All the while our Green Tara statue stood patiently by the fireplace, a symbol for all the women on the entire earth who have given birth before me. Eye contact with the Tibetan goddess gave me the combined strength of all the mothers who have made it and some of the pain simply evaporated. In this way I was able to mobilize immense strength! To my great surprise, I felt that women have a joint or “hinge” in the lower back that opens the pelvis! Therefore, it was a great blessing that Felix pressed his hands strongly against my back during every contraction. Petra remained discreetly in the background, taking notes, and asking me from time to time to change position between sitting, lying down, squatting, standing, walking. Because “giving birth is movement”, or rather “life is movement”.
Meanwhile, the sun was rising, and Felix opened all the curtains. It was a beautiful morning. Around 6:30 Felix began to call the clients that had appointments with him that day. Almost everyone was amazed that we were “at home”… Then the pain during contractions changed. It had a different quality and became almost stabbing. This was the end of normal contractions and the beginning of the final phase of labor. Shortly thereafter, at 11pm, the amniotic sac burst, directly over the toilet – my favorite spot during contractions. Then things moved very fast. Felix and Petra already saw the little head. It was time! Petra insisted that I get up and go to the pool. When I had reached the pool, the next wave already came. I stood astride the pool, held onto its edge and there was only pushing. Then I stepped carefully over the edge of the pool into the water and made myself comfortable in the ring of air. The water buoyed me up wonderfully from below. What a glorious relief! Then Felix got into the water. Now it was “getting serious” for him too. We sat opposite each other. Petra stood next to the pool and gave directions, “Silke, stop pushing. Just breathe.” After hours of pushing I was so much in the rhythm that I did not immediately respond. So Petra became louder and more energetic, “Silke, stop pushing, just breathe!” I remembered the preparation for the birth, Petra had explained that we can only do one thing at a time, either pushing or breathing. At that moment I let go of everything and breathed deeply into the pain. I was sure and awake and could see everything clearly. I was able to relax my pelvic floor completely. This was followed by a big climax of emotions: by relaxing I let go of the baby, and I could feel clearly how it continued to move on its own! The baby worked its way through the birth canal by itself! Petra and Felix shouted, “The head is coming!” All by itself, our baby pushed through the opening. And suddenly all pain was gone. The thickest part of the baby’s body, the head, passed through the canal, the baby popped out under the water and swam into Felix’ hands. Petra looked at the clock. It was 11:11am. I was very relieved, very happy and could now relax completely.
No bruising, no episiotomy, no drugs, no decline in labor, no shift changes for the midwife, no hassle or artificial drama, no strange smells, no bright light, no masked, fleetingly familiar people in white coats around me, no one that talked over me and disturbed me. Just a natural birth in a very private, personal, and intimate atmosphere with people that had my heart and my trust. A natural birth with very natural pain, in our very own rhythm, guided by the love and the power of mother, father, and child, held by the wisdom of the midwife and blessed by many unseen helpers. A truly natural birth – the birthright of every human being.
Only later did I understand the great symbolic significance of this act of birth. Since all future development is contained in the beginning, just like it is in a seed, I know now that as a mother I can always accompany our child to the door – no matter the situation. It has, however, to go through the door on its own, using its own strength. And our child will succeed!
While I relaxed on a banana cushion, Felix held our baby in his hands, full of amazement at the great miracle that had happened. The baby looked up at him from below of the water, as if it wanted to say, “Hi Papa, here I am here now.” The baby kept swimming under water for a while. Petra photographed everything. Eventually Petra put our baby on my chest and Felix whispered into my ear, “It is a Jette.” Wow! At that moment, something numinous suffused me! Now she is here. The girl that had appeared to me for the first time eight years ago and told me of her coming at a time when I did not even know Felix.
Sometime later, Felix cut the umbilical cord with scissors Petra uses just for just this one purpose. We actually wanted to let the umbilical cord pulse, but since Jette seemed a little “tired”, Petra pushed for cutting it earlier. At that moment, Jette seemed to wake up and come “alive.” Approximately 45 minutes after giving birth, Petra asked me to step out of the water so that I would not get too cold. I lay down on the sun lounger and was wrapped in warm towels (a small stove works wonders). Meanwhile, nearly an hour had passed, and the placenta was still not born. Petra had to nag a little, she said, “Silke, I’m going to do something I don't like to do and I will do so only once. I apologize in advance.” She pressed her full weight on my upper abdomen and – splash – out popped the entire placenta. That finally completed the birth! The placenta should never remain in the belly for more than an hour after birth, otherwise it will attach again and can potentially no longer come out safely. All was well now! And Petra was amazed: The placenta was in prime condition. It was very dark and very strong! A good sign that Jette had been sustained perfectly in my belly. Later Petra took a piece of the placenta to produce homeopathic globules from the placenta. And a year later we buried the placenta that had been frozen until then in the nearby forest under a young tree.
After Jette had breastfed for the first time, Petra weighed Jette, lovingly performed the usual tests, dressed the wound of the umbilical cord and dressed her in her first clothes. Petra put Jette in a soft cloth and pulled her into the air with a scale. Jette weighed 2.8 kg, a lightweight. I filmed everything, Felix photographed everything. Jette’s elongated alien-like head looked a bit strange initially, but it is well known that the skull bones of a fetus are not fused so that they can move during birth and fit through the opening of the mother-pelvis, allowing the baby to exit the birth canal in the best way possible. Since the birth creates some “stress” on the baby’s head, it was important that Felix harmonised Jette’s energy flow with cranio-sacral osteopathy the next day by gently touching the individual skull bones.
In the meantime, Petra had cooked a Chinese chicken soup - without meat, but with mushrooms - for me to regain my strength, a ritual from the long tradition of wise midwives. It was a really “special” soup that I would not necessarily eat every day, but it gave me strength, and that was important. I was high with hormones and called my parents to deliver the good news. Then we went to sleep together, all three of us, Jette in the middle.
Petra had our house keys and came back a few hours later to check up on us. After having worked together and gotten to know each other during the 3 months prior to the birth, after having gone through the birth process together, Petra now attended us after the birth. For ten days she made daily visits that lasted two hours. On day 6 we bathed Jette for the first time since she was now sufficiently stable for this great challenge. Petra taught us so much. She was not only our wise teacher, but she was a true mother-substitute. Through her help, through her laughter, her patience, her endless love for creation and through her constant mindfulness as a midwife, we came into direct contact with the archaic power of the wise women tradition, in which the knowledge of women is passed on to women (and men) and from generation to generation. It was a deeply moving and spiritual experience.