I truly feel I was given a gift when I delivered my son. I lost my mom 2 days before and was in an incredible state of mind. I was in prodromal labor for days. I had lit my birth candle from my baby blessing. Several cm dilated and at 41 weeks. My midwives suggested I take calm (magnesium) and shower or bath and to rest because she knew in her heart he wasn't coming. I slept and woke up the next day to do some more work. They were good contractions. The kind that release endorphins and allow you to see colors so vividly. Where you can sense the leaves on the trees breathing. You can feel your oxygen feeding your body. Intense but with relief. He let me mourn one day, he let me rest and I did. I woke with some mild contractions and sent my husband to work. I insisted that my daughters stay home with me. I needed them close. They wanted to be home when I delivered but not actually present. We joked about it and had to have some conversations with how he would make his exit. I had them watch some beautiful water births just to have an idea even though I wouldn't be delivering in water. I decided to take a shower and asked my daughter to bring me some bone broth and a piece of toast and almond butter. I thought I should eat in case I go into labor and will need fuel and to be honest I felt no hunger. I took a hot shower and wow the contractions kicked up their intensity. I had to lie down in the shower and ride a few out. They were still a bit apart. I drank the broth but couldn't stomach the toast. I had nested like a mad woman. Remodeling a bit, painting and cleaning like crazy. I had prepped my bed for the home birth on that Monday 2 days prior. We called the midwives who happen to live just on the other side of my hill and I laid down in bed onto my side, Bradley style and prep for the next contraction. I can feel him and I know he's moving down into my pelvis with the contraction. I can feel the pressure and and then a gush, my water breaks. The warm water is so soothing and reality hits, he's coming. It's just the girls and I at home so ask Bella to call the midwives again and tell them my water broke and Shelly replied she was already packing and on her way. I ask Bella to call Richard. Richard arrives in less than 10 minutes (I have no idea how) and the midwives also. Bella and I had joked back and forth about her being my doula... her smarty pants looked up the meaning and it translated something close to birth slave and she was quick to decline. Little did she know... With a home birth you have a kit that has things you need to deliver at home. Bella sprung into action. Set up everything for me. Prepped the crockpot for my comfrey tea compresses. Laid everything out for the midwives all in between my contractions. She literally held my hand while I squeezed as hard as I could. I trained with Kathy Killibrew for my last 2 deliveries. I really trained...I only allowed my hand and forearm to tense with the peak of contractions. I forced my body to relax and work with contractions offering as little resistance as possible while crushing Bella's hand.
The Midwife arrives and sets up a few things.. (literally 12 minutes have passed since my water broke) she approaches me on my bed. I look her in the eye and said "I don't know how longer I can pace myself at this intensity." She replied calmly, yeah, you're having a big baby and it's time to push." (Kathy Killibrew told me more than once, when you think you can't take it any more your transitioning and it's time to push!)
It's suggested I get into a squat. I remember with my daughters it felt better being on my back but not with my son. Changing positions that close to delivery is very difficult. I manage to get on my knees but gravity and the pressure of my son is so intense. Another contraction is approaching and I just hadn't shifted my mindset to push. I was still trying to ride the waves and conserve energy. It's suggested Richard sits on a Swiss Ball propped against the headboard and I squat with my arms on his thighs with his arms under mine helping hold me up.
I very seriously ask for a moment "to get my shit together" so that I can get ready to push and I ride the next contraction on my knees.
It's time, I'm propped up and supported by Richie and realize both my girls are just to the left of me. My bedroom is a good sized room and we somehow ended up in the smallest corner of the room. All 6 of us. I have my girls next to me. Neither want to leave. The contraction hits and I'm moaning, pushing with my might and I can feel him working his way out head through the cervix. I look to the girls after the first contraction to let them know I'm loud to let the energy out and that I'm okay. Payton is smiling at me and silently clapping. She has no worry, only anticipation. Bella is serious but more mind blown and taking a few pictures. Haize preps the comfrey tea compresses and it's heaven. The pain and burning is reduced so much. Why doesn't everyone get this? The next contraction hits and I work. I work hard. Shelley uses her fingers and touches my muscles inside and says use these to push. (So amazing to be able to have someone help me and show me what to do) I am working and I feel his shoulders. They are big. (I never felt the girls shoulders.) I feel so much pressure, I feel my pubic bone stretching and then my pubic symphysis gap and separate and then no pressure at all as he shoots out of me, (yes. Literally shoots out of me) and Shelly catches him. I grab him but have a short umbilical cord (just like Bella) so I'm unable to pull him up to my breast. Payton immediately asks "What's his name?" We just weren't sure what his name would be. I'm still trying to get a look at him. We wait a bit and then Richard cuts Wyatt's umbilical cord. For some reason my placenta was being stubborn so Richie held Wyatt and I took some homeopaths to encourage my placental to detach and the midwives worked on me. Bella my gorgeous kind beautifully souled number one was my doula. She held my hand, prepped, and photographed the delivery. I stole her energy that day, I absorbed her greatness and she held me while I delivered my placenta. My legs were jello from the work I had done. She held me up! With her love and strength she was my doula.
I ate a bit and rested and held Wyatt and nursed and he pooped a lot. Next they helped me to shower and I took an amazing shower. I smelled like a hippie at Woodstock. That intense sweaty hormonally charged sweat. It felt amazing. They helped me out of the shower and into my very own bed. I think Shelly needed to check me and I had a tiny tear. She said well "I know you American girls are oochy for their Coochie so if you want the stitch I can do it." I had her do it. We planned healthy food for the midwives and everyone ate. It was nice and calm and genuine. Best of all I was in my space. I cannot say had I had to be anywhere else or have anyone else with me I may not have been able to do this. Like I did... It was with ease Wyatt came into this world over 10 lbs. Surrounded by love in the most saddest time of my life. Haize looked at me when I was prepping to push. I had only met her a few times but she looked right at me and called me a birthing goddess. At the time I didn't embrace it. I thought to myself later... what a compliment, what an empowerment she gifted me that day with her energy and love. Shelly gave me the delivery I had dreamed of. They gifted me so much that day, without knowing, they helped change my future generations, my legacy for my girls and their deliveries to know what labor can be like. It doesn't have to be scary, or crazy or medicated or even in a hospital. I share their tips and secrets if you will with patients, family and friends. Seannie came and did my postpartum visit the next day and helped me with Wyatt's latch. I had the dream team of home births living just on the side of the hill. I hit a few bumps in the road during the pregnancy, but with their guidance I kicked ass. I am a woman. I am strong. I am mother. I am my mother. I am her and she is me and now I pass that on to them.
The next 4 years have been surreal. I promised my mom I would not sour my milk with sadness. That I would be strong and make her proud and care for my babies since they would need me. I have been in auto pilot, living my life focusing on family. Being kind but trying never to think for too long. I write this as a release. I have had so many asking me to share this story but it's tough to share. I have been practicing saying my mom passed away. Anyone who has lost a parent will understand that sometimes grief hits whenever it wants. It's awful knowing Wyatt will never hear her in her accent speak sweetness into his ears in Spanish or feel one of her hugs and feel her absolute undivided attention.
This is only my story from my heart. Not intended to compare pregnancies or deliveries or methods of mourning. Wyatt's delivery is the BEST of my 3. My most favorite of 3 and I'm sure it's because I was home. Today he is 4!
Bella- Birth Center Birth with Tonya Brooks
Payton- Hospital Birth with Selena Lantry