The Birth of Tygo Ezechiël
by Eugenie van Ruitenbeek
Wednesday night, the 31st of December, our neighbours decided to start their party and put on the music, loud and clear until dawn so I didn’t sleep a second. It was fine by me, I was lying in bed, my hands on my tummy, I felt my precious baby moving. My dear husband snored next to me and my oldest son was asleep as well. I couldn’t stop smiling. What a happy woman I am.
Thursday morning light ctx welcomed me and I felt excitement! I was going to experience them again. Oh, I looked so forward to a natural birth, to fall again in that deep mysterious ocean of contractions, invited to sink deep into my body and look around in my uterus to see the powerful movements, the opening of my cervix and the gentle pushing down contractions which leads the baby to go down. This was how I experienced four hours of ctx with Jesse, 4.5 years ago, before the awful assholes decided that I did not make any progress and I that I allowed them to cut my baby out of me, interrupting this beautiful process of opening up.
So I was very surprised and a little confused when the contractions became sharp and painful. Didn’t know how to deal with them for a moment. “Why? What is happening?” I asked myself. “I don’t want this pregnancy to end. I enjoyed it so much. I am not ready to let go”, I told Jan. He read the poem someone had sent to one of the lists: “These last few hours”, and I started to cry. Then I felt my energy turning, the sadness vanished slowly and with its dissolvement contractions became round and manageable again.
The atmosphere in our house was light, relaxed. We all were in a good mood. Jesse, my son was playing with a friend at his friend’s home. My husband Jan and Klaske, a girlfriend of mine, were at home. Around two o’clock in the afternoon contractions got stronger and stronger and the second challenge in this journey occurred.
To my surprise Jan and Klaske started to ask me questions when I had a contraction: “Do you want to drink something?, Can I do something for you?.” I couldn’t believe this! I told them not to speak to me because I had to focus on my body during a ctx. And they said “Yes, all right, sorry,” and continued. I raised my hand over and over again and then they stopped in the middle of their sentence. After some of these moments I started to cry and to beg, “Please!! Don’t talk to me when I am dealing with a ctx.” I was schocked that they were so badly connected to me. They were a little shocked too about the same thing. We probably had to learn to connect to each other.
I went in to the bathtub, which was great. After that I went back to the sleeping room. Ctx got sharp again. “Okay, there is something else that wants my attention.” I thought and I sank deeper into myself. I met a part of me who was very, very angry. It was the sex part, the tiger, the wildest beast in me. She wanted to be lived and came out that very moment. I got up from bed, started moaning and grumbling from deep out of my throat, I rocked my hips during ctx and felt sexy, female, wild, hot and furious.
This lasted for a while and then it faded away. And I knew sex would never be the same again. I liberated myself from shame and other patterns.
Thursday night I was in the bathtub. Alone. No lights, no one around me. I just couldn’t stand company anymore. I lay down in the hot water, a deep silence in me. Me, my baby, ctx, all night long. No fear of rupture, not at all.
But from time to time, from the depth of my inner being, words came up: “No progress. No progress.” And then I felt fear: “oh my God, I cannot dilate. My cervix will never dilate!”.
They’d said it only once in the hospital 4.5 years ago. “No progress.” How this had set me up. During my whole labor it came back and every time it came back I had to deal with it. Ctx became more intense, harder, more painful when those words came up in me. I felt the fear in my stomach and I started to say: “I can do it. I can do it!.” The fear got weaker but didn’t go away.
In the shower I was on hands and knees, crying. How could I have believed the doctors? Why did I believe them? I felt so much pain to see how I let my body down. And I cried and cried till no tears were left on this issue anymore.
I had a little more confidence and started to concentrate on the ctx again.
Other fears arose. “My plug? Where is my plug? Why haven’t I seen it yet? What is wrong with my body that it hasn’t let go of the plug yet?”
