Childbirth Interview : Neram N.
Who are you / what do you do in life?
I am Neram. Originally from Germany, I have lived in various countries in Europe where I used to work as a Brand PR manager in the fashion and maternity business. The birth of my first child turned me into a complete birth junkie and reminded me of my initial wish to become a midwife. So, to kick off my career change, I am in training now to become birth doula.
How old are you?
I’ve just turned 34 years.
In which city do you live?
Give us an essential info to know about you?
I am multiculturally in love! I just love to live abroad, discover places and new cultures and learn new languages. After France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Panama, we made it now to Colombia and I can’t wait to explore this country with my family!
How many kids do you have? How different were your birth?
I do have three children and their births couldn’t have been more different. For the birth of our first child we planned to go to a birth center but due to various events that happened during the birth we transitioned to a hospital where I had a birth full of interventions which was a rather traumatic experience. For the birth of our second child, it was clear for me that I didn’t want to give birth again in a hospital setting so we decided to go for a home birth, something very common in the Netherlands where we used to live at that time. This birth with a very hands-off midwife who fully respected my space and trusted me and my body, was so blissful. And now, two weeks ago, I’ve just given birth to our third child. The planned home birth with a traditional Colombian midwife did not happen as our little one decided to make his entrance so fast that I delivered him alone with my husband at home. This was for sure the most intense, raw and empowering experience we have ever lived. Simply amazing!
Are you rather a living encyclopedia of childbirth or do you live in total ignorance and rely on your instinct?
I’m a Birth encyclopedia for sure! Knowledge is power! I prefer to be in the know - even if that’s not always possible when it comes to birth. That said, especially nowadays, with giving birth being such a regulated and medicalized process, I feel that it’s super important to know at least basic things about the process and be aware of all the options that are out there.
Childbirth with or without epidurals? Why?
Definitely without! Can’t beat the feeling when FER (fetal ejection reflex) kicks in and your body does all the work for you, without you having to push the baby out, ha! Also, I found the side effects from the epidural that I had daringly first birth pretty awful. The following days after the birth were not that nice so I never want to live that again.
Your level of stress / fear compared to childbirth between 1 and 10?
0 because stress hormones interfere with the birth process and make the whole thing harder!
What have you ever been told about giving birth, and what would you have liked to know?
Before my first child was born I would have loved to know that oxytocin, the hormone that our bodies produce to birth the baby, is the same hormone that we produce when making love. That it’s a shy hormone, that comes out best when we feel relaxed, safe and comfortable. And whose release can be affected, positively and negatively, by all the people who are present at the birth. Moreover, I would have loved to know that it makes big difference the way you think about your birth. That it is a big deal whether you are confident and positive or whether you start the whole thing saying, “let’s see whether I can do this”. They say that energy wise, childbirth is like running a marathon. Would you enter a marathon with such a self-doubting mindset? I don’t think so!
What did you find the hardest? Pregnancy, childbirth?
I’d say it’s the birth. It’s so intense and raw! It takes quite some energy and strength to let your body fully open up, to convince yourself that you can do this (this is of course easier when you're surrounded by a good team who believes in you and doesn’t doubt or stresses you). That all this is for a good purpose. But once you’ve made it and feel your baby close to you skin to skin, you just know that you can do everything from now. And this, in addition to your new babe, is an amazing and priceless gift, too!
How did you prepare for your delivery?
For my first two births, I dived deep into hypnobirthing and learned breathing and relaxation techniques with a hypnobirthing app. I also watched a very good and compact video on YouTube about this approach with my husband so that he knew as well what this was about and how we could support me. For my last birth though, I felt that I didn’t have to refresh my knowledge about this anymore so I just focused on getting our home ready (we’ve just moved to a different country) and take care of myself in order to be relaxed on the big day.
What was your strategy for D-Day delivery?
You can call it Hypnobirthing, I call it the mindfuck, haha! When I do this, I go into the whole thing with a positive mindset, tell myself that I can do this and that everything that’s happening is ok. During contractions, I dive into relaxed state which makes it much easier to bare the sensations that I am feeling while my body is opening up. And having people around me, as few as possible which means mainly my husband and the midwife (or not, ha!), who trust me and who stay positive and relaxed too, has a big importance, too.
An amusing story or not during your delivery?
Once my daughter was born I realized that I had birthed her to Prince’s song “Sexy Motherfucker”. Until then, I had totally ignored what type of music was playing in the background - just to tell you how much I was in the zone ;)
And if you had to do it again?
I was always looking forward to giving birth. For now, I think we’re good but if I ever happen to get pregnant again, I’d be super happy to birth again!
A tip for our readers?
As women and birthing people, we all have the potential within us to birth our babies. Whatever happens then during the process is a different thing. But to start with I can only advise to trust you and your body. Don’t doubt yourself ;)
Know more about Neram, visit her blog.