It’s the eve before your first birthday, my sweet Sun, Ocean Poet.
Wild to think that it has taken me a year to sit down and write the story of your birth.
Something has been holding me back. Time. Wounding. Disbelief. Love. I’m really not sure.
But I feel ready now. To feel into the experience and share it.
Sitting here about to embark on the privilege of writing down your experience from within to without, I still cannot comprehend mentally that my body grew you, birthed you, and has now breastfed you for 12 months. It is all just such a beautiful miracle. From nothing comes a human being.
So… here we go.
You were born 12 days past your due date. And those were twelve LONG days. Everyone I knew who was pregnant had already had their baby. It felt like you were going to stay put forever.
Technically, you weren’t late by my calculations because you weren’t conceived while I was ovulating. You were conceived by Astrological times that I would be fertile because of the Sun and Moon under which I was born… so about 8 days after ovulation. Fortunately, I was able to get our incredible Ob/GYN to change your due date from February 10th to the 14th which definitely helped.
About 10 days “post-dates”, we went to see our fabulous midwife, Mary Jackson for a non-stress test. All looked good with you from the fetal monitoring. She checked me internally and said it would probably be at least another 48 hours. My cervix was still high and posterior and no effacement or dilation happening. Nothing. She also said that my face didn’t have the “look” yet. She asked me to check in with her on that Friday (2 days later) because she wanted me to start some herbs and see if they would help bring labor.
Honestly, I was ready to have you here. I wasn’t sleeping well. My pelvis ached. My face felt so bloated and puffy. My fingers throbbed with fluid retention.
I just felt that I was waiting even though everyone told me to enjoy my free time and this space before. But, I was too impatient.
Later that same day, I had a Flower Essence Session with a dear sister colleague. And she felt that after she worked on me, this baby would be coming soon.
The next day, Thursday, I started a protocol of homeopathics given to me by one of my oldest friends, who is also a Nurse Midwife. This was a 2 day protocol. My friend told me most women don’t end up doing the entire protocol because labor usually begins.
There was a bit of energy to “get things moving” because my Midwives were not legally allowed to have me birth at home after 42 weeks.
So…. on Friday, I continued the homeopathics and nothing was happening! That day I received a breast pump from a dear sister. It was meant to support me if I needed in postpartum, but the Midwives had told me that if labor didn’t begin by Saturday, they wanted me to begin pumping to release oxytocin and potentially start labor. I took all the parts out of the box and had no idea what to do with it all! I called my friend that Friday night so she could talk me through putting it together and using it. We talked about how I felt going into the weekend and the possibility of having a hospital birth. Weirdly, I was not panicked or anxious. I knew that whatever was to be was part of the Divine plan. I also shared that I wasn’t feeling anything physically and I couldn’t imagine labor happening that night. She said it will start out of nowhere which seemed so crazy, considering I didn’t have any symptoms.
I had had some cramping for a couple nights before this but nothing major.
I went to sleep that night, feeling that I would of course wake up pregnant AGAIN. And woke up at 2:30 AM with some cramps. Same type that I had had over the week. They were mild but I laid in bed praying that they would stick around and get more intense. I slept on and off because they were so mellow. Around 4:15 I got up and started doing cat/cow cause I was beginning to need to move and by 4:30 AM I was in the Tub. I hadn’t woken Zat up yet but he heard me running the tub, so he came to check on me. The contractions were still mellow but starting to pick up. I knew it could be awhile so thought that being in the bath would relax me. I told Zat to wait until morning to call our amazing team, including my mom.
Around 6:30 AM he called everyone – our midwife, amazing Doula Priestess Sister Aleks, and my mom. My mom came soon after although I didn’t know that at the time. I was still in the tub. Mary arrived around 8 AM.
The surges were so intense. More intense than I could ever have conjured in my mind. There was no break. My mind kept thinking, “This is early… It’s only been 3 1/2 hours” but my body was experiencing such intensity. I remember a moment where I really understood why women choose epidurals. And I thanked the Goddess that many women around the world have choice in how they birth.
The bathtub wasn’t relaxing me or creating space as I had thought it would, between rushes. Mary checked me and said, “You are doing great.” As a former Doula, when your Midwife doesn’t say how far you are, you know you are not far. I asked her to tell me how dilated I was. I needed to know so that I could understand what was happening.
