The new born in this powerful water birth picture is just about to take his or her first breath.
He or she is transitioning from life in water within the mother’s uterus where he or she could still be defined as a creature to an independent human being and life on earth.
I didn’t used to cognitively remember my first breath.
I knew I must have. We all do.
Years later I was taught how to float people on the surface of water.
Then I was taught how to safely lead them under water too.
And then how to gently bring them back up again.
The very first time I consciously tried this this I froze. I must have stopped breathing.
I shook, I cried and I couldn’t do much else.
Lucky for me I had the best teacher who gracefully held space for me in this life changing moment and understanding fellow students.
The first time I lead someone under water I felt the responsibility of holding someone’s life in my hands.
In that moment I felt I died and was born at the same time.
In that moment I felt at one with God and all creation.
Water was the womb, the breath a vehicle for life itself and letting go became the call for ones’ existence.
I am not a doula, a midwife nor a doctor.
I seek my own consciousness and like not to leave any stone unturned.
The following is an extract that explains the physical process of a human being’s firs breath:
“The most profound change at birth is your baby’s first breath. At this point, your baby’s lungs, which were filled with fluid during pregnancy, must suddenly fill with oxygen from the air.
The first few breaths after birth may be the most difficult breaths your baby will take for the rest of her life”
May I remind you that this baby is you, me and every other baby on this planet today.
“When the newborn draws its first breath, its lungs expand to almost full capacity; at this point, the relationships among the organs in the chest change dramatically. The lungs, which previously could accept only a small amount of the blood leaving the heart, now can accept much more. Not only can they accept more blood flow, it is imperative that they receive it, because this is the new source of oxygen.
All this changes in the first few moments after birth. Probably a variety of stimuli contribute to the newborn’s tremendous urge to inhale its first lungful of air. These stimuli include the rapidly falling oxygen concentration and rapidly rising carbon dioxide concentration as the umbilical vessels constrict. The compression of the fetal chest in the birth canal and its sudden release also may contribute to the urge to breathe.
These amazing changes take place within moments after birth. The baby’s first cry is not a cry of protest, but a cry of life, announcing that the transition between the uterus and the outside world has been safely negotiated”
On a spiritual level the ‘technicalities’ of birth leave a lot to be accounted for.
What struck me the most was the idea that being born could actually feel like dying!
Maybe the fear then is not about drowning and water coming into the lungs but dying because water left the lungs and air came into them instead because life on earth require it to be so.
Not an easy start to life even if we don’t cognitively remember the moment.
Water, however, remembers. Everything gets recorded and imprinted in our bodies. And the cycle keeps repeating itself unless we break it.
I can imagine healing oneself back to wholeness requiring nothing else than replaying this first breath moment in water over and over again and working on one’s breath until the process in itself becomes sheer joy.
I find it fascinating and peculiar that a child under 6 months of age will still remember how to safely swim under water on its own (if the parents and most conventional doctors would let them)but after that we need to ‘learn’ how to swim and get over the fear of drowning.
I am sure there is a ‘key’ that lies within the breath vs fear ratio and I am eager to discover it.
A child or even an adult in fear will automatically hold their breath whilst inhaling slightly beforehand. Try it, hold your breath as if you had a fright.
Did you feel it?
When in water this slight inhale will suck water into your mouth and convince you that you are drowning.
Holding space for kids who fear water seems to be about re-programming that breath pattern and learning how to blow outward.
Blowing out in water does not allow water to enter one’s mouth or nose.
More so it regulates one’s buoyancy and later ability to swim.
These are all scattered thoughts and observations for the time being on the subject at hand.
If you have any further experience in this first breath please contact me or share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!