It was not long until I decided Krishinda was going be my Midwife.
I actually chose her before even meeting her in person.
After one call I knew she was the right midwife for me.
She was everthing I was looking for, for my pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
I felt totaly respected throughout my care with Krishinda , supported emotionality , physically and spiritually.
Respected for my choices and informed of valuable information. I felt safe and confident to open up to her which I needed so much especially not having family or a mother around
I am so happy with my choice of midwife and had no doubt about Krishinda and her work.
Krishinda also has a great community here that she has also created with other mamas.
I have attended to a couple of her Mama groups and excited to go to more. Makes me feel not so isolated in the city which is definitly needed here.
She always has time and energy for any questions and responds straight away to alot of us when she doesnt even have to.
She has great contacts here and I feel I am in good hands for whatevet I need.
You can tell she is very passionate and caring in what she does. She is very knowledgable, empowering, loving and I am happy she was here to support me and helped me deliver my baby.
I feel she is not just a Midwife but also a friend which is lacking in the system these days. There are not many people these days that listen, empower and respect your choices especially in pregnancy and in birth.
There needs to be more midwifes like Krishinda not less.
El testimonio de un padre sobre la atención que recibió de sus dos comadronas
Mi experiencia en el parto de Davina fue muy bonita e intensa a la vez. Krishinda nos respondió a todas las dudas que tuvimos conforme nos surgían, nos dió información y contactos que nos sirvieron de gran ayuda. Siempre fue clara y directa con nosotros.
El proceso del parto fue algo nuevo, a veces no sabía muy bien como actuar, pero sentia que tenía que estar ahí para lo que Davina necesitara. Yo quería y además sabía que debía participar en el parto de mi hija, no de una forma pasiva, sino activa. Krishinda igualmente estuvo ahí y nunca me sentí solo.
Davina hizo un enorme trabajo y Krishinda le ayudó a que finalmente naciera la pequeña Faith.
Me gustaría destacar el calor humano, la profesionalidad y la experiencia de Krishinda en todo este proceso. Krishinda fue más que una comadrona para nosotros.
Después del parto estuvimos igualmente apoyados y asesorados por ella, con visitas, controles y tiempo para preguntarte las dudas que tuvieramos.
Nuestra hija nació sana, todo fue bien en todo momento, nos sentimos siempre arropados y rodeados de buenas vibraciones con Krishinda y le agradecemos de nuevo los TRES de todo corazón el haber compartido este viaje tan bonito con nosotros. Te queremos mucho.
Mahult nos ayudó mucho en el parto, fue para nosotros una sorpresa descubrir de cuántas cosas se ocupó; estuvo cocinando, preparó infusiones para Davina… y fue controlando también en todo momento que Davina y la bebé estuvieran bien. Fue increíble su trabajo. Mahult es una persona dulce y su personalidad y profesionalidad ayudó a Davina a superar sobre todo esos momentos difíciles. Mahult fue la que tomó el mando sobre todo en los últimos momentos y recibió a nuestra hija en sus brazos. La combinación entre Krishinda y Mahult fue excelente. Ella también me apoyó y me agradeció el hecho de estar ahí presente. Mahult igualmente estuvo con nosotros visitándonos, dándonos consejos e información de todo tipo después del parto. Te queremos mucho Mahult.
I was referred to Krishinda whilst searching for a midwife who could assist me during my home birth. I didn’t even feel the need to look any further after our first meeting, as I vibed with her immediately.
Between her and her network of professionals I felt truly supported with pre natal care that I was comfortable with (not being forced or bullied to do certain medical things I was uncomfortable with either in the name of “standard procedure” or because of my age (I’m 40)). In fact, I felt empowered through my prenatal care. They also helped me register at my CAP which was a huge hurdle for me before.
During my actual birth the support I felt was exactly what I needed. Krishinda knew when to step in, and help me believe in myself. She would hold my face in her hands and look me directly in the eyes, reminding me that I “got this” and that I am a goddess. Her belief in me would make me forget that just a moment before I was crying “I can’t do this!” Her instincts knew when suggesting for me to change positions would be beneficial and help push the delivery forward. I felt safe, loved and cared for; truly supported during my labor and afterwards.
Now I’m in the postnatal care part and I’ve been happy with the support I’ve continued to receive. She’s done home visits for baby and answers my text questions promptly. I once again feel supported and not alone. I truly feel blessed and grateful to have had the birth experience that I had, and that is largely due to Krishinda, her wisdom and her caring.
Sarah and Yanic
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant it was initially a shock as it wasn’t something we were planning at the time. I hadn’t even found a gynecologist that I liked in Barcelona yet so I felt a little “behind” from the start. I quickly got swept into the hospital system for my routine care and plans for delivery and didn’t think too much about it. However, during my second trimester I read “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” and began thinking about all the options that were never presented to me by doctors. I was thinking seriously about home birth but still doubted myself and felt overwhelmed by the idea of changing our provider and birth plans this late in the pregnancy. We signed up for Krishinda’s birth prep class and within the first session, we knew we felt so much more comfortable with not only her as a person but also her approach to pregnancy, birth, and health as a whole. The rest was history – we changed our birth plan to work with Krishinda and felt so much confidence and peace. We were so thankful she agreed to accompany us through the remainder of our journey. Our precious Rubi Alda was born at home on April 24 with the help and guidance of Krishinda, Juliette, and Erika. It was an intense but empowering experience where I truly felt safe, secure, supported, and loved. If I had to do it over, I would do it the same every time! Sarah
Growing up I had heard stories of acquaintances having home births, but was conditioned to think that home births were “hippy dippy” stuff. It wasn’t until my partner got pregnant, and we sat at her first appointment that I really considered it. The hospital ironically felt so devoid of life as the doctor explained the procedure of child birth in a cold, methodical, procedural way.
I remember looking at my partner and thinking that our life was anything but cold, methodical, and procedural. Why should our baby’s entrance be that way? I was overjoyed when my wife came to me later saying she had read Ina May’s “Guide to Childbirth” and decided that she was thinking about it. We took Krishinda’s birthing course and I was immediately sold. Anybody that approaches childbirth with that much joy, excitement, and knowledge immediately is someone I can trust.
Full disclosure, I’m not super knowledgeable about the human body. During the course I asked a lot of questions that most people would think are dumb questions, but Krishinda approached every question with grace and facts to help me understand the entire process. I learned more about pregnancy in those courses than I ever thought I would. There’s a LOT that the human body does and I’m so glad I learned what I did.
Once it came to the actual birth, Krishinda and her team took absolute care of us. It felt like a bespoke service where the only thing I had to worry about was being with my partner and supporting her in the best way I could. Krishinda and her team gave us the space to be in the moment during the contractions, and when it came to the final push they guided the process like it was a piece of cake. They took the best care of us and we felt safe and loved.
The weeks following the birth were great as we were getting checked in on regularly and her team helped us with all the paperwork and government stuff regarding the baby. Seriously the Barcelona/Spanish system is a nightmare to try and navigate if you’re not from here. Krishinda’s help was absolutely priceless and I would do it all over again.
“Krishinda is an incredibly wise and gifted midwife, doula, healer and all round sage.
She was there for the arrival of both our second and third children, and both were amazing experiences where we felt completely cared for and held by her.
After experiencing Krishinda’s gift with our second birth, we knew we had to have her with us when we found out we were pregnant with our third. So much so that when we told our eldest child about the imminent arrival, the first thing she said, with ecstatic energy, was “Is Krishinda coming?”.
