One of the first questions anybody asks when they know you are pregnant is when is your due date the second is usually what are you having? The ultra sound indicated that we were having a girl whose estimