The Birth of Shaffy: How To Birth, Not Labor

Thank you Saskia for sharing your story. I am honored to join Saskia for World Wide Fertility Week where I will be interviewed, along with 17 other experts from around the world, as we share what you can do to do enhance your fertility in body, mind & spirit. Learn more.

By Saski Röell

A joyous, gentle, brilliant soul is now on earth.

“Make sure you have all the tools we need for the home birth because your pregnancy will soon come to an end.” I believe were the midwife’s words. I rush to the stores three weeks before my due date. I buy everything on the list and, as soon as I tuck the ‘birth box’ in my closet, I feel safe and breathe a sigh of relief.  Every night I am prepared to go into labor. After many weeks, I am wishing the midwife made a better guess. I have to wait five more weeks because the Universe orchestrates her timing according to Shaffy’s plan. I am scheduled to have labor induced on Monday if the baby is not born by then.

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Photo taken just before Saskia birthed her baby!

On Saturday I am home alone. The doorbell rings at lunchtime and Josette the midwife stands on my doorstep with her suitcase in her hand. This must be mistake. What is she doing here?  I can only think she is a ‘Godsend’ because I am not happy with the planned induction on Monday. I am terrified about the possibility of being in the hands of a gynecologist who doesn’t believe in a natural birth. I have prayed and prayed that the baby will come before Monday. Josette knows my wishes but why is she here? I tell her it must be a mistake; I didn’t call her. “I thought I’d come by and see how you are.” I am touched by her concern. “Nothing is happening, no signs yet,” I say. “Come and let me stir that little one up a bit,” she says. We go upstairs and I lay down on the bed. Willingly I allow her to do what she has in mind. She tells me she is going to try and induce some movement of the uterus muscles.

If nothing happens by tomorrow, she will come back for a home visit and break my water. I am beside myself with joy. I know that either today or tomorrow the baby will be born; that will avoid a hospital induced birth if Shaffy decides to join in our plans.

To celebrate my last night of pregnancy, Syb and I go out for dinner. At the restaurant they seat us at the best spot in the house. My back is warmed by the fire that burns fiercely. I choose my favorite fish dish. Every now and then I gasp for air. “It must be a cramp,” I say to Syb. We eat our dinner without much disturbance except for my taking very deep breaths between each spoonful of tuna tartar. I can handle this pain, I think. A gifted, young man plays the piano; he plays without a pause. I listen to his music in between my breaths. I inhale and exhale on his beat. If I knew I was entering the transition stage of labor, I would be in bed by now instead of eating my last supper. “What do we want for dessert?” the waiter asks. My honest answer is that I am full, very full. I glance at the menu; everything is too much. Suddenly I long to go home and watch the movie we rented for tonight. I walk to the car breathing through every contraction thinking they are the mild cramps.

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Midwife Josette working at Saskia’s bed.

We arrive home at 9:45 PM. Syb pays the babysitter and goes to turn on the movie. As soon as he pushes the START button, I let out a wail. With a big kick, my water breaks and I feel Shaffy is ready to be born. “Syb, I am having the baby. Open the front door for the midwife and close the kids’ bedroom doors,” I say in one breath. I have the phone in one hand and I am dialing the midwife’s number as we run to the bedroom. My mind is racing, too. Syb runs after me holding his hands cupped behind my back. Was he thinking this big 9-pounder would be such an easy catch? Syb takes the phone from me and talks to Josette, but she wants to hear my voice. I don’t say much; she knows enough. She will come right away. I am at peace.

Midwife Josette runs upstairs as soon as she arrives. I squat down against the side of the bed and I pull up my fancy evening dress. My fancy earrings dangle while I pant. I want to use the labor chair but there is no time to go downstairs and get it. The baby is on his way. I close my eyes, tune into my body and talk to my child. I let him know that I am ready. I ask him is he, too? Together, he and I are in another world while Syb and Josette do the thinking. My mind is switched off; my body is in charge and her wisdom is my lead. There is nothing to hold me back now. While I am leaning in the most uncomfortable way against the side of our bed, my legs begin to shake. I can barely hold the squat position for much longer. I feel the baby’s broad shoulders pass on the way out.

Within seconds, I sing my third child with the deepest octave of my underbelly into the world.

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Baby Shaffy

I put Shaffy Samuel to my chest and pull my evening dress down. My belly is gone and I have my baby in my arms. I am already dressed for his birth day. Shaffy made his entrance into the world at 10:10 PM. It is twenty minutes since dinnertime. I am ready for dessert now. Let the celebration feast begin. A joyous, gentle, brilliant soul is now on earth.

Who knew that giving birth not labor was a principle my children taught me. A way of surrendering that I would teach to many women around the world. Learning them to let the wisdom of their bodies lead them. Going from pushing to achieve to letting go and receive.

It’s my gift to teach you how to sing your child into the world with the technique of Birth Not Labor. With love, Saskia


Saskia invites you to join her & Orgasmic Birth’s Debra Pascali-Bonaro, along with 17 other experts, for Fertility Week (free) – Click here!

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