Sunday was due on the 13th of October but didn’t arrive until the 24th - so late she skipped an astrological season. Born with her ascendant in Cancer, moon in Aquarius and sun in Scorpio, she came into the world listening to the song Peace Piece by Bill Evans from a playlist carefully crafted by her father - one which she still dreams to every night...
My journey to becoming a mother was quite quick and unexpected. I religiously see an acupuncturist and have been for many years, and felt my body was at optimal health and ready to grow a baby. I stopped taking the pill for the first time in 16 years, and within days fell pregnant. The first few months of my pregnancy were breezy – I practised and taught yoga alongside my full-time job, maintained a social schedule, and completed my Yin Yoga teacher training. But at five months, things took a turn.
My husband, Michael, was DJing at a party and while at the event, I passed out. When I regained consciousness, I found myself in a pool of water. Michael raced me to Royal Women’s where they checked my baby (who was snug and safe) but my ankle was broken in two places. After a pretty traumatic few days in the hospital, I emerged with a plaster cast and a pair of crutches and spent the next 12 weeks like this. It was pretty rough, but my husband and my mother-in-law were my saviours, doing everything for me so I could rest and recover.
This was my first real lesson in surrender. I was forced to let the world wait and connect to my baby. Growing a child is a huge spiritual and physical awakening and it hadn’t fully dawned on me how significant this was until this moment.
After weeks of rehabbing my ankle and preparing for Sunday’s arrival, her due date passed I was heartbroken and anxious. On the 22nd of October at 4.18pm, I was finally induced. A few hours later, my waters broke and my contractions were strong but manageable. By the time we moved into a birthing suite, my contractions were so strong. I started crawling on the floor like an animal, pacing, holding Michael, feeling into the wild ride. I remember the intensity made me nauseous and I was throwing up, my legs were shaking, and my entire body weight poured over Michael, who at this point was struggling to hold me. I wanted to go as far as I could with no pain relief, and at 4pm (24 hours later) I had an epidural. I really needed rest if I was going to birth Sunday the way I had manifested, and the epidural gave me that rest.
At 9pm the midwives came to talk about the potential C-section and I begged the midwives to let me keep pushing through. They did, and by midnight I was fully dilated. At just after 1am I pushed and at 2.21am, she was here. Sunday arrived with her eyes wide open, not even a cry. It was the most profound moment of my life.
My whole experience has made me reflect on the tools and support that would have made a difference during my pregnancy and birthing process, and how I’d like to help other women during this transformative time. I’ve created Radiant Birth, a course that draws upon experience and teachings from yoga and meditation, traditional Chinese medicine as well as an integrated approach to the physiology of birth. Radiant Birth teaches us to move slow, to move closer yourself and to honour your needs. It is the course that I always dreamt of but never got to attend myself, our first course starts in April 2021 and it couldn’t come any quicker. I hope the course demystifies the truths about pregnancy, birth and postpartum to empower and prepare women as they enter into parenthood. Welcome the ultimate mothers club.
Find out more about Yahna Fookes’s birth education course at radiantbirth.com.au
About Radiant Birth:
Radiant Birth is a four-part extensive workshop created by professionally-certified health workers – qualified to support pregnant and birthing women, and able to share first-hand experience both working in the birth space and as mothers who have given birth. Once a week for four weeks, you’ll start the day with a dose of yoga and meditation. This is followed by a lecture/Q&A hosted by some of Melbourne’s leading female health educators from fields that include nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine and birth education. Each week is designed to provide you with the tools, knowledge and practical skills for the safest, most sacred rite of passage for you and your baby as you transition from maiden to mother. Some of our contributors include:
Jess Prescott (Vegan chef, Author, Mama Goodness boss and mother)
Bannie Williams (Nutritionist, Yoga teacher, founder of Fort Green and mother)
Vaughne Geary (Doula, Naturopath and Birth Educator)
Shannon May Powell (Writer, Arts Worker, Embodiment Practitioner, founder of Small Beyond)
Michaela Rinkel (Acupuncturist, Traditional Chinese Doctor and Herbalist) and of course myself
Yahna Fookes (Radiant Birth Founder, Yoga Teacher and mother to Sunday).
Words by Yahna Fookes