Ezri Olive Rune's Birth
3 weeks before Ezri was born, I thought I was due with him, that he was coming any day. Because my cycle was off when I got pregnant with him, we later learned that my due date was probably about a week off. But even with my new due date, I went 2 weeks past due. I was scared- my son Bodhi was born just 19 months before him, and I remembered the intensity well. Even though I had tools when I went into labor with Bodhi, such as hypnobirthing, labor progressed to a certain point where it wasn’t helpful, as the contractions were too intense. What I kept telling myself, and what my friends kept advising me, was to just BREATHE. Breathe into the contractions to counter the contracting, and breathe slow and deep. This was such helpful and reassuring advice, and this practice was with me the whole time during Ezri's labor.
Every day for 6 months before Ezri was born I would wake up early to meditate. I would breathe into any pain, tension or discomfort I felt in my body, until, many times, the tension was transmuted into a loving, lighter energy. I believe this practice helped me immensely during birth, and also postpartum, too.
During this 3 week waiting game for Ezri, I would oscillate between feelings of anxiety, fear, readiness, depression, and the feeling that something was wrong with my body and my baby would never come. I remember my husband being so unbelievably supportive during this time, making food for us, helping around the house a ton, keeping the kids occupied while I rested. I feel so thankful for his support while I went through this difficult and emotional time of waiting, of being inbetween worlds.
I remember when I was pregnant with Bodhi, I would always see this lightening blue light around, and with Ezri I would see this bright indigo light; I believe this was their spirits getting ready to join us. With Ezri I also felt this intense energy moving downwards in my birth canal, and as you will later see, I feel that this had something to do with the lightening speed he came out with.
The day before I went into labor I had reached a breaking point. Really before each of my labors I had a breakdown/breakthrough with my amazing midwife, Nicole, who was there for each of my babys’ births. I told her I wanted to try something gentle to help bring baby about (this was after trying pineapple, love-making, walking, dancing baby out). I decided to try homeopathic medicine to help start contractions, but instead developed an intense migraine that evening and throughout the night.
The next day I awoke to a tightness in my womb that I hadn’t felt yet this pregnancy. I thought maybe it could be time, but didn’t want to mention it to JP just in case it was another false alarm (as we had a couple previously), and so he left for work.
An hour went by and I realized there was a rhythm to the cramping. Every 8 minutes I would feel a contraction, and I texted JP to let him know. He said he was going to finish a few things up and head home. Every 8 minutes on the dot he would text me, “another one?” or “contraction?” and would be totally spot on each time as I was going through a mild contraction. It was so sweet to have this connection with him even though his physical presence wasn’t at home yet.
I was laying on the couch, having these contractions, and Bodhi woke up. I lay back down with him in bed, trying to put him back to sleep which normally he would do easily because it was so early. But he sensed something was up, and didn’t fall back asleep that morning.
JP came home, checked in with me, and started to get things ready. He and Bodhi went into the kitchen and started to make breakfast. I wanted to eat a big meal before this labor, because with my previous two I didn’t get a chance to, and wanted to sustain my energy if this was going to be a long labor. He made me a breakfast of eggs and hashbrowns, but I could hardly eat it. I then went back and forth on the birthing ball, the couch and the bed as the contractions came through. Bodhi, about 19 months at the time, was so awesome as he played and occupied himself during most of this time. I remember him playing with his trains and with his little kitchen, his energy was so sweet to be around even though he was certainly tired.
Soleil woke up next. I remember laying in bed, her lovingly rubbing my back as the contractions came at a pretty steady pace, maybe every 6 minutes at this time. I remember at this point I wanted to try to listen to the hypnobirthing tracks to keep me focused, but I quickly took the headphones off as I received more love and strength from just being around and talking to my family.
I remember my sister and mom texted around this time; I told my sister and my friend Jen who had messaged me, that I was in labor. I hadn’t planned on telling my mom because I didn’t want her to get nervous and worry, however she facetimed me and Soleil answered… and she found out I was in labor. It was the first time that she was knew for sure I was in labor out of all three of my babies, and I’m so glad she knew. We chatted half like it was a normal day, and half like I was about to go through this big intense life event, and her words lifted me and kept me up until the end. "You got this!" she said, and it stayed with me during the most challenging parts of labor. I’m so thankful that we had that 5 minute chat and connection between contractions.
