On one of our final days in Bali last year I was preparing to have a massage and wondered why the masseuse didn’t want me lying on my front. “But you have baby,” she said, gesturing to my belly. “No,” I replied. She looked perplexed but let me lie down and as I looked through the hole in the massage table I saw a ring of marigolds around an Om symbol and, for the very first time, felt a presence within me.
There she was.
Two whole weeks later a pregnancy test confirmed what that intuitive Balinese woman already knew.
For someone who has preached the importance of faith in the body and power in the mind to hundreds of pregnant women over the years, I journeyed towards Marigold’s birth anxious and fearful.
My previous birth, with Percy, was positive but, at times, traumatic. He was born healthy and I recovered quickly and without complications. And yet for the first six months of his life I soothed a very traumatised baby who would only settle in my arms and whimpered like he was scared. I didn’t discuss it much at the time because I simply thought I had an unsettled baby. But in retrospect we were both recovering from a frightening experience; one that he would soon forget and one that stayed at the forefront of my mind.
I opted to birth at the local hospital as opposed to the low-risk birth centre I had previously chosen. I knew that I would feel more grounded and secure if medical back-up was close by. Instead of requesting a particular midwife I made the conscious decision to let the universe decide for me – it felt like the right thing to do.
At 11weeks I answered the phone and heard Sue’s voice. And there she was, delivered to me, and just what I needed.