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Genevieve’s Birth Story — Baby Maïa Liann, born November 16, 2006
Gen's inspiring story shares the details of her home birth of baby Maïa, including how she completely allowed her body to find the best positions, breathing and sounds for labour and childbirth. This is Gen's second birth story (see her first birth story with Baby Antoine).

Yogaspace - Pregnancy Yoga - Birth Stories     It all started on Wednesday afternoon around 4:00pm, I was watching TV with my son Antoine. I was squatting on my yoga block, thinking the pressure on my cervix from the position might help induce the labor. Well believe it or not, after about 20 minutes of squatting I started to feel some menstrual cramping, nothing regular or painful, but just enough for me to notice them.

     The contractions came and went at an irregular interval, so I went on with my day, started supper, fed my son, gave him his bath. I was home alone at the time; my husband was still at work. At around 6:30, the pain became more important, and I noticed that I had been having contractions every 7 minutes or less. Luckily my husband came home shortly after and put my son to bed.

     I called my midwife to tell her about the situation and went to take a bath. By then the contractions were pretty much every 5 minutes, and painful enough for me to have no choice but to breathe through them.

     The funny thing was that every time I had some kind of disturbance (example: when I was on the phone with the midwife, when Chad would talk to me, the phone would ring, etc…) my contractions would completely stop! They would resume a couple of minutes later, when everything was quiet again.

     At around 11pm, my mom came to get my son for the night and my midwife and her assistant came over to check up on me and see how labor was progressing. The baby had dropped very low and I was dilated at 3+. But as I thought, my contractions stopped completely as soon as the midwives got here. So for almost 1 hour, I had no sign of a contraction, except for tiny cramps here and there. I went to take another bath, but still nothing. It was only once in my bedroom, naked, laying down in total darkness, with the sounds of Deva Premal chanting lightly in the background, and my husband right there hugging me, that the contractions started again.

     But this time they kicked in full force, like I had never felt before. They became very regular, very intense in a short period of time. It was almost like a spiritual experience, like an out-of-body sensation where my mental and my physical were totally disconnected. My body would move with the contractions, sometime on all fours, sometime on my knees rocking back and forth, other times just crawling around the bed trying to find some mysterious position I didn’t know about. The sounds that I produced were not human anymore, it was the primitive mammal in me who took total control of my body, with my mental just “sitting” there, analyzing, without controlling or calculating anything. I even remember my mind commenting on what it was seeing, analyzing what was going on but without interfering in any way.

     I remember noticing the midwife and her assistant sitting on the floor of my bedroom, watching me and exchanging smiles with my husband, completely emerged in what was going on. They were all so calm, admiring the beauty of the most magical moment in the world: a baby and a mother working their way through something animals have been doing forever.

     Finally the urge of pushing came, and I crawled around my bed trying to find a position in which my body wanted to push. I ended up on my back, half way off the bed with my back arched and my legs pushing against my husband and midwife! I pushed for what seemed to be an hour, but when I later checked my file, it ended up only being 20 minutes. At 3:15 am on November 16th I met my daughter for the first time. I recognized her energy right away; I couldn’t believe she was in my arms, finally, after all this hard work we had been through together.

     I later found out that the labor had been so painful because the baby never ended up turning her back on my left side. Throughout the whole pregnancy she had her back against mine, but we just figured she would turn properly during labor with the force of the contractions. Well she didn’t! So she passed through my pelvis, down the birth canal and out the opening with her head on the complete other side that it should have been! My midwife said that I probably have a very good pelvis for the baby to be able to go down that way.

     I’m still amazed at how well this labor went, how I was able to totally surrender to my body (once again!) The energy of childbirth is indescribable, it is truly a rite of passage, one of the few we have left... I am so thankful that I had the chance to live this experience in the intimacy of my own home, with the support and respect every woman deserves during this time where she is most vulnerable, and strongest at the same time. I now realize how every birthing experience is different, even if you’ve had children already. As much as I needed people around me for my first labor, this time all I needed was to be alone. My midwife compared me to a cat, which will search for hours to find THE spot where to have her babies. It isn’t until she feels completely safe that she will finally surrender to her birthing experience …

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