Every year, around the time of my daughter’s birthday, I take some extra moments to honor and respect the raw, beastly, yet oh so beautiful journey of motherhood, particularly my birthing journey and story. If we parent, we all have our ‘birthing’ story into motherhood and however that looks for each of us, there’s a certain threshold that’s crossed, and in my opinion, it becomes one of the most raw experiences out there.
It was Spring of 2007 and I was living in San Diego, finishing up my Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine. With only two semesters left, my daughter decided to take residence in my body!! Happy Graduation to me!!
Because of my education in Chinese Medicine and the support system around me, I knew in my gut and heart that I wanted to have my baby as natural as possible.
- Birth Center
- Midwives & Doula
- Eating as Organic as possible
- Western Medicine FREE
This meant that no matter what happened during my pregnancy, I would always look beyond the surface level. I would always ask for alternates. For example…Glucose test? I did NOT ingest that chemical overloaded stuff they give you! I opted for an alternative; using food!
First Complication: Abnormal Pap
At one of the earliest checkups, I had an abnormal pap and the results were right under the grade of cancer; it wasn’t my first abnormal pap, maybe my 2nd or 3rd. I had inconsistent ones. Normal, normal, abnormal, normal, normal, normal, abnormal. She mentioned to me that I needed to get a biopsy to make sure that everything was in working order!
Sidenote: Please keep in mind that my birth journey and any of my health related journeys are mine and from the perspective and point-of-view, as a health care practitioner taking care of myself. My story is not to offer medical advice or diagnosis.
For the next few months, I meditated daily, focusing on my reproductive organs and maintaining a strong pregnancy! It might sound funny to many, but it’s a valid and powerful medicine! Because I’m a visual person, I created mind movies and painted pictures of what I wanted to create! I would sit or lay in a comfy spot; then breathe, and focus on my lower abdomen keeping my energy as neutral and simple as possible (It takes about 15 minutes for the nervous systems to balance; it might sometimes be more for me!) At that time, I was just learning to meditate, so it was a bit challenging to bring the ‘calm.’
I would envision the abnormal cells being hugged by the happy healthy cells around it. The happy cells were vibrant, strong, and glowing! They
would help power up the abnormal, fatigued cells. The fatigued cells would then transform into happy, healthy cells or hearts! I know this
sounds corny, but it worked for me. You do you. I needed things to be simple and bright! If they weren’t bright and loud, I wouldn’t have been
Because my brain tends to obsess and I get bored easily, I needed different styles of meditations. There were several that I used, and still use to this day!
- Guided meditations: When my brain won’t calm, I like to listen to meditations through guided imagery and stories. There are stories and imagery based on what you are wanting to work on, whether mood balancing, sleep support, pain reduction, etc.
- Binaural beats: These tones/tunes/frequencies are played through headphones. They help to balance the hemispheres of the brain, driving the brain into different states, like Theta, which is twilight state. There are specific frequencies to target whatever outcome you desire. Mood balancing, sleep support, pain reduction, etc. I listened to those daily! I still listen to them several times a week!
- Affirmations, Mantras, Prayers: Another tool I found helpful, was choosing one liners to say throughout the day, like “‘Healing for the Highest Good” or anything that would help to anchor me. I still use that anchor today, in addition to some others I’ve added.
At 7 months pregnant, due to liability, the nurse told me that I could not have my baby at the birthing center, unless I had a biopsy. I wanted to see how long I could go without that kind of medical intervention. At this point, due to my other complication, I was under routine care at both the local hospital and the birthing center, so in my opinion, I wasn’t in imminent danger regarding the abnormal pap. (Again, this is my medical journey and my medical choices-I do not advise you to forgo or delay recommended medical treatment and intervention without discussing it with your physician)
A week later, while lying there alone in the cold sterile room, with 1 doc and 7 interns staring at my nether regions. (No, that’s not uncomfortable at all.) The doc proceeds to comment about how he doesn’t understand why I’m even there for a biopsy, as he sees barely any abnormal cells, especially enough to qualify for an abnormal pap.
I breathed. I smiled. It worked.
Second Complication: Placenta Abruptia
There’s this thing that happens to me during emergencies. There’s a veil that washes over me, where no emotions penetrate. Nothing coming in or going out. I go numb. And just go.
To preface how much I was doing in my day to day world; I was finishing my Master’s and working a few jobs; one as an acupuncture clinic assistant and the other as a caregiver for my friend, who required lifting in and out of a wheelchair (the medical professionals said that as long as I was active and doing the rigorous work before I became pregnant, then it was perfectly fine to continue the care-giving job, until I couldn’t anymore). Needless to say, I was always on my feet and on the go, so perhaps a little burnt out!
During the time of this complication, I was 5 month pregnant and visiting NYC. On my way to the airport back to SD, I was riding a shuttle bus that managed to hit every damn pothole from Manhattan to JFK. That’s NOT a short ride! I told the driver I was pregnant, but that didn’t seem to phase him. I felt like I was riding a horse….and you’re not supposed to do that while pregnant!
As soon as I got home to SD, from the flight, I started hemorrhaging. This is where the proverbial veil came down over me. I calmly laid down, while my husband called the birthing center. I just remember those moments slowing down. Breath by breath. Heart beat by heart beat. I was calm. I heard him talking in the background. Kind of sounding like the teacher from Charlie Brown.
We went to the hospital and found out that I had placenta abruptia, which is pretty rare, occurring in about 1% of pregnancies! It’s where the placenta separates from the uterus; I had a marginal tear. My prescription was…bed-rest until further notice!! I was also under the care of the hospital for the next 30 days or until further notice.
Every subsequent appointment was successful and I was released back to the birthing center after 30 days! I stayed on bed-rest for almost the rest of the pregnancy, which was a blessing in disguise! I was able to stop working and went to school from my couch! I got plenty of rest for this impending spirited child that would require much life force to parent!!
Sidenote: It’s important to note how grateful I am for Western Medicine, especially for emergencies and certain diagnostics, tools and necessary surgeries. I know there is a time and place for Western medicine and I’m grateful!
Complications and Natural Childbirth Are Possibble!
non-conventional way. 3 complications and I still gave birth naturally. It is possible.