Here are the contact details of my doulas:
You want my pregnancy management guide?
I've created for myself an overview of everything I've done during my pregnancy to prepare for an ecstatic birth. My experience was so beautiful and empowering that I wanted to make sure that I follow the same pregnancy management and birth preparation steps for (hopefully) my next pregnancy. But I got asked a lot about it, so I've decided to share it. It is an overview of the books I've read, the mobile apps I was using, the movies I've seen, the supplements I was taking, a list with (free) online resources, and maybe most importantly my daily routine
If you prefer to read, here is the transcription of the video
Hello. In this video, I want to share my birth story. And I want to do this because I think that what we see on the movies is not really representing much of the reality of how birth is happening. And I know that there is a lot of fear in pregnant women about the birth process. There is so much noise and negative birth stories, even horror stories that I thought that I want to share my story, because it is a positive one. It's a beautiful story and trust me, a minute after I gave birth, my thought was “I want this again”. Really! And I've never heard anyone saying that just after the birth, they wanted to give birth again. But it was the most incredible and beautiful and unbelievable, amazing journey. And I really want to share this, so that more women approach it with confidence, with hope or with trust and with less fear. So, before I go into the birthing itself, I want to share that. I had the ambition to have an orgasmic birth. This means that I was aiming at having an orgasm while I'm giving birth. And I know this is possible. And I started a research. I found books and movies about it so that I prepare myself for that experience. My whole birth preparation was focused on this blissful experience. I did not want to just give birth. I knew that this is a one time opportunity for me to experience something so unique and so incredible. How can I make the most out of it? And my whole preparation continued throughout the whole birth, actually throughout the whole pregnancy, starting with the books I was reading. One of my doulas on bread that gave me a list with books, which she recommended to me as a positive birth stories to actually prepare me for the birth. I was reading good books throughout the whole pregnancy. I was also preparing, with an exercise called Ice Contractions to recognize, to see how my body reacts on pain and what supports me in those moments. The exercise is pretty simple. You take an ice cube and you hold it in your hand, close your fist around it for a minute, and then you release for 30 seconds and you hold it again for a minute. And the ice cube at the beginning is just cold, but at some point it starts to hurt. You know, it's very cold. So how is your mind reacting in this moment? Do you get angry? Do you get sad? Will somebody talking to you in this moment help? Will encouragement help or you rather have silence? All this I was experimenting with to see what would help me during the birthing process.
And I think this is crucial. You know, many women are so afraid of the birth that they don't really prepare for it. They don't really think about it. But I was already reading into it and doing different exercises. My doula Ombretta really helped me with a lifestyle, food, supplements, and movement advice.
I was moving a lot, I was active. And then I had my other doula, Sophie, who also gave me a list with books, so I read those books as well. And also I did with her, a birth course and a breastfeeding course. I was really preparing myself mentally, emotionally and physically for becoming a mother. This continued my whole pregnancy. And I believe that this is key. Please hear me loud and clear. Healthy body means strong mind. And we really need our strong mind to experience beautiful and blissful birth because birth is painful but pain we are experiencing in our every day and we can go through it.
Our body is equipped with tools, to handle it. So ,and it's not pain which you cannot handle. This pain is designed to open you up. And what helps you is your strong mind. And in a healthy, strong body you have a healthy, strong mind. If your body does not feel well and you know you have a difficult pregnancy, it's very difficult to maintain a positive state of mind and high vibration frequency of your emotions and of your mental state, your well-being. So I was 36 weeks pregnant. It was my last working day, my last hour of work, my waters break. My dream was to give birth at home in the in a pool, in water. And we were preparing for a bath, but my waters broke way too early and I had to say goodbye to my dream birth. We had to go to the hospital. It was a shock for me. I was preparing for four weeks before I give birth to, you know, fold some baby clothes and prepare the baby's room… And then we did not even have a baby name. We had one name in mind, but we were not yet set on it. We were thinking “we will still research some names”. So my waters breaking was shocking. And I was resisting it. I was not ready for it.
I had a lot of pain, like mental pain, emotional pain. It was not supposed to happen like this. I didn't want it this way. So we had to go to the hospital and I stayed there for two nights. And because it was Corona time, I was supposed to have a visitor for half an hour. Only one person for half an hour a day. And for the rest I was alone and I was not allowed to go out because of Corona so I was just locked in a room in the hospital. And I had so many emotions around it. I was crying. I was super said. I was angry.
And it was just very difficult to accept that my water birth is gone. I was by myself 23 and a half hours a day. Just before giving birth for the first time, I'm not with my partner. My family is somewhere far away. And I was just really sad, very lonely. So the doctors saw me like being so emotional and were like: “Okay, your waters broke, but you are not giving birth. We will not induce the birth, so we will let the baby stay for one more week because this is safer for the baby. And you know, in the week we will induce you if you don't give birth naturally. So you can go home, stay at home, and you will be coming for checks daily. We will monitor how it's going.
