On December 30th, 2017 I experienced the most life changing, mind blowing, powerful 10 hours of my life – the labour and birth of our son.
My contractions started around 11am during a self-hypnosis session (something I’d been practicing for months to help with birth). They weren’t incredibly intense, but they were frequent. I had contractions every few minutes with very few moments of relief in between. They progressively got stronger. We called my midwife who told us to stay home as long as possible; so my husband (aka Super Man) ran me a bath, lit some candles and I did my best to stay relaxed.
By 2:45pm we arrived at Lasalle hospital and s**t got real. There was no question at all – I was in labour and we were going to meet our son, sooner than later I hoped. For the rest of my labour, I rotated between the bed, the birthing ball and the bathtub while Jack, my midwife and her student diligently pressed on my pressure points.
Jack, my hero, partner, love of my life, coached me through the next 6 hours and 19 minutes. He gave me water, applied my chapstick, breathed with me, dressed me and undressed me whenever I asked, attended to my every need (which at the time, were more like demands), and encouraged me to have the no-epidural labour that he knew I wanted.
With a few twists and turns along the way and countless all powerful woman roars later, Cedrik was born at 9:04pm. He was placed on my stomach, into my arms and he made his way to my breast, knowing exactly what to do.
The words to describe the surrealness of this moment escape me…
So, what I’ll do instead is share with you the 8 things that became abundantly clear during and after my labour.
1. I’m A Badass Warrior Woman:
While I’ve always known that I have emotional strength, I’ve often questioned my physical fortitude. I now know otherwise. Throughout those 10 hours, I reached within to the depths of my most badass warrior woman self and found the strength of a beast, a woman, a mother. My body is incredible in more ways than I can truly comprehend and there isn’t anything I can’t do that I put my mind and heart into.
2. It’s Important to Take Things One Step at a Time:
The best advice I received from both my mother in law and midwife was to take it one contraction at a time – which I did, mostly. But every so often I’d project forward and feel overwhelmed with fear and anticipation. What would come next? And would I be strong enough to handle it? Then I would bring myself back to the present and manage what was directly in front of me. Before I knew it, we’d reached the climax – the part where I push him out of me and into my arms. There was no turning back, we were almost there…
3. Focusing is a Super Power:
Further to my point above, the power of focus can’t be overlooked. Every time a wave (contraction) would come on, I directed all my focus towards making it as efficient as possible and finding my relief. This too shall pass. And as my midwife said, every contraction is bringing my son closer to my arms. Focus…
4. There’s Nothing More Powerful Than Self-Trust
While the bath, pressure points and breathing techniques were incredible tools to help me find some relief, the most powerful of all was my self-trust. Don’t get me wrong. There were several moments of doubt (“let’s talk about drugs” is something I said several times), but ultimately I always came back to the same place – hearing my inner goddess say to me, “you can and will do this”.
5. And Yet, There’s Power in Leaning on Others
My self-trust was the foundation. My midwife, her student, the sweet nurse Camille and my number one Jack were the 4 pillars that kept the house – my body – standing strong. When I was scared, they reassured me; when I was too weak to stand, they held me up; and when I wanted to give in, their dedication pulled me to the finish line. I’m forever grateful for them.
6. I Don’t Have So Much Shame After All, And That’s A Good Thing
I’ll spare you the details, but trust me when I say I did what I had to do to get some relief and bring our son through me and out into the world. The animal in me was released, and I didn’t care. I embraced this savage side of me that I’d never known before.
7. You Won’t Always Know “When”
One of the most challenging things about labour is that no one can tell you how long it will be before it’s over and your precious baby is in your arms. This was the most intense feeling of anticipation I’d ever experienced in my life. And while I couldn’t know “when” I had to trust that we would indeed get there. Soon, we’ll look into our baby’s eyes…soon, he’ll look into ours.
8. It’s Good to Have a Vision – And to Stay Flexible, Too
If you know me at all, you know I love a vision. So you better believe I had one for the biggest day of my life. And I gotta say, a lot of it went down similar to how I had imagined it. But not all of it. Towards the end of my labour, the birth of our baby boy was handed over to a Doctor – my midwife, who I’ve grown incredibly fond of wasn’t the one to deliver him with her own hands. There was a detour and a decision to be made, so I remained flexible. Sometimes, the path or “how”of things can be different from what we anticipated, but the destination can still remain the same. Baby Cedrik is here.
I share this with you in hope that you can benefit from the most intense 10 hours of my life and apply some of these “lessons of labour” to your life. Whatever your challenge may be – a business you’re not sure how to start, a breakup you can’t seem to shake or any other seemingly impossible mountain you need to climb – take it one step at a time, trust yourself and focus on the grandest vision for your life. Because you too are a bad ass warrior with the ability to be, create and do anything you put your mind and heart into.
Peace and labours of love,