Once Krishinda arrived we began preparing as we had a feeling the baby would come before the estimated date. Little did we know we were set to go until 42 + 3 which meant Krishinda held space and nurtured us for almost 6 weeks. During this time my wife developed a cough and subsequently cracked a rib causing her immense pain, giving another layer of stress to the situation. Krishinda was the most calming and nurturing presence in every way from; feeding us, treating the injury, playing with our children and guiding us through all the lessons we were being taught by this experience with wisdom and grace. We were calm for most of this but without Krishinda we would have struggled to have as much patience. She taught us to trust the process and monitored everything to ensure the baby was healthy and reminding us that the body knows best and the baby would arrive when it was ready.
The birth itself was very quick (43 minutes) but this I believe was down to my wife being incredible and also the amount of work and preparation we all did together in the run up.
Krishinda is a true midwife, a beautiful healer full of wisdom and calm energy. Having her at your birth is welcoming in someone who truly appreciates the beauty and sacred nature of birth and cares deeply about bodily autonomy and the right to empowered birth.”
I want to thank you so much for everything over the past few months. This birth has been so different from the last two. It has felt much more like a process and I feel like I’ve gone deeper into the experience and I am sure that’s because of how you were able to hold the space.
I remember feeling the change from the first time we met. I suddenly went from just feeling tired to suddenly feeling the magic of the pregnancy and I am amazed and in wonder at how you feel that magic and love continuously for every woman you work with, its such an incredible gift.
You manage to hold that incredibly intricate balance between friendship and professional absolutely perfectly. And that was so unspeakably valuable after the birth when I so needed the love of a friend alongside the confidence and comfort of a professional. I am so grateful for your presence that allowed me to cry when I needed to and pass through everything feeling supported.
I’m totally in awe of the work you do and I wish every woman giving birth could have a similar midwife experience.
I feel so lucky I got to feel that could be in this final pregnancy and birth and I’m so grateful to you.
Lots of love
Alida and family”
I feel exceptionally lucky and grateful to have had Krishinda as our midwife. Meeting Krishinda for the first time was like meeting Ina May Gaskin, but better. I had read the positive birth stories from The Farm and now I would get the chance to birth in my own power, alongside a wise and skilled guide, at home. This feeling was confirmed when we had our dream birth in a yurt in the forest.
While the place and people at the birth were part of making it so wonderful, the most important part for me was confidence I had in my body’s ability to take this journey. It was Krishinda who modelled this confidence in me, and in every woman’s capacity for birthing without interventions, outside of the hospital system. Krishinda’s confidence in you never shakes. I cannot overstate how important it is to have a consistent champion for both you and your partner.
We also took Krishinda’s birth preparation course – something I wish I could gift to all birthing couples everywhere – which proved to be essential for my partner Oriol to realise the physical and emotional processes, and also to be fully informed of what could happen in a hospital setting, if that’s where we ended up. A testiment to Krishinda is the trust she inspires in the birthing partners, and how she makes them feel important, actually, essential. Oriol adores and trusts completely in Krishinda. This made decision-making easy, and kept us both on the same page during the pregnancy.
Personally, I was more terrified of birthing in a hospital than out of one, so I was very happy to not have any complications forecast for the birth. I was 12 days “late” (although I believe that I ovulated just before my period. Therefore, had I been induced on my estimated due date my baby would have been forced to be born 2 weeks premature). I was in pre-labour for 3 nights, building slowly in intensity until the fourth night when active labour began. Krishinda was with us two nights in a row, guiding me through pre-labour and into active labour (not her job!) with massage, song, love, and some castor oil ! While the prelabour was long the active labour was relatively short. I laboured for 5 hours, pushed for 3, before we realised I wasn’t fully dilated, laboured an hour more to full dilation, and then pushed again for 34 minutes. Wren Sylvester stayed calm throughout the whole thing, and was born gently into the birthing pool at 9:34am.
I don’t know how I would have taken this journey without Krishinda. She countered every doubt with clear and factual information, and erased every myth with her experience and wisdom. I know that I am one of too-few women who will have the chance to birth with Krishinda, and it will forever be one of the best gifts I have given to myself, my partner and our first child.
Thank you Krishinda, we love you a lot.
Phillipa, Orial and baby Wren
You just need to trust the universe and it will bring you the right person! Krishinda was and still is that person. I had the chance to meet with her throughout my pregnancy during the mama’s meeting that she organizes. My baby to be born and myself connected immediately with her. We exchange a lot about our love of “natural” birth, babies and breastfeeding. With my first baby I struggled to breastfeed 100% and that was my main concern, she gave me a “glimmer of hope” and promise to accompany me all the way for this baby to be born. Even though I believe in the woman body wonderful capacities I still have my doubts and fear. Krishinda always finds the words to bring me back to my own wisdom.
The day my baby decided to come to this world Krishinda was here like planned. Having her besides us has been a true blessing, our baby girl was born at home in a really peaceful loving atmosphere. I knew my voice would be heard and I would be in a 100% safe place. Our baby was born in a really natural way with no physical external help, only with the support of two experienced wonderful midwives.
Sadly later on, we started to struggle with the breastfeeding, like promised Krishinda came to help us. We are now back to a full breastfeeding without formula.
For all of that my partner and I feel blessed to have her by our side. I want to add he also feels heard and confident enough to contact her in time of despair. We would like to thank Krishinda for her patience, kindness, benevolence, dedication and of course many other things that can’t all be said in a short text!
Marie, Juho Loa and Fia
I would like to share my experience with Krishinda, that supported me on July/ August 2021.After an amazing pregnancy and birth, we missed a lot of support with breastfeeding and that’s how we’ve met Krishinda. She is the person that changed our breastfeeding journey with our son.When Krishinda arrived in our home and with all her calm and love, she supported us to find a comfortable position, waited for Lorenzo to find my breast, and with a lot connection between myself and my son, he started eating like never before.In the next weeks, she came to see if everything was doing fine. My son was gaining a lot of weight, and I couldn’t be happier with all the advices she provided us.I’m very grateful for her support and every time I need anything, she is available to provide the best information and show me that everything is perfect.I couldn’t thank her more.
Without you Krishinda, I would not be the mom I am now – After a birth full of interventions, my little girl arrived traumatized on this planet. Extremely crying, refusing the breast, no milk production, insecurity, self-doubt, no support, bottle and formular – these were our first 2 weeks in summary… till I met you! You supported me with my little grumpy lady, you were the only one who who realized that a birth trauma was the trigger that breastfeeding did not work. You invested time, sent us to other experts, empowered me, listened and supported our little family like no one else. And suddenly my little girl was released and as you said “was another baby “. She started latching and enjoyed being fed. Every week she enjoyed it more and more and unexpectedly turned into a fully breastfed little happy lady! I still can’t believe the journey we went through and I never thought I would take breast feeding selfies, seeing my baby’s face covered in milk while smiling. And now I can’t resist taking proudly pictures of the baby everyone else said is not able to be breastfed! We proved them wrong – you did! And I am so grateful you introduced me to the world of breastfeeding .
My wee one was born at home on June 1st, my first baby. Krishinda was my midwife.
The labouring was mostly outdoors in the dappled light of early summer. Krishinda followed my pregnancy antenatally with care and continuity. Her gauge and intuition on what i wanted and how was always spot on. Emotional aspects were considered as well as the medical and physical. It was a very tuned-in level of care.
The birth was facilitated by Krishinda with my other birth partners. It was scenic and powerful. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to birth that way. (I now realise it is rare to be able to give birth at home, without chemicals, without interventions. There seems to be a lot that surrounds us that knocks our confidence in our capacity, and undermines our autonomy over our bodies).
The whole birth was lead by me and what i intuitively wanted, but the underlying knowledge and confidence of a trained midwife was essential.So fixated on the pregnancy and on the upcoming birth, i had barely considered the realities and needs of the postpartum period. The postpartum care has been beautiful and crucial.
