(This article is also available in Hungarian. A cikk magyar változatáért kattintsatok ide: Az időn kívül – Hugó születéstörténete )
Today is the day that I finally share with you the birth story of my son, Hugó. It happened exactly one year ago, but I still remember every moment and have a smile on my face when I think about it.
It was a beautiful and special day, preceded by many preparations and big fights. When I found out that I was pregnant I directly knew, that I wanted to have a natural birth. I wanted to give birth in a loving and caring environment surrounded by people that I trust. I wanted to have the possibility to make decisions about every detail of my birth and I wanted that these decisions are respected. I wanted to be free to choose what interventions I get, what position I give birth, how loud I can shout, who is there with me, when I can leave and simply everything.
I did not want to be bound on machines and that my baby is separated from me even for a moment after he is born. I did not want that he gets unnecessary examinations, medications, vaccinations and that he feels pain and fear in the first days.
Many people from my close surrounding, my parents and the professionals in the local hospital did not understand and did not accept this decision. I heard so many stupid arguments, crazy misinformation, saw red heads and experienced passive resistance. They tried to convince me that my choice was irresponsible, selfish and dangerous. But I never considered not following my heart and standing in the line.
I talked to midwifes and found out that homebirth at my place was not possible, because the house I lived at this time was too far from the hospital. I thought about many options, but the local hospital fell out in the first round, because you could only give birth in lying, you had to be bound on machines during the labour and you had to stay 3 days in the hospital after the birth. So I decided to give birth in a birthhome.
Hugó came late from the point of the doctors, but he came exactly in the right moment from my point. Six days after the terminus (40. week). Although by definition a pregnancy is overdue only after the 42. week, in this six day “delay” I had so much pressure from the hospital. I was supposed to travel 30 km to the hospital in flu season every day for a “no stress” examination (what a joke), and got phone calls from my doctor saying I was radical and irresponsible to refuse doing it.
Although I am normally very calm, they still could stick on me from all the stress. Specially that I knew that after the 42. week I can legally only give birth in hospital. And this, after all this pressure they put on me, I really did not want to do.
So I was really happy and relieved, when I woke up to regular contractions on the 2nd of March at half past 4 in the morning. I knew that it will be a special day: the birthday of Hugó.
The sun was just rising, when my partner, Joshua and me packed the last luggage in the car.
The bottom of the sky was swimming in red and purple. We started to drive to the birthhouse 120 km away in the south of Hungary. On the way we fell out of time and only the moment mattered. Above us the blue sky, we ate chocolate biscuits, listened to Jimmi Hendrix and laughed a lot.
We almost arrived, when police stopped us and wanted to see all the papers. How a 10 minutes routine control of a woman in labour can serve the interest of public, stayed their secret.
First we brought our dogs, Skilo, Shiva and Léni to a dog pension in Szeged. We read before that the owner of the pension was a tattoo master. In the end it was not true, he was only a freak.
Then we arrived to the birth home. Our midwife Felícia, and two volunteer midwifes were very happy and everybody was very surprised when they found out that the uterus was 7 cm open.
We talked a bit, packed the luggage, listened to Hugó’s heartbeat and we got hungry.
So I walked with Joshua in the city to a restaurant that Felícia was recommending. The sun was shining bright and we were incredibly happy. I was proud of myself that I decided for homebirth and trusted in my feelings of what is best for me and my baby.
The thought that in this moment on this beautiful sunny day I would have to lye in a hospital bound on machines and IV, I did not like at all.
We felt like walking on clouds when we entered the restaurant. It did not take our good mood away when we found out that we had to wait 45 minutes for the food, because one of the cooks was sick. We were drinking our lemonade and I was grabbing the table every five minutes when the contractions came. The food was delicious, but we could have not wait any longer. On the way back the contractions came every two minutes and so strong that we had to stop and hug.
In the meantime the second midwife, Rita also arrived to the birthhouse. She was surprised that I was still smiling.
I changed to comfortable clothes and made a bit yoga. Joshua was playing guitar and during the contractions, we had a slow dance. But soon the point came, when I was sitting on the birth ball, completely turned inside and nobody could touch me. After a while I felt like going into a bathtub of warm water. The midwifes started to fill it up. It felt like eternity until it got full. When I sat in the bathtub, I was watching the waterdrops on my big belly and the light of the candle around me. Then the pushing phase came and I was shouting like hell. Hugó was coming, but he would have need more gravitation. Felícia recommended to squat, but I could not. We decided to get out of the bathtub. They helped me on the birth chair. Here it was more easy, but when Felícia listened to the heart of Hugó, she realized that he did not feel good. She looked at me seriously: “Zoé, at the next pushing we need to get him out of there. You need all your force and Rita will help you from up.”
Rita was pushing with her hands my belly, but so gently I did barely feel it, everybody was encouraging me and suddenly a little purple body was in the hand of Felícia. She directly put him on my chest.
We lay on the bed with Joshua and enjoyed these intimate first moments with our son. I was very happy that nobody disturbed us with measuring, examining or bathing Hugó. When my parents called me, I could not even tell how heavy or long was Hugó, but it was absolutely not important. The most important was that we were all happy and healthy.
We spent a few hours, the three of us lying on the bed in this love cloud, but it seemed like a moment. Then I took shower and we went to the flat that we rented for the next three days to be close to Felícia.
We ate pizza and watched our child sleeping sweet. The we also fell asleep with a smile.
It is unbelievable that it has been already one year ago. Hugó is full of life, a happy and content child. Many people ask us if he ever cries. I am fully convinced that it is also because he had such a wonderful birth.
Happy birthday, Hugó! We love you much and wish that all your dreams come true!