On my partners birthday of 2020 I found out I was pregnant, letting him know with a positive pregnancy test in an envelope like a birthday card. I remember that feeling of pure love excitement and bliss, not one ounce of fear present.
As with many pregnancies there are always worries in the first few weeks that you will miscarry, and if the baby may have a developmental issue and what you may choose to do if you found out they did. Many people think parenting starts from the day the child is born, but parenting starts from the moment of conception, and some may even say preconception.
You are choosing how to move your body, what to fuel your body with, what products you are putting on your skin, the company that you keep and the headspace that you have. All of these factors influence that little human growing within you whether you like to admit it or not.
So along the pregnancy journey we went learning and growing, growing and learning. We had formed our birth plan, (mostly me) with the support of my partner but who had a very different view of what a birth looked like. We attended a hypnobirthing course which helps to inform you of the physiology of birth, how to manage pain in labour, how a partner can support you, choices in birth and potential outcomes.
I remember feeling very positive about the birth itself. Not fearing pain or the process, however I did have my reservations as to whether my partner would be able to support me through the physiological birth I had planned knowing his mindset was not sold on that outcome. I put forward to him we should hire a doula, to help support me and also him, sometimes birth can be very long and exhausting for both parents. It’s also good to have someone present who isn’t emotionally invested in the birth but can provide support and information no matter which direction the birth takes.
He didn’t like the idea much, and his ego took a hit thinking he couldn’t support his own child’s birth. So I left it at that.
Fast forward, 30th January 2021, with our babe now being 10 days over his estimated arrival date ( more than 2/3 of women will go into spontaneous labour at 41+3) my waters broke, feeling content with this and safe I was heading to bed to rest for the exciting journey ahead.
My partner had concerns that my water looked coloured and wanted a second opinion so we called the midwife. She advised us to head up to the hospital to get checked out. I remember discussing this with my partner at the time and letting him know that if we headed up to the hospital now we wouldn’t be leaving until our baby was born, and that I knew it wouldn’t play out as i had planned.
Your partner is 50% if the child’s parent and their opinions and concerns are valid so I agreed to head up to the hospital to be checked out on the CTG. The midwives confirmed my water had broke and that I was having mild contractions (labour had begun) the concern was that my waters were tinged yellowish brown showing that their was meconium (baby poo) present in the fluid baby was sitting in.
Long story short. There were a lot of interventions that were unnecessary and were the cause of the chosen outcome which resulted in my babies belly birth. He was born via a c-section at 11:55am on the 31st of January, healthy and happy.
My recovery was pretty good, however the emotional pain and trauma that I carried from that birth affected me a lot more than anything else. In the first few weeks and even months after birth I was so angry, about the way my opinion and my choices were not met with any support from the medical staff or the midwife, or my partner (unfortunately) what I really needed at the time was someone to back me and my decisions. I felt resentment towards all the care providers and even towards my child’s now father. I started working through this knowing that it wasn’t healthy and if continued would lead to a very unhappy relationship with myself my partner and my child.
After working through my feelings with a professional I realised it wasn’t the outcome but the steps along the way that angered me so. That I was made to feel powerless and sick, and that I didn’t have a say in how my baby would be bought into this world and what would happen to my body.
After this experience I knew that I wanted to be someone to provide that support, that education and allow women to feel empowered and supported the way they wanted to be airing their pregnancy, their labour, birth and beyond. So I looked into doula certification and have just commenced my studies to be a birth and postpartum doula to help all women with their transition from maiden to mother, because it is the most spectacular moment of your life, and it will change you forever.
So here begins my journey to supporting women forever, to change the way they are held in birth so they can step into motherhood stronger than ever.
You can keep up with Carla here - @maiden_to_muma