Krishinda took on the admin with the NHS, relieving me of the paperwork burden. She provided the herbal healing advice that i requested. I recuperated fast.
Her coaching of affirmative visions of motherhood were useful to me (as a slightly hyperactive, busy individual), as was the help to start the breastfeeding.Mostly i feel very grateful that circumstances (Corona: NHS home births were cancelled) lead me to meet Krishinda and take her on as my midwife. I know that not even the NHS homebirth service would have given me such comprehensive and unwavering care. They also have a lot of prescriptive protocols which i would not have wanted (for example inductions for late pregnancy). I feel very lucky i had this one-to-one tailored care from my midwife, based on my needs and desires.
My pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period would have been entirely different without having her as my midwife. Huge gratitude, from me and my tiny critter.Mama T and baby R
I couldn’t thank you more for listening to me and creating the atmosphere I wanted. With my medical phobia I was terrified especially after being told by the nurse taking my blood; ‘you won’t be able to give birth if you can’t do this’. You gave us confidence, energy and comfort. My fear hasn’t gone but now I’m scared if we have another, we won’t be able to have a Krishinda birth!
One thing I took with me was in the prenatal course you said ‘birth is beautiful’ and after my experience, I know exactly what you meant. I’m actually interested in hearing about everybody else’s stories now (despite the phobia!!) and I support anyone who questions their ability to have a natural birth!
Love to you and your family,
Katherine, James and Toby x
We’re talking NHS-trained gold standard here.
Krishinda’s years of experience, thorough knowledge and calm manner helped me to be relaxed and healthy through the brith of my baby and to recover fully and quickly afterward. Having a baby can be anxiety-producing, even when you’ve had one before, as I had. Krishinda takes your stress levels right down. She just helps you do the best for your baby, yourself, your partner and the whole family with minimum fuss.
I was very keen on having my child in hospital but when she came too quickly for us to get there Krishinda delivered her expertly at home. Her aftercare was impeccable, coming to give me and the baby check-ups in the comfort of our own home. Carrying out all the checks a midwife is supposed to. I had a good experience the first time round in hospital in the UK, but this has been even better. I believe I have a good milk supply, get a decent amount of sleep, and have a fat, tall, alert and thriving baby in great part because Krishinda has overseen our care with her calm, supportive expertise.
I can’t recommend Krishinda enough.
Pascale de Lacoudraye Harter
With resignation we realized that for our second born we wouldn’t be having a home birth. We had tried for one with Aleix, but it ended up long, stressful and having an emergency sprint to Hospital Sant Pau. There he was born immediately to the sound of the Sant Pau doctors having a go at our home birth team, and us (not) sleeping in a cubby hole, the bed too tight to cosleep, my husband on a plastic chair.
I had PND and kept flashing back to how I’d failed and how we’d nearly lost our baby, and my deep dark secret thought “If we lose him they’ll all blame me for choosing a home birth”
So while I still harbored dreams of idyllic home birth for Elisa, we couldn’t face going through all that again, and we decided to lower our expectations and go for as natural as a possible hospital birth.
I was also very clear on the fact I needed to do it all in English this time – even though I was fluent at the time of Aleix’s birth, I saw after that not having to worry about communication on any level was an important factor in being able to relax totally for the birth I wanted.Telling our care providers was hard, as they’d helped birth Aleix, but our doctor immediately recommended Krishinda to support us with the pregnancy, “ a woman who laughs with every cell of her body”. They offered us the option of having Krish with us at home for most of the labour then moving to a hospital when things were really moving along.Krish was warm, understanding, funny, down to earth, experienced and I felt I would not have to justify any choices with her. She took the time to get to know both of us, coming to our flat and charming Aleix first off, giving me amazing massages which helped me get comfortable being naked with her.Something key was her digging out from us what we really really wanted for the birth. I hadn’t realized how alone I’d felt in Aleix’s birth – even though Carlos was with me, he was kind of kept on the sidelines so I wouldn’t have to worry about him. Krish helped unearth that this time I wanted him really really with me, and part of the story. As the pregnancy went on I realized too how much I still really wanted a home birth.As the day grew nearer and I did more reading, more prep classes, more mental preparation, I started to admit more openly how I secretly wanted a home birth – it also seemed that the window for us to get to the hospital without shutting down the proceedings was going to be quite slim. We discussed this with Krish and she reassured us that if a home birth happened, it happened, which also helped put my mind at ease. I felt i had everything covered and the best of both worlds.(backwards and forwardsing..)My waters broke, we went to see Krish who was happy with things progressing slowly and gently. I had a wonderful relaxing oxytocin release session with my osteopath which left me floating and ready to have an orgasmic birth.
The bubble burst when we informed our gyno of the situation and she told us to come in immediately – bye-bye oxytocin, hello adrenaline. I was already predicting that they’d have me go straight to hospital, do not pass home, do not collect birthing ball or midwife…and we’d end up missing out on our low expectation version of natural birth too. We even lied about how long ago my waters had broken, saying it was 4 hours instead of 12(?) this backfired as my gyno had thought it’d just happened, and things got a little more urgent. We managed to negotiate a stay of grace until the next day, and if nothing had happened by then I’d have to accept an induction.Krish came round to bring the birthing pool and give me a clary sage massage to get things moving again. Her calm, grounded presence helped me relax again – at least we were back at home, at least I’d get to do some of it as I’d hoped.
I’d had lentils previously and could feel them starting to take effect, so as Krish was massaging me I couldn’t quite relax, not wanting to let out great lentilly farts! Finally, as the contractions started, I gave in, quite discretely i thought. Later Krish told me that she had been feeling my tension and was focussing on bringing my energy “down, down, down. Then when you started farting I knew you were mine!”
The contractions were then coming regularly, and again, i thought discretely, so much so that i was holding up fingers to show Carlos what was going on – of course, it was all quite obvious to both of them.
Krish started setting up the pool in the playroom and realized that instead of picking up part of the kit, she’d picked up her birthing bag without thinking. After some phone calls her son was in a taxi bringing the rest of the pool.
After the massage I barely had time for 2 urgent poo dashes before Elisa started her journey properly. I think i spent most of the time on my hands and knees on the floor, my son’s coloured letter mats. It all seemed to be happening a lot faster than the first time round, contractions were intense but i felt i was riding them better, even though they came close together pretty early on.
I was facing Carlos who I used as my cushion and battering ram and stress ball – between contractions i rested on him and during them, while he supported me as i hung off him, I drove my head into his tummy and grabbed at his t-shirt to hold onto. During the first labour, I’d bitten the arm he’d held out for me to hang off. This time he admitted that given our position and me Tshirt grabbing he feared for his packet!! I learnt this time how to relax my tummy into my hand with the contractions, that that lessened the intensity making them much more bearable, tho it took an effort to remember to do that and not instinctively contract (!) against the pain. I roared, growled and felt quite unselfconscious making noises – turned out that in this I had been much more discrete than I’d thought.
Meanwhile, Krish was helping put up the pool, pottering in the kitchen, I wasn’t even aware she was around except for this magical presence during the contractions when she came and put her weight onto my sacrum, and poof!! no more pain! It worked like a dream!
I got to the “ I can’t go on!” part and Carlos didn’t have the heart to tell me it hadn’t even been 2 hours. “ I want to push!” I moaned, and Krish said OK. This time, I actually felt little Elisa’s head descend, and even now have a memory of it being like a corkscrew. A few real, timely pushes,in response to my body’s need (as opposed to 6 hours of pushing before time with Aleix) and Elisa plopped out, pink and rosy and shriveled, into Krish’s hands. Then straight up onto my chest she went as I, elated, kept grinning “We did it! We did it!” Almost immediately I felt that I had been healed of all that didn’t go right with Aleix’s birth, and that Elisa’s easy arrival marked a new phase in more ways than we had hoped for.
