We were extremely lucky to meet Isadora in June 2021 when she started sharing her passion, expertise and personal experience at the Mamamoon School with moms and moms-to-be. Almost 7 months pregnant at that time herself, strongly connected with what she believed in. The story of Luca's birth is not just any birth story. Strength, inspiration, trusting your intuition, educating yourself, making informed decisions, and not giving up for a second.. We are truly impressed, and grateful for being able to share this story now with you as well. Thank you Isadora for taking time and putting it together <3
Luca Caporali Bulens was born on 20.09.2021 at 04:40 in the comfort of our home. Everything about this birth was magical. Luca means the one who brings the light, and he came just before dawn in a room filled with silence and peace.
Just like a breath of life, Luca came into our arms teaching about the power of trust, preparation and staying focused in the present moment.
Why sharing the story..
This story is meant to serve as inspiration for women and help them become aware of the power of their intuition, the fact that they ALWAYS have a choice, and that a medicalized birth with interventions might not always mean a “safe” birth.
Beyond safety, which is our first concern, this is also about the beauty, the potency, the magic of bringing life to this world.
This story is about mothers creating the circumstances to experience this incredible force that resides within them.
When a mother knows that a safe birth ought to happen within her home, her inner knowing must be protected, or even fought for with all the tools available to her.
I am telling this story in detail so that all ‘mothers-to-be’ can understand the subtle nuances of medicalizing a natural and powerful process such as birth and can find inspiration on how to skillfully deal with a health care system that watches birth from a place of fear. Knowing she can choose love and stick to her choice.
The story of this birth starts with the inner knowing that this should be a home birth.
Let me start by sharing the current birth circumstances in the island where I live. We have only 4 midwives living here and they all work for the hospital. While they love the idea of home births, they are convinced there is not enough infra-structure for it to take place here.
The last 6 weeks before meeting Luca..
Week 34: I get a terrible stomach flu. Without being able to eat and barely drinking for 4 days, I start entering a place of deep fear for my health and the health of my baby. I called the hospital convinced I should be taken in for fluids and sugar in my veins. They tell me it’s best to stay at home and assure me the baby gets all it needs to grow. I listen, and stay at home, neglecting my intuition that something was wrong.
I ask for an appointment as soon as possible and they agree to see me in 7 days.
Week 35: I feel fully recovered and I feel my baby is recovering with me. We had the appointment and a growth check was scheduled. In this check, they see my baby had a substantial growth drop. I tell them I am fully aware this happened, this was the reason why I called the hospital in the first place. They say that it's unlikely that the flu affected my baby’s growth and they believe the placenta might not be working properly.
I assure them my placenta is fine.
We agreed to make another check one week after, to see if the baby is growing again.
Here once again, I voice my desire for a home birth and ask for a special appointment to negotiate the terms.
Week 36: in this second hospital visit, the midwife tells me it’s better not to check the growth baby yet. The time between checks is too soon and we might not be able to see anything new. She tells me that we will check in one week.
We do agree on doing a placenta check and everything seems to be ok.
Also in this visit, the hospital midwife and I have a challenging conversation about home birth. She assures me it's not possible to do it on the island and besides that, she tells me that they need to discuss with the doctor about the problem with our baby’s growth. Suddenly I feel this information could be used to defend their idea of a hospital birth.
In the sight of where this is going, I tell her I will be looking for solutions myself for a home birth.
Week 37: in the first minutes of this hospital visit I am told it’s too late to check if the baby picked up on growth again. I am told that doing another check would only make things more confusing. Because of the lack of information and relying on the last information they had (that my baby had a growth drop), I was told by the midwife that they had a meeting with the gynecologist and they decided that the birth of my baby was considered a dangerous birth.
This assumption brought two consequences to the table: first, they advice us to induce labor at 38 weeks (still in the “what if” scenario that my placenta was not working) and it should be a monitored birth in the hospital, because according to them my baby could not be strong enough to amen
It is through birth.
Besides the checks showing the placenta was working, they continue defending that a growth drop could only be explained by a placenta problem or a developmental problem (at no stage they recognize they might have been wrong when I had the flu).
At this moment, I am in shock about what I hear. If you are not familiar with the reason why, please research “cascade of intervention” and the effects in child birth.
My first question is: why was I not included in this conversation? How can people who never even saw me decide on the path my birth should take?
Secondly, just to make sure, I ask what she means by “monitored birth”?
She tells me about laying in bed and having a belt check the baby heart beats.
Everything feels wrong to me at this point.
