In Part two of the birthing of their son- Tahnee and Mason pick up where they left off in sharing their journey and the deeper learning that has settled ten weeks after the birth of baby Leo.
In this expansive conversation about birth and union, we hear the final moments of Tahnee and Mason's free birth experience. Mason, receiving Leo as he entered the world posterior, Tahnee birthing the placenta, and the moments after birth where only Aiya, Tahnee, and Mason present, at home in the birth space.
Tahnee shares the fears that arose in her mother-lead birth experience, how she processed fear, coped with surges of pain as she progressed deeper into labour, and how her strength to push through was animated by Mason's steadfast presence.
Mason reflects on his experience, sharing valuable advice for birth partners on how to hold their purpose while a mother is journeying through pain and how to feel the intensity/pressure without reacting to it- "If it's not amazing for the mother, then it's not amazing for the father. Anyone in the birth space- strongly consider if you're reacting from and bringing your fear into the space. Also, be aware of the scope of fear mothers can carry with them into birth".
This is a beautiful conversation about the bond and union created between parents and the family unit when a birthing experience is healthy. It also highlights why it is important to allow space within the pregnancy to weave in discussions about the layered passages of birth and the opportunity to have the ideal birth-the way you envision.
"And that for me, I think was what I found so rewarding about this birth in particular was I feel like I got to dig very deep into my strength and my capacity to hold myself and be held through this experience and through the pain".
- Tahnee Taylor
Mason and Tahnee discuss:
- Posterior birth.
- Birthing the placenta.
- Placenta encapsulation.
- Children in the birthspace.
- Low and high intervention birth.
- Craneosacral therapy for babies.
- Postpartum insights from Tahnee.
- The pressure birth partners experience.
- Honouring and respecting the birth partner.
- How Tahnee coped with the pain during birth.
- How Tahnee managed her energy during birth.
- How Tahnee and Mason prepared for the pain of birth.
- The spectrum of fear women and birth partners bring into the birth space.
Tahnee is a self proclaimed nerd, with a love of the human body, its language and its stories. A cup of tonic tea and a human interaction with Tahnee is a gift! A beautiful Yin Yoga teacher and Chi Ne Tsang practitioner, Tahnee loves going head first into the realms of tradition, yogic philosophy, the organ systems, herbalism and hard-hitting research. Tahnee is the business brains behind SuperFeast, wife to Mason, and devoted mama to Aiya and baby Leo, the newest addition to the Taylor family.
Mason Taylor is the CEO/Founder of SuperFeast and a renowned tonic herbalist. On a soul mission to bring people back to their body and nature while bursting through dogma, he shares passionately and uniquely in his workshops, podcast, and content on how to cultivate healing and potentiation through health sovereignty. An expert in Daoist tonic herbalism, Mason has helped tens of thousands of people globally discover medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic tonic herbs, and the healing philosophy from which they emerged. Mason is also a budding comedian; bursting the bubble on the “health scene” with his antics.
Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?
A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or check us out on Stitcher, CastBox, iHeart RADIO:)! Plus we're on Spotify!
Check Out The Transcript Here:
Hello, everybody. We are back for Leo pregnancy and birth part two.
Hello. I'm choking on cake. Hello, everybody.
Just smashing a bit of cake, postpartum cake.
You have to have dessert with every meal. It's a breastfeeding hack.
Yeah, it's been beautiful to get all your... Gosh, I don't know. Now that I'm into this space, I'm going out of CEO mode and I'm going into like, "Ah," relaxing into the parent life and realising I'm a little tired mode and my brain isn't working as fast as it normally does. Just thanks for all your feedback about the first podcast. It was really appreciated. We love these podcasts. It's a bit of a tradition first, I guess you'd say, when I'm sharing the story on the SuperFeast podcast. The podcast is going to refine a little bit, so we won't have as many of these massive deep dives and sharings now, but we'll continue to share them in other ways and in other places. But yeah, it was just so nice to be in that space with you again Tarny.
Yeah. Same. And we had lots of great people connecting and sharing their thoughts and feedback. So I'm really happy to be back to talk about part two. I do want to put out that we may not remember everything we talked about in part one, because it's been a blur of newborn days, but we'll do our best to make sure we don't repeat ourselves too much and also to tell the full story.
Yeah. And what we're here to share today is... Our major intention is for Tahnee to share the birth story, the actual birth. I got right up there, I think, in the last podcast. Then Leo was wanting a little bit of attention.
And then just probably some, not documenting every little thing, but just going into some key insights as to postpartum this time around and a few preconception and yeah, more I think like Tahnee has shared with me, just a little that difference in the preconception energy and what the feeling was with Aiya rather than Leo, which I think is a nice... I think we'll touch on that now. From what I can remember, I just have a final little piece to talk about in terms of just to speak to people who are-
No, I mean more speaking to partners of a birthing mother. I've really been thinking about it a lot just out of... I'm speaking to Oscar about it this morning, actually I didn't tell you. I was speaking to Oscar Sarak. I was on my beach walk just to rolling on birth magic and just ensuring that there are some key... Just identifying little key principles or rhythms in the in that, in birth preparation, having enough spaciousness around leading up to birth, around birth itself, and then postpartum to ensure that what is birth magic is cultivated. That for me, a major intention is healthy mother, healthy baby, healthy partner, and that healthy family system.
And there's like, that's the magic that unifying energy of birth that can really just like it can, it's such a golden ceremonial opportunity to lock in affinity into the family and take you not just in, from everyone's on their own timelines. And it's difficult with so much... The world's just your oyster at the moment, but to take your timeline in that there's many ways to do it, but especially in birth, it just, it's such an golden opportunity to really fuse those timelines together and the journeys together and get them integrated. So yeah, I don't know if you've been just thinking about that a lot.
Do you want to start there? Because that I think is a good-
... Starting point and then we can go into actual birth. Because I think that fits for me more into that preparatory mode of you're talking... I guess that what I hear from people, and I think this is where you've been reflecting is like, I've heard it from a few women recently like, "Oh, I'd love to free birth or I'd love to have a homebirth, but my partner's not into it. He's afraid X, Y, Z will happen and wants to go to the hospital or the birthing centre." And those are still great options, I'm not saying they're not, but if the woman got a vision or her heart set on something, I think it can be really difficult to help the partner understand (a) why they want to do that, and (b) to educate them enough in a short period of time to get them on board with the process.
Can I point out a couple of other scenarios?
Say a father who really wants to have a wild birth and a mother who's just not quite feeling comfortable and wants to be in a birthing house or even have a planned C-section. I think it's just... You're alluding-
Yeah. All sorts of dimensions, yeah.
All sorts of dimensions, yeah.
I'm talking to women more so I hear their stories I guess.
Yeah. And I think that's... Yeah, that is, for me, that's my experience around here when I talk to, I talk to as many, definitely don't talk to as many mothers, but in talking to dads, it would be similar flow to what you are what you are alluding to. I think I spoke about this a little bit, so I'm not going to ramble on too much. I just had a few little bows to tie on the musing. So forgive me if I'm repeating myself a little bit and I will state, we've mentioned a free birth course that we did in the first podcast there and the links are in the show notes. And I will reiterate that in all of the, through all of the conversations that we've had, there has never been ever an energy around push the father out and don't respect his concern.