Elisa latched on easily within the hour, the placenta came out happily, everything was a pinky orangy hazy joy. I don’t think we slept much that night, we were on such a high, which felt even higher compared to our first experience. We drank placenta smoothy, all stuff was cleared up discretely – the pool never even got a look in, my only regret!
I started to call around,talked to several midwifes,saw a couple( one of them was scary!!!!)and realized that
I was not in love with any of them really and it was bloody expensive…I was stuck…I wanted to talk to someone about what happened to me while pregnant and how could I prepare myself to avoid feeling that something else could go wrong during the birth.
I needed to regain trust in the process,trust in other people,trust my own strength…
I found a post about a support group for traumatized mums after birth run by Krishinda and I got in touch….
She responded straight away and invited me to come to visit her in a naturist centre where she was working.
She smiled,she listened and listened…I still remember today the impact of that first meeting on me..
It was the first time I was opening my mouth and telling out loud to someone what had happened to me.
Someone who seems to be understanding and compassionate enough,it was such a relief.
It was actually the first time I was hearing myself feeling so defenseless and vulnerable and I fell apart here and there.She picked up from there and started her magic….
She knew how to gentle me out with that huge amount of resentment I was carrying inside…
She sensed that the main problem was that nobody was trustworthy enough and she worked with me bit by bit until I felt she was family….
Krishinda has a contagious laugh and an amazing outlook on life which can hook anybody…
Apart from the great professional that she has been with me,she is a remarkable human being that has all my respect and admiration.Not only I had mental but physical blockage too.
She taught me how to breath,how to visualize…
Her hands became my gentle balm to ease my ache and pains.
Little by little she unblocked me…
She was helping me to reconnect with baby in so
many different ways.
I felt precious,I felt special…
She was my guide,my carer,my sister,my family…
Any difficulty or obstacle ,Krish was always there to respond to find a solution to find an answer…
In my life in that space in time there was no more reason to be tense or anxious,there was finely room only for the moment,to be belly woman and nothing else…
I totally let go in that moment in time…
The complicated mind had to go to leave room for the animal woman to show.
I could Finally center myself on building up my nest…
I had entered my state of pregnant bliss…23 of march 2013 I’m having contractions,nothing new as I have been having them for weeks…
Only this time around they are not going away a couple of hours later and I can tell there are not the nasty painful ones I’m used to…As I have been talking to baby in the last couple of weeks,telling my little man that mama is ready to meet him and he is quite welcome whenever he feels like it.It’s 9 am and I am certain that he is on his way…
Funnily enough I’m very calm,in great shape and in a wonderful mood that morning.
I knock on papa’s shoulder to wake him up
(how come most men are always asleep when the time comes??…)
And clearly his face is a movie in technicolor so quite happy with the effect of my big news on him,I get out of bed and go find the future grandmother to play some more at my new game…
As I am behaving with normality that morning daddy and grandma are so exited and nervous that is for me the best entertainment in town.
We contacted Krish,started to pace the contractions and prepared the room for the water birth.
I was doing a great job until 6pm,breathing and coping on my own with the process then It was quite clear that I needed my midwife…
The pain was getting stronger and stronger only the pool could get me some relief and it did a lot better that in my wildest dreams…
Krish and Vanessa had installed themselves with their kit,the family was freaking out a bit each one of them in their own style and I started to focus on the work ahead,joining hands with my sister…
I did go through each stage in a state of daze ,most of the time focusing on my breathing,trying to let go of my mental rubbish and what was going on around me in the room.
During the longest of time at that point I had lost track of time,the only disturbance was having to get out of the pool to go to the loo and come back.
All I knew was that night time was upon us and it was not yet the 24th.
I was doing great with contractions listening to my guide,her gentle voice was exactly what I needed to hear with the right intonation.She was close but giving me space,she would intervene and speak only when necessary.
And then I had to go back to the loo once more as
I was passing though the door, I was taken by surprised by a full blown contraction without the comfort of the warm water or helping of the breathing.
That pain broke my spirit and stab me in the back,it had nothing to do with what I felt so far…
My body entered in chock ,I lost my balance started to feel nauseous and vomited…
(Who said I was supposed to have a quick wee???)
Man that was hell I was at that point I dreaded so hard…
The contractions were out of control so close between each other and painful,I didn’t have a chance to try to regain control as I didn’t have time to breathe in between.
(Oh yeah mama !!Out of the daze in the blink of an eye!!! )
I totally lost the plot couldn’t even get back to the pool( was there a pool in the house??)
I managed to end up in the room closest to the bathroom which was my bedroom.I started to dance like a nervous reptile every time I was getting another blow which was non stop…I was looking for the magic position and there was none…
(Exercise routine anyone??Up and down,left and right.)
I was desperately looking for a break of some sort while completely panicking.
To my senses it lasted for ever…
(That’s when Caribbean bad ass woman arrived in town!!!)
I lost my temper and was angry with the all situation…
My big mouth got in action and I was back in the pool in a splish splash!!!
I had enough and it was loud and clear…
Totally unfocused now looking in the dark at Krish with my killer eyes,my complicated brain got in action…
Where are we???Are far did I get???
(You’re not answering me straight..Don’t play half answers with me,I thought…)
She senses my negative vibe
I reckon,somehow she got me back on track applying the right amount of firmness in her voice and getting hold of my hands.
It took a bit of adjusting to another level of strength with contractions but channelling breathing and voice together,I regain my rhythm…
And mother nature got me another break just enough to get me to the coronation in one piece…
The contraction were really strong and in sequence but I was getting long breaks in between,falling almost asleep…And yes emitting those very raw and bizarre sounds with the deepest of my voice while going through the intensity was transforming the pain in something else…
It was violent,animal and primitive but it was something else!!!I was feeling mentally more and more detached from what was going on inside my body.
My body had a life of his own,the intensity was incredible.
I was in the middle of an internal earthquake.
The last course of contractions while baby was showing the tip of his head,was shaking my entire body,I was not in possession of my legs anymore,
it felt like I was separating myself in two…
My mind was contemplating the full strength of what mother nature was capable of….
My mere body became a simple shell that was channelling pure energy,powerful life energy…
I had to push,it was for me impossible to control even though Krish was telling me to hold back…
I lost myself completely in that storm of waves that were getting stronger and stronger until…
I was almost about to faint when baby came out to greet us with his presence.
We got out of the pool helped out by the entire petit comité and got to the bed,it was unreal..
I was still drugged with hormones,exhaustion and out of it..
It was over,baby was on my breast,I could feel him with every single pore of my skin but my mind was not yet able to make sense of what had just happened.
I remember coming back to my senses witnessing another comic scene courtesy of Russian man…
Vanessa passed the baby to his dad while Krish was taking care of me.
The first thing he did was open the towel to contemplate his male legacy while grandma was counting fingers from a distance..
I was observing and listening to daddy flipping about the fact that his baby boy family jewels were as brown as his mommy while baby was as pink as his own bottom after a winter in Siberia.
I will never forget Krish glance in disbelief asking him if he realized that all that time he had an Afro Caribbean woman in his bed…
After a little while waiting for my body to exit the ultimate trace of baby journey in my own very personal and intimate resort…
Someone said ,well daddy would you mind dressing that poor creature before he’ll catch a cold.?!
Here it was..Baby had pooped to say hello all over his daddy…
I had to pinch myself not to laugh too hard,that was my kid here and there,telling it how it is with scatologic Caribbean humor and all!!!