I asked Jan to go to the computer and ask the women on the ICAN list. He did. Half an hour later we received answers from them and I relaxed. Good. Another fear was gone. And I climbed the stairs again, encouraged to know that all the wonderful women were there with us. I felt protected and glad and we could go on with our journey.
I could feel my baby move inside of me from time to time. It made me laugh and so glad I wasn’t on a monitor or whatever. So glad I could move and eat and drink.
The next fear made its entrance. I only felt ctx in the lower segment. Why is that? Where are the waves I knew from laboring with Jesse? From the top to the bottom of the uterus. Again that reaction: “This is not good! What is wrong with my body??? There must be something wrong!.”
So Jan ran down to mail the ICAN-list and again we received so much love and encouragement. And I got the possibility again tot trust my body. “Nothing is wrong. It is OK.” I relaxed.
This day Jesse went out with Lucas, his soulmate. Yesterday I couldn’t stand company anymore and I decided to ask Klaske if she could leave the house and only to return when the baby was born. I hesitated a second to take this wish of mine seriously, but I thought it was the best thing I could do for me right now. Maybe it would hurt her, but I was willing to take the risk. She was quicker than me: she had already made plans to visit a friend and she left.
Now it was the two of us. My husband and I. And the baby. Our spirit and energy changed quickly. We went to the sleeping room, I felt soft and beloved when I was on the bed and Jan simply watched me while I was breathing slowly during my ctx. We kissed and laughed, we touched each other.
Again I felt the joy of being at home in the candle light instead of a hospital room with neon lights and strange people walking in and out. If I had been in a hospital I would have already have been sliced open at this moment: “No progress.”.
They would have brutally destroyed our spiritual, physical and emotional journey. They certainly would have given me lots of “fear induction.” Such a difference to be in an ocean of love and wisdom and advice from women all over the world.
When I got out of the bathtub Friday morning, I felt for the first time: “I don’t want this anymore.” I remembered Gretchen saying such a thing could be transition, but I couldn’t believe I was there. Suddenly I could not believe anymore that I would ever be able to bring this child to the world. Not me. Impossible. I felt sad thinking these thoughts, and I decided to walk downstairs to see if I could get my ctx back. They dissappeared the moment I had these negative thougths.
And when I was walking I could see through myself. “This is not a simple birth. This is really a journey! Look what is touched inside of me!” The sadness that my pregnancy had come to an end, all the fears that I conquered, to fight the idea that giving birth has to follow a strict agenda, the continuous thoughts about my body not working. No, the conviction that I have a defective body. To see that, to feel that, to fight that. To free myself from all this shit while ctx come and go and the nights are without sleep. To feel the baby. To feel all the loving support of the ICAN women. To be with my husband. I felt rich. I felt blessed.
First I was worried about the absence of any speed in this labor, but now I found it relaxing. I could handle 10 ctx better than 3 heavy intense ones. I played the tape of a girlfriend of mine with harp music.
Contractions are getting more and more intense. They start to hurt. “Why? How is it possible that my crotch, meant for pleasure and joy, has changed in an area of pain? Is it possible to involve sex in it?” For a time it worked. When I touched myself, there was no pain. But when ctx got stronger it didn’t work anymore.
In the evening I got frustrated. Is there any progress at all? If I go down in myself and watch my ctx I can see that they force me to open up. “Does it really hurt?” I ask myself. No, I can’t say it’s pain but it is so powerful that I need all my attention to bear it. And when I loose my confidence, then it starts to hurt. “I don’t want this pain anymore,” I complain, “when it leads to nothing. Why can’t I do it?.”
This is an old pattern making its entrance. “I can’t do it. Whatever I try, it never works out. Everyone can do it, but not me.” Jan says: “I know you can do it. You can do it. It’s just going to happen. You will give birth to the baby. No doubt about that.” I feel touched.