First, if my baby is too small why should we bring him out BEFORE the due date? Why not wait for him to gain strength inside my belly?
Second, there is no chance they are going to induce me and have me lying on a chair. This would end up in a nightmare. I know myself. I need freedom and movement to bring this baby into the world. I need intimacy.
To me, safety means the total opposite of what it means to them.
Calmly I say: where is the paper where I can sign to take away any liability of the hospital regarding this birth that WILL happen at home, and it will happen without induction, when my baby is ready?
After this question, I am brought into another room for a conversation with the head midwife, who was already waiting for me.
This meeting lasts approx. one hour. While I try to keep calm, polite and gentle, the head midwife is trying to convince me in every way she can that I am making the wrong choice and putting my baby’s health in danger.
Every sentence she says slips in that I should eventually come to the hospital. This is getting exhausting.
Tired, I eventually shared with her that I am fully aware my baby can die during labor. And that’s fine. I can live with death, it’s been in my life before and I don’t live to avoid death. I live to experience beauty, even when the thought of death comes near.
I am one hundred percent sure this baby is fine and will not die in a home birth. My opinion seems irrelevant to them.
We end the conversation with the agreement that I will sign a letter freeing the hospital from birth liability. I feel free.
I also feel drained and disempowered, trying to keep my sanity after an hour of fear-based talk and hospital politics in an attempt to stop a trend that might be unstoppable: that women will start fighting for their right to birth at home on the island.
Arriving home, I put up a prayer to my ancestors and ask for guidance. I post on Instagram that I need support to make this home birth happen and in the coming hour my phone is showering with support messages and possibilities. In less than 24 hours I am speaking to 3 excellent midwives around the world willing to come and help me.
At this point, I become aware that I might need to make an investment which was not planned for. I take a deep breath, so be it. My partner is happily willing to share all this. I feel confident. As Christiane Northup once said: sometimes you just gotta pay for your freedom.
The next day the hospital calls me asking for another appointment. I tell them that I no longer need terror stories and they agree. It’s time to change the energy.
They ask to come over to my house and offer to guide me in a home birth. While I feel grateful for their humbleness and cooperation, something feels wrong.
I can smell the fear in the air. By now we have a birth team in place and everyone involved is deeply connected emotionally with this process. Something is not right. There is too much drama on the floor.
In the next hospital visit, we speak about having an ambulance by the door, we go over ambulance access into the house and a rehabilitation station. We speak about doing checks every 15 minutes.
They want to reproduce the hospital scenery in my home. My point is quite the opposite. I trust this birth, they trust their tools. We are not aligned.
At this stage, I sign the letter freeing the hospital from liability and the conversation about my baby’s possible death is included in it. I signed it anyway.
In the next few days, I feel all the discomforts from this deal. As a conscious manifestor of my life I am fully aware of the power of words in creating my reality. I know this letter influences the quality of the relationship in the birth room. I know something needs to change.
At this stage I start speaking to anyone I can, doulas and healers guide me into a new insight. They keep asking me “what do you need to feel safe”? I know what I need: to work with a team who trusts this birth and who trusts me as much as I do.
Late in the night, I text Susanne Dorfler, a midwife who I had a wonderful connection with over the phone and ask if she’s still willing to fly over from Austria to Bonaire in the coming days. I also email the hospital saying that while I appreciate their offer, they are not the home birth team I am looking for.
Also, I tell them the letter signed needs to be edited. There is no chance I will have a document signed about the possible death of my child. This is mean/evil, this is politics, this is mind control and I am consciously putting myself out of it.
In the coming days, things will happen fast. I changed my entire birth team while waiting for the arrival of Susanne. She is meant to stay with us for two weeks and hopefully, baby Luca will be born in this period.
Week 38: The arrival of Susanne, my Austrian midwife - or the last wild midwife as I would like to call her - is like a blessing in the sky. Susanne’s presence is healing in every way for our family. We spend days swimming in the ocean and speaking about the potency of birth. She’s a warrior, a wild woman, a medicine woman and our connection was instant. She trusts the process of birth, she trusts the body of a woman and she trusts me. I feel more ready than ever.
In the meantime, we are doing belly massages, steaming to prepare the perineum, and I am working with natural induction of essential oils (see a special post on that coming soon). I am also tuning into my body and connecting to the sexual energy of birth.
Week 40: On the night of my due date I start feeling contractions. They last only about two hours and then stop. Second night, contractions last for about 4 hours. Together with my partner, I masturbate and relax deeply after that. Contractions stop once again and calmly, my partner and I go to sleep.
