Guest post by Moana Kala Skye
I fell pregnant out of a committed relationship and chose to have this baby without a partner, permanent address or family support.
Being pregnant was the best embodied experience I had ever had.
I loved being pregnant and felt the most beautiful, strong, safe and capable ever.
I was 26 when I gave birth.
I have been on the Doula path since I was pregnant and have been exploring what embodying the sacred feminine means to me for over 15 years.
As I write this my 8 year old daughter is breathing loud enough for me to hear next to me, her pink unicorn in her arms as she fell asleep 2 minutes ago, after saying the words “I love you”. She says this as she falls asleep every night. Every single night 🙂
The recent online birth summit with Nancy was so inspirational, being linked to like-minded and trailblazing women like my latest birth mentor Maha Al Musa- EmbodyBirth founder and global teacher of BellydanceBirth. It was through these interviews, that I felt inspired to contact Nancy and share my empowered birth experience even though it didn’t go as I’d hoped it would.
It was through doing a Healing Birth Trauma workshop with Angela Fitzgerald at The Red Tent yoga space in Byron Bay 1 year ago that I met Maha and was able to resolve the undealt with birth trauma still lingering in my energy field.
What I love about Maha is that she views birth as a Rite of passage and that every woman experiences this differently. There is no comparison.
You see after labouring in hospital for 19 hours after my waters had broken and getting to 8 cm dilation I was given two choices: to have a caesarean or an epidural. This experience was the most terrified I had ever been in my life. I was in deep labour with an OP (posterior) baby and having to sit still and get a spinal block or be cut open was a devastating list of choices. What I have continued to feel in my parenting journey because of the epidural I felt that my energy had been blocked and I had suffered from post-partum depletion 6 months after her birth. I have also been tested for iron deficiency and have found I am still severely anaemic; this is a condition in my bloodline so I now finally know this a long term health issue I need to address. It took me 8 years to work this out!
As someone who had planned for a natural, even ecstatic birth, I found myself led to women who had had very positive birth experiences, mostly at home, even hearing about dolphin assisted ocean births. As a wild and carefree ocean girl, these stories greatly encouraged me and I gypsyed around before finding a place to birth 6 weeks before my daughter’s estimated due date.
Funnily her birth ended up being in a hospital in a city. Even though I lived with a doula, when my labour started, birthing in a house with international students in their room didn’t feel right. So I chose to birth in the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.
My daughter was born at 1:22 am on the ‘Day out of time’ in the Mayan calendar in 2009. It actually didn’t sink in that I was having a baby, until she was crowning and I touched her head. But I’m getting ahead here, let me go back to the beginning.
I took my pregnancy test in cabin 8 at the backpackers I was staying at on the North Shore of O’ahu in Hawaii in 2008. I was going to go scuba diving with my roommates, 2 other solo female travellers- one from Alaska and the other from Austria. The sexy Cuban instructor had come around to make sure we were ready when I told them all there was a chance I was pregnant. The other sign I had received early that day was from a fellow traveller who told me my name meant “You’re impregnated with the divine”! 🙂 Before I left for Hawaii, I sat with a friend who I told I felt I was pregnant and I was going to have this baby out of a relationship.
So I took a pregnancy test, in a place where the toilet flushed in the opposite way to ours in Australia. I remember coming out of the bathroom to my backpacker friends who were so happy for me, even though I couldn’t go scuba diving with them. I then continued to spend my first trimester living in Hawaii, connected to nature and unplugged from the outside world.
Now skipping ahead, I had just finished my Vietnamese dinner with the friend I had told prior to leaving the country, when my labour started. I felt like a pool cue had been jabbed inside of me. We played Massive Attack Mezzanine and I remember particularly liking the song Black Milk in my early stages of labour. I spent 6 hours walking around the house, while I pondered the name of my child. I’d always loved Rose so that was going to be her middle name, however her first name was unsettled. Starla was the closest thing I could come up with, from a Smashing Pumpkins song. Most people I encountered wanted me to call here Lily. I am glad I didn’t. It was in those early stages of labour that my baby told me her name. It was Stella. Stella Rose. The star that came from the sky.
The empowered part of my birth experience was finding my voice and saying to the doctor who wanted to suck her out after I was fully dilated for 2 hours, “Do I have a choice?” I was so fierce- the most assertive I have ever been in my life. They kept pressuring me to give them a yes. It was then, he looked at me and said, “Yes you do, and you’ll push her out”.
Also my 3rd stage was amazing. I had a natural 3rd stage, meaning no synthetic oxytocin was given and as soon as by daughter was born she latched onto my left breast and stayed there while her placenta was released and then for the following 8 hours! Her chord was cut after this and it was like she didn’t even notice. Also I insisted on no jabs at all. No Vitamin K, no Hep B, no Heel Prick test. As a non-vaccinator, I have stood by my choices in her birth and hope to inspire other mothers to look into what Informed consent really means.
Blessings to all mothers, however you choose to birth.