Soleil was so attentive to me, it was so sweet. If I let out any noise, she would let her poppa know exactly what happened every contraction, who was in the other room prepping things and getting things ready. We called our dear friend Ashley, as she was going to help out and watch Soleil and Bodhi for the rest of the labor. As we waited for her to come up, we put a movie on for Soleil and Bodhi, and Jon-Paul laid with me in bed. He then talked me into getting up and going outside to try to help move things along. This part of labor was such a joy; my previous two births had progressed during the night, when it was dark, cold and undesirable to go outside. However- though it was about 85 degrees- walking through the yard with my love- through a landscape that we have co-created with love and dedication, was simply magical. The land and JP nourished me as he fed me fruits from our yard between contractions. We walked around the front and back yards, and I would put my arms around his neck, or hold onto a tree, during contractions. I felt so supported.
I finally ended up on the hammock, so kindly gifted to us from our good friend Sarah, who I was thinking of a lot during labor. Here, I found peace and comfort, under the Olive tree. Olive became Ezri’s middle name because of the couple of hours spent sitting and swinging blissfully in the hammock under the presence of this powerful tree. As each contraction came, I focused on deep breathing and letting go of all tension and resistance in my body. I mostly felt it in my shoulders and my womb, and later intensely in my hips, but breathing through and focusing on expansion and pressure, instead of pain, helped me a lot (thank you Jen for that visualization you gifted me with during the beginnings of labor when we talked <3). The combination of these things, along with the labor hormones, had me feeling so high, easy and at peace with whatever was to come. I truly felt ready and unafraid and it was the most wonderful feeling.
I sat swinging as Ashley came-pregnant herself- and hung out with the kids, and then left to take them to our friend’s house on this very hot day. I am forever grateful for you being my family, Ash! After a couple of hours in the hammock, it was just JP and I and it was amazing. At this point our midwife knew I was in labor, and was hanging out close by in case we needed her. This being my third child, I really wanted it to be just me and JP for as long as possible, but knew that I wanted Nicole there for when things got intense and I needed extra support. JP made me a protein rich smoothie that I remember being delicious, and I went through more contractions around the house, and finally rested in our room.
It started to get intense- so much so that I told JP not to leave me to go do anything else and to call Nicole. When she got to the house, I asked her to do what I had said I didn’t want done my whole pregnancy… I asked her to check me! I couldn’t take the suspense and really thought I was at about 5-6cm. She checked me and told me I was at about 4, and that the baby hadn’t dropped yet. I told her I wanted to cry. I started feeling extremely discouraged and felt like this was going to be impossible.
They started filling up the birth tub, which was also in our room, and I labored in bed and would walk to use the bathroom for the next half hour or so. When I got up to use the bathroom again, I just spontaneously jumped in the pool as I felt another contraction coming on, and was starting to really feel it in my hips again, like I did during Bodhi’s birth… like my hips were being split apart. I had a few contractions in the tub until my one, huge, excruciating yet relieving 2 minute contraction. During this contraction I felt my body open, and my baby drop down into the birth canal. After this contraction I said “This fxcking baby is coming out!!!” And Nicole said “oh yeah? Check yourself and see if you can feel the baby.” I checked and I felt his head! And as soon as I checked myself another contraction came right on and his head came out! At this point I was feeling relief that I didn’t have hours more of labor but also so much intensity as Ezri was inbetween worlds. The next contraction came and I roared him out! He had an extremely long cord that was wrapped around his neck twice, but Nicole unwrapped it and he was healthy and strong! JP said it was a boy and I was so happy. And really I don’t know if I’ve ever felt such relief in my life knowing that this was the last time I was going to have to push a baby out. I went from 4cm to pushing him out in about 45 minutes! I was so happy to finally have him in my arms.
I held him and loved him and kissed him and adored every little feature as I knew this was the last time. His wrinkly toes and fingers, how his hands would wrap around my finger and not let go, how he latched right away and how completely blissful we were to finally meet this baby and be his parents! His face instantly felt familiar to me, like I had known he was in there all along.
After soaking him in I tried to push the placenta out in the tub, then on the birthing stool, and then finally in the bed, where Nicole had to help me release it. She took a picture of his cord because it was so long. He was born at 4:18, after about 9 hours of labor. JP cut the cord and we laid and rested in bed until Soleil and Bodhi came to meet him about an hour later. I was nervous Bodhi would be upset or jealous, but he was just very curious; Soleil was so excited and wanted to hold her new baby brother right away. I took many deep breaths that day, and ended the day with these breaths as well as our family was and is complete and whole, and the gratitude in my heart has been overflowing ever since.