What changed about your life?
I feel like I’m a lot more relaxed and completely euphoric about the birth. I didn’t really expect labour to go so smoothly. It was quite an adventure, all the circumstances. Ideally, I had wanted to give birth at night at home, I wanted to be in water, but the water wasn’t running at home, so we went to our midwife. She had a blocked drain pipe, so we went to the maternity centre. When we arrived, the pool was taken. So, in the end I gave birth in a chair, and in retrospect, I don’t think it was important. In spite of these external things, it was awesome. I hadn’t expected to manage that well, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Why did you want to give birth at home?
I was crazy afraid of the hospital, almost pathologically. But in the end, it was all completely fine, thanks to my midwife being there. I trusted her completely, the important thing to me was that she respected me, didn’t push me and shared this process of childbirth with me. She created an environment for me where I was able to disconnect from my surroundings and be focused on myself. So it wasn’t important where I was; that it was day time in a hospital and I had wanted to give birth at night and in my home.
Next time, I would think about other things, the important ones. I would like to have more peace and less moving around. The travelling was stopping me from experiencing.
How long did the labour last?
From the initial, opening contractions, it was about 4 hours. I wasn’t very successful at working with the pain, which I hadn’t expected. I found it hard to breathe through the pain and release it. But I don’t know whether I’m being too strict with myself. Looking back, I find it incredible that my body worked so well. I was totally fine after labour, no injuries, physically pretty much untouched by what happened. I thought that was incredible. An hour after giving birth, I felt as if I’d never been pregnant or in labour.
I recall the moment when Anežka was coming out and I had my hand between my legs and Anežka was being born into my hand. It was beautiful to experience that firsthand.
How do you think your experience from other births influenced your own with Anežka?
I had expected that I would be constantly thinking about something and checking myself. That I would get stuck, because as a midwife, I would keep checking whether there is some problem somewhere. But perhaps it’s just a question of perception. Of whether you see the things that can happen as problems, or you just trust the process. It is possible that my standards are a bit different, because my experience with other births showed me that it depends on you and your mindset. The way you see the situation.
Did you have some postpartum blues?
On the third day after labour. It was just a single day but it was quite taxing, really. I was crying over dinner and I had no idea why. But I think my placenta capsules helped me get over it.
Do you feel like a mom now?
I feel a lot of responsibility for Anežka, but I haven’t fully identified as a mom yet. I feel like a stronger woman. I can see that it toughened me and my opinion that childbirth is a strengthening experience for women has only deepened.
Do you miss helping with childbirths?
Not yet, I feel like I’m on holiday. I would be lying if I said taking care of a baby is a cakewalk. But I think that the care and patience you give your child is nothing compared to being at a 30-hour delivery that just goes non-stop and you know it will end at some point, but you have to be there, attentive and kind to the woman in labour. I believe there are difficult moments in motherhood, but so far I feel that being a midwife taught me to be endlessly patient.
What is your plan? Do you want to come back?
Right now, I just want to be in peace. To stay at home with Anežka. I’d like to come back to guiding women through labour, but now it’s time for my own life, my own family.