I went home, but at home I felt relaxed. And when you relax, contractions start. For four days I was with contractions which were between three and 10 minutes. And what it means is that I was not able to sleep for more than 10 minutes because the next contraction was coming. So even during the night, during the day, I was sleeping in between contractions and at some point, I was so tired. I had to go back to the hospital, stayed there for another two days. My body was tired. I was emotionally tired of all this resistance. I didn't know when I will give birth. My contractions needed to be stronger and more regular, but it was not happening. There were moments when they were getting stronger and more regular for half an hour and then they were again getting less frequent. So at some point I was just, “you know what, okay, I cannot do anything about it.”
And I just let it go. I don't really remember the moment of accepting what it was, but at some point, I just felt liberated. I just felt like I cannot control it anymore. I don't know at one moment I will give birth. I don't know when I will go back to the hospital. Will I be home? Will I be in the hospital? What is going to happen? My doula Sophie brought me a mama tens device. Something you put on your back and it sends electricity, not that high voltage electricity steam in your body which is tricking your brain that this is pain and the brain releases endorphins and endorphins release the pain because contractions are painful and having contractions for four days is exhausting and painful.
And this was kind of relieving a little bit my pain. Anyway, it was one week between the breaking of my waters and the day my son was born. I was in the hospital and they induced me. They gave me synthetic oxytocin to help my contractions get more effective, stronger and more frequent. They became stronger. I thought this was not possible. Well, trust me, it was possible. Strong contractions it's pain. And something which helped me a lot is in one of the books I read, they were telling about to, choose objects, which will support you through the process of birthing. And there are two phases of the birth. The first phase is the phase of the opening of the cervix. And these are the contractions which are really painful. And this phase can continue many hours. But basically you cannot do much about it. You know, you just need to let the pain open you up. And the other phase is the phase when you are pushing and this is the last phase where the baby's coming out. So I chose for my first phase, the symbol of the dandelion. Dandelion is this flower which is very airy, which when you blow, it gets its small little flowers fly away. And for me, this was a symbol of letting go, of trust, of life. And I have printed, , images of dandelion. And I had them in the room and this helped me every time, you know, when I was having a contraction to think about letting go, not resist the pain. The pain is good. And I had moments when I was using my voice to express pain, and I had moments when I was not. And it did not make much difference. I just followed what felt right all the time. I had my partner with me and my doula, and every now and then a midwife would come and check on us.
And this continued like something like ten, 11 hours. I had moments when I was like “okay, I will not make it, I need some pain relief.” But my doula really helped me there., I was well prepared. I knew the choices I have for pain relief, but she knew I wanted to have natural birth, and I was she just reminded me, “yes, pain relief will relieve the pain if the injection is placed correctly”. So, what it did is, give me comfort, but also bring the seed of doubt. And she was like, “you can do it”. You know, like they encouraged me. And in the most difficult moments, I had Rogier and the encouragement of my doula. Here are some photos you can see.
But it was just beautiful to, you know, let the time pass. The the room we were in we had closed curtains. So we don't really see the light. Light is more disturbing and blocks, the oxytocin. So we had this dark room. We had some nice food and some nice drinks too. You know, I need to keep on drinking.
I need to keep on eating. I was standing all the time. I was not laying on my back. It was extremely painful. And this is also something I read in the books. If you look at the way gravity works when you're standing, you are helping your baby go down. When you are laying there is way less gravitation working, or it works the same way, but not in the direction you want.
So I was standing all the time or using a birth ball or birthing ball. I'm not sure how it's called. And it was just, you know, letting it happen. And every time when it was difficult, I was thinking of this dandelion. And I would also ask for help. I was connecting to all the women around the world, all races, all times, asking for their blessings because so many women have given birth. And, you know, now Western world is like “you lay in the hospital you are connected to all kinds of devices. And this is how it happens.” But, you know, our grand grand grandmothers, they did not do it this way. And birth was less traumatic than it is now. So I was very much using, the techniques from our ancestors and I was standing and just being supported by the bed but not really laying on it.
And at some point, all that I felt is like my belly start to tremble and my muscles were contracting by themselves. I’ve mentioned this to my doula and she's like, “okay, you're moving to the last phase.” I felt incredibly good. She was like, “now you can push”. For 11 hours all I could do is allow, let go, don't resist, let the pain open you up. This is the only thing you can do. If you resist, it's more painful.
