I want to share the story of the arrival of my baby into the world. Firstly because it was such a momentous occasion for me but also because we don't hear enough about birth stories and what can happen during this time.
Sunday 2nd September 2018 saw the arrival of my daughter Vanaya Mistry-Patel. After a 12 hour labour she came into the world with a sense of grace and what can only be described as Divine Intervention. My contractions started on the Saturday morning and they were light and manageable. I spoke to my midwife who advised me to stay at home and to rest and relax. We had just moved into our new house and things were starting to feel like home so I decided to have a lie in followed by some yoga and meditation. I took the day easy and spent some time with my mum and dad too.
Rakesh my husband came home in the evening and we were just relaxing when my mucous plug (those who are familiar with labour terminology will know what that means) followed by my waters broke starting my labour. My contractions were closer together and stronger so we decided to go to the hospital. Only to be told that we should go back home again until the contractions get even stronger.
We went home and I tried to sleep in between my contractions. When my contractions rose I found cat pose (marjari asana) was my favoured position. I used the breath to work through each contraction. I also found being vocal with my breath using sounds such as elongated vowels on the exhalation helped me to deal with the pain. It started to get more intense so we called the hospital who advised us to stay at home even longer if possible. If we went to the hospital now they may have told us to go back home again and the birthing centre (my preferred place for labour) was really busy. This meant they may have had to place me in the delivery suite instead. This would mean no access to a pool which was where I wanted to give birth and constant foetal monitoring which restricts your movement… ie I wouldn't be able to practice yoga whilst in labour so that was a big no no for me!
So we stayed at home where the midwife advised me to have a bath… this was strange as I was advised not to have a bath if your waters have broken. However the midwife said have a bath without using any products just water. So I got into the water which really helped me to deal with the pain. Along with this I used my breath and repeated mental affirmations to help me through. Having practiced yoga for many years I instinctively worked with my breath using techniques such as Ujayi and Uma Dinsmore Tuli's technique the Golden Thread breath. This coupled with the affirmations were a really good combination. If you use your breath but you don't work with the power of your mind then the pain can overtake you. So it's really important to get strong mentally and to use positive thoughts and affirmations which allow you to believe in yourself and to believe in the strength of your body.
As I continued to work through this it got to a point where I wanted to push! How do you know you need to push? It feels like you want to go for a number two! I said to Rakesh I need to push! We called the birthing centre who did not answer the phone!!! So Rakesh said let's just go, we need to go now! In those moments as we prepared to go back to the hospital I knew why Rakesh was my husband and my birthing partner... He remained so calm and in control of the situation. I could feel myself going into a different zone, a different place but felt safe in his presence.
That car journey and walk into the hospital was surreal. It felt like I was watching myself from above. The pain was intense and it was now about 5am so I felt really really tired. When I got into the bed in my room the midwife said in a really calm cheery voice ‘if you want to push you can, your baby is ready to arrive’. I was like ‘really?’ She said ‘yes your 10cm dilated!’ I couldn't believe what she was saying. Lots of different thoughts went through my mind… Where had the time gone? Is my baby really ready to arrive? I'm not ready! I can't do this! I quickly had to let go of the anxiety and get really present! This is happening. My baby is coming and I need to get strong! So I demanded gas and air and asked to get into the pool!
The pool was really soothing and the gas and air worked wonders! When Vanaya came into the world she dropped into the water and the midwife said ‘look down… you can see your baby!’ I looked down and there she was, our little floating water baby. We picked her up and welcomed her into the world with lots of kisses, cuddles and words of love. It was magical and miraculous.
I can't describe what I felt in that moment but it was incredible. There was a connection and it felt like a void that had been missing in our lives was filled with this soul. At the same time it was like a reunion because we are and have always been connected. The journey now takes the role of mother, father and daughter. A family, our family.
Exactly a year before Vanaya was born Rakesh and I sold our home and went travelling for four months with just a backpack. We then got pregnant and bought a house which we moved into just one week before Vanaya’s arrival. I really believe that it was our ability to trust the universe and to have a strong sense of faith in the manifestation of our dreams and desires that allowed us to tap into our creative energy.
If you are thinking about starting a family and you are in a loving relationship then I say go for it! There is probably a soul out there for you just waiting to be born. Let go of fear, anxiety or worry and just trust that everything will come together to support you into parenthood.
I hope you were entertained, inspired or intrigued by our story. Have you given birth? What was your experience? Let us know your thoughts, we'd love to hear from you.