help draw my awareness deeply in. Within a few minutes the labour kicked in more strongly and I was soon vocalising and rolling my pelvis with each contraction.
As I became absorbed by the waves of contractions, there was an in-tense rush of heat and bliss. I felt myself completely flooded with endorphins. From this I knew that very soon Omtara would be in my arms. My waters flooded out with one overwhelming contraction and I readied myself for birth by getting into a supported squat against the wall on top of the plastic mat. This was my favourite birthing position and one which could now suffice until the end. The curtains were drawn and the room felt very womb-like with its sunny warmth and a rosy orange hue.
My Shiva had now arrived and was sitting opposite me, just witness-ing the energy of birthing and my responses to it. The children were coming and going, hoping not to miss “seeing Omtara come out of Guruprem’s vagina”. I was glad that Omtara would be born in the day giving them the opportunity to witness what they might go through themselves as adults. The sight of them all watching from the bed opposite, was quite something!
As with my 3 previous labours, just before I can feel the baby’s head in my vagina, there is a distinct pause. I use this time for focussing in prepara-tion for the last few pushes to come. After 15 minutes of little action, the kids had become impatient and the younger ones were a little scared of my occasional very loud chanting and groaning. They all left the room except the 8 year old boy, who remained well and truly gripped by the proceedings. As the contractions picked up in intensity and frequency, I remember he made some comment about seeing black hair. Realising that the head must be crowning, I felt really excited by the release I would soon feel. With the next contraction the head came out slowly and smoothly. Just as I felt the pressure easing away, another wave of energy moved down and the whole body emerged into the waiting hands of my Shiva who eased Omtara onto the towel between my legs.
After enjoying that short time and space of complete emptiness-fullness which occurs at this point, I reached down to lift up a little pink, vernix-covered girl. Such ease, such joy, such harmony, such bliss. In essence, that has been her nature from conception, through pregnancy, childbirth and still is now. Just then the morning tea bell rang. It must be 10.30, I thought!
Very soon after, all the other children came back in, the youngest one completely and utterly surprised by the appearance of a baby. We all spent time admiring Omtara, and the kids were particularly fascinated by the umbilical cord running up into my vagina. One thought it might be there “so she doesn’t run away from you!”
Wrapped together in a doona, I brought Omtara to the breast for the first time. Her umbilical cord was quite short and so, after her first suckle, I tied it off and then cut it. The scissors were a bit blunt that day but the dental floss always works wonderfully for tying the cord! After a bit of a walk around to stretch my legs, I got comfortable in a supported half-squat over the mixing bowl for the placenta to come down, which took just over an hour. I also brought Omtara to the breast again, keeping her feeding as much as possible to help facilitate this.
My overall memory of Omtara’s labour and birth is of peace, simplic-ity and bliss. Just me, her, my kids, my Shiva, my teacher, Guru’s grace – and mother nature of course – all just doing what comes naturally.