I stayed in bed all day on my 34th birthday
The world outside was alive and beautiful -full of early spring blooms
A bouquet of lilac was on my windowsill, filling the room with its perfume.
The windows open to the softest spring breeze
And the sweetest bud of life was breathing softly in my arms, a two day old baby girl/
She surprised me, coming a day before I hit 40 weeks, coming in the morning with the birdsong/
Three days earlier I was slowly tramping up the hillsides to say hello to some of my favorite flower friends
I started feeling contractions that night as I sorted through some gifted second hand baby clothes
I slept a little before i was up with Chris around 1am
Birth is like the sunrise: as natural and with as much ease.
Yes there’s pain but it’s not the pain of a sudden accident crashing a bone or losing a limb.
Birth happens in the space of moments or even hours or even days as the body opens up-
And if you’ve prepared your body, and if you trust the process
You’re much more set up for experiencing the natural chemical high that occurs at birth.
Birth can be one of the most satisfying experiences in your life.
I worked with a lot of plant medicines;
To prepare the cervix and the uterus-
To help with my extreme anxiety throughout my pregnancy –
i prayed to my guides and angels-
I exercised and did stretches
Because birth is a physical endurance
And if you exercise and maintain your strength recovery is much quicker as well-
The day before I went into labor I was so tired/ I was at my parents house and I just laid on the grass in the front yard
The following night the Braxton Hicks were strong -I was used to them, particularly since I was on an herbal formula to help the body prepare for labor. My midwife had recommended this blend to me since my last two pregnancies were 42 weeks long.
There was a pinch in the cervix that caught my attention –
Since I know that labor can be 72 hours long and false labor is common near the end of pregnancies I didn’t want to think too much of it so I went to bed-
I woke up at 1am with a deep rumbling earthquake in my lower back and cervix .
I texted my midwife after we had timed the contractions for a bit,
And I took a hot shower with the hopes of relieving the intense back pain and slowing down the contractions so I could get more sleep-
The back labor had me suspect that the baby was turned the wrong way-
A baby not in the proper position over the cervix will prolong labor and and the contractions or surges will be less effective.
Over text my midwife recommended a few laboring positions: one with my butt up, on my hands and knees-
And then laying on my left side, of my left leg straight and my right knee pulled up as far as I could pull it up propped on pillows turn to the side
To position baby to better position baby-
Contractions slowed to every 10 minutes and I was able to slip into sleep between them while Chris pushed on my lower back and counterpressured. this went on till about 6 AM.
My sweet baby was in a better position and labor really hit the gas- told the midwife to come. I hopped in the shower again and put my leg up on the side of the shower tub for the surges to *really really *allow them and to imagine myself opening for my baby, and I lost my mucous plug. I could already feel the pressure of her head over my cervix.
Labor was intense and productive- the midwife came and I sat backwards on the toilet and sat through some really intense surges– it was already feeling like it was time to push— I didn’t know how much longer I could take it -Viola, transition—
I think the best part about this pregnancy was I had full autonomy over my body.
Birthing in a hospital can be traumatic for those who are survivors of sexual abuse. You know how many times some strangers hand is around and up your genitals without asking you? You have to work really hard to advocate for yourself in a hospital:: Throughout this pregnancy I had no cervical checks no Pap smear no glucose test NO WEIGH INS :p
Because I didn’t want them. And my midwife did not bother me about it.
Well after I labored on the toilet I had my very first cervical check, my midwife was so kind and respectful–
She said I was fully opened and the babies head was engaged and I was so happy because she thought that she had gotten there too soon.
I got on my hands and knees on the bed to start pushing.
It was so different with my birth with my second son, Lincoln. I was not calm or relaxed. I was tense through every contraction and I labored for more than 20 hours with him in the wrong position- it was exhausting.
This birth the baby was in a good position, I had taken really good care of myself throughout the pregnancy, and surges or contractions were super productive and none of them went to waste because I allowed my body to open.
Chris, my husband and soulmate, was there with me through every surge and pushed on my hips or pushed on my lower back and really rode that roller coaster with me.
I started pushing. I could feel the bag of waters bulging at the opening of my body. I push harder and harder / my roar is deep in my throat, deep from within my body. Windows open, morning sunshine and spring bird song pouring into the bedroom/
and pop –big splash!
I’m pushing and roaring, Chris is pushing on my back and I’m really into rocking on my hands and knees while I push and rock this baby out of me. I felt her head go beneath my pubic bone into the birth canal, and I pushed her head out! i felt her, just as eager as I was.
I took a few breaths that way—
Started pushing again and really really excited to get those baby out of me
So stunned that it’s finally actually happening and I am done with my pregnancy!
I push her body out- I had envisioned catching my own baby but my legs had fallen asleep as I was on my hands and knees pushing, and It was the only time I panicked during birth and I yelped “my legs are asleep!” my husband and my midwife squeezed them for me so I could get back to pushing, so I just stayed how I was and birthed my baby out on the bed, into my midwife and husbands hands. I turned back and saw her laying on the bed– so excited so relieved so in love so shocked in disbelief that I had already birthed a baby!
I had her against my body, at my breast, and birthed the placenta—- my baby, my baby.
“You’re here! We’ve been waiting for you.”
Nothing else mattered I was free from my exhausting and soul crushing pregnancy. I didn’t have to worry about how birth would go. I felt as light as a feather, so thankful for a birth free from complications.
Watching my husband with our tiny daughter.
it didn’t take us long to venture out of the nest– to be fair i tried my best to stay down for 4 weeks,
but the flowers were blooming outside and I was doing well enough and
before Sprig was 3 weeks old we were wandering through lupin blooms.
birth was smooth, such a gift to bring a child into the spring time blossoming world.
pregnancy was difficult, a strange journey for me — truly transformational and at times harrowing.
but it’s over! and Sprig Silene Persephone is here. I’m thrilled to be her mother; to be out in the forest, raising a daughter.
we spend our days together, quiet and wild and primal.
the child from my greatest and most magical love.