And what I did, I was just not resisting it. And I had physical pain, but emotionally, mentally, I was very centered. I was very calm. I was very inward. And at the moment my body was ready to push I felt so strong because for the first time, I could do something. And it was an incredibly pleasurable process. So I was sitting on the birthing chair. I was there, the midwife came as well, because in this last phase, she has a more supporting a role. And the image for this last phase, the supportive object which I was connecting with, was a polar bear. For me, the polar bear was really the symbol of a strong female animal, wild and fierce.
And yeah, really I don't know, somehow this was a super powerful image of a female animal. This phase went very fast, faster than usual for a first birth. It was super pleasurable. And I really, really, really liked it. I did not have an orgasm. And I think that it has to do with the fact that I followed the instructions of the midwife. This is one of the things I want to change in my next birth.
So what was natural for me is when I exhale to push, and what was natural for me was to push two times on every exhale. But the midwife was asking me to push a third time. And instead of following my own rhythm and what was feeling right, I was following her counting. This alienated me or pulled me away from my center in this last phase. In the last couple of minutes, I moved to the bed on my all fours.
This is how Florian was born. And it was incredibly beautiful. Like, it was like heart melting. And I completely did not have any notion of time, any notion of space. I was just there. I felt safe. I could not believe this miracle. He was so small and at the same time so big, if imagine him coming out of your vagina. That's really big, you know? But it was incredibly beautiful. And I was so happy that I felt like somebody drugged me with something. I actually asked the midwives “Did you give me anything?” So maybe, you know, they they continued with some hormones or something like that. And she was like, “no, this are your own hormones”. Ladies, trust me, I've never been so high in my life. Like, after giving birth, it was super beautiful, super happy. So much, really so much joy. Tears of joy. My heart was expanding, like, enormous, like super big heart, super loving for everybody, for everything. And, like, having this little being being born, like, smelling his head was a total bliss. Most incredible thing.
And then it turned out that my placenta is not coming out and it had to come out within half an hour, otherwise I needed to get operated. And they were telling me, “okay, maybe we need to operate you”. And I'm like, “Okay, fine”, you know, I'm just, like, drugged. I am so happy that there is nothing you can tell me that would break my happiness. I'm fine with getting operated, you know, do whatever needs to be done. But my doula, Sophie, she's very experienced and knows exactly what she's doing and was incredible support for me.
So she told the midwives that she has seen a technique being used. If I can go squatting on the ground on the floor and make a few steps while I'm squatting, just like the ducks are walking, that if somebody pulls on the umbilical cord, the placenta will come out. And it did. The placenta came out. I did not have to do go through an operation thanks to my doula. And then I saw the placenta. It's so beautiful. It's like not, not normal. It's like an alien thing, you know, like part of me came out. It's like a balloon. I imagine that in normal circumstances you'd be disgusted by something like this. But actually in this state of being so open and so happy and loving so much and realizing that this little balloon has fed my baby for eight, nine months, that it's actually the true miracle of what my body has produced to protect the baby and to feed it and help it grow. It is really beautiful. I have few pictures of it. Yeah, it was special. So, I really remember just like I started with this, that I felt like, “oh, I want this again. I want to become a mom again, even if it's only for the birth experience.” It was so incredibly empowering. I was feeling so strong and especially in this pushing stage, there is nothing I could compare it with.
I just felt like I'm born to do this. I'm meant to do this. And my body is equipped with everything it needs to make this happen, you know, to get this baby out it total bliss. Total bliss again, like I said, strong mind and strong body walk hand by hand. I'm going to put under this video a PDF you can download with what I have done during my pregnancy to prepare myself for the healthy, happy, positive, blissful birth.
And I'm not saying that this is the universal recipe maybe it does not work for everybody, but at least you will have a list with the books I read and the courses I followed and the YouTube channels. Many of those things are free. And yes, you have to check with your midwives and doulas whether this is suitable for you. But at least you have already guidance, even if you take from it just the books and the videos and the inspiration This is already so much more than what you will find online if you're looking for birth, you know, we are so flooded with those negative stories.
And I think that we just need to hear more of those positive ones so that women are less afraid, so that we all have this beautiful experience as much as possible. Right. And maybe it's not meant for everybody, but I'm pretty sure that the way nature and God has designed those bodies to give birth, it's yeah, we are supposed to go through it and it doesn't need to be as horrifying as we sometimes hear and see it.
We can. Yeah, we can really influence how it goes if we prepare for it. Thank you so much for watching. And hope this is helpful. And if it is, maybe share it with the girlfriend of yours who needs to see it.
I think that you are definitely different after this experience. Thank you.
My pregnancy management guide?
You can get an overview of the books I've read, the mobile apps I was using, the movies I've seen, the supplements I was taking, a list with (free) online resources, and maybe most importantly my daily routine to take care of my body and my mind during my pregnancy.