When I go to the toilet I see a little blood. Great! There is something happening! I feel glad again. We go downstairs, music, a little bit of dancing, when a ctx appears I go to the table and hang over it. I count my breath. We are happy with each other. We feel so connected. There is no one else in the entire world I want to be next to in these precious hours, but my Jan. My dear beloved Jan who is on my side second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Watching me, loving me, supporting me, caressing me.
I feel the baby moving inside of me and I feel how I smile. I love this baby! I hope he takes his definite position.
Friday night. Contractions. Nothing but ctx. I go from one ctx to the other. There is nothing else. I wonder if they will ever stop. This time they hit me hard and frequently. I have to work hard to receive them because something in me resents them, wanting them to go away. It is 5 o’clock in the morning. Jan lights up my shrine from the Blessingway ceremony. I think of all the women in the world who gave birth. Six billion people. Six billion births. I can do it. Jesse came to our sleeping room and is lying on our bed, watching me. There is a lot of light around us. We are not alone. I am getting tired. I took my birth chain and said to the baby: “I want you to be born.”
I can still hear them say: “You can not dilate. There is no progress. Your baby is in danger if we don’t do anything. You can not dilate. You can not dilate.”
Thank God I am at home.
Saturday morning. I lost my consiousness of time. I am so tired. I lie on my side on the ground, on a mattress. Behind me shine the candles, the light. It is warm in me and in the room. I lose thick fluid.
Jan is making tea and breakfast. I don’t want to eat. He forces me: “the women on the list say you have to eat.” He tries to encourage me.
There is some blood again. “Blood. Is this wrong?” “Of course this is NOT wrong!” A new line in me. I smile. I start to trust my body after all these hours. I have the feeling or need to shit. “That means the baby is coming down.” I feel glad. New strength comes over me. Then there must be progress.
When I am taking a shower I feel the urge to push. I am shaking. I don’t dare. Am I fully dilated? I don’t know. I forget that I don’t have to do anything. My body is doing it.
After some hours breathing in and out my urge to push. I go down. I am lost. I don’t trust anymore. I feel bad, horrible. I feel pain. Everything is dark. “Can anyone take this over? Please take it away from me. I want to go to the hospital. I want to sleep. I cannot do this anymore. I am too tired. Please save me. Do something.” I cry.
But there is no escape. Ctx come and go. No one is going to save me. I go to bed. “I want to sleep.” I fall asleep. I don’t do anything anymore, no trust, no resistance, just a tired Eugenie.
“Do whatever you have to do” I tell my body. But not with me, I have had it, I’m going to sleep. So that’s what happens. I sleep. Ctx wake me up, make me breathe like hell, and then I fall asleep again.
Who expected this? That it would take this long? I haven’t slept for 3 nights. This is the heaviest thing I have ever done. It is a test. The women of the ICAN write letters. I am happy when Jan reads them to me. So warm. I want to feel warm. They give me that warmth.
I want to know if I’m dilated. I don’t know.
Saturday afternoon. I have to change something in my attitude or I will never ever succeed. I decided to do something else. I don’t want my world to be only ctx. So I am reading the mail of the ICAN list. Ctx hit me hard, but I am strong. We work hard to climb to the light. We open the windows, the curtains, we dance, we kiss, we touch. Embrace me, love me, touch me.
Some hours later I go down again. The idea that a real child is going through my body is suddenly terrifying. I feel scared. I need to close up myself. This can’t be possible! A whole child. A whole living child! I said to Jan: “I can’t handle it. I can’t open up that far!”
Jan calls Gerrit, a friend of ours. I take a shower. The warm water feels wonderful and my panic disappears a little. I close my eyes and look at my body. Where is all this fear, can I see it in my body? Around my hips I see grey energy; everything is locked up.
Suddenly I remember my father who wanted to have sons. Instead of sons he got four girls. When I was a child I desperately wanted to be a boy to please my father. I went to Jan. Can you see something? I asked him. He saw something around my hips, which looked as if something was stuck. I told him what I found out when I was in the shower. “You are not a man,” Jan said. “No, I am not a man” I admitted and I felt a shock going through me. I felt a little more free.
