Juliane Wagner (In France)

My plan and greatest wish was to give birth at home. I knew that I needed to feel completely safe and connected to my inner world. As it was my first child, I wanted to be accompanied by a midwife. I found one lovely midwife with whom I prepared a home birth at a friend's house because we lived too far away from hospital. When I was seven months pregnant, my midwife became pregnant herself and she decided not to be able to accompany me. I found another midwife, but she lived very far away and I somehow didn't connect with her.

The day of Oscar's birth, when contractions started, me and my companion were at our friend's house. I felt very much at ease, took warm showers and was welcoming contractions on my gym ball as they came and went. However, I had no midwife and my companion was very much under stress. So we decided to go to hospital.

Once arrived at the hospital, my whole body became very tense because I didn't feel at ease and wasn't able to cope with the sterile and busy atmosphere. I couldn't stay connected to my inner world and got upset about the staff. I did not feel safe and welcomed in a moment where I needed most of all to be myself.

After a night and long morning hours at the hospital, birth didn't come naturally. In the night the nurse had given me a drug as contractions were nearly all the time without any pause. Next day, just before noon, I was in the delivery room. At one point they told me that the birth was not advancing and the baby's heartbeat was irregular, so the doctor recommended an emergency c-section.

I was crying and crying and crying. I was afraid and sad about what was happening. That was the opposite of what I had planned. When the anesthetics started working, somebody came to hold my hand. This was so important for me. This person was saving me from being completely desperate. I felt seen, held and accompanied in that moment.

When I woke up from anesthetics, Oscar was in my room in an incubator. He looked at me. Our eye contact felt very intense. Even though he wasn’t in my arms, I felt that our bond was established. I remember that moment as heart-opening and beautiful. Then I fell asleep again as the anesthetics were still strong.

Breastfeeding worked perfectly and straight away, which was wonderful. I had Oscar close to me nearly all the time. He was sleeping next to me and we developed a harmonic rhythm of sleeping, feeding and resting in those first seven days in hospital.

In the first three days, I wasn’t able to get out of bed because the wound had to heal. In my experience the scar took a long time to heal. It was difficult for me to carry Oscar around for longer periods for the next two month after having given birth. The scar was sensitive to touch even for several years.

After having been released from hospital, I did not realize how much I had suffered psychologically from the intervention. I didn’t look for any therapy to deal with the traumatic experience straight away. Today (Oscar is 9 years old), I practice a body mind approach (called Trager) which helps me create healing through experience on cellular level. Even when I wrote this text, I realized that I still hadn’t found peace inside me. I feel enormous gratitude to be able express myself here to heal the inner wound.