I was back with a separate piece of my genes into this world…
Krishinda Powers Duff how can we thank you??!!!
There are no words that can express our gratitude.
How honored and blessed we feel to have had the opportunity to live in your great company such a transforming ground breaking adventure.
You will always be part of this family….
Krishinda fue nuestra comadrona para el embarazo y parto de nuestra tercera hija. Desde el primer momento me hizo sentir segura y fuerte, que el embarazo y parto eran míos y, siempre que no hubiera peligro, se iba a hacer a i manera. Quería que mis otros dos hijos estuvieran en el parto y le pareció una idea fantástica, porque lo era para nosotros, hablamos mucho, en varias ocasiones, sobre nuestros deseos e inquietudes y nos supo acompañar, explicar las opciones y posibilidades. Es una persona con mucha sabiduría y muy preparada pero también muy intuitiva. El acompañamiento durante el parto fue fantástico también. Sentía su presencia, no invasiva sino siempre dispuesta cuando lo necesitaba. Me dio muchísima fuerza y seguridad.
Difícilmente podría esperar algo más de alguien que me acompañe en uno de esos momentos tan importantes de mi vida. Me cuesta abrir mi mundo a otros en esos momentos tan íntimos pero con Krishinda fue fácil.
Giving birth to Indigo Mar
I’m from Holland where home birth is very normal and common, I was born at home myself. So when I was pregnant with Mila, my first feeling was that I wanted to give birth at home. But being in Spain, a country where home birth is, at this moment, rather alternative then normal, I felt unsure. And we chose for a hospital with a protocol for natural birth. Things didn´t exactly went as we wished and Mila came into this world trough a c-section. Something, that I feel, could have been avoided if we were better prepared, had more support and had gotten more time. But all that seemed unimportant at that moment when we were only enjoying our little girl who was now with us.
Two years later we are happily expecting our second baby girl. This time I was sure I did not want to give birth at the hospital, now that I started looking back at the previous experience. I was determined to have my home birth this time. Alberto was not as sure as I was at the beginning of our journey. but after talking to various midwifes who assist home birth after cesarian he also became comfortable with the home birth idea. We agreed that what I needed, to be able to give natural birth to our second child, was a save place with the right support and assistance and time. I knew that this wonderful formula wasn´t for me to find in the hospital not even the ones with special protocols.
And then we met Krishinda. Without even discussing it much, me and Alberto both knew that we wanted her to be that important person who could give us that assistance for the home birth that we now both were dreaming of. It just felt right with her. Calm and serene while powerful and passionate about her profession. She immediately understood our first birth experience and our expectations for the second. It was only after deciding for Krishinda as our midwife that I found how nice it was talking to her. So happy to find somebody who gives hope instead of fear and answers instead of doubts about bringing babies to this world. apart from the actual birth, after our meetings I always felt lighter, more free of stress and sure of myself and what I was doing. She is supportive in many ways.
At three at night it started, exactly the same as with Mila, contractions, soft but sure. I Knew that also this time things would be slow but today or tomorrow we would meet our girl. And just as Krishinda had said things calmed down when Mila woke up. I did some cooking, shopping and cleaning in order to have it all the way I had planned it. The three of us went to Mila´s playgroup and it felt so special being there and trying to talk and listen to people while I knew that the moment was so near. Contractions had been going on all day, very bearable but persistent. When I left to go home and get some rest I lost the mucus plug on the toilet. It really felt like I had gotten quite some work done, while having something like a normal day. We made our living room birth ready. It looked so nice. With the pool, the yoga mat, the birthing ball, all the soft lighting and the special muscliest I had made for this moment playing. Then when we put Mila to bed for the night and just as Krishinda had said things speeded up and the contractions started to get stronger.
I had a little moment of anxiousness. I felt like I had to do something with everything so prepared. But Alberto was there to assure me that things would happen when they needed to and that I should rest now that I still could and I actually fell asleep in between contractions arround my bedtime hour. But then there was no more way around them and I needed to work with the contractions. I did the mindfulness exercises during and in between the contractions and soon I was in my bubble. I walked around, sat on the ball and yoga mat and then went in to the tub. Alberto was so sweet taking care of me and making sure I was eating and drinking. When Krishinda was on her way over I felt some urge to push with the contractions. Alberto got really nervous, but I knew there was no way I would push baby out yet. Krishinda came and I remember feeling very calm and confident with her presence. Soon Amy followed and I remember thinking how lucky I was having all these sweet people around me who would know what to do when I wouldn´t. I came out of the tub, and later went in to my own bathtub and there is where the first real pushing contractions started. And how oblivious of me, thinking it would be max another 2 hours and baby would be out. Things were slower than that. I was pushing for hours and at some point I felt the sac break and the amniotic fluid swirl into the pool. I could feel her head with my fingers but there was still a lot of work ahead of us. I was so tired. Tired of many hours without sleep, throwing up, contractions etc. At this point I got a melt down. I wanted some kind of mathematical answer to my questions, how far is baby down, how much more, how much longer how many more pushes?? Krishinda assured me that those answers don´t exist in childbirth. She said she could not tell me “when” I would push baby out. But that she was very sure I “could” push baby out. I understood that nobody could do the work for me, I was the only one who could get her out. So I got myself together and went back trying to be as mindful as I could and do what I needed to do. While visualizing my little girl coming out and holding her. In the morning Loli arrived. she came to be with Mila who had been sleeping the whole night.
It felt so good to have her near. I had been preparing her for this moment and it seemed she took it quite well. Several more hours of pushing later with quite a lot of assistance of Krishinda and many different places and positions I got the second melt down and I remember thinking I could not go on much longer. I was worn out. The hours of pushing had made me so weak and it felt like it was never going to happen. Krishinda told me that I had to know that I was free to go to the Hospital to get baby out with the suction cup but that I would probably deliver in the taxi. I felt terrible because I really did not want to go to the hospital but I also felt I could not push anymore. Alberto talked to me. We had gotten so far, we could already see her head and the last thing I wanted was going to the hospital. It was then, while there was some chaos about going or not going to move, when another contraction came, another push and then for the first time I felt she was almost there. I had to be upright, but I was to weak to stand. They prepared “the queen throne” Alberto and Amy were both on a chair and I sat on 1 of each knee my arms around their shoulders and Krishinda on the floor in front of me. And that was when and how I pushed her out. First the head and then in the second contraction she was there. In my arms, on my chest, my beautiful Indigo was born. We laid on the sofa and I could look at her for the first time. So amazed about the whole journey we had together.
There she was, that little person that had been growing inside of me.
And there was my Mila next to me, sharing this wonderful moment together. She was quite impressed of seeing her little sister. A little traumatized of all the pushing I didn´t want to push the placenta out, but of course that was nothing compared to baby. I finally started to feel like me again. I felt I wanted to talk forever after being in my bubble for such a long time. And I could now be with all these lovely people who were with me helping me and sharing these intense happenings. And then the best part, being in my own house, going to my own bed with my new baby with Mila and Alberto there. I was so happy that we made the right decision for me to be able to have this birth.
Hiske Ter Veld
Krishinda is a kind, genuine midwife who has infinite patience and love for her important work. As an American who only speaks English, having Krishinda’s support through my pregnancy in Barcelona was so important to me. My “plan” was to labor at home and then have her accompany me to the hospital for an epidural and delivery, but my baby had other ideas. Krishinda arrived at my apartment after I had been having contractions for 20 minutes back to back. She then delivered my second daughter in less than 30 minutes on my bed! I am so grateful for her wonderful energy and knowledge. Any worries or anxieties I had about the unplanned natural home birth were settled by her encouragement and confidence in me. At one moment, a moment I will never forget, she looked me square in the eye and said “You are strong, you can do this. I am here with you.” When my baby’s head was born, Krishinda exclaimed, “Your baby has dimples!”
