Conscious parenthood | Xenia’s personal experience: childbirth in the maternity hospital and at home

History of Xenia.

At 25, I gave birth to twins. At that time, I was alone, without a man-husband, I gave birth in a St. Petersburg maternity hospital, through a caesarean section, at seven menstrual periods. I gave birth without understanding what children are, how to deal with them and how it will change my life. The girls were born very small – 1100 and 1600. With such a weight, they were sent to the hospital for a month to gain weight up to 2,5 kg. It was like this – they were lying there in plastic containers-beds, at first under the lamps, I came to the hospital for the whole day, but they let the girls in only 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes to feed. They were fed with expressed milk, which was expressed by 15 people in one room half an hour before feeding, manually with breast pumps. The spectacle is indescribable. Few people knew how to behave with a kilogram baby, and it never occurred to anyone to ask to sit with the child longer or breastfeed, or burst into the room when you see that your child is screaming like cut, because the interval between feedings is three hours and he is hungry . They also supplemented with the mixture, not particularly asking, but even advising her more than the breast.

Now I understand how wild it is and I prefer not to remember, because I immediately begin to feel guilty and tears well up. That in maternity hospitals, that in hospitals they don’t really care about the next life, it’s just a conveyor belt, and if you don’t mind, the child will be taken away without even offering to look right after the birth. Why can’t you spend more time with the baby when he needs it so much, when he is premature and does not understand anything at all, he screams from the light, from cold or heat, from hunger and from the absence of his mother, and you stand behind the glass and wait for the clock count three hours! I was one of those robots that don’t realize what’s going on and do what they’re told. Then, when they were a month old, I brought these two lumps home. I didn’t feel a lot of love and connection with them. Only responsibility for their lives, and at the same time, of course, I wanted to give them the best. Since it was insanely difficult (they cried all the time, were naughty, called me, both were very active), I got tired and fell at the end of the day, but all night I had to get up to the beds, rock me on my hands, etc. In general, I did not sleep at all. I could yell or even spank them, which now seems wild to me (they were two years old). But the nerves handed over strongly. I calmed down and came to my senses only when we left for India for six months. And it became easier with them only when they had a dad and they began to hang on me less. Before that, they almost did not leave. Now they are almost five years old. I sooo love them. I try to do everything so that they grow up not in the system, but in love and freedom. They are sociable, cheerful, active, kind children, hugging trees 🙂 It’s still hard for me sometimes, but there is no anger and negativity, just ordinary fatigue. It’s hard, because I spend a lot of time with the baby, but I devote a little to them, and they want to be with me so much, they still don’t have enough of me. At one time, I didn’t give them as much of myself as they needed to let my mother go, now they need three times as much. But having understood this, I will try, and they will understand that I am always there and I do not need to be demanded and divided. Now about the baby. When I got pregnant for the second time, I read a bunch of literature about natural childbirth and realized all the mistakes that I made in the first birth. Everything turned upside down in me, and I began to see how and where, and with whom to give birth to babies. Being pregnant, I managed to live in Nepal, France, India. Everyone advised giving birth in France in order to have good payments and generally stability, a house, a job, insurance, doctors, etc. We tried to live there, but I didn’t like it, I was almost depressed, it was boring, cold, my husband worked, I walked with the twins for half a day, yearned for the ocean and the sun. Then we decided not to suffer and rush back to India for a season. I found a midwife on the Internet, after looking at the album of which I realized that I would give birth with her. The album contained couples with children, and one glance was enough to understand how happy and radiant they all are. It was other people and other children! I wrote to her, and she said that she would come to Goa in December, and I would give birth in January.

