One year ago I gave birth to my son Bodhi. I thought I would share our birth story here with you <3
It was chilly that fall night. We got home from a warming meal at Jimbo's. JP was exhausted from working the garden bed that day. I felt like baby would never come...
We snuggled in bed watching 7th Heaven (we watched all the seasons last year :) and feel asleep around 11PM. While sleep overcame, I remember feeling crampy and mentioned it to JP. He said, "well, that would make for an interesting night..."
I woke at 1:45 having to pee. The cramping stayed, I noticed. When I used the bathroom, signs that labor was starting became apparent on the toliet paper and in the bowl. I stared in disbelief. Could it really be time? I tried to go lay down and rest again, to no avail. I was pulsing with anticipation- could today be the day when I meet my baby!?
I went to the bathroom again- more blood tinged toliet paper, and it appeared some tissue had settled in the bottom of the toliet. I grabbed the birthing ball and started rocking. I also downloaded an app that lets you know how far apart your contractions are. Using this app and focusing on my breathing helped put me in a relaxed rhythm.
At this point it was 3AM. I couldn't keep it to myself any longer. I woke JP.
"Just letting you know I am in labor," I said smiling. He wiped the sleep from his eyes and smiled back at me. He offered to rub my belly, so I laid in bed next to him, breathing though the sensations.
After a while, I decided to take a bath, and JP lit a fire to warm the house up. He brought me warm broth to drink, and was busying himself around the house preparing for the birth. As each contraction came, I counted my breaths through them, relaxing into each surge that arose. I felt i needed a change so I got out of the tub and went to the cozy, fire-lit living room to sit on my birthing ball. It was about 4AM. My contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. JP sat with me, each of us taking in the fact that we would be meeting our baby soon. He asked if he should call Nicole, our amazing beloved midwife, and I told him to wait until 5AM to call as my contractions still did not feel super intense just yet.
Once again I fell into meditation; circling on the birthing ball, breathing, picturing my baby in my arms. After a while of doing this, my midwife came and I asked her to check me. She said I was only 2-3 cm but after that check, things seemed to progress more quickly. I got into the birthing pool and felt more comfortable. Counting my breaths during contractions kept me focused and helped my mind to stay in the present moment. I labored in the birthing pool for a while, holding onto JP's hands, trying to stay calm and focused. My doula Debra came and did craniosacral therapy to me while I was in the tub and I remember it feeling so healing and deepening.
The next thing I knew my 4 year old daughter Soleil woke up and came out in her fancy Elsa dress, dressed for the occasion. She got in the tub with me for a bit, rubbing my belly and putting her hand on my heart. At this point things started to get more intense so she got out of the pool, and after that was in and out of the room to check on me (big thanks to Ashley for being her buddy while this was all happening!).
I asked Nicole to check me again. She told me I was 6-7cm and when she felt the head it still seemed so far back. I started to feel discouraged. I still labored in the pool. my birth song getting louder and stronger. I looked up to JP who was still there holding my hands. He kissed me and I remember it softening me, opening me. Tears fell from my eyes and in that moment I felt an overwhelming love him and the compassion he had for me in that moment. He truly touched my heart in the middle of all the intensity.
The waves kept coming, I had forgotten how strong they got. I checked myself and continued to feel discouraged as the head was still so far up. My frustration, paired with my exhaustion became apparent to Nicole, who suggested I go lay down in bed and rest.
I took her advice and laid down next to JP in bed. The birth team and Soleil stayed for about 15 minutes in the room with us, and then closed the door and left us alone. I doubted myself, and voiced this to JP. He filled my ears with encouragement and love and held me as I experienced an intensity that I had only felt once before.
I felt like I needed a change and got back in the birthing pool. I checked myself again thinking I felt the head but it seemed so smooshy! I asked Nicole to check me again and she told me it was the embryotic sack! Again, I felt discouraged- I was going to have to push the baby and the sack out?!
My noises changed with each contraction, my song got more and more primal. JP was right there with me, giving me the best words of encouragement through my yells. Everytime I looked up at his shirt it helped ground me a little as the words "deeply rooted" were written right at my eye level- this was not planned but was so amazing to see everytime I looked up.
I pushed the sack out a bit. I tried to pop it but I couldn't. The pressure was so great. Throughout the whole birth I was experiencing painful hip labor, not feeling it in my front like Soleil's birth, but like my hips were splitting open. Because of this, I didn't spread my hips wide enough in the pool for the baby to come out. Nicole gave me two options. I could either lift up one leg in the pool (no thanks!), or get out of the pool and push on the birthing stool. I opted for the stool, the same one I used to push Soleil out 4 years before.
As I got out of the pool, the sack was still hanging down. With one push on the stool, the sack finally came out. A couple more contractions went by, my body shaking from the intensity. I felt the head start to crown. One more push, then the head was all the way out! I remember Sol asking Nicole for a glove. Apparently she was the first one to touch his head <3
With one last roar and push, the baby came out! Oh the love, oh the relief! Soleil was the first to say it was a boy. He came out strong and crying- the sweetest little cry! I remember as I was pushing him out, feeling his kicks so strongly in my belly. He was helping any way he could.
We went to lay on the couch to bask in some of the most blissful moments of our lives, the moments where we took in that we were a family of 4. My heart grew that night, not only for the love of my new son, but also a deeper love for my husband and precious daughter.
I didn't know it was possible, but I fell a little more in love with JP that night. He supported me in just the way I needed most, and said exactly what I needed to hear. HIs presence was unshakable and strong. He was truly my roots.
After we laid on the couch for a while, soaking in every adorable feature, it was time to weigh him. The assistant midwife Marli measured/weighed/observed him at the foot of the couch I was laying on. I remember looking down to him and my breath was completely taken away. His eyes met mine. I know the say that babies can't see for more than a foot or so away, but he saw me, his gaze unwavering, strong and serene, right into my eyes. I got a sense that he saw me on many levels- body, heart and soul, my many different flaws, and gifted me his gaze of unconditional love. I was completely blown away in that moment and completely in love. I am in awe of this sweet soul who chose me to be his mama <3