She said, “You are doing great. You are a good 3.” I couldn’t believe it. I felt disappointed. My body felt like I was in transition. The surges came one on top of the other. But I didn’t have time to dwell on my progress because another contraction arrived. She invited me to get more quiet, more relaxed. Not work so hard. And she asked me to get out of the tub and into bed where I could rest.
The thought of getting out of the tub and moving seemed impossible. But I did. I crawled from my bathroom to my bed. Mary laid behind me, snuggling me and told me to just breathe through the next 6 contractions. I tried. I really did. The first one came and I felt like lying down was the exact opposite that my body needed. I breathed, moaned, tried to get up. She kept telling me to relax and open.
In that moment, I could feel how trauma gets imprinted into the body. I could feel all the times I was told what to do from an outside perspective. I could feel the times when I ignored my intuition.
I couldn’t lay there. I couldn’t allow trauma to creep in. I couldn’t exile my roaring intuition. I moved off the bed, stepping back into the Mystery of this whole experience.
I wish I could say that throughout the whole experience I was Graceful and calm… but the truth is, my labor wasn’t calm. It felt like you were catapulting yourself off my Womb!
As a former Doula and Midwife Assistant, I pictured dancing to Snatam Kaur in the birth tub, candles lit everywhere, and rose petals covering the waters of the tub. That was not the energy that was present.
I was trying to hang in to this present moment, without checking out and remembering that the power of my surges was the power within me, that I carry. And that I was welcoming and meeting that power.
I crawled back to the bathroom where I laid on the floor. I was in there mostly by myself, unable to move. Just getting through each powerful wave moving through my body, bringing this babe Earthside.
Aleks, my dear Doula Priestess Sister rubbed my back at one point and I remember looking at her saying “This can’t be right.” Thinking in my head that it couldn’t be possible that I was barely 3 cm. And she said, “I know, it feels like you are splitting in two.”
Right after that, my mucous plug came out.
And then moments later, my water broke. With lots of meconium. I knew that much dark meconium was not a good sign. And I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was pushing. It was 9:45 AM.
Because of the meconium, Mary wanted to check me again and see how far along I was. Of course she also wanted to assess you to make sure that you were ok. She was deciding on whether or not we needed to transport to the hospital or stay at home.
I was 10 cm. I had dilated from 3 cm – 10cm in less than two hours. So, that was why I was experiencing no down time! The tissues of my cervix were melting away as this powerful gateway opened so quickly. It was like my cervix was catching up to my body’s rhythms.
People (pregnant women mostly) think fast labors are great. Get it over and done with. In actuality, they can be more intense because there is no gradual progression and spaciousness between surges. You are just in it from the beginning, with no breaks.
She told me I could begin to push. No water birth because of the meconium.
It felt like a relief to push, only because I knew this was the final stage and I was so ready for these surges to be done. But, this was way more “directed” pushing than I had envisioned only because they wanted you out in the world and make sure that you were healthy and safe.
And with the help of my two midwives and Aleks, my mom and Zat, I pushed you out my sweet baby boy in 45 minutes. It was the most painful, ecstatic experience to feel you pour out of my body. To feel you come through me and then into yourself. Also, it was pure bliss to have the surges disappear. Relief. Joy.
And you were completely healthy.
Born at 10:47 AM on February 26, 2016.
Weighing 9 pounds and 4 ounces!
And simply perfect.
We kept you attached to your placenta all day and in the evening, we took you outside and with a lit candle, burned your cord to gently separate you from your organ. This is a gentle practice we learned from Ibu Robin Lim.
Labor and birth was the most radical and transformational experience – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It was me doing what I needed to do to bring you down and through. And it was you who was staying tied and connected to me throughout the journey.
I stepped in to the dream realms. Into the Womb of all Creation.
It was fast. And painful.
It was intense.
It was cosmic.
And I did it for Love. For you to enter into the world with as much peace and quiet and gentleness as possible.
Thank you for walking me from Maiden through the portal and into Motherhood. I love you Ocean Poet.
You have forever changed me and how I look at life and Spirit.