So I'm not really, I'm not pushing against anyone in particular. I'm just thinking about that alchemical process of meeting. Okay, so let's look at that example of fathers who were just like, "Look, I'm putting my foot down here. We're not going to have a free birth because that's just too far." I think, most of the time, for most, from when I've heard that being an example, I think for me immediately, what comes up is there hasn't been enough time and space weaved into the pregnancy to allow for those conversations. Its just like, I think it's a little bit of a Western dynamic where we just look at the birth coming and you're like, "Cool, I'm going to prepare by working heaps hard, by making sure that I can have time off afterwards." And yes there's going to... Guys and partners going to all of the, doing their best to go to all the meetings with the midwife or whatever, there's all that part but it's... And I'm going to get there guys, I'm just picking apart all my little pieces.
There's two dynamics that play out and let's just look at from going on from the one, from the guy focus, where a guy's gone, "Right. I have a concern. So right now I'm just going to put my foot down." And I talked about in the first podcast. The first thing you want to ensure is that you never end up into absolute foot down territory. Now that's at the time where I would think where, what in birth courses and a lot of birthing communities you hear right, right? If you are in absolute, you've tried everything to get some collaboration and conversation and addressing of what the concerns are. You just have a bullheaded partner that's just like, "No, I'm not going to collaborate. This is an absolute, no conversation. That this is what's happening."
At that point, I think it's an amazing to there have a community and a community of understanding women and perhaps an even like an institution that really advocates for say low as possible intervention birth or highest possible union between baby and mom birth that ultimately somewhat bypasses. And so that's when I hear, in birthing courses, them talk about like, if you come up against that, that's at the point where you say, "Well, you don't have a right to be in the birth."
And I just didn't like how quickly it jumped to that because that's so seldom, I think you would ever come up against a guy. 95% of the guy, what I think is lacking is just that consultation period. I think what we are not aware of is just the process that leads towards the process of harmonising as a family. The guys concerns or the woman's concerns or their intentions or whatever it is, they may seem malaligned, or it may seem that in this day and age, especially around like this area, the guy just needs to like, "All right, cool. I'm just going to sit on the sideline." And he doesn't actually have the balls to bring up-
Well, that happens the other way though. Women just, who are raised as people pleasers, just give-
... In to their partners wishes and then feel not sovereign in their birthing space, which results in, I think, sometimes a cascade of intervention, which can be deeply traumatic.
Well not only that. The system is so male oriented that you go in to any interaction even with midwives and they're going to default to that-
... That masculine concern. Then what happens is, the pendulum swings and it goes towards a feminine, chaotic, wild birth intention and what we're missing is that incredible intersection where, a seemingly non-aligned male concern or very, like some precision in understanding what things could go wrong. And a lot of guys, I would probably say, are scared to even acknowledge that they're worried about things that could go wrong because then maybe that interrupts the magical manifestation of what's going on. Don't even bring that energy into my work, into my birth space, which I think is a reasonable thing for a woman to say, if it's been jammed down the throat at a very inappropriate time, like last minute, whereas most likely six months before was a really good time to bring up, like I'm freaking-
Even before you got pregnant. I don't know who says this. Someone says this, not me, but I've read it. And I think it's very true that the work needs to be done before you can save with the partner and yourself. Not to say the work ends, but that the work needs to be begun preconception that you are communicating well, you've learned each other's communication styles and triggers to some degree. I remember with Aiya, went to therapy together because we'd only been together really two years and a year of that was long distance and we had different communication styles and it wasn't about birth so much, but like we needed to have turned out to be a total failure, but probably brought us closer together because the guidance.
Because the intention was there.
Yeah. The guides a cook. Yeah. We had to do that during the pregnancy and that was not the most optimal time I think. I think if I could give anyone advice, the level of trust, the five years between Leo and Aiya, I have built in our relationship. That was so present for me in birth that I just... You weren't even operating in my conscious awareness. I feel like we're so connected and I know you and how you hold yourself in space that I could just completely surrender to myself in that. That's come through our deepening of our relationship and definitely part of that was Aiya's birth and us learning that we could both trust each other in that space and all those kinds of things. But yeah, I think to just assume that you can... I actually think if you're at the point of your relationship where you can't communicate about those things, it's actually quite worrying, I guess, that you're going to... Yeah, I think there'd be a really optimal opportunity to really work on communication styles and clarifying things at that point. Because yeah, I think it gets pretty tricky if you're... Especially-
If there's no budge and there's no landscape between opposing opinions and realising, "Hey, this is opposing energies is what actually contributes to."
That's what caused the baby to come into being and it's necessary to have that yin and yang tension I suppose. But I just keep thinking about, say you're in birth and it does head toward transition when a lot of women freak out because it's intense and they change, try to change their birth plan dramatically in that moment. I think if the men or support person, whoever that is, doesn't feel very clear and very solid, they could easily panic and go into a stress response at that point, so.
I just think about the opportunity lost in terms of like, okay, you can see this divide between say a guy who's like, "No. This is my child as well and I just have absolutely... I don't have the space or time to go and consider any free birth or any birth away from, that isn't like a, whatever." It could be to the extent of planned C-section. If you can actually come to those, bring those opposing points and have hours and hours and hours of conversation about it before pregnancy, sure. But [inaudible 00:14:09].
Reality. Reality is having it during pregnancy.
Well, the reality is that if you can... Yeah, and you can get four to six to eight hours, even more. Have a weekly rhythm where it's something. We've got a family rhythm, people have date nights, especially if it's your first baby, get those date nights going on. Because once you take away the initial charge around like, "No, it's not happening. This is actually dangerous and the statistics of this." And that's cool. Listen to it. What's normally behind them, and this is always, it's just like yes, there might be someone who is trying to be right or gather evidence for why they're, what they want to do is right.
Maybe there's women who are trying to avoid being dominated or being wrong so they'll just maybe yield or women who are like, "Absolutely not. It's free birth out there in the wilderness and that's it." There's no fusion, there's actually no magic being created and if you can take away that pressure and realise there's actually at the core of it, there's something beautiful I think for... It really bugged me a couple of... I've just heard a couple of throw away like, "No, if he can't get on board with you, he's out. All right." I just thought, "Fuck. What a waste." Especially when most of the time a guy, given a little bit of space, will just want to play out scenarios and he'll just want to exercise the way that he's expressing love for the woman and for his child and going like, "I just really want to be involved and I want to be conscientious of what could happen and I want to be the one sitting there protecting this space and protecting you guys."
And he just hasn't... We don't have the experience of how to communicate those things a lot of the time, but you can follow the thread and just to go and cut it off and be like, "No, you're out," it's such a panic move and it doesn't have consideration for just that unionising element that I've been involved, not just patting the guy on the head or patting the woman on the head and being like, "Oh, you precious thing, you want to be involved? Let me just answer all your FAQs and then can you just go and sit on the side and let the professionals actually handle it again?"
No, he's ornamentally, or whoever the birth partner is, they're not ornamental. That needs to be fostered. That them going in as close as possible to engaging and being present to that birth energy needs to be fostered as much as possible for both or all involved. However, there's so many different ways that it can work in dynamics, it's not just a man and a woman. I know that for sure. I've talked about that invisible thing that is birth magic and that's the difference between it being a fully unified, not fully, never going to be fully, there's always going to be a ratio of birth magic to birth trauma. They have to work in unison, but it's like, which way does the scales tilt? And for my intention, is seeing what I think is the most important outcome from birth is to, is the level of family that's created from it.
