Verena and Bobby are excited to welcome their second son Lukas Singh Cheema into this wonderful world. He was born on Wednesday the 19th of June 2013 at 12.40pm through a natural home-lotus birth in water at 38 ½ weeks (49 cm and 2.9 kg). We are very thankful for this empowering birth experience and overjoyed to have Lukas, a very amazing, calm, alert and healthy child, in our lives.
Verena Raschke-Cheema and Bobby Singh Cheema live in Austinmer on the beautiful Illawarra coast. Verena has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences (www.drverena.com) and is very passionate about natural health and wellbeing. She already enjoyed a homebirth with her first son, Jayden, and knew that she would like to experience a homebirth again and claim this empowering rite of passage for her second son, Lukas.
My first pregnancy with my son Jayden, now two years old, had gone well and I was able to have a wonderful but intense nine hour home-lotus birth. When I fell pregnant with my second son Lukas I knew that I wanted to experience a home-lotus birth again but in water. My aim was also to be more relaxed and flow fully with the powerful sensations of birth. I truly enjoyed the pregnancy with Lukas, which went by fast. The practice of mediation, breathing and relaxation techniques in combination with weekly yoga made me very strong and relaxed during my pregnancy and I fully trusted in the flow of my upcoming birth.
Week thirty-eight approached and my midwife told me that she needed to fly overseas due to an illness in her family and that she would not be able to attend my birth. I understood her decision and felt confident that I could birth by being guided by another midwife. However, I was curious to meet my new midwife, Sonja, as soon as possible because I had the feeling that I would birth prior my due date. Sonja arranged to see me the next day, on Tuesday afternoon the 18th of June (38 ½ weeks pregnant). I felt relieved that I was able to meet Sonja, a very experienced and knowledgeable independent midwife. We went over our birth plan and I felt satisfied that I got to know her.
This evening I meditated in bed and connected deeply with my child. I also read the birth affirmation that my aunt, an experienced Kinesiologist and astrologist, sent me to have a more relaxed birth compared to my first one: ‘The wonder of birth is a normal and natural process. I go through this experience with ease and love.’
On Wednesday the 19th of June 2013 at 1.00 am I felt my first contractions when going to the bathroom. I told my husband, Bobby that our child could be born soon and was very excited. I went back to bed and felt my contractions coming every twenty minutes. I texted my midwife, Sonja, that a pattern of contractions had established and that I would keep her updated. At 4.00 am the contractions came every ten minutes and I continued to breathe through them in bed. When our son Jayden got up at 7.00 am the contractions became more intense. However, every time I got out of bed the contractions seemed to slow down.
Bobby made breakfast and when I got up to eat at around 7.30 am the contractions came every five minutes. They were so intense that I was unable to sit down. I was holding on to the kitchen table and breathing through those intense sensations with excitement that I would meet our second son soon. I told Bobby that our child is coming and that we have to bring Jayden to our lovely friends, Justine and Wayne, who lived five minutes down the road. Bobby took Jayden and his bag which I had already packed a few days before, containing all his essentials to spend a day and night away from home. I returned to bed and called Sonja to tell her that she would need to come as soon as possible to attend my birth.
When Bobby returned from dropping off Jayden he set up the birthing pool in the kitchen and filled it with water. I took off my clothes and put on my birthing necklace, containing so many wonderful blessed beads from dear friends and family members. I felt very calm and excited that I would birth my baby now through this rite of passage. Sonja arrived soon after I entered the pool. Her presence made me feel secure. Bobby started to prepare the labor aid drink to supply me with energy and electrolytes and Sonja was setting up her space. I was irritated by the noise of the two and was looking forward to some silence.
Once Bobby and Sonja were finished with their tasks they set down beside the pool. I was leaning against the pool wall with my head resting on my hands. It felt wonderful to be in the water. Compared to my first birth I was able to go with the flow of each contraction and use my body as a vehicle to let the birth power flow through me. I used my voice and breath as a tool to relax and go deep within when the contractions became really intense. After two hours I felt that our son was already very far down the birthing canal. However, I was wondering about my contractions being apart three to five minutes. On the one hand it gave me the time to relax and recharge but on the other hand I became inpatient and thought that this birth will still take a very long time.
After being in the same position for 3 hours Sonja recommended that I get out of the pool and walk around for a little while to avoid cramping. I stood up and got out of the pool. Bobby and Sonja put some towels around my back to keep me warm. I walked around for a few minutes and then leaned forward on a chair. My contractions were so intense that I started pushing and our son crowned. Bobby was excited to see part of his head with so much black hair on it. I decided to step back into the pool to birth our son in the water. It was amazing to feel his head with my hands. After pushing for thirty minutes I changed my position from sitting to squatting. I really wanted to birth our son so decided to push him out with the next contraction, causing a small tear. After a four hours active labor our second son was born in the water on Wednesday the 19th of June 2013 at 12.40 pm. I was able to catch Lukas with my hands. I lifted him up and put him on my chest. I felt total bliss that such a miracle unfolded again and was proud of me being able to trust in and go with the flow of birth. I was a mum of two beautiful boys now. Bobby put his arms around us and felt very touched that he had witnessed such an empowering birth.
Our son, Lukas, opened his eyes and started to feed from my breast after a few minutes. He was sucking as he would have always known how to breastfeed. I enjoyed this sacred time of bonding between us and looking into his beautiful blue eyes.
It took me one and a half hours to birth my placenta. As with the birth of Lukas I was being taught patience. We put the placenta in a colander after it was born to drain it well. I then stepped out of the pool, dried off and took Lukas with his placenta into our bedroom. While I had a shower Bobby and Sonja cleaned everything up. Bobby then picked up our son Jayden from Justine and Wayne who were of such great support. Jayden came into the bedroom and was excited to meet his little brother Lukas. The umbilical cord naturally fell off on day six. Welcome into this wonderful world Lukas.
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