A Homebirth

From Laura, Athens, Greece

I am sitting on my rocking chair with my two-month-old daughter, Nefeli Rose, sleeping soundly while breastfeeding, composing how I am going to express in words the experience of a homebirth. By means of this article my intention is to reach out to all women in sharing my beautiful experience of a homebirth.

I am a mother of four daughters and wife to a lovely Greek man, Panos.

Inspired by my circle of friends who have experienced homebirths I decided to have my fourth daughter at home. I felt very safe, first with the inner conviction that all women have the power to birth their babies at home, and then by a very competent female doctor and Maria, a Doula, and a back midwife and doctor who would assist me if I needed to go to the hospital.

I was fortunate to meet with Frederick Leboyer, author of “Birth without Violence” at Eftokia last summer. I learned a technique of chanting, working with simple sounds and vowels in tune with breathing and movement, which proved to be very helpful during my pregnancy, and labor. Maria was instrumental in assisting me with this technique during the several home visits throughout my pregnancy. For me it was a beautiful means of connecting with my baby in utero and moving to a place of inner peace.

The day arrived for me to meet this miracle of life, my baby.

With the assurance of my doctor and doula, and husband in another room, I felt safe to be alone in my bedroom for most of my labor. I chanted during the intensity of the contractions and this helped me a lot. My doctor suggested I take a warm bath and this was just what I needed, both the warm water, the candle light and both my doctors and Maria’s loving, caring presence all added up to me feeling safe, respected and loved.

After my water broke in the bathtub I felt to come out and sit down on the toilet. Here Maria comforted me during this most intense feeling of pushing.

As the baby was soon to arrive I was assisted by my doctor and Maria to my bedroom, also softly illuminated by candles, where I gave birth to my daughter, on my knees, leaning and facing toward my bed, this position was not planned, it just came as the most natural position to birth her. At this point my chanting became somewhat of an opera singing!!!!!

And then there she was, and I in awe. It is there I stayed sitting where I birthed her with her now in my arms and me in a state of bliss. Maria and my doctor went to another room and left me alone with me knowing they were there if I needed anything.

At this point my husband, his Aunt Lela and our two daughters, Ariadne age 6, and Penelope age 4 joined us. My oldest daughter, Eleanor, age 12 was with me during the birth.

About three hours later, which passed like moments to me, I was ready to change my position. At this point Maria, my doctor, husband, Lela and daughters were with me when Eleanor cut the umbilical cord. My girls were amazed and so was I.

They were also amazed when they saw the placenta and even more so when Maria and my doctor beautifully, and carefully explained to the girls the function of the placenta. So much care, so much love, so much reverence for the entire birth process I experienced this day through each and every person that was part of this experience. I feel blessed.

Some hours later when I was “alone” I lit a candle and said a prayer. My prayer was for all women to connect to their inner voice and wisdom so as to experience a homebirth, for it is just so right, natural and beautiful for mother and baby….

Laura Foti-Liverakos
La leche league leader of Athens group north