If my work and music reflects my life, then hopefully, by now, things are starting to fit into place. 8 years ago I was a teacher, married with two children. I look at the pictures from back then and consider myself “boring”. It’s clear when I look at the pictures that I’m just fulfilling a role which is not mine. There’s one photo, of me, sitting on a terrace outside a hotel and, to be honest, I can see on that one picture why my marriage was, on the one hand, so successful, and on the other hand such a mess. I was too good to be true. Unexciting, never provoking. There were no moments, just one constant nothing. No resistance. Nothing to feel.

When it exactly changed, I don’t know, but the development of the last 8 years have led to moments like this:

The decision to have our last baby alone – completely alone, without midwife (Hebamme ( German)) came from K. She (and myself) struggled for a moment to come to terms with child number 6. But then came a realisation that this was the last chance to push the boundaries of experience in this respect. It also meant, it was time to face up to things –  not just the fact that we were going to be a family of eight people -, but also face up to many things in our lives. When you’re about to have a baby like this, in our situation, you feel quite clearly what’s going well, but you also feel – even more strongly – the things which hurt, and are going to hurt even more unless you change them in time. By that I mean: Many things needed to be sorted, fought about, clarified and soothed / solved before the baby came. In some ways, that’s why I’m most grateful to our Baby, L. for coming. She shook us up. She showed me the things I am running from. She asked me the question: What do you really want? And Why? Do you want to sing? Then do it – but do it well, and give it the importance that it deserves – but don’t give it MORE than the importance it deserves.

K. made the decision quite early to go solo with the birth. For about 5 minutes I felt hurt by the fact that she might even want the baby without me – or anyone nearby. But then I relaised that it’s her right. I don’t know how long we get to spend on this planet, but if you’re a woman, giving birth is your birth right. It’s something, only a woman can experience. And if you imagine that for a century or more, that we’ve been brain washed into believing that there’s only one way to give birth – in a hospital, or perhaps at home, but ALWAYS with every risk strenuously calculated and minimised by the reassurances of professionals who lead the women through this painful and dangerous process. And then, as a woman, you realise that a birth in this way has little – even nothing – to do with her femininity and her instincts, then you can start to understand why she may become curious to (re)discover herself and her capabilities.

K. read books. I began reading books. The rest became simple. Book after book after book, all written by experienced women – many of whom were themselves doctors – showed us clearly how the birth of a child has become institutionalised. Many – and I mean  REALLY MANY!! – things we are taught about birth are actually dangerously wrong. Many complications only occur BECAUSE of the fact that we follow a rule book, and not our instincts. If you are interested. Start with this book by Sara Schmid. There are more. Then there are videos – countless videos on youtube of people who have done just this – had a baby without help. These people have great knowledge of what they do. And it’s not just Sara. You’ll find many examples. And it’s important that you compare these people and their births. Not everyone is as tough as Sara, and therefore it’s good to see very gentle birth experiences. Even orgasmic births.

So there we were. A beautiful October morning in 2018. 9 months and 2 weeks after conception. Alone in our house in the black forest. The sun beaming in through the windows. K. began having contractions in the morning, The children went to kindergarden, and we did our thing. K’s sister came along to watch. Just watch. By 11am the contractions were becoming stronger. An hour later I knew, just from watching her body language, that the baby would be there soon. At one pm, exactly 13:00, as if it had all been perfectly planned, baby L. was born. We’d prepared ourselves damn well. Read books and made notes for every eventuality. We really knew what we were doing. And when she came – she didn’t breathe. Baby became blue, deep, beautiful blue. But the umbilicle chord (Nabelschnur) was still pulsating and we knew – really knew – things would be fine. After one minute (a long minute where we smiled at eachother) L. breathed. And breathed and cried. She looked so strong, she had no other option but to breathe.

And now, looking back, it seems it was the only way. As if we, ourselves, had no other option. These are extreme expeiences, but they prove to us, that we are alive. They prove to us that we do know how to live – and are not just blind believers in dogma.

I thank K. for her courage. And me too! It was beautiful.

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