I am currently training in a weekly intense course to become an active birth teacher with the amazing Janet Balaskas herself and the wholehearted team she has surrounded herself with (I fell in love with every single one of them at first sight, Dominique, Jill, Lola ❤️).
Whilst studying the amazing power that nature programs into a natural birth, I have been wanting to call my mum today and ask her more specific questions around my own birth with a totally new curiosity and open mind.
We have always had a difficult relationship but I was just starting to remember how many times I heard her telling me how horrible the midwives had been to her, how lost and exhausted she felt after such a rushed delivery (by the doctors) where her body did not have the time to make the slow work of opening up to giving birth.
When I spoke to her today, she explained to me how in northern Italy in the early 80es, babies were not allowed to stay with their mothers: after a short encounter with their mothers following birth, they were only brought to them at feeding time (mainly formula in a bottle) and how they had to stay together amongst other crying babies the rest of the time in a so called ‘nursery’.
How inhuman is that, I question myself today with my gained knowledge? A mother working so hard to deliver her bundle of joy in a medicalised environment, full of procedures totally contrary to nature at the time, making birth the horrible experience it does not need to be, and after all of this not even being allowed to stay with their babies uninterruptedly?
And what does the start of my life says about me? My mother had to stay in hospital for 6 days after birth as she had had a serious ematoma and bleeding to recover from. So I had 6 days of (as she described me so well) crying at the top of my lungs, red and upset until I would be with my mum for a quick feed and then start again when being taken away from her…
For a long time in my personal journey I have been at first unhealthily blaming myself for my constant anger and more lately (with recent healing) questioning where does it come from. Why am I always so easily outbursting with my frustration demanding my needs to be met or my boundaries respected?
No surprise I react this way so easily, if this was the beginning of life as I have known it since being only a few hours old, being deprived of what was my right: the constant reassuring smell and the touch of the human being I had been living within until then.
I can only be grateful today for what happened to me then. I would not be the woman I am today, fighting for a fairer society, for every single right that is mine, even with the many defeats I encounter. And I am grateful for the delivery I lived with my daughter’s birth, following Active birth ideas and tools from a course I attended myself 4 years ago, just before she was born.
Tomorrow it’s her 4th birthday, she was born at home, in the safety of her parents arms, no external intrusion whatsoever and never even went to the hospital afterwards as the delivery had gone so well, there were no concerns to justifying leaving our home.
She is now the new generation who will expect the same treatment for her own delivery and baby. My mother and my own sufferance have empowered her to demand what is her right in life, around birth and anything else she wants, to be happy and successful.
Happy birth day to you my girl, to me your mother and to my mother, your grand mother, because the day you were born 4 years ago tomorrow morning, our generational chain of a nonsense inhuman start in life was broken.