We arrived in India, met pregnant girls on the beach, they advised me a midwife who had already been to Goa and gave lectures for pregnant women. I was like a lecture, the lady was beautiful, but I did not feel the connection with her. Everything rushed about – to stay with her and no longer worry that I would be left alone in childbirth, or to believe and wait for the one “from the picture”. I decided to trust and wait. She arrived. We met and I fell in love at first sight! She was kind, caring, like a second mother: she did not impose anything and, most importantly, she was calm, like a tank, in any situation. And she also agreed to come to us and tell us everything that was needed, separately, and not in a group, since the group of pregnant women with their husbands was all Russian-speaking, and she told us everything separately in English so that her husband would understand. All girls in such childbirth gave birth at home, with husbands and a midwife. Without doctors. If anything, a taxi is called, and everyone goes to the hospital, but I have not heard this. But on the weekends I saw a gathering of mothers with 6-10-day-old little ones on the ocean, everyone bathed the babies in cool waves and were extremely happy, cheerful and cheerful. The birth itself. In the evening, I nevertheless realized that I was giving birth (before that, there were training contractions for a week), I was delighted and began to sing contractions. When you sing them instead of screaming, the pain dissolves. We sang not Russian folk, of course, but simply pulled “aaaa-ooo-uuu” with our voice, as you like. Very deep singing. So I sang like this all the fights to the attempts. Attempts me, to put it mildly, surprised. My first question after the first push was (with round eyes): “What was that?” I thought something was wrong. The midwife, like a hardened psychologist, says: “Well, relax, tell me what you felt, how it was.” I say that I almost gave birth to a hedgehog. She somehow kept silent suspiciously, and I realized that I had hit! And THIS came for the second time and not the last – I did not expect such pain. If it weren’t for my husband, whom I grabbed with my hands during every contraction, and not for the midwife, who said that everything was going well, I would have given up and performed a caesarean on myself).

In general, the baby swam into the home inflatable pool after 8 hours. Without screaming, which made me happy, because children, if everything is fine, do not cry – they mumble. She muttered something and immediately began to eat breasts, easily and simply. Then they washed her, brought her to my bed, and we, no, not us – she fell asleep, and my husband and I hung out for another half a day with the girls. We did not cut the umbilical cord for 12 hours, that is, until the evening. They wanted to leave it for a day, but the girls were very interested in the placenta, which lay next to the baby in a closed bowl. The umbilical cord was cut when it no longer pulsated and began to dry out. This is a very important point. You can’t cut it as quickly as in maternity hospitals. Another moment about the atmosphere – we had quiet music, and there was no light – only a few candles. When a baby appears from the darkness in the maternity hospital, the light hurts his eyes, the temperature changes, the noise is all around, they feel him, turn him over, put him on a cold scale, and at best give him a short time to his mother. With us, she appeared in the semi-darkness, under mantras, in silence, and remained on her chest until she fell asleep … And with the umbilical cord, which still connected it with the placenta. At the moment when my attempts began, my twins woke up and got scared, my husband went to calm them down, but the only chance to do this is to show that everything is fine with my mother (relatively) J. He brought them to me, they held my hands and encouraged me. I said that it almost didn’t hurt me, and in a second I started howling (singing) J. They were waiting for their sister, then before her appearance they fell asleep for five minutes. As soon as she appeared, they were awakened and shown. Joy knew no bounds! Until now, the soul in it does not tea. How do we grow it? The first is the breast always and everywhere, on demand. Second, the three of us have been sleeping together in the same bed since birth and all this year. I wear it in a sling, I didn’t have a stroller. I tried several times to put him in a stroller, but he sits for about 10 minutes, then he starts to get out. Now I have started to walk, now it is easier, we are already walking along the street with our legs. We fulfilled the need to “be with mom for 9 months and 9 months with mom”, and for this the baby rewarded me with unreal calmness, a smile and laughter every day. She cried for this year, probably five times … Well, you just can’t convey what she is J! I never thought that there are such children! Everyone is shocked by her. I can go with her to visit, shopping, on business, for all sorts of papers. No problems or tantrums. She also spent a year in six countries and the road, and planes, and cars, and trains, and buses, and ferries endured more easily than any of us. She either sleeps or gets acquainted with others, striking them with sociability and smiles. The most important thing is the connection I feel with her. This cannot be described. It’s like a thread between us, I feel it as part of me. I can neither raise my voice at her, nor offend, much less slap on the pope. If something is wrong and she is restless or capricious, I can only regret and sympathize, stroke, hug and kiss.

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