And so that long term, that child is raised in an environment where those birth partners, or most likely it's going to be a mom and a... Most of the time it's going to be a mom and dad, that have been through something together and it's been an experience they were both in perception of and they both collaborated deeply and regardless of whether they stay together long term, they're together. It's like a blood bond. It's a unification. If that isn't cherished above everything else, we're going to continue to see broken families. And I'm not saying in the sense of broken family, it's broken if you aren't together anymore, it's just like there's that when you see that rupture of the family unit and that lack of respect for the family unit, because why would you respect something if it's just theoretical and you actually haven't felt it and there's no birthing culture around it.
That's all I'm really feel to share on it. I don't particularly think there's an epidemic of it going, not happening or happening. It's like the same thing. It's like, if it's not amazing for the mother, it's not amazing for the birth partner either, and acknowledging that in those extreme circumstances, default to mother-baby safety connection of course, but realising it's seldom going to be that extreme situation where that's that's appropriate and that boundary needs to get put up. Anyone in the birth space, I would really suggest you stop and think about before you jump to that putting that strong foundation, that strong boundary up, really consider are you overreacting a little bit from your own personal whatever it is, you're reacting from. Yeah, it doesn't need to be that extreme energy. I don't think most are.
No. It reminds me of... Well, yeah, I remember doing Jane Hardwicke Collings' Shamanic Dimensions of Pregnancy workshop probably two years ago and we talked about fear and I remember being just amazed at the things people were afraid of and it was this huge gamut from my husband won't, it was all women at this event, "My husband won't love me after the baby's born." "The baby won't love me." "The baby will die." "I will die." "My body won't work." "The baby will be deformed in some way." It just the huge scope of shit that runs through our heads when we face birth and death because they're literally interconnected things. I just felt a lot of compassion for how we're all reacting from this really subconscious place of not really being able to name a lot of this stuff or not having a forum for naming it because talking about, you don't want to jinx it, right? So a lot of people don't talk about I'm scared the baby's going to die or... And I remember even talking to you about, well if the baby's not breathing, we need to do this or.
It took a lot. You creating that invitation for me before I would even acknowledge that I was going to, I did want to have that conversation when I was, I was scared of, yeah, the jinxing don't even bring it into the space, which I don't, I didn't, wasn't enjoyable.
No, I think like that, keeping it subconscious creates those subconscious patterns of behaviour, which cause a lot of rupture usually in the relationship and it's, yeah, it is scary and I think, especially in spiritual communities where everyone's like, "The power of the spoken word," and it's like, it's true but also I think it gives us the opportunity to desensitise or de-energise, that fear when you speak it. And especially when you start to, if you're a researcher, look at statistics and things. If someone's telling you that it's not safe to birth at home, there's lots of statistics to back you up that it is and you can go and pull them and have a conversation with someone and talk about physiological birth and talk about... And similarly, if you really want a Ceasarean and someone's telling you can't like, no, you can back yourself on that too. Its just whatever needs to happen. But yeah, I think for me, fear is a huge, I know we talked about that a little bit in the last podcast, but fear is such a powerful subconscious driver of our primal behaviour that can often be our worst behaviour and that's probably not something you want to just let loose into the birth space, I guess, so that's-
Yeah, I think that point, it's such an obvious psychology 101 thing but nonetheless goes from theoretical to real. I talked a lot to my therapist about those, I could say it was things that were subconsciously sitting there and do I want to play out in the real world my subconscious or do I want to bring the subconscious to the conscious? Realise I actually do. I talked to him, I was like, you know what? I remember just unloading on him one day and I was just like, hang on it was just getting to this point where I'm like, this could happen, this could happen. I'm leaving this much to chance. I don't know if I should be leaving this to chance. Am I irresponsible? I just unloaded on him, which I think was healthy, because it was probably, it was something I wouldn't be expecting you to just cop the brunt of and that's why it's nice to release the pressure slowly with these kinds of conversations or go and get, if you don't have communication down, go get some facilitation.
Yeah, that was straight away after that, then I had a few conversations with you about what I was fearful of and being like, it's not controlling me, it's just there. I think we should talk about. And then far out, it was just the pressure and the reality, we had very real... I would have like very real plans that didn't bypass and just leave it to all luck.
Yeah. It's probably the pragmatic side of me, but it's like you go for a bush walk, it's like, you don't want to get bitten by a snake but it's a good idea to know what to do if it happens. And I think it's similar with all of these things like... Yeah, anyway, I think everyone probably gets where we're going with that and I definitely am open if anyone wants to reach out and talk about those types of things. I think we're both open to that because, yeah, it's a really important and interesting topic. And I think with birth, like I've just been doing Jane's course now, her shamanic school, shamanic woman craft course? Actually don't know what the course itself is called.
It's a four seasons journey but we've just been doing a lot of work on birth imprints and how we were born and how that will play out in our own births and in our subconscious behaviour around creation and creativity and I think a lot of that again, would show up in these interactions. If someone's mother had a caesarean and was quite traumatising for her or someone had an elective caesarean that was really great. That's going to inform the two different ways you think about caesarean. If you'd elected it and it was in a beautiful suite, I know people go to the Versace suite in the Gold Coast and have this great experience and they get-
... Room service. You can book a private hospital.
Versace or you [inaudible 00:24:35] actually Versace.
Yeah, I think it's Versace.
Versace have a birthing suite?
No, they have a hotel and you can stay there after you've had the baby and it's like this whole thing, you get champagne and it's like a vibe.
I thought you were like, caesarian by Versace.
No, but don't put it past them. Anyway, so you have this really great fun experience, if that's what you're into and, yeah. So I guess my point is you're going to have really different perceptions. When I would say free birth to people, some people would be like, "Oh my God, that's terrifying and dangerous," other people would be like, "Oh my God, my mom did that in the seventies. It's awesome," blah, blah, blah. So I think it's just really depends on your worldview and your perspective, so. But yeah, I find that stuff interesting. I've since, so where, what? 10 weeks. Since Leo's birth, I'm actually, even from when we recorded the first podcast, in a very different place around processing his birth and my experience in his birth and the choices we made and how we got there and all that stuff. I can feel this really deep learning in that for me and I guess we should probably go into the birth story and I don't know how far we got last time. I don't know if you remember.
I think we'd already maybe talked about early labour.
Let's see is we could just start there.
Could you quickly summarise. Yeah. Because I'm stuck. I get a lot of pro... That was so bad I got stuck on last time too, prodromal labour or anyway, I can't remember... Early labour. You can look it up, it starts with PR. I get a lot of early labour. I got it with both pregnancies and it goes on for months for me, at least the last few months of pregnancy. I do believe that's preparatory and part of why I have fairly quick labours. I don't want to discount that and I definitely had some pretty heavy contractions and I remember toward the end when were making love, my uterus was very painful if we had well, yeah, when we made love with orgasm and stuff, it would really hurt my uterus.
So I was thinking about that the other day, I'm like, I was probably early labouring for quite some time and I felt a bit dreamy and in that world. But we really, officially, I woke up on the Tuesday morning, so Leo was born on a Wednesday with some pretty strong contractions. I ended up in the bath with Aiya, they went away, I had a big sleep and that afternoon we ended up preparing the birth space and inviting the birth. It felt like prior to that, were both a bit like, "Ugh, not the right time."
And that's fair. And I'd had 10 days off work at that point.
Yeah. At that particular day you had to go in that for a meeting.
Yeah. That day and I went in for... I think we talked about this, I had to go in for an off boarding.
And then as soon as that was done and just the energy just changed and it was, this space was clear and were like, "Cool."
Yeah. It just felt like, "Okay, now we can do this."