Every time I look at my little girl’s dimples I think of Krishinda and her amazing gift; she was meant to guide women through the most important times of their lives and to nurture the babies that come from it.
Simply put, Krishinda enabled us to have the best birth experience possible. First, having a baby in Spain in August meant having very few options. But, unlike pretty much everyone else, Krishinda agreed to stay close and be available. My water broke six weeks early, on vacation, two hours from the hospital. As always, Krishinda immediately answered the
call and gently, but firmly, suggested that we make our way back and meet her there. A hospital birth was not what I wanted. But from the moment of meeting her in the waiting room through eleven hours of labor, and weeks after, she was the sage rock we needed to help navigate unfamiliar and unexpected conditions.
While she could not deliver our baby in a public Barcelona hospital, her steadfast presence clearly influenced the young medical team and she helped us negotiate what was negotiable. As such, I was basically left alone and our son made his way into the world on his time. With no mediation or intervention, I felt pretty euphoric almost immediately crazily telling my husband I wanted to have another baby less than 48 hours after delivery! Krishna¹s support at home was even more valuable. She answered every text message almost immediately and always provided excellent support, guidance and supplemental information. Her warmth and wisdom were so welcome as we wrestled the insecurity of new parents.
She guided us through lactation woes, sleepless nights – and evenmade us a placenta smoothie! Krishinda will forever be an important partof our family and we are ever grateful for her knowledge, spirit andgenerosity. I feel incredibly lucky to have found her. And if we haveanother baby, it will not be without Krishinda.
Jennifer, Dani and Sam Casas Catino
I have had 2 births with Krishinda
The first didn’t go to plan and I ended being transferred by krishinda to hospital due to the baby being in the wrong position. She supported me at home for as long as we could, did a handover to the hospital staff and also supported me for the follow up care for myself with breastfeeding and my baby, which was fantastic!
I then had a miscarriage, krishinda also supported me through this and gave me.strength and.courage during a difficult time both physically and emotionally
I felt well looked after and she also helped me during moments of my endless worries during the pregnancy after being diagnosed with a bicornate uterus I was a little on.edge but krishinda also knew what to say and provided me with advice when I needed it
Best moment ever!
With krishindas unfaltering attention.and care and immense skills I had the un medicated natural birth have always wanted
Her high level skills were put to the test during the final part of the delivery but her knowledge, experience and quick thinking and calm persona she was well able to deal with the situation perfectly
I was then supported again through the early weeks as was my baby
Krishinda is of real value to the women and babies that she supports and brings into the world
I feel very lucky to have able to have had these 6 years with her along the way in.the most important moments of my life
I met krishinda before she was born as I attended birthing classes with krishinda and it helped as I was so scared to give birth. I wanted a feeling of warmth and care and krishinda provided this as Gabriellas midwife.
If it wasn’t for her I would still be learning how to get gabriella to breastfeed correctly and still healing from the stitches had it not been for a remede she gave me . If you need a lovely kind and caring midwife look no further.
All I want to say is that I wish every mother-to-be (dad-to-be!) should receive the same treatment & birth that I had.I was respected, not rushed despite the 3 day labour!, and had the greatest chance of giving birth at home.Not many women have received such a gift. Krishinda has the talent of being knowledgeable about her work, reassuring, takes time to listen & cares about you & makes you laugh & relax… I haven’t been able to find all those in many people! It was more than appreciated when I was pregnant & frightened or terrified about giving birth.I didn’t even question being at home for birth – she made it feel the right decision & the safest place to be! I hope many more women will receive this opportunity to give life with her.All my love Krishinda & may your working life as a midwife be the longest ever!!
Alexxxx & big THEO!!
When it came to the birth of my second child, Krishinda was relaxed and encouraging about my very last minute decision to have a homebirth. She made it seem like a very normal thing to do which is how it felt to me too. She wasn’t pushy in the slightest only relaxed, helpful and accommodating.
She and my talented doula, Viviana Olivera, worked as a team and improvised together brilliantly to burst my waters and get things going when progress stalled due to an anterior cervical lip issue. With some cunning gymnastics and fast brainstorming on their part the issue was quickly resolved and baby dispatched. I will forever be in awe of Viviana and Krishinda’s combined and specialised knowledge, their confidence and unflappable ability to think fast on their feet. I don’t think I could have had a better team than Krishinda and Viviana. They were birthing titans and I feel truly blessed to have had such kind and empowering champions at my side. What is remarkable to me is that this dream-team had only worked together once before !
Krishinda’s midwife care and support after the birth was lovely: she was attentive, kind and consistent. Baby and me felt truly cared for and that’s a wonderful thing when you are new to the world or you are tired and sore and your own family live far away.
A gigantic thank you from me and my little family.
Thank you Krishinda for the great care you gave me before, during and after my second baby’s delivery. You answered any questions I had with confidence and professionalism. You made me feel relaxed and comfortable during labour and I felt I was in safe hands with you. After baby was born, your loving care, knowledge and experience were very important for me, especially as I had very little network or family here. All the best.
Krishinda supports you from a place of knowledge born from study and experience. She knows what you need before you even know it, and knows not to tell you until you discover it by yourself. It’s wonderful how she’s always a step ahead of you and ready to support you. All of this stress-free. We are immensely grateful for the wonderful caring support we received from her for the home births of two of our children.
To one of my best teachers in life the incomparable miss Krishinda. She gave me hope and faith in a process that is really so natural. I felt like it was just any other night hanging out with friends, the lovely Regan and Amy as my doulas, my rock of a husband Markel mister magic maker. And my son who somehow fell asleep through it all. I can say the night my second son Ander was born was other worldly. My midwife Krishinda was actually not even in Barcelona but on a plane from London when I went into labor but I waited for her just about. Just as my husband was about to call the replacement midwife Krishinda called as she had just landed and saw a bunch of WhatsApp messages. In no time she was in our house and in control of the situation. I had utmost confidence in myself with her here and utmost confidence in her. I had created the perfect environment, warm pool to soak in, dark room, chill music, candles everywhere … I just wanted to loose my self in the moment and let everything flow. Sounds cliche but it truly was the perfect birthing environment. In the background Krishinda was checking me with a flashlight all in a very subtle way I barely noticed she was there until she said ok Monica stand up and push. Markel and Regan grabbed me and held me up as I gave that last push. And she caught my baby and gave him to me.
The whole evening was so lovely , intense and actually fun. She , Regan and Amy prepared the placenta smoothies for me and my husband. She gave me such great care in the weeks following. Coming to our home to check on me and baby . I so cherished those so needed conversations. I can go on and on about how much Krishinda means to me and how transformative this time in my life was. She truly is living out her calling and I love her.
The birth of my son was amazing in its way because I shared it with you. I was scared and yet having you their gave me strength. I wished my mum was their and having you their was like she was there too.
In the moment when things looked tricky and I wasn’t sure what to do; you were my voice; my wisdom; my counsellor; my friend; my midwife.
You’re a blessing to have in each birth and may you continue your amazing kind work
Love and Light
Mummy (Grace). Lèandre & Laurent
My experience having Krishinda by my side through my pregnancy labor and even the aftercare was one of the high points of the whole experience…she was a great comfort to me at times when i needed it most …and was so understanding and patient!
And her help with breastfeeding kept me going…just as I was about to give up Krishindas encouragement and support allowed me to continue and I’m so grateful for that!