The next day, Susanne, my midwife, tells me to rest, she assures me “you will have a long night ahead, make sure you are well rested”.
My partner and I spend the day (Sunday) in bed. The next day is Full Moon. Because of my strong connection to the moon, I feel it’s going to happen then. Joshua was born on New Moon, how perfect it would be when Luca comes on Full Moon.
Also on Sunday, my 1.5 year old son, Joshua, also starts saying “baby” during the day (he’s never said that before). It’s clear: He’s telling me that his little brother it’s on it’s way.
Birth story of Luca..
On Sunday evening, at 19:30 I start feeling the first contractions. They come every 8 minutes and last about 50 seconds. This continues non stop until 23:30. During this period, I am just laying in bed while my partner is taking a nap. I feel calma na ride the waves.
I am still trying to press the button of the app tracking the time between contractions. In my head, when it’s 4 minutes in between I will enter the birth pool and call the midwife (who’s just in the other room).
Everyone in the house is sleeping. There is a gentle and calm energy in the air. At 23:30 I wake up my partner and tell him we need to start moving.
At this stage, I can no longer press the app button anymore. Even this movement is too much of using the “frontal cortex” part of my brain. I need to go fully into my primitive, my instinctive self.
There is only a salt lamp in the room. We put a gentle playlist and start moving between contractions. My focus is only in breathing: 4 counts in and 8 counts out. I am working with the energy in my body. Inhale and bring the energy up, exhaling and bringing the energy down. I am visualizing my baby’s head descending in each exhale. My mind is gently bringing this baby down.
My partner touches me softly. It feels wonderful. I have the feeling this will go on for a long time, but I completely lost track of time. Until contractions start to feel really painful. They still come only every 6-8 minutes, not shorter, but the pain is too intense to handle.
At 3:00 I ask my partner to check in with the midwife if it’s ok that I enter the bathtub. I need the warm water to ease the pain, otherwise I am not sure I can go on.
She comes into the room a few minutes later: “of course, you can do whatever you want”, that’s all she says.
Susanne is fully dressed in white. She sits on the floor and observes me for a few minutes. After that, she grabs my hands, brings them to her forehead and for 30 minutes I am traveling between the most intense pain and the most intense and beautiful feelings of love, sky energy, light. Is this bliss? Is this what they mean about orgasmic birth? Ecstasy? I don’t know, but it’s wonderful.
Another huge intense contraction and the same love-light-ecstasy feelings following.
I am in awe. Riding each wave.
Before we fill up the bath I tell that I need to shower. During shower I feel a head crowing, so I ask the midwife to check how far I am open. She checks and calmly says “9 cm”. Ok, I thought I was at 3 or 4cm but that’s good, my partner and I did a good part of the birth ourselves, with ease. Now I need to manage my mind.
A pendulum reader told me a few weeks before that there was a 70 percent chance this birth would end up in the hospital and a 30 percent that it would end up at home. But now, it’s 3:30 in the morning and I am 9 cm, we almost did this entire thing alone, in total peace.
My mind starts getting in the way.
That’s the moment I decide: you know what? I am a 30% kinda girl. The pendulum said that to challenge me, I LOVE challenges. Life is working out FOR me, even this 70-30 prediction, it only happened to call out the warrior in me. I am a 30% kinda girl.
Entering the bath now. How wonderful the warm water. We put out the music and there is total silence in the room. I am more focused than ever in each contraction, each breath. My baby is coming, I feel it. I am calm. This birth is happening at home.
The midwife is sitting on the floor, looking me in the eyes. My partner is hugging me from behind, we are both completely naked in our birth pool. There is a purity in this moment. It’s sacred.
The spaciousness in this room is incredible. There is not a sound, not a movement besides my body working with each contraction.
Again I feel the rushes of love and joy in between the intense pain. How wonderful and divine is this experience?
I now understand, giving birth is a skill. I’ve done this before. One deep breath, suck in all the energy, work with the energy. Visualize my perineum opening, I see it in my mind's eye, my 'vagiam' is getting huge.
Without a scream or anything, in a deep breath, we hear “plot”. I say softly “I think we got the head out”. That’s it. The head is out, the water breaks.
We all keep totally calm. No one is saying anything. I relaxed completely for about 10 minutes. There is no rush. The next contraction comes and there he is. Pushed out with the same energetic breath: Luca, not in my arms, but brought straight to my back.
I sink on the poolside. In tears. I am laughing and crying all at once. What a magical experience. We did it, we brought this baby in the most peaceful way into the world.