I was so grateful when I got back and you were still asleep.
So was I. Yeah, so I had a good four hour sleep before birth, which was great because I didn't get any sleep that night and I'm just so big on prioritising rest at the end of my pregnancy. I just feel like if you can nap or sleep, just do it because you won't get it later. You never catch up.
I think we talked about that early stage. It was quite trauma and we had a lot of kissing and then [inaudible 00:28:14].
Yeah, so that was probably the most... It was funny. So a friend of mine recently birthed and I was talking about, with Aiya, I had a lot of psychedelic or the whole labour for me, felt very psychedelic. And I remember feeling like I was plugged into the collective mother consciousness. I could feel every woman that had birthed and I understood them and I understood their story and it was this very beautiful.
You had like your non-judgement of any way that anyone-
Yes, any way that anyone chooses. I could just feel every woman and I felt very deeply connected and I remember looking out and everything's really sparkly and beautiful and that the only time I really experienced that this time was with you in the bed and then, I guess that sense of timelessness and that sense of ceremony was there, but it was like... It's really funny because I read a book about Inanna's Descent, which is a Sumerian myth around a goddess who has to go into the underworld to bring her, well, in this particular book was talking about it is the mother's journey to bring her baby into the world, just to go through dying herself. I think there was a physical aspect of... The sensations were so immense and that resonated with me around the intensity and the darkness because I was pretty calm.
Mace went to sleep with Aiya about eight o'clock or something and I was just hanging out. I ended up in the pool and I was listening to music and writing in my journal and the contractions were making absolutely no sense to me so I gave up on trying to time them. I just figured my body would do what it needed to and now that I know that Leo was posterior, it makes sense that my contractions were so regular because I was feeling like I was in labour, but I also couldn't, none of it was matching what the books said it should be like. So I just gave away trying to understand that at that point. And, yeah, I was just listening to music and we'd made a beautiful playlist, which we ended up putting back on but at that point I really wanted to just listen to groovy stuff.
So I was listening to Van Morrison and old seventies tracks. Yeah, just feeling very floaty and then toward around 11:30, I remember starting to think, "Oh, I'd really like it if Mason was back and we'd had this plan where I was going to call him on my phone when I needed him and he would have his phone set that only my number would wake him up kind of thing. Anyway, I was trying to get my head around doing that and then Mace just wandered in and it was like divine timing. And from then on, I just remember it being really intense and I... I guess, and again, this comes down to, I think Leo's positioning, I wanted to push for such a long time with this birth, but never felt like I was getting traction and I think the only time I really went into my head around it all was having that physical, biological desire to push but no head and no, there was nothing there.
It was just like I wanted to push, but there was nothing to prove why I wanted to push and I think I was finding that quite confronting. And I think that was the only time I said to you, "I'm not sure." I think it was something that had come up with Aiya where the midwife had said something about my cervix not opening which wasn't true, because it was fine but it had gotten into my head that maybe my cervix wouldn't open. And I remember feeling into myself and not being able to feel anything and thinking, "Oh my God, maybe my cervix isn't working," and then realising how ridiculous that was. As in there was no evidence that was the case.
Did we talk about that?
I'm not sure. We might be repeating ourselves.
No, no, no, no. Actually in the birth when we're in the... Because I remember in reflection, it was, I don't know. My contribution was either just being a sounding board for you talking about it.
I feel like you just were really calm and you were like, "Do you really think that's a thing?" I was like, "No," and you were like, "Okay," and then we just kept going.
Because I think you just literally mirrored it back to me and just said, "Well, do you really feel that's the case?"
That's at one point. I think my because I've got such busy mind and I'm like, "Got to be on. Got to be doing something to be useful in this process."
But you weren't like that at all.
No, no, no. That's your thing. You're saying you reverted back there going, "Oh my gosh, is there something wrong?" And that was my, at some point I was like, "Okay, should I be doing something more?" And I was like, and I think we'd talked about it so much at that point, and then you validated me a little bit afterwards and saying you'd look over at me. I genuinely I was running things through my head. I knew what I was looking for.
I'm like, "Is it a problem if I look at Tahnee? Is she actually looping too much? Is she in that much pain that I think is, what I learned, is unreasonable?" I had my little signs and so I was like, "I actually think I'm fine." I didn't know you were going through the pain. Unfortunately I had a joke with you in terms of being like, "Well it's just pain." I didn't actually think that but-
... That was, I guess I was like... I was like, "Okay, right now this is pain. There's no alarm bells." And so I think at that point you were just looking over at me during those periods and being like, "Okay, Mason's sure maybe there's..." and I just didn't give you energy to bounce off in terms of making something wrong.
Yeah. I could feel my, I guess one thing I'm really conscious of with myself is, I am sensitive to other people's reactions and energy. And one of the reasons I was attracted to free birth was to limit the amount of energy in the space that it could be purely me and you then that felt very natural to me and obviously the baby's energy and it's process in birth. But yeah, I'm not someone that likes to be touched a lot in labour. I know for a lot of women to have a doula or a friend or a partner who wants to massage and hold and those things are really helpful and I wish that was something I love massage normally, but I just, when people touch me when I'm in labour labour, I like, "Get the away from me."
So you were sitting there and you were very solid and just strong and calm and quiet and I just remember, yeah, looking at you and thinking, "Oh, there's this very strong, calm presence here who isn't worried." I think it's almost... Look, this is a really, I'm still working through this, that I've had a bit of a epiphany around victim hood and my own relationship to that. And this is very much me reflecting on myself so I don't want anyone to write to me saying that I'm triggering them, but I can feel a tendency to dramatise and a sense of being the victim of the experience as opposed to the owner of the experience. And I felt like that came up for me a little bit in this birth where I could have let the pain own me and gone into drama and gone into a habituated pattern that wouldn't have served me.
I would've probably changed the trajectory of the birth quite dramatically and having your steadfast presence there, I guess reminded me or gave me a compass to point toward of that's like, I'm okay, because that's okay. I don't want to embarrass myself by behaving like a drama queen right now because I know I'm actually not dying even though I want to tell everybody I'm dying. I can reflect now that there was, that was playing out a little bit because, yes, it was incredibly painful, but it wasn't like I could handle it. As evidenced by the fact that I did handle it and I was handling it and if I reflect a lot of the mental gymnastics around, can I cope with this much pain? Is again, just a way of avoiding actually being in the experience and actually surrendering to what was occurring in my body and in the moment.
I'm still working through a lot of this stuff, but I can feel that. And also the bombastic challenge to I can handle pain and I'm tough and that response, it isn't a surrender to it, it's actually like a challenge to it or a fight. And that energy was there a little bit for me too. And those things I think were really beautiful. I needed that experience. I needed to have that experience. I needed to feel those sensations and meet them how I did. And a part of me is incredibly proud of myself for being strong and brave and not walking away from it and not hiding from it and meeting it. And I feel like the longer it went on, the more I surrendered to it in terms of allowing my body to move how it needed to and doing things like biting the fucking edge of the pool and like-
... And you, sorry. That was an accidental bite. I didn't realise it was a human there. Yeah. So I was pretty out of it in my primary way myself like throwing my legs around where I needed them to be and I've joked that I felt like I was dancing him out at some points, but I was throwing my legs all across the pool and changing positions, trying to go to the bathroom a couple of times, which didn't work particularly well for me but... Yeah, I just feel like that whole point was really... Like that whole experience was really around my own relationship with how I deal with challenge and things like that. And that's come a lot out of the birth imprint to the work I've done with Jane and some other stuff I've been working through.
