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How Niko was Born

30-07-2013 · Kaisa Touminen

Niko’s birth was amazing; just as I had dreamt it would be. :-)

Niko day 1We had a home birth with Equip Mudra, just as we did three years ago with Leia. On Sunday 7th of July I put Leia down for a nap at 16:00 and she wanted to breastfeed. When I breastfed her during the pregnancy I would often feel contractions, but this time they were different.

For the last two weeks I’d had irregular contractions some nights and also during day. I think my cervix had already effaced so when these contractions started, it began to dilate. I could feel the cervix open up, it was incredible!

My partner Xavi and my daughter Leia were at home. After Leia went for her nap I lay down on another bed and breathed through the contractions. After a while I told Xavi that things were livening up; I knew he had to get organized.

His nerves kicked in and he started to wash the dishes! I didn’t understand why at the time but later he told me that he wanted to have clean pots and pans in case we needed more hot water.

I had been listening to a Hypnobabies affirmations CD and it really helped. I felt best standing up, leaning forward with my hands on the table or on the sink.

After about 90 minutes I really wanted Xavi with me so we called our friend and doula Txell to come over and hang out with Leia. For the next 2 to 3 hours contractions were coming every 3 to 4 minutes and I moved my hips while Xavi had his hand on my lower back and sacrum. It was such a relief to feel the warmth of his hands there.

I vocalized as of the first contraction and sometimes Leia would pop her head in to see what I was doing and to give me kisses, but most of the time she preferred playing with Txell.

I started to feel a bit “out of it”; that almost drunk feeling you get between contractions. I also started shaking, so I asked Xavi to call Quique, our midwife, as I was sure I was almost fully dilated and the contractions were every 2 to 3 minutes.

Quique arrived at 21:15 and my waters broke on his Doppler! The contractions then become very intense and I couldn’t find a comfortable position.

I wanted to push and I tried standing up, on all fours, on the birthing ball; it hurt so much, even between contractions.

Leia come in to see what all the shouting was about (I didn’t see her, they told me about it afterwards), they explained and she went back to playing in the garden. Finally Xavi told us that the birthing pool was ready.

As I went up the stairs I felt my perineum fully stretched; it was odd to feel the baby hanging so low and my hips widening. I don’t know how I managed to climb into the pool as the sides were so high!

Three more contractions and Niko popped out :-) I was in an asymmetric position; my hands on the side of the pool and one knee on the ground. Txell and Leia had been called in to see the birth. I didn’t even tear! Niko was born at 21:52 after only five hours of active labour.

Except for the last hour I really enjoyed the process; it was such an intimate experience with my partner. That last hour was really intense and I was fully aware of Niko’s journey.

Kaisa and NikoQuique put Niko straight into my arms. We stayed in the pool for a few moments then we laid down on a mattress we had put in the living room. He latched on and hasn’t stopped feeding since! He’s a star; he just eats, poops and sleeps.

He’s starting to having more awake time now. He doesn’t cry. He didn’t even cry when he was born. And in this heat we’ve only had to dress him twice so we are skin-on-skin all the time; it’s heaven!

Leia is getting used to the new situation. Some days are better than others and she has asked us to “give back” her little brother. She has gone back to breastfeeding 3 or 4 times a day and she would like more, but I don’t feel like it now. Sometimes they breastfeed at the same time; those moments are really precious.

I hope other women can enjoy their own birth experiences as much as I enjoyed mine. I am so grateful for groups like Dona Llum who respect women’s birth plans!

Kaisa touminen

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