Gerrit brought us a cd with music for laboring, “Travelling through time and space.”
Jesse came home with friends of ours. I went upstairs to the sleepingroom, and listened to the cd.
In the evening I asked Jan to leave me alone. I wanted to feel the difference between being alone and being with him. Ctx are so heavy now that I completely forgot that I wanted to know what I should be like on my own. When Jan came back he suggested that I should dance to the music. I did. It was great but it made me tired as well. I enjoyed dancing through my contractions. Jan was watching me. I felt free. This was something I didn’t dare do before: dancing naked while Jan was watching.
It all felt so normal, so natural.
Then I got insecure again. “I don’t know how to deal with all the power, with the pain. I can’t do it.” I sat on hands and knees when it was tough. “What am I supposed to do?” I went to the shower again. “Oh my body. Oh my baby. Help me!” When I got out of the shower I decided to sleep downstairs, afraid to keep Jan and Jesse awake. Jan protested, and asked me to come upstairs. I felt a lot of movement in my belly and suddenly I realized I have pain in my back as well. He is posterior! I went down on my hands and knees and lay on my left side.
After that, during the night, I lost the plug. We both got energized! My body works! There is something going on. Oh how I wish I would always be able to trust my body. This wonderful body that is doing so fine. My body that is working so hard and it knows what it is doing. “I will always trust you,” I laughed inside. I felt happy and powerful.
The rest of the night we are relaxed. I feel the urge to push but I am afraid that I won’t dilate completely. I ask Jan to check me and he refuses.
I took a shower again. What a relief! I am still afraid of this new sensation in my body. It is so powerful. I don’t have the feeling that I am opening up any more. There is something else going on. I decide to do nothing. Just go with the flow. “Just breath in, just breath out” I said to myself, “Don’t interfere.”
When there are no ctx I fall in a black hole. I slept, brutally wakened by another ctx and after that I fall back in the dark silence of sleep again. This lasted for hours. Somewhere during the short moments I’m conscious I realize that I have no pain in my back anymore, so the baby must have made a rotation to anterior.
When I woke up I wanted to know if there was any progress. “Where am I? How far am I?” I wanted to know. My body is quiet, the baby is doing fine, mother is doing fine, and I still feel doubt.
Some time later I get a little angry. I am sick of the ctx. “How many did I have? How many will I have? I don’t want it any more. I can’t do it alone. Oh if I would only know if I made any progress!”
Jan has a plan. “We will get up and we will relax and kiss.” Fine with me: anything but those awful ctx to fix my mind on. In the sleeping room Jan starts to kiss me and I start to laugh, and complain: “I don’t feel anything, I’m not getting excited.” We laugh and the atmosphere is improving rapidly.
Sunday afternoon. I know there is something going on. It feels as if the baby got stuck. I can’t explain it but from a deeper level in me I know it’s true. “You have to call Ineke. Do it now!.” Ineke is a friend of ours, who has the gift of seeing things. I call her, answering machine. Later she calls back. Jan answers the phone. I feel the urge to push, it’s getting more and more intense. I breath through them. Jan tells Ineke what is happening and Ineke has the feeling that Tygo is afraid to enter into the world. That he forgot what he wants to do in this life, that he sees all the trouble in this world. And that on a soul-level he has retreated.
When I heard this message I knew it to be the truth. I went to the shower to be alone with him for a while. I talked to my baby, I said that I wanted him to come, that he didn’t have a choice. He must come out “and please, do it quick cause it hurts!” I felt a difference in energy. At the same time Jan and Ineke spoke to the baby as well.
I returned to the sleeping room. Jan told me that he said to the baby that it was ok, that we are his parents and that we will support him, protect him, love him. We felt connection again. A light, playful energy around us. Baby is definitely back, ctx continued. We were on the road again.
