Our lives were filled with light that Thursday morning; as if the surrendering brought with it a rush of support from the Universe.
There were Earth angels everywhere as I was assigned the most beautifully funny and reassuring midwife who was the embodiment of compassion and understanding. She was supported by another midwife who happens to be the best friend of my cousin-in-law. It was perfect. Ladies who cared and who were in part familiar to me.
My parents kindly rushed around collecting some things for me from the cottage and dropping them into the ward as we hadn’t brought anything with us that morning. While I was deemed an emergency, we had time, and all I asked was the opportunity to take a shower, which was granted.
I enjoyed standing bent over in the shower cubicle, the water washing over my back and cleansing me. I needed to feel clean ahead of the surgery. It also gave me time and the space to be on my own too, processing events and coming to terms with my present reality.
The contracting had eased at this point, and I was feeling decidedly calm about everything. After some time, I dried myself and sat quietly, holding my precious lump of rose quartz, dropping awareness within and noticing how it felt; was there any residual fear and could I let go of this? I then sat with my breath until I felt aligned and centred. I checked my pendulum, yes, now I was ready.
While I was showering, E was shown around the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (“NICU”) for babies, which I’d been shown around when I’d been in hospital a few days earlier. I hadn’t been too interested, because back then I hadn’t expected the baby to arrive at 34 weeks. Even now I wasn’t too fazed, there was mention that the baby may need support in the delivery room, but my sole focus was on the birth.
Back at my bed the final arrangements were put in place. I had asked to keep my placenta and a tub was found for this. I’d also asked for vaginal seeding to take place although this was refused me – the specialist almost laughed that I’d suggested it in the first place.
One of the reasons I had resisted a Caesarean birth was due to the increased risk of health conditions in childhood as the baby is deprived of the bacteria that live in the mother’s vagina.
One way around this is to collect the mother’s vaginal fluid on a piece of gauze prior to the birth and wipe this gauze over the baby’s mouth, face and body directly after birth. This will help to kick start the baby’s immune system and gut by exposing the baby to a diverse mix of bacteria.
However, I was told that this would be extremely risky given that I had an infection and the baby was being born so early. I accepted this easily, the baby’s wellbeing was paramount and I had to respect the knowledge and experience of the medical team, even if this went against my own understanding of things.
By late morning they were ready in theatre for me and I was ready to meet my baby. I walked to theatre this time, which made a huge difference psychologically, as if I was giving my full consent to the process and not being pushed in a bed as had happened previously.
Arriving at the theatre it was still a relatively alien environment to me, although this time I had none of the fear that had gripped me previously. The theatre nurse assigned to me was another Earth angel who did all he could to care for me.
I knew with certainty that the Universe had my back and that I was being truly supported. I also had my mantra running constantly thought my mind, “love not fear” and it was this that I repeated to myself as the spinal block was applied.
It was actually a relief to be anaesthetised because the contractions had started up again and it was a challenge to stay present to these and do what was asked of me in terms of my positioning on the bed. The theatre nurses were very kind and I held one of their hands as I focused in on my breath.
The spinal block soon took effect and we went through the usual checks. I had made the anaesthetist aware of the issues I had experienced with Elijah’s birth and she was another angel who kept talking to me and making sure that I felt ok. Before I knew it E was beside me wearing his blue theatre attire.
It all seemed to happen very quickly after then and we held hands as our son was born at 12.21pm on Thursday 20 October 2016 with E watching on. Here he was safely Earthside, our little grounded warrior, Eben Ron McInnes, whose name had chosen itself months earlier.
We liked the name when we were looking at names for Elijah and we just had a sense that if we had another boy he would be called Eben. The name is Hebrew and means “stone of help” and this felt rather appropriate to me because in utero he felt grounded. Furthermore, I had this sense that this was a healing baby and would help in the world as he was now helping me.
As we had named Elijah after E’s Dad, Iain, we had agreed that if we had a boy, he would name him after my Dad, Ron. The name comes from Old Norse and means “warrior”, and he seemed to be living up to this name already.
Eben weighed 5lb 1oz, which was a brilliant weight for a baby born six weeks premature, but he needed oxygen upon delivery and while I got a glance of him, he was immediately whisked away to the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit, while I was stitched up again.
I was jubilant, we had another son, a gift from above. And his birth too was a gift, for I had been given the opportunity to embody surrender. This was all I had ever wanted to experience; the surrender that accompanies the birthing process. I too, felt re-birthed.
There was nothing to fight against. There was just this incredible sense of peace and calmness. The Universe had our back. We were bathed in love and with that came the realisation that that’s all there is. We are all heart, just like our babies had shown at their 6 week’s scan. There is nothing to fear and nowhere else to be but in the moment.
We were in the flow and that meant constantly surrendering to the present, whatever it may give. And I was grateful for this realisation over the coming week ahead.