I would highly recommend anyone considering having a midwife….so profession so and such a lovely person to have by your side x My happy baby is a testament to her xx
I think my little muffin sensed that mommy was ready for her to come. Just kidding. Knowing her now, it’s more likely that she knew we were starting to get ready and wanted to catch us off guard and enter this world on her own triumphant terms.
But there was a clear energy of preparation happening the whole week leading up to her birth. I had been pulling together loose ends and getting excited to settle into the final stretch of pregnancy. I went to the dentist, washed all the baby clothes and bedding, and made a shopping list of the outstanding baby and postpartum mommy things I would get the next week to be super prepared. Our midwife Krishinda and the two other midwives in her practice came to our home for the 36 week “let’s talk through final details and make sure the midwives know where the apartment is before the birth” meeting. I booked my sister’s plane ticket to come visit for 10 days surrounding my due date. I booked our tickets to the States for the holiday break so our families to meet the baby. I went to prenatal yoga and swam (translation: floated with my big belly and rested my joints) every day.
I waddlimped with my sciatica pain around the neighborhood trying to find some raspberry leaf tea that I’d heard helps get the uterus toned for labor. I visited my psychiatrist to talk through some of my fears about not being able to let go or being too self conscious to say or do or ask for what I needed during the birth. On Thursday, I went to Krishinda’s office for the first of the weekly end-of-pregnancy massages that were included in my homebirth package. My husband J and I went to drop of food and warm wishes to friends of ours– the first couple from our childbirth education class to have their baby! On the train ride back home, I told J I thought I was finally starting to have some Braxton Hicks contractions – I really hadn’t felt more than half a dozen throughout the pregnancy, but that day I had felt a few times some pressure radiating up and around from my pelvis. Not enough to hurt, just enough to feel… different. We came home and took our weekly belly picture to chronicle the growth of my abdomen for posterity and fun.
Around midnight before we went to bed, I made my first cup of that raspberry leaf tea, and on my way back the bedroom, a shooting pain went down my back and leg – a really intense burst of sciatic pain, I thought. I whined to J that I thought I was broken (meaning my back, not my waters!). And with the next step, another spasm of pain in my back – the kind of pain that makes your knees buckle and you lose control of your muscles for a moment. I felt a small gush of water and I my first thought was I had peed myself. Then I froze as I realized “oh, man, I just thought I peed myself because there was a gush of water… but I actually know that I didn’t just pee myself, so I must be doing that thing where my waters broke but I thought I peed myself”. There was a ripple of full body numbness. Shock, fear and excitement– a moment of knowing that my life had just changed forever – the same feeling I’d felt almost 9 moths ago when we saw a positive on the pregnancy test.
After a moment of excitement, my logical and orderly brain kicked in again, and I remembered that we were only 36weeks + 4 days gestation- still technically premature. I told J that I thought my waters had possibly broke – or maybe it had been a clear mucous plug? I wasn’t sure, but I knew something happened. And I wasn’t sure what that would mean since we were so early. I could hear J’s heart beating out of his chest (a sound I’ve only ever heard once before, in the moments before he proposed to me), and we decided to send Krishinda a message and ask her what we should do. In the meantime, we decided to skype J’s sister, she’s a medical student and J likes to play “What do you think, Dr. Schecter” with her. We all speculated about the possibility of me actually going into labor for a little while which was a fun way to take our minds off it while we waited to hear back from Krishinda.
While we were talking with J’s sister, I felt two “real” contractions. I had always wondered how women just “know” when it’s labor, and I can’t fully explain it myself, but at that point I knew. My logical mind was still worried that it was too early and that the baby’s lungs wouldn’t be developed enough if she was born now, or that perhaps something was wrong and that’s why we were having contractions, or that maybe this was just false labor to get our attention a few weeks before baby actually came. But in my heart I knew as we were getting off the phone with Ang and she jokingly said “hey, maybe next time I talk to you guys, you’ll be parents!” that she was right.
When I told J I’d had a few contractions while Skyping, we decided to call Krishinda and tell her what was going on. She said it sounded like a small tear or leak in the waters and told us exactly what I thought (hoped?) she would: “take it easy, try to sleep, call me if anything changes.” But most importantly, she told J that if this IS labor, don’t worry, it’s not too early. We know the baby is a good size and that mommy and baby are both healthy. When I heard her say that, I let worried Malorie calm down a smidge and let mommy Malorie wake up a little bit.
Immediately after that call with Krishinda around 1:15am, contractions started every 3-5 minutes and lasted between 30-60 seconds. We lay in bed for a while cuddling each other, realizing this could be the last time we do this as just a couple for a long time! After an hour they were getting stronger and just as close together, I said “I don’t think these are the kind of contractions Krishida meant for us to sleep through!” We got out of bed and I tried moving around a bit while J called Krishinda again around 3:15 to give her an update. (At this point, the contractions were definitely getting stronger. I still wouldn’t call it pain yet– it was a strong tightening senstaiton that was more intense than anything I’ve ever felt before. It was a powerful sensation taking over my body for moments at a time, an ebb and flow of intensity that made me focus on my belly and tune out the rest of the world for a minute at a time.)
Krishinda listened to me talk for a few minutes. I actually remember saying to her, “I don’t really have anything to say right now but I know you want to talk to me just to hear me go through a contraction so you can assess how far I am, so I’m just going to keep babbling for a minu—oooooohhhh okay here one is, hold on for a second I can’t talk to you right now” (I guess perhaps that “oooh I can’t talk right now” was what she was listening for…)
She said we sounded like we were progressing well and to check-in in a half hour. I decided to labor in the shower because I knew it would relax me. I sent J to clean the kitchen and asked him to straighten the guest room in case Krishinda needed to sleep there for a bit. I’m sure J was in pure shock that we were about to have a baby and I was asking him to clean, so I just told him that it would help me relax to know that things were straight and that if we were in labor for the next 20 hours at least we would have to look at dirty dishes. I jokingly said that, but I think more deeply I realized that I needed a few minutes to myself to process what was happening and to let myself give into the contractions a bit. I knew that if he was excitedly and anxiously standing by me or holding my hand at that moment, I would be too focused on making sure he was calm and not worried about me and not pay enough attention to the process itself.
I labored in the shower for a while and started moaning and vocalizing with the breathing. The water felt great and helped me focus and I forgot to worry that this might just be false labor. At one point I said, “Okay little baby, I’m excited to see you too, but mommy just needs a little tiny rest, okay?” I think I got about 5 minutes between contractions, blessedly, on that one and yelled to J to call Krishinda because I needed the pool. Apparently I had been in the shower over an hour and she was already on her way.
Krishinda arrived at 4:15 and as I heard her walking up the stairs I though, oh shit, this is really real: I’d better brush my teeth (we had eaten spicy sausage pizza for dinner and as much as I love food, I did NOT want that to be the first thing baby smelled). While J and Krishinda filled up the pool, I labored mostly by myself leaning over the bed, on my hands and knees on the floor, on the birth ball, or just standing up swaying my hips. At one point I had to pee and just stayed on the toilet for a long time because it felt so comfortable and I started laughing as I realized that I was being “that girl” – I had told myself I was NOT going to be one of those people who labor on the toilet for a long time because that sounded gross and strange. And I was not going to be that person who did all this preparation for bith just to throw it out the window when the day came. And I was not going to be that person that did strange, weird things during birth. Yet there I was laboring on the toilet while I made my husband wash dishes and there was not a yoga mantra playlist that I had so painstakingly created the week before to be heard.
After a few more contractions I started to whine that I really needed the pool and right at that time the pool, thank God, was ready. As I got in I remember thinking how amazing my husband and my midwife were. The lights were dimmed, my incense and some candles were burning, and the living room was rearranged to make plenty of room around the pool. I labored with J holding my hand. Krishinda was quietly sitting in the corner. It was surreal and perfect.
