I remember going to bed late on February 12th, 2003. My hubby regularly gave me Reiki every night before bed, and as I was drifting into sleep I felt the first contraction. My brain started working at top speed. I was remembering a story that the midwife couldn’t make it to Grandma’s second baby, who came really fast, and that my Mom’s labor with me was only two hours long. She barely made it to a hospital with my brother! With all this lineage and my healthy pregnancy, I had NO doubt that popping this baby out would be quick.
I got out of bed, woke my hubby up and we went for a walk, stopping and catching my breath every time a contraction hit. I waited until the reasonable hour of 6 am to call Marjie (our midwife). As we filled the birthing tub that occupied 1/3 of our yurt I was a little disappointed when Marjie said on the phone, “You’re having the baby today? Oh, no a Valentine baby!”
When Marjie arrived she examined me and gently coaxed me to stand up and move around. I didn’t want to! After a while I completely lost track of time. I felt the presence of my hubby and two midwives in the yurt, but I was totally immersed in my own world. Despite the pain and discomfort I felt calm and grounded. I knew that I was the only one who could accomplish this task. At some point, Renee my other midwife made me the BEST miso soup I’ve ever had (sorry, Mom!). My body needed the nutrients and felt like a sponge quickly soaking all the goodness up.
After a long while I felt an urge to push. I was not fully dilated and there was swelling inside. My eyes were closed most of the time, but I clearly remember the sight of Marjie putting some ice cubes in a plastic exam glove. Yes, that went up inside me to reduce the swelling. Did I feel it? Nope, not at all. As the labor went on I felt a big drop in my energy level. I asked Marjie in a frail voice, “Do I need to go to a hospital?” She answered, “No, it’s not even 24 hours, yet”. I wanted to give it all up. I wanted to go to a hospital to be done!
My hubby must have felt my despair! He had been quiet the whole time, but he made an announcement that he was calling Larry (an acupuncturist) for help. Yes! Why didn’t I think to call him sooner? He arrived shortly and inserted his needles. I felt a deep intense sensation. I shouted out a long call, ‘Laaaarrry!” He was like ah huh, yep, and smiled. I felt so much relief for about thirty minutes. After that, things happened really quickly.
After pushing for a short amount of time, the baby finally popped out! Immediately, the baby was placed on my chest, lifted its head up, wiggled up, found a booby, and latched on! I yelped with a shock. I had NO idea that such a tiny being could be so strong! I was just in awe from witnessing (and experiencing) the strong survival instinct of a tiny living being. I even forgot about finding out the baby’s gender until hubby mentioned it.
We had a beautiful girl with soft and fair skin, tiny cute nose and mouth, and chipmunk-like cheeks! She was born at 12:37 am on February 14th, 2003. Yep, I got to have a Valentine baby after all!
Now, this tinky-winky has grown up to be a caring, mature, and artistic teen! She is blessed with many caring friends and never speaks ill of others (this trait is what I am so proud of). She is one of the main reasons I decided to become an acupuncturist. Just like many other parents, my daughter’s happiness and good health mean my own happiness and I’m here to share this with my community and the world.
Image Credit: Yumiko Freeman