Adams Birth 02 02 2003 4 am
It was Saturday night, the first of February 2003. We were expecting our child to arrive any day now. We had done all the preparations necessary to have a water birth. This was most certainly the day that my life changed. I became a father. It was a powerful experience for me and the focus and direction of my life changed instantly.
Philippa and I had been living at Rustlers valley in Marimba House which I had built. We were living an organic lifestyle and doing our best to stay “off the grid”, and so our approach to the birth of our child to come was to have a natural birth. We were both against any kind of vax or injections and resisted the mainstream approach. We chose not to have any medication at the birth unless there was an emergency. Even though some doctors at the hospital had tried to tell us that it was a bad idea to have a home birth, so far from the hospital. Some of the advice we were following was the advice of two authors who had written awesome books on childbirth. They were “Birth without violence” by Frederick Leboyer and “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin. I recommend these books with all my heart. We followed this advice rather than the mainstream recommendations.
We had been watching the dates carefully and were pretty sure that the child was coming in the next few days. We had an amazing local Doctor who had been notified and was on standby, and we had a friend who had worked as a midwife and was spending a week with us during the expectancy period.
Everything was ready. We had hired a portable pool and set it up in the center of the ceremony room at Marimba House. I had installed a water tank above the house and set up a boiler to heat the water. We had all the recommended accessories to deal with the water birth. We had a bed close by that was ready with clean sheets and towels on standby. I had also pre-prepared a fire under the bath in the garden, in case Philippa needed to take a warm bath at any time. The bath was next to the Sweat Lodge.
Early on Sun morning, at about 2 am Phillipa woke me. She said that she was feeling contractions and thought that I should get the bath ready and begin to warm the water for the birthing tank. I began to prepare the bath and birthing tank, and make more raspberry tea for Philippa which she had been drinking for a few days to help ease the birth. She was not feeling distressed at all and the contractions were not severe, so we felt that we had plenty of time and went down to the bath in the garden which was now hot. We had also called the doctor and she said that she felt that she felt that she should come because the description we gave her, said the baby is coming. We were about an hour’s drive from the nearest town where the doctor was coming from.
I must also paint a picture for you about the environment on that night. It was a beautiful clear night with many stars and the moon was lighting the landscape. Our garden was a circular garden on the slopes of the mountain overlooking the spectacular Rustlers Valley. There was also a herd of about 25 cows who were grazing right around the garden. They were making a lot of noise at the time, mooing and braying as there was a calf on the other side of the fence and the mothers were trying to coax it to the opening. This is where we were, standing next to the garden fire-heated bath in the most spectacular surroundings and feeling completely at peace and prepared.
But, we were to be surprised! Our child decided that the time was right and the birthing began. Philippa was standing up and grasped onto my shoulders. The baby began to emerge. I was shouting for the midwife to come down from her hut, as she was still sleeping. We did not think we needed her yet, but she did not hear us because our shouts were lost among the cows mooing and bellowing near to us. Eventually, she heard us and came down, just in time to assist with the birthing.
The child was a boy, born outside the Sweat Lodge, on a small towel on the grass. We never had time to get to the water birthing tank in the house. He was born at 4 am as Venus began to rise in the sky. The Morning star. The doctor arrived half an hour after the birth and there were no problems. So no medications were given.
We had both decided that we would not name our child before it was born, nor did we know whether the child was a boy or a girl. It would be a surprise to us. So, he was born without a name. We wanted to meet first before we decided on the name. And so, the local Sesotho people named him Mphatlalatsane on the day of his birth. This is the Sesotho word for the morning star, Venus, which was rising in the sky as our boy was born.
We decided to call him Adam. A-D-A-M the Hebrew letters for the directions, North South East West. A month later we introduced “Adam Mphatlalatsane Stirling-Mallac” to our friends and family.
Welcome, Adam, star child.