth Conference. I had long yearned to visit this fairy founded enigma and once I got beyond the odd appearance of the village with its tarmac road and 70s bungalows, I fell in love with it. The energy was SO bright and I have never felt the unseen realms so strongly in a place. For additional magic factor there were dolphins, sunsets over the hot tub, enchanted gardens where pixies stole my shoe, shooting stars like cartoon rockets and one night, a freak appearance of phosphorescence in the bay. The conference was beautifully organised and held impeccably so that we built deep emotional safety and a collaborative vibe that allowed us all to ‘own it’ – a vital model for the new birthing paradigm. We were saturated with the generous presence of the elders of this field. True luminaries such as Michel Odent, Binnie A Dansby, Ray Castellino, Robie Davis Floyd, Elena Tonnetti-Vladimirova and Robin Grille. And also doulas and lay midwives, who brought indigenous wisdom learned from birthing women and passed down through generations. I was most blown away by Robin Lim and found myself shivering or welling up with her every word and gesture. This incredible woman has set up free midwifery care for women in Ubud, Acheh and in disaster zones and trains 7000 midwives a year.... read more

Ecstatic Birth is not Hypnobirthing

I often get asked; Ecstatic Birth, is that like hypnobirthing? No, not really from what I can tell. The emphasis with hypnobirthing seems to be on minimalising the intensity of birth. Instead of contractions, we’ll call them waves or surges. We won’t mention the words pain or fear, but instead focus on the positive. But my experience in hypnobirthing is limited to having heard a few tapes and doing a fair amount of plain old hypnosis. I may have this completely wrong and if that is the case, I’d love to hear from any practitioners/mothers who can enlighten me. Throughout pregnancy and particularly when a woman enters the altered state of labour, releasing hormones, endorphins and even the psychedelic chemical DMT, any underlying fears and negative beliefs can start to manifest in the environment around her. If she has been avoiding these fears by focusing only on what is positive and affirming, she may get railroaded by them. Ecstatic Birth is about addressing fear at the root cause, (which is the impact of her own birth and the beliefs she has taken on about birth and life). Women who prepare ecstatically, using Binnie Dansby’s approach, look forward to birth as an opportunity to experience their life energy in full technicolour. Some crazy folks invest a lot in getting a rush from paragliding, base jumping or mountain climbing. Here we have this amazing opportunity for exhilaration and empowerment available to us in a normal family event. More importantly, it is an opportunity for profound and fast-track healing of our core wounds that stem from the way we were welcomed to this world. Hypnobirthing seems to be more about... read more