And I think it's funny because the only... I didn't actually ever want to transfer, but I did think once about like, "Oh my God, if I had to transfer, I'd have to get in a car and I would not be allowed to be in my birth pool and it would be so horrible to sit in a car and try and have these contractions." I just remember thinking there is no, I'd actually rather have this baby than try and go and have any drugs or like a caesarean anything. I was like this is actually easier and better to stay here because it's safe and comfortable. I remember talking to another friend afterward and she said, "Oh, if I'd given birth in a hospital, I would've taken the drugs because they're available." And I think there is this... It's self-limiting to be at home because you're like, "Well I can't, I don't have these things and I have to dig deep and find the reserves."
And that for me, I think was what I found so rewarding about this birth in particular was I feel like I got to dig very deep into my strength and my capacity to hold myself and be held through this experience and through the pain. And yeah, so I think transition obviously is always pretty fun when you're over it and you got to keep going. And like I said, the pushing stage never really came for me. I felt like I pushed all through all of the active labour.
I just felt like I constantly had to bear down to get any sense of physicality out of the contractions. They were strong and they were doing things, but I just couldn't feel the baby was moving down. Whereas I remember with Aiya having that really... I remember saying to you with Aiya, "Oh, there's a bend." I didn't ever feel that with Leo where I could feel him moving around the bend or any of that stuff. I felt like there was just this really powerful contractions and really strange sensations and no traction or no ability to hold or feel where the baby was moving through. But eventually I felt a-
Can I reflected just up until that point because that was a pivotal point and I don't know what the... There was no formula, but there's a few things I just like I'm going to indulge just in my reflection because I'm really enjoying thinking back. So just for me, in looking at in terms of being like a calm presence without that being about I'm going to numb myself or become complacent or just put trust, ambiguous trust, in the mother, I think we talked a lot about pain. And so that was the difference between going like, "I'm going to have a homebirth because I don't trust myself. I'm going to go for the drugs and ideally I don't want to be taking drugs, I'm going to deprive myself." I think, just knowing you I knew that-
I've never wanted [inaudible 00:41:29].
Yeah. And it's different, you were like, "No, this is my intention." You're inviting the pain, want the pain. And so that was... I don't know if you want it, but you know what I mean? So that was the first thing. That's we talked about pain enough or I just, I've talked enough about... That was just never going to get me, get a rise out of me, pain, unless that I knew the edges.
I knew the type of pain. I knew how you would be relating to the pain. I know you enough and then I've talked to you enough about you knowing your body that I'm like, "Okay, cool. Tarny is going to be my barometer for something being wrong." And the other one was in terms of watching for consciousness, whether you're going out of consciousness or not, which is another one I just hadn't thought about and got referred to in the course. So I knew my red flags, which knowing my red flags meant that I didn't have to be a drama king and I've got, I think for me, thankfully, I've been in so much ceremonious space and whether that's just self induced or using psychedelics that I know what that, I know what it's like to be in that realm and you were so heavily in that realm. And I knew you know some people like being touched or interacted with in that space, but regardless, it's just, you need to be facilitated to be in whatever space you need to be in and sometimes the best thing that you can do is the music is like the chords you don't strike.
And so it's just like for me, that was a game changer, I put on Instagram post, it was by far the most shared Instagram post I've ever had about guys should go and have a big old dose of ayahuasca before just a birth partner. Should just have that journey just to remember what it's like to be in your space and just to sometimes look up. So I remember for me, when I was... First journey I went on, I just got blown out into the nothingness. It was just all white, nothing ever existed or will exist again. And every now and then I'd come out and there would just, I remember this guy, Joseph, just sitting there and it just gave me the capacity to get through it. Remembering that gave me a lot of sense of purpose.
And then that purposefulness meant that I didn't default to what I have is terms of like, probably the part of me that I think is the flabbiest in gen... It is like that nice guy, "Oh my God. Are you okay?" Not like I would be faking concern, but it's just like, if you don't have any purposefulness, it's like.
That's part of that drama [inaudible 00:44:00].
And then the drama comes about and it's just absolutely no place drama appropriate. We talked about, what do I do first? I know I can call our neighbour then I know that I'm doing... I knew the degrees that I was going to be escalating and I knew in the reality how much time I'd have to listen to you and escalate to particular degree. So that was my last little bit, because that was so beautiful watching you just go through that and not... You needed me to the extent of so sometimes it's just like, "Oh God, the formula's just so easy. Just sit there and be okay and just remind them to breathe."
Anyone who has ever been stuck with someone through something, and I'm a yoga teacher, it's a very micro version of it, but sitting with someone who's uncomfortable in a pose and not wanting to fix it for them or sitting with someone through a meditation retreat and they don't... If anyone's done vipassana, it's not easy to fucking sit there when your mind is going crazy and there's shit happening, it's a lot. And I think it takes a level of maturity and control to be able to hold it and it creates space, I think, for a lot of freedom in... I've had quite a few women say to me, "Oh, my midwife just sat in the corner and watched, and it was the best thing she could have done."
And I think about that a lot. It's just a presence that is calm and unruffled and like, you've got this and obviously there's so much nuance but I think that you can't really underestimate how powerful a steadfast presence is in that space and it gives... It gave me a lot of capacity to just be in what was happening and I think... And even things like when I want to move and you were like, "Okay, you do prefer the water?" And I'd be like, "Nope." You'd be like, "Okay," and you'd facilitate that and then I'd be like, "No, I got to go back," and you'd be like, "Okay," and we'd go back. And there was no like, "Oh, I told you you don't like it in there or whatever." It was just like-
Can you... I'm sorry. I'm just like, can you imagine if that-
... I was in that vindictive impulse?
I'm sure some people do.
You'd just be like, "Okay, babe."
Actually, no. Generally, if I'm going to paint, I'm going to smear, 80% of the Western system is quite patronising in the way that it works.
The way that speak to women is-
Yeah, I hear stuff all the time. "Oh, I've got told to lie on my back and shut up." "It doesn't hurt?" Of course it fucking hurts if it hurts. Not everyone has painful birth, but if it hurts, it hurts.
You have someone nonintegrated in the birth place and you go, "I want to do this," and they're like, "Oh, no." And then you go and try it and you go, "See," "Look, I just need you listen to me, okay?" It's like, dude.
It's like straight up gas lighting.
It is. That's what it is. It is gas lighting.
You should be able to do what you need to do in your space to experience what you need to experience.
Sometimes you need to go and make the mistake for yourself.
Yeah. Learn your lesson. It's like raising kids. You're like, "I can see you're going to fall off that fence, but you are going to have to pull off alone."
Oh, it's like people telling you, "Don't parent this way because it's going to... This is going to end up." And you're like, "I hear you, and I think you're right, but I'm going to do it anyway because I just need to know for myself." It's like when someone puts a plate down in front of you and they're like, don't touch the plate, it's really hot. You're like, "I just, I need to know how hot it is."
It's also contrarianism. It's human nature. That's why we're so creative as a species, is we want to test the boundaries of things. Anyway, [inaudible 00:47:28].
Moving into your [inaudible 00:47:29] I do remember feeling the bubble of tension around like, okay, you've been in this space for a while with where you're not feeling there was that grab and that traction and I just, I remember you trying a bunch of things at that time.
