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My amazing birth journey

On the third of January after an amazing birth journey in the back garden yoga studio at home our daughter Rosie emerged, spiraling from my body and into my hands. Supported by my mother Françoise, loving partner Patrick, and his mother Roseann, a warm, caring environment allowed me to draw on preparations of body, voice, breath and mind to fluidly follow the wisdom of my body. It might have seemed suddenly strange to both think and be opening as my womb contracted, but the birthing breath I had learnt with Françoise helped me to travel with the movement internally until, as Rosie entered the birth canal, I was beyond thought and wholly in the doing, welcoming her.

Throughout the pregnancy I have reflected on the blessings of growing up at the core of the ever-expanding Birthlight family, absorbing practical knowledge effortlessly along the way.  Integrated into my being is faith in the capacity of all woman for a positive, wondrous birthing experience and an appreciation of the need to prepare myself and the environment to create the security and freedom that best nourish my confidence in my birthing instincts. This enabled me to trust and not rush Rosie’s journey - even when she was apparently 17 days ‘overdue’ - and, together with Patrick, to prepare mentally for a positive experience no matter the turn of events or the setting.

Throughout the pregnancy and even on my ‘due’ date I enjoyed AquaYoga, ever happy to move free and weightless in the water (yay!), as well as an evolving sequence of dry land movements and practices. In both I was guided by my wonderful mother, who was also ever ready to respond to my questions regarding sensations, feelings, dreams, fears and practical concerns. It was very different to be suddenly living the journey into motherhood myself, both the wonder of it and its challenges physical and emotional!  The pressures on the NHS in the level of accompaniment midwives were able to provide during the pregnancy were clear - infrequent meetings with rotating team members were mainly reduced to bureaucratic encounters and checks. Although books and the Internet are great sources of information, to simply have a conversation with someone infinitely more experienced (my mum!) when something came up, and to be lovingly cared for postpartum has been invaluable for the wellbeing of our whole new little family.  I have constantly reflected on what my experience might have been without this support, highlighting the importance of circles of techniques, knowledge and support for both women and men.  Witnessing the equally strong transition of my parents into grandparents has also made me see the wider ripples of birth.

Being the daughter of Françoise has, at times, added pressure to do things ‘right’ but the core essences of Birthlight and of Yoga have balanced this. Coming back to the breath deep within has helped me to remain open to events, as they have unfolded. There has been a lot of learning and it continues everyday - we are still marveling in the freshness of the miracle of life! I never imagined the sweetness of this time and the joy of sharing it not only with my wonderful partner Patrick, but with our families and friends too. I have been sincerely humbled by the network of love and support humming around the arrival of our daughter. Many thanks and much love to you all.

Mary Freedman