The Spiritual Unassisted Freebirth of Honor Hope Kimpton with our Doula, Pontypridd, South Wales.
Guest post by Zoe Kimpton, photography by Samantha Gadsden Doula.
This was to be my 5th child and I felt prepared for pregnancy, at this stage in my life I didn’t feel the need for intrusive checks or monitoring. During my past childbearing experiences I’d been blessed with a very easy time of things, my births were natural with the usual gas and air for pain relief and my first child was born within just six hours. I went along with the normal blood checks and antenatal appointments without a second thought, I went to all the scans, measurings, prodding and pokings at appointment times I was given, whether they suited me or not.
I’d had 3 normal births in hospital and a midwife led birth at home but this time I knew I wanted more than this. We went along for the dating scan but that was all. This time I didn’t merely feel my baby was part of me but rather that we were journeying together and I felt totally at ease going it alone with just my husband John and my children for good health and support, freebirthing with no medical back up.
I do not feel that nature happens to me during pregnancy but rather I am always connected to nature. There is no divide, no need to invade upon its beauty, I let my soul, my instinct, my body and my baby’s body do the talking.
We moved from Dorset by the sea, to Wales part way through and I handled it better than any other move because I felt so in control of what was happening within me. I felt well and loved and things were progressing nicely.
John was worried about not having midwifery care in case anything went wrong with the birth, we had agreed that of course we would call on medical help should this happen but still whilst he trusted my earth mama/woman stance on things (after all I’m a woman and made for birthing babies) he needed a touch more reassurance for a freebirth.
We talked about seeking out a Doula but for me I had the niggling concern that doing so might steal my sacred private experience of birthing my baby naturally alone at home away from me.
The search began and Sam came onto my path. I loved her straight away, her knowledge about birth and women sang to me and her down to earth approach to childbirth instantly put me at ease. She understood that I want to birth my own baby, no checks, no examinations, no coaxing, touching or catching!!
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Basically it may have been a tall order for many other birth attendants.
We just wanted a demedicalised person with experience in childbirth to be present so as I could let my baby and my body take its natural lead and so as John didn’t feel completely alone at home as it all unfolded. We were free birthing and Sam helped us achieve this through her loving ability to respect our individual and combined wishes.
After a low risk, stress free pregnancy our day arrived, due New Years Eve our baby waited just a couple of extra days before telling me instinctively it was ready to come Earthside.
On the 2nd of January I woke feeling more woman than I think I’ve ever felt. I didn’t tell family and friends that this was it but instead I told John that I was ready to give birth and it wouldn’t be long. That day I got on to my hands and knees and cleaned and hoovered so as to help my baby position further into the birth canal. I used oils to relax me and read my children stories before they went to bed, I knew in the depths of me they’d be waking to a new baby and I felt full to the brim with love for all my children.
We went to bed at about 1:30 am and we created a bit of extra serotonin to help the baby along. My body knew she was about to go through a spiritual and sacred birth very soon so I didn’t even think about sleeping and just before 3am my surges began. The contractions started at 2minutes apart (usual for me) and I had a lot of pressure building.
I popped downstairs to toilet and lost my mucous plug. Back up to bed I got onto all fours and breathed deeply through contractions which were already intense, I woke John and said calmly “We’re meeting our baby tonight”.
Downstairs John prepared the bathroom with lights, candles and oils whilst I walked around with painful surges stopping me in my tracks every minute and a half. He reminded me it was time to call Sam so as she could make her way over so I did so. Sam had had a dream that I was ready and had called her so she wasn’t shocked to hear my voice!!
My freebirth was everything Id wanted. It lasted a couple of hours from start to finish but this time there were no condescending midwives coaxing and interfering which had been my previous
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This time was beautiful. I inhaled Clary sage from a piece of muslin with each strong contraction and I leant on John for support, we cuddled and rocked together
This was my only pain relief and all the relief I had wanted from the moment I knew we were having a baby. The house was quiet and had an air of the sacred space about it ,as if the heavens were literally holding us in their care. We had ran a bath so as to birth the baby in water.
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Sam gave me reassuring nods and smiles and I felt we were spiritually connected then as if we had been through birth together before or similar. In the candle light, in the peace, it was as though our souls all merged together in some ancient way (again). She took lovely photographs and I kept asking John if he was ok? and telling him how much I loved him and vice versa. Both he and Sam were everything to me in those short hours. I was loved and held in wonderful care as I birthed in a non intrusive and natural way.
I had told Sam beforehand that I would appreciate any words she may have for me during transition. This is the time a woman needs to know she is strong and capable of bringing her baby into the world. At this stage where I faltered, Sam and John empowered me and really walked my journey with me, I feel so blessed to have had them there.
Our baby’s head crowned and I put my hand down and felt her head. With previous babies I never liked to feel this part with my hand yet this time I gave a half orgasmic sigh of relief, I smiled and laughed and leant my head back against the wall euphorically when I felt my baby.
I’m pretty sure i swore happily and triumphantly at that point and John, Sam and I all smiled together and got excited knowing the baby was about to be born.
A push or two more and our baby was born into the water and into Daddy’s hands, then lifted onto my body. Purple, crying and beautiful.
There was barely any blood, no mess just joy, pure joy.
It took me awhile to remember we hadn’t checked the sex of the baby! So John gave me the wonderful news we had had the daughter we’d both being hoping for. I didn’t quite believe him it was so perfect. but there she was, Our second daughter Honor.
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I held my little girl close to me as John and Sam helped me out of the bath and we made our way to the living room with just the fire and candles for light. Honor took to the breast not long after, John made tea and Sam and I sat in the fire light softly talking and sharing stories like two wise women. Two hours later after relaxing, chatting and more tea between the 3 of us John tied Honor’s cord and I cut the tie that had bound her to my body for all these months.
The morning was serenity in a nutshell I could have stayed there forever in those moments and never wanted for anything.
Sam left with a hug and John and I sat cuddling with Honor until her brothers and sister came down at about 8:30 to their surprise bundle of love, a much wanted baby sister.
My mum, sisters and my closest friends all totally supported our decision to free birth from the start. My wish was to realize my ability to birth my baby in a natural and gentle way. I wanted to use not only past experience of giving birth to my children but my inherent wisdom as a woman to be able to do so with ancient knowledge and love and the love and support of John and our doula.
I achieved this not only by myself as expected but with others. A combined light to help guide my daughter from spirit to the earth….. Xxx
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Freebirth, Pontypridd, South Wales, Cwm Taf University Health Board.
Samantha Gadsden walks with women on their life’s journeys. She is an experienced Doula, based close to Cardiff in South Wales, mother to 4 children and wife to Eddie, more information can be found on her facebook page, Samantha Gadsden Doula and her website, Caerphilly Doula. SOS Doula, Telephone and online support is always available.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog or sharing a life or birth story please feel free to contact her HERE.
“Your Journey, Your Body, Your Baby, Your Birth“