Part Two: Labouring in the zone and the approach of fear

Contractions are like labour, at first calm, then a few ripples, before gathering in strength and size, then reaching a crescendo, ending in the calm again, just like the waves on this beach in Fetlar, which we experienced in all of natures offerings!

Labouring in the zone and the approach of fear

Sheila Kitzinger talks of indigenous women labouring alone in a private but familiar place, whilst the midwife waits at a safe distance, ready if she is needed. In a high-tech hospital I too turned inwards to this place, just like other mammals do and pregnant woman have done for millennia. Hours passed. Labour advanced slowly. I remained focused and calm. I hummed a Buddhist chant continuously for hours, varying the tones as the contractions came and went like waves. My late Nanna had described contractions this way, an appropriate analogy in that the pain starts slowly, worsens, reaches its crescendo, before subsiding; then the whole process repeats itself.

I made sounds from deep within me I never knew existed, instinctive sound vibrations which moved and worked with the contractions. My husband massaged my lower back with aromatherapy oils continuously for countless hours; in my own zone his touch was an indication I wasn’t alone. I remained totally in control by focusing on the deep humming sounds my voice made as my body moved in unison to the sounds. My eyes remained closed almost continuously for five hours.  I sought a quiet, non-verbal, private plate in which to labour, away from sights, sounds and lights. It was me and my baby, in our own space together. I knew my husband and the midwife were close by, so I could call them, if I needed to. I trusted and read my own body.

This special zone was rudely interrupted as I heard one of the midwives suddenly exclaim directly to me;

‘You’re being very musical aren’t you!’

Almost violently this human voice pulled me back into that other world I had laboured hard to mentally retreat from. I could have hit her. Although unintentional she had broken the spell, the peaceful zone shattered.

Back to the machines, bright lights and human conversation. And with it the pain.

Rediscovering Birth by Sheila Kitzinger

5 thoughts on “Part Two: Labouring in the zone and the approach of fear”

    1. Thanks for your comment; the training of midwives is clearly lacking in this aspect, they should be more aware of the woman’s biological needs during labour, including the need to be left alone to labour in peace, unless help is requested.

  1. What a cutie-pie. My daughter teurnd 4 last summer. It’s been amazing watching her grow and mature this year… and a little bittersweet, too. Any last remnants of babyhood and toddlerhood slipped away with that birthday. She’ll always be my baby, though, just as I imagine your little guy will always be your baby, too. Enjoy his birthday! 🙂

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