Despite how much comfort I knew the pool was giving, the contractions were starting to feel incredibly exhausting and incredibly intense – much more like what I would call pain. I started to worry. There was no clock in the room, but I knew since it was still dark outside and I didn’t hear the rush-hour traffic yet that it could only have been a few hours. You hear that first births usually take a long time, so if it was this intense already, I knew that I could not manage another 10 or 12 hours of this no matter how badly I wanted a natural home birth. I started swearing. I started really moaning now. I was preemptively trying to forgive myself if I had to give in and ask for help. So I said something along the lines of “I don’t want to know how far along I am, so don’t tell me, and this doesn’t have to be the end, but this can’t be the beginning because I am not giving up yet, but I can’t do this for too too much longer”. Krishinda normally doesn’t do vaginal exams to assess dilation, but after I said this, she checked me and then told me to put my fingers where hers had been. “That’s your baby’s head”. There was this soft, gooey, hairy thing under my fingers and really not so very far away… Well, shit, then. Okay. It’s really happening.
Shortly after, I felt like I needed to push. I started pushing with contractions and remember thinking, “fuck, this is the part that hurts! Why didn’t anyone tell me this!” The stretching and burning was starting to get me panicky and I was starting to lose my focus. Krishinda suggested I switch positions to all fours. Again, I told my belly that mommy needed a tiny break and again I got a slight reprieve for a few minutes. Krishinda put some pressure on my back during the contractions and with her strong presence and physical closeness and J still holding my hand, I felt myself getting back into a focused rhythm. Things are hazy around here in my memory, but I know that the second midwife, Vanessa, arrived around now and that shortly before she arrived, Krishinda sent J to go find towels so I knew things were really gearing up. I only vaguely registered Vanessa arriving, but do recall that as the pain of the pushing started to get hard, she and Krishinda both told me to stay calm and keep the pitch of my moaning lower and not escalate to a screaming as that would make me tense and make it hurt more. I think I remember all three of us vocalizing together for a few contractions. All the while J was holding my hand, kissing me, telling me I was doing great and being exactly the presence I needed him to be without me having to say a word.
The pushing was the hardest part for me and toward the end (apparently it lasted for about 40 minutes) I remember saying “this baby is breaking my urethra, it has to come out now!” The head started to come out, but I could feel it start to slide back in a bit after the contraction. A few more pushes and sliding back like that and the head finally came out. It was so scary and strange and beautiful. I could see a mess of black hair on this tiny head in the water, but still feel the baby wigginling inside at the same time. One or two more contractions and at 5:40am, baby came sliding out and into the pool. And that was the biggest oh shit moment of all. This had all happened so quickly. I had practically just started labor, and now there was a baby in the pool! I looked at Krishinda and said “Now what do I do!?” Calm as ever, she told me to pick up my baby. I grabbed J’s arm and we picked up the baby together. We both held the baby together against my chest and just gasped and gawked and said “oh my god, it’s really a baby… it’s our baby!” over and over again for several minutes before it even registered that we needed to check if it was a boy or a girl so we finally knew what to call this little bundle! We looked at our baby girl and knew immediately that Ketzia Filis was going to work perfectly for her. It was such a crazy moment of ecstatic disbelief, trembling with love and awe holding our baby for the first time.
Either Krishinda or Vanessa start to rub KF’s back to get her to really cry to make sure her lungs were okay and we started laughing at this incredible sound. After a few minutes, they told me I had to get out of the pool to keep the baby warm. They were kind but firm saying the baby was fine and healthy, but she’s an early baby and was going to need our help keeping her body temperature regulated. They laid us both on the couch and started tending to god knows what after birth stuff down there and with the pool as I just stared in amazement at my baby girl while J sat next to me holding us both.
Within a few minutes Krishinda said she needed to give me a shot of oxytosin because I was bleeding too much. She very quickly went from “hands off” while she let us labor in our own time and pick our own baby up out of the water, to a serious, take charge attitude where it was clear that she had things under control, but we needed to be sharp and pay attention to her. She never used the word hemorrhage until much later, but we could tell things were serious. Yet she never made us feel like we needed to panic. She called the doctor in the practice to get advice and have extra support on standby. We felt confident that Krishinda and Vanessa had the situation under control and we could continue to bask in the glow of our tiny lady.
When the bleeding was under control, J got the computer out to Skype both of our parents, and that was the first time both of us really lost it and started crying – telling our parents that they had just become grandparents. It had all happened so fast and suddenly we were laying cuddled in our living room with this tiny 2.75 kg baby pressed against my chest telling our parents half a world away that they were grandparents – that we were parents! – that the most marvelous little ball of hair had just made a triumphant entrance into the world to unsettle our hearts while she settled into our arms.
All the rest of the details and timing of the morning blur together so I probably have the order off here, but I do recall vividly the feeling of being so well cared for and in such a safe, calm space where I could love and care for my baby and proceed at our own pace. After I delivered the placenta, we left the cord attached until it stopped pulsing and KF had gotten all of the blood and nutrients possible from it. J cut the cord with trembling hands. Krishinda made a fruit smoothie from the placenta to help with the bleeding and give me extra strength. Vanessa helped stimulate my nipples to get the colostrum flowing for babygirl. She didn’t latch on right away, but she did lick at the colostrum. I started to feel afterpains that surprised me with how painful and strong they were, but rather than actually register the pain of them, I was just annoyed that they took the focus for a moment from my tiny girl.
After a while longer, Krishinda sent J out for some supplies (all the postpartum supplies that had been on my list for next week!) and some breakfast. Krishinda and Vanessa fed me the smoothie, water, some homemade chicken soup we had frozen from Rosh Hashana. I had a small tear that I opted to have mended with glue rather than stitched. They had to make sure I could pee before they left, so they both helped me to the bathroom when I was ready (after one false start when I fainted!). I vaguely recall Krishinda giving me a small sponge bath on my legs before tucking us into bed and thinking that this woman was beyond a saint. She even took the time to make some frozen cotton pads soaked with a soothing antiseptic to help with pain or swelling (and they were a godsend after every trip to the bathroom in the coming days!). Krishinda and Vanessa stayed with us for hours after the birth, and every time they needed to tend to me, they did so unobtrusively, and always had the baby in either my or J’s arms. Everything felt like it happened so calmly and naturally.
When these amazing ladies did leave around noon– they spent longer with us postpartum than they did attending the birth!—they left us tucked into our own bed after the pool had been cleaned up and the kitchen straightened, with a “prescription” of bed rest for me and constant skin to skin contact with baby to regulate body temperature, and with a promise to come back to check on us the next day. The group’s lactation consultant came by our home later that day since the little miss had not yet started feeding on her own. She helped with latch, but babygirl wasn’t eating well yet, so she came back later in the day with some donated breastmilk to make sure baby was getting nourishment and help kickstart her digestive system a bit. (We later learned that the group did not have an official milk bank yet, but that night at a film-screening at the clinic, several women were lined up with their breasts out expressing milk for our tiny early baby in need – a heartwarming image that will never leave me). She taught us how to give the milk with a syringe (avoiding a bottle and possible nipple confusion), and promised to come back if we needed anything at all. The pediatrician in the group also made an atypical house visit that night to check on this early baby and make sure that mom and baby were okay.
It was such a surreal feeling that day – and in the weeks that followed – being surrounded by these warm, wise women taking care of this brand new family in a way that I could never have imagined and will never forget. They took such good care of us so we could focus on cuddling and caring for this tiny amazing creature who had come waltzing into our lives in such a hurry that night.