My first child and daughter, Anita proved to be an extremely physiological pregnancy. As a first time mother-to-be, I thought I had gained all the knowledge I possibly could during my pregnancy. I read all the books, attended prenatal courses and truly felt I had the knowledge necessary to choose and understand my birth path. I chose a small hospital in Rome to give birth in. as well as a natural birth. When I arrived at the hospital already 7 cm dilated, we knew the birth was going to be quick. As far as births can go Anita was normal, but during my time I couldn’t help but feel as if there were unnecessary interventions along the way. But in the moment all I could focus on was the power I felt in experiences birth. Never in my wildest dreams could I have seen that incredibly prevailing side of myself coming to fruition.
I kept that image of myself during the birth to give me strength to deal with the newborn. You see, while I had done all the necessary step for pregnancy and birth, it was the after birth that had thrown me for a loop. Here I was with this incredible newborn whose smile was supposed to light up my entire world, but I felt alone and unsopported. There are so many stones on the joy of birth, but very little on the actualities od postnatal life.
With my second child Pietro I decided to have an at home birth. This pregnancy was different because I was driven by the memory of the empowerment I felt during my first birth. Taking even less time than the first, but with a little more pain, I found that same sense of strength and courage return to me again as it had before. It was this memory I had to continuously hold on to as I faced months of sleepless nights, isolation and fear that I had not accounted for even after experiencing a birth before.