Yeah. Yeah. I was definitely like, "This isn't preceding the way I remember." Also there's five years between birth so I could have a very poor memory of it, but I had quite a visceral physical memory of Aiya's birth because my body is my work, even though I've been at SuperFeast for the last five years, but I still, I have a very strong connection to my felt sense. And I remember so distinctly how she moved through me and I just remember that feeling very different with this birth. So I guess I was starting to get... I had no idea how long it had been, but it was more just for me, I have this sensation to push but no baby and I don't understand why I'm feeling the desire to push when I don't have a baby to push out.
It just was a bit odd. And I was aware that I was still in transition and still wanting to push all the time and I think that was just a very odd experience for me. And I was really aware of my energy so I was really conscious of resting and I didn't feel tired. It wasn't like a fatigue, it was more just, I guess, a mental concern that maybe things weren't moving but then we felt, or I felt, Leo's sac, which I don't know when that was at some point. And that for me was like all doubt was cast aside at that point, I think I was just like, "Cool, all right, I've got this."
And you could feel that, which I think is another thing as a birth partner, being aware of that bubble of pressure without reacting to it. You just need to acknowledge it and get a sense of it and that was as soon as you... I think it was like you didn't even have to tell me, as soon as you had your fingers up there, you could feel it disperse. For our birth, that would've been the point if we had have been in a system. That's the point they would've gone. We're going to intervene because of blah, blah, blah, blah. You could feel it.
Oh, yeah. Before the feeling of the sac.
Yeah, before feeling the sac, yeah.
Yeah. And I think that just for me, it kind of, I guess I immediately knew, "Okay, the sac's there, that's part of the reason it's probably hard to feel like... My cascade of thoughts would've gone something along the lines of, "All right, he's still in the sac." Oh, well, it's still in the sac because I didn't know at that point the gender, blah, blah, blah, blah. That's why it's a bit weird. I'll just keep going because now I know it's moving down. It's no big deal. That was where I ended up with. And from there I felt very comfortable just working with the contractions and the energy of what was happening to... Obviously it's still bloody painful but I don't feel like it was too much longer until we were at the point of wanting to wake Aiya up. You have probably have a better sense of time than I do.
I was pretty there then at that point in the ceremony. I was probably tripping out a little bit with you. As soon as that happened I felt like everything changed for my experience. I went off sitting on my edge and watching intensely to a deep dive immersion and so it was probably only five minutes after that I went and woke Aiya up.
Yeah. So we decided to get Aiya up because obviously there was movement.
That was probably like what? Like 3:30, 4:00.
Yeah. This was all the very earlier hours of the morning so the time... It was just dark and beautiful and cave-like and how I always wanted my birth with Aiya to be actually, but she was born in the daytime. Yeah, Mase woke Aiya and brought her in and I remember her sitting on the bed and looking a little bit like, whoa! For the first, maybe 10 minutes or so.
Well, she was having very... She was asking very... At that point I... This is with all full respect for the out of being a doula and midwifery and doctoring and nurses for me though, at that point when Aiya came out and it was, there was, there was a realness and a clunkiness and there was no other official energy to hold it in a particular, the birth in a particular tone. And so I was sitting there holding Tahn's in the birth pool and Aiya is sitting over there asking the most practical five year old questions and I was just smiling over at her while just knowing... Of course that completely flows into Tahn's.
I didn't have to protect turns from any of that whereas it took me back to remembering when we had the midwives that they had our back. But so many things they came and did, were so intrusive in retrospect that I just, I did not like I did not consent to it and we've talked about that so I think I speak on that's not me consenting, it's us consenting. And I just remember just being so overjoyed that Aiya was... What words do I use? Injecting this weird practical energy and being like, "Dad, what's that thing over there?" I was just like, "This is awesome," and then I think you obviously, you kick off and I would love to, I want to hear the rest of your story, but then I just remember there was just at one point where I had to say to Aiya, "And now darling, we are into this space and it's really happening." Then bang! She just, she clicked in and just came over and watched and yeah.
Yeah, well I think that's... I just remember her being there on the bed and then still being. I honestly didn't pay her much attention. I knew you were talking to her, but I was focusing on having the baby and would just check over at her when I was in between contractions and she just looked really cute and she was just really interested, but also a bit like, whoa! And I know the dog was there and I don't know where the cat was at that point, but the cat had been in the pram that was in the room with us during the labour, which was quite cute and yeah, all the creatures were present and yeah, I feel like I don't have clear memory. I just remember being conscious of not tearing and wanting to really go slow at the birth without the crown.
I remember feeling that difference and just I was just like, "Oh, my God."
Oh, with Aiya I was like, if I wanted to act like a victim, I was over it. I just wanted someone to take the baby. Well, I didn't want them to take it out of me but I wanted to... I was just like, I just wanted it out of my body. I was like done. I didn't want to slow down. I didn't want to... And I wasn't really present that I was in control, I think having the midwives there, it felt a little bit like, I'm just like someone will deal with this if I get the baby out. Anyway, I don't really know how to explain it, but I could feel a little bit of my flabbiness, I suppose, and being really knackered. I think I didn't look after my energy very well with Aiya's birth. I remember-
Well, you did.
Well. Yeah. No but I-
You're looking in-
Not the same. I learned a lot about managing my energy and with Leo's birth, I felt like I was done. I was like, I can do that again. I didn't feel... Yeah, I didn't feel like I completely watched myself out.
For sure. I just want to make sure you're acknowledged for just how amazing you did for your first baby.
No, no. I know. I had a great birth of Aiya. I guess I'm just always picking apart what that... Because I do. I remember thinking, "Oh gosh, someone else hold the baby while I get my shit together." I just remember feeling a little bit like I'm cooked. Whereas with this one, I just felt very fine. As in I didn't feel completely wrecked
Because you talked to me about that quite a lot as well. You were like, "That's the one difference I remember." You reflected that, I remember that feeling of rushing it towards the end and not taking my time.
That's when I was like, "Cool, this is my time to shine." Because I know that I can... That's where I can be like-
Yeah. I think you did. You reminded me and I remembered and we both... But then, so I'm pretty sure I had him, I held him back for quite a few contractions and I was just waiting to feel like I spread enough that his head wasn't charging through. And then I think I felt like I was ready and... Again, I don't distinctly remember, whether I was pushing or whether my body was pushing, it felt like it was just coming out and I was holding him back and then I wasn't and then he was, well, I thought I'd done this amazing, huge push and I was like, "Mason, grab the baby." And you were like, "There is no baby to grab."
No. I was like, "Okay, maybe something is up," and Tahnee is like, "No, I've actually, I'm cooked and I need you to grab the top of the ears and just yank down." I was like, "Tahnee, there's just is... There's half the ears." And she's like-
I was like, "oh."
But I think... Can I-
It just felt so enormous.
Can I just talk there about like having done, especially having done Jonah's course, which just reminded me that when we got to that period, because if I look at my indoctrination of watching movies about birth, it's just like, "Push. You have to push now. Okay." And it's intense. I knew the head was there and I talked to you enough about it. That set me up to actually support you in that space because I was like, "Yeah, that's right." There's no... And your mind goes to like, "Oh, hang on. Is the kid's head's there? Are they going to be like not be able to... Or suddenly breathe and [inaudible 00:57:51] which is if you have a legs first baby. That's when I know when that, when they have a breach baby that's grabbing onto the body. I knew that was the thing no, no, because then that gets them actually breathing and [inaudible 00:58:02]. I was just like, "Oh, that's right. We're chill. We've got ages. There's still chord."
And I was like, that made such a big difference. It just got to sit and just be like, no, just experience the ectasy.