Evening. Ineke called us back and told us how Jan could check me. Although we already know how to do it, this call encouraged Jan to do it. So I sat on the floor and spread my legs and Jan checked me in a very soft natural way as if he’d checked me a thousand times. I remembered the doctor in the hospital who checked me, and that it hurt so much! Jan was so happy: he felt the head, full dilation! ‘I felt the baby! I felt the baby!’ Jan laughed and was grinning from ear to ear. I smiled.
I give in with the urge to push. This is it! I feel strong and alive. One breath, push three times. Every push is stronger than the one before. I hear my heart beat in my ears. There is nothing else anymore. I am surprised by the immense power in my body. Is this my body? My god! Jan checked me now and then. What a joy! What a power! What fun. The end of the road. We are so close now I could dance. The baby is coming. Slowly…very very slowly.
Jan made connection with the baby. The baby was gone again. Jan felt fear coming from the baby. We called Ineke again. ‘He is testing your strength’, she said. I got furious! My strength?! Testing my strength?!!!! Wasn’t it enough? I decided to take this message for what it was. OK. Where can I be more open? Where can I let more power in? I opened up. Completely. Totally. From my hair to my toes. And then I had the most wonderful experience of my life. I felt birthing power coming in. It rushed through my head down to my heart to my pelvis and I started to push five times on one breath. I felt great, big, alive! Nothing could stop this. I became birthing power. Birthing power became me. There was no Eugenie anymore. There was only woman power, light, life, energy.
I felt the baby crowning and I felt with my fingers if there was enough space, if my flesh was full with blood. I didn’t want to tear. I felt the ring of fire and asked Jan to look at my crotch. ‘Is it red?’ I asked. ‘Yes’ he said, ‘there is no way you would tear. Go ahead’.
I did. I gave everything I had. I wondered if I could let through more power. ‘How much can I get?’ I asked and at that very moment the power got more….. There was the head. Ctx stopped immediately. There was just silence. Nothing else to do. Patience. Patience. The head turned. I laughed. What a feeling. Again silence. Then I felt the baby moving his shoulder out of me. There he was! He slid out of me. I took him and brought him to my chest. The cord was not very long. He made noises, soft noises and it was clear he had fluid in his respiratory canals. I sucked out his nose, but it was clean. He coughed a bit, I laid him on my thigh and caressed his back. After a few minutes he had cleared them himself.
Suddenly I was very tired. We went into the bathtub. Tygo nursed himself and fell asleep. I was waiting for the placenta but somehow I knew it wouldn’t come quickly either. So after a long time we decided to cut the cord. I wanted to go to bed. I wanted to sleep. So we did.
Next morning I went into the tub again to see if I could get the placenta out. Nothing. It didn’t work. I asked a friend of mine to sing for me while I was in the bath. To sing about pregnancies, birth, women. She did and I cried.
In the evening I tried again. The placenta was still attached. And then I thought: “This journey was about trust. Learning to trust my body. So now I decide to trust my body. If my body doesn’t let the placenta go, there is a reason for that. I don’t know which reason, I don’t know why. But my body will never do something to harm me. If the placenta is still in me, then it is good for me.” I didn’t feel the need anymore to see the “why.” I stepped aside.
The next morning Jan saw that the cord was loose because when I massaged my belly, the cord didn’t move back inside anymore. He saw that I opened up a little and then he saw the placenta. “Get up please” he said. I did and the placenta fell out.
Later on Jan buried it in the garden with some flowers.
It took 10 hours of “pre-labor.”
I had 80 hours of active labor. And 5 hours of pushing. The placenta came out 35 hours after Tygo’s birth.
So we beat all the limitations of the hospital. We proved that giving birth at home, unassisted is safe. Mother and son are in great health. If we had been in the hospital, I would have been sliced open and we would have had a second son with birth trauma.
Thank god we followed the birthing power!