Well, and he was posterior, right? So it was even the back of a head, which I didn't realise.
I didn't really clock at the significance of that at all.
No. Neither of us did until later. But, yeah, I think he was out in, I feel like two, three pushes after that.
Yep. It was just bang head-
Yeah. And shoulders and then [inaudible 00:58:38].
... Knees and toes.
Yeah. And then I think we had a bit of a... Because he had the nuchal cord, so he had the cord around his neck just once, I think.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. one and a half kind of.
Yeah. And quite a short chord.
And he was posterior so Mace was prepared to catch him, but I know, and maybe you should talk to this, but yeah. He was not the way were expecting. So there was a little bit of fumbling.
Yeah. It was so it's so nice being in the water even if he just fallen into a mattress or something like that.
Oh, yeah. We should talk about the water quickly because the water was completely clear up until-
Yeah. I didn't even get to use my poo scoop.
No. I didn't poo and he was in the sac. Yeah.
The water didn't break. Yeah. He was in the sac.
Well, that's the thing I had no mucus plug, no waters breaking, none of that stuff. So just so you know, sometimes labour just starts and that's happened for both of my children. Aiya's waters were broken by the midwife in my birth pool.
Yeah. And that was something I was like, at one point I was like, "Hang on, let me go back into my training." Because we haven't got anything in the water yet, does that mean we're like hours and hours away? Are we actually what's going on? I was like, what's going on here and [inaudible 00:59:47]?
I was thinking they probably would've broken Leo's if I'd been in that sort of a situation, but anyway. But yeah, so as Leo birthed, the waters dramatically changed colour.
Because all of the blood and then I think the meconium as well, because he, so he released meconium into my hand when we picked him up so possibly he'd also maybe-
I don't think so.
I don't think so either.
No, no. I think that happened when we were out.
Because when I drain the pool, the pool didn't have it either.
All right. Then just clothing stuff. Yeah.
Yeah. Then yeah. It was just that it was just a fun fumbling. He came out the wrong way so I turned around.
So I was thinking about the fact that I don't want to put his nostril against the water. So it was just like me awkwardly moving him around and then realising that the cord was around the neck and then I somewhat carefully grabbed the cord and then as I just started pushing him in that direction, he just went, and just unwound. Which was, I don't know, it was fumbly, but it was fun. And then yeah, finally got to the point where I was like, brought him out of the water face down. Then I guess I just went to the default of getting him into your hands.
And I think it was a bit of like, you were like, "Geez! Oh-"
Well I think the cord was so short and I was trying to turn around, I think that's what happened. And you were doing some movements there. We ended up, I got him and we jumped out the pool and Aiya was asking, "Is it a boy or a girl? Is it a boy or a girl? Is it a boy or a girl? Is it a boy or a girl?" Repetitively. Which I was like, "I don't know yet." And then I was holding him and he did a big poo in my hand so it was fun because I'm covered in this sticky tarry stuff and got my five year old yelling, "Is it a boy or girl? Is it a boy or a girl."
You've got a sac hanging out of you.
I got a sac hanging out of me. Mason's trying to pull the sac out of me while I'm standing there. Which anyway was a very glamorous moment.
I had consent. I had consent.
You're like, "Oh, my beautiful baby." I'm like, "Great. I've got shit on me. I've got blood and mucus stuff hanging out me." My five year old's like, "Mum."
It was a Kodak moment.
It was a Kodak moment. Anyway, we got through that. I think we wiped off me and got to the bed and birthed the placenta fairly quickly
Which, well, I think similar to Aiya as well, both my birth it's just come out.
It's like 10, 10 minutes.
Yeah. Then Mace popped that into a container and we just hung out with Leo. He was quite-
People have been saying to you, that's impossible for him to be asleep but-
He seemed to be asleep when he came out and not like dead, like asleep. He just was really peaceful and he opened his eyes and looked at me and then closed them again and then took a breath and was a snuffly breath so just to-
Tarny you were rubbing his body.
Yeah. I was just checking that he was okay and he didn't have any water up his nose and because he had a bit of an adventure and just making sure he was all right. And he did a little sneezy coffee thing and then happily looked at us again and went back to sleep again and then slept on you because I think I went to wash the meconium off me.
Yeah. That's right.
Oh, no. Because he was still attached. Oh, no the placenta, yeah
Yeah, yeah. You birthed the placenta and then that was, I think that was a wild experience for me when he was cool. He'd had a feed.
Yeah. I don't think he did. I think he had a little nozzle and then just went to back to sleep.
That's right. He had a good latch and were like, "Yeah, he's on."
And he'd had a little squirm. And then you're like, "All right, we've wrapped him up," and you're like, "I'm going to go to shower."
Yeah. Because I didn't shower with Aiya for quite a bit, but I just, with him, I had poo on me and I just felt really yucky. So I did, I went and had a shower and Mace, he just slept on you.
Yeah. That was bloody magic.
It was like a good five minutes, not 30 minutes out of the womb.
Yeah. Just having a snuggle with dad. Aiya was just hilarious, she got herself dressed and wanted to go tell everybody in the neighbourhood, but it was like five in the morning so we were like, "No, please don't." Yeah, and That was pretty much the birth really. Leo, just like I said, he nursed and his colour went really quickly to the right colour. I think weighed him a bit later on in the morning, maybe around... Our star friends did visit around seven, I think. So I think we waited-
Oh, Ellie came over earlier because you were still, you were still sat in there so it was about six o'clock when, or 6:30 when she came. It wasn't like far after. But I just want to reiterate for us, the biggest qualm I had without with Aiya's birth was that we'd allowed a student in which in retrospect we maybe would not have because they were a little bit keen. And it was that when Aiya came out, that they injected themselves in order to make sure that she was breathing and was alive and therefore it wasn't just Tahnee having that, and then me sitting on the side. It was so magical watching you, it was just like all hands on deck. It's like just us, life and death. It's real. It was just, ah. and there was all signs of-
I think that thing of just holding your baby and trusting. I don't know, for me, I was like... Obviously there's the, I guess the background of mental like is he breathing? Is he okay? Is everything all right with him? Does he have fingers and toes? I don't even think I checked that stuff, but I did eventually. But then there's also that foreground of like, just presence with this little person who's just emerged and like... And yeah, that, I think those first moments are so sacred and neither of our babies cried upon birth, like they both cried later and I cried after being blown in the face.
Literally like coming in over Tarny's shoulder and blowing in the face to be like, "No, we got to make sure that she wakes up," and were like, "Oh." I can't imagine the level of uninvited intervention that happens in hospitals. I get to react to something so small like that, the stories that we hear.
Yeah, I know.
You need to be, and this is where the... As a birth partner, whoever you are, you need to be on in making sure that nurses and midwives and these people aren't about to enter and interact in a way that you don't know what's going on.
Yeah. Yeah. It was so different having that. There was just no timeline. There was no time pressure. There was no one asking questions. There was no measuring until we wanted to. I think that's for me, just having control or having the ability to just go with the flow of the morning and we had a really lovely, that first bit after him being born from my memory, was very beautiful and sacred in that space is really... I don't know there's something about the birth space after giving birth, that's really special. And yeah, we all just lay in the bed together and Aiya put it around doing Aiya things and I assumed she had breakfast at some point because I don't remember any of that. And Leo just slept for quite a long time from memory. I think he was just a little snoozer and at some point we realised the cord was ready to cut. We originally planned on doing that with this beautiful ceremonial knife we have and then when that came close to Leo I was like, "Oh no, that's stupid." So we got some scissors. I was like, "Take the knife away from the baby."
Yeah. Thankfully I have a good friend who lives around the corner who came and picked up the placenta.
Yeah. She did a beautiful job. She encapsulated that for us. And his placenta was enormous. It was a couple of kilos and she said it was the biggest one she'd seen that wasn't a twin placenta. So I was carrying a lot of weight. Leo was about four kilos himself and, I don't know, 55 centimetres from memory or something. Yeah. He was a good size baby.
And it's a mother nurtured.
Yeah. We'll put the link to her business in the show notes because she did a really beautiful job with all of that. And yeah, I encapsulated Aiya's placenta and really enjoyed having that medicine for myself and I've kept a bit for Aiya, so we've done the same with Leo. And you can look into why that's helpful for a lot of women, it can be really helpful. With both of them, we've kept their umbilicus to bury probably on this property that we live on now. and-
Bianca was good in just slicing off a couple of really good which is what I did last time. I sliced, and I did the same, I sliced off a little bit that I thought was nice and we had that raw that she brought 10 nice slices, frozen for us to add to smoothies as went along.
And I guess it's a different season. Aiya was born in the peak of summer, so we did have a smoothie, whereas Leo's been born into wintertime so I haven't been having smoothies really. But yeah, I think it's been a really beautiful experience. Pretty much after that, he's just been a pretty easy baby. I can't even remember if my milk came in after a day or two. He fed really well. He slept really well the whole time, he's been packing on the kilos. He's quite a big baby. I think he's over seven and a half kilos at 10 weeks old. And yeah, I think we've just... I guess it's a second baby, it's easier this time around.
But one thing I'd really suggest though is to have some cranio osteo. Leo had some at six weeks, I couldn't get him in sooner. I just didn't get organised. But yeah, and I really noticed that for him, he had quite a big reaction to it and a big cry and then a big sleep.
And a big fart
And a big fart, yeah. And it just really, I feel like he really just even drew me after that and just really settled because that was probably one thing with him that we've had that we didn't have with Aiya was he was quite gassy at the beginning but that did seem to even out except for if I have legumes, he doesn't seem to do well if I had legumes. Yeah, I think that was only in the first week or two. He was gassy.
Well, I think what the what our plan is now is to do a third podcast and we'll just talk a little bit of the theme of your birth prep and what it felt like this time, a bit the postpartum stuff and we'll also get to all those Q$As. So if there are any questions that you have in regards to this podcast, just all the resources are there on the first podcast, there's more resources down below. But if there are any little questions that you'd like addressed, yeah, shoot them in. Probably the best way is to do it, Instagram, email doesn't matter. We'll collect them all. So anything that you'd like addressed or clarified.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's prodromal labour, I just remembered. Postpartum brain is a thing, but yeah. Please feel free to reach out and ask any questions. I think these stories always bring up stuff for people around, yeah, different topics and if there's resources we haven't linked to, we'll link to Jane's work and we'll link to Bianca's encapsulation business. You can look into placenta encapsulation a bit more. The course we did that we've talked about on both the podcasts. Even the birth pool place, I've had a few people ask about that, we can link to that. But yeah. Thank you all for listening. Hope you enjoyed it.
Yeah. Thanks guys. It's always a beautiful process for us, yeah. It's, yeah, amazing to begin. I'm very grateful for that birth experience that we had and I think it's a beautiful combination of amazing preparation, the mental fortitude, you having and the awareness of your physical body. I think it's perhaps over a decade's work that we happen to partake on has led this to the point where this is something that flows. I think it really aligns with our trajectory and then maybe a little bit of luck that we've both got some pretty solid constitutions, yeah.
Yeah. I think... I don't know, I think about some people probably just can just free birth from the minute they're born. Yeah, I just think back to myself at like 18 and 19, I remember saying like, "There's absolutely no way I want to face the pain and I want to take drugs. I don't want to feel it." I had such a fear around the sensation and I think that for me, this birth, I don't know, I feel like I had to meet the pain and made it myself alone. Yes, I was supported by you, but like without options to just really be with it and I think that's... I can feel 30, how old am I? 36 year old me is very different to 18 year old me. And yeah, that for me, like you said that 10 year process or 15 year process of getting to being in a place of autonomy and sovereignty with my body and in alliance with my body to not make it the enemy and not make the sensations and experiences wrong. I feel like that was where I was at for that birth and I'm really interested to see if, and when we do it all again.
Yeah. Just acknowledging we're probably, it was a very appropriate in way that we engaged with birth with Aiya. We weren't in a point where we didn't have the experience or the willingness or whatever it was. Then this time around, it felt appropriate. For me, it's sits in yes, it's nice to understand patterns and a bit of having a bit of a systemized understanding of what in birth, what birth is and then you can see that it goes into the extreme commodification where there's no room for the actual engagement. And I think that's just, for us it was just being like, okay, while knowing obviously what a barometer for what a successful birth is, healthy mummy, healthy baby, but remembering the Western system just uses that as a justification to completely overreact and standardised birth to the extent where they're like, "Let's just induce everyone at 38 weeks and knock mums out and cut babies out because of this outcome."
And it completely cuts away the spirit. That's what happens. It completely cuts the spirit away from... And eliminates that birth magic, which comes from genuine human based spirit, based unique family, based unique woman and man in a very sacred union regardless of whether it's a long term marriage, or you only just met before it regardless you're in something very beautiful here. And the engagement is what's going to lead to that creation of that, of creating a bedrock of union that leads to your relationship being solid enough that that child's going to come through and be able to palpably experience love and likewise. You can as well, we can start feeling that family unit really rising back up in society in a non theoretical way. But it's not easy.
No, I did laugh. I think I just stepped out of the pool and I had Mason pulling on my amniotic sac and Leo just pooed in my hand and you were like, "Ah, we're going to do that again, aren't we?" I was like, "Oh, nice, give a girl a minute." But yeah I think there is this really deep, I don't even know what the word is, it's this very real and beautiful and essential thing that's happening at this time in humanity, I think, family and birth and children that are being born in these ways that I think don't... If you think about a birth imprint, right? If you're born into sovereignty, that's a pretty powerful imprint and not to say that children that aren't born this way are not special too, but I do think there's this really interesting paradigm shift occurring at the moment and I think for me that sovereignty piece has always been really huge and this is just another layer of my explosion of it and also with my children, how I can offer them the chance to explore their sovereignty without shoving it down their throat and like, you have to do this a certain way or whatever.
Yeah, exactly. It's just like, yes, the external, there's external realities that you can acknowledge is like a stake in the ground that this shows you that you are in the presence of cultivating this thing internally but as you said, it's not... What are the actual outcomes? There's multiple outcomes, there's multiple things driving you, there's multiple sole purposes driving the birth and it's whether it's a caesarian or something emergency happening or completely considered free birth, that level of... Looks like on cue, Leo's waking up. But let's just, yeah, let's just remember if it's the unity piece. They just can't be any like, yeah, that's in, we're in that free birthing community and we're going to completely define ourselves through rejecting the Western paradigm or blah, blah, blah. Just creates so much more divide where there's so much more space between the stars that unifies us and that what we have in common is bringing humans into the world so let's allow them to unify us.
Yeah. Let ourselves dance between those two worlds, I feel, as many worlds as we need to but we're... Yeah, I think as long as the system's not controlling us, we need to be in control of the system.
All right. Thank you everybody for coming along.
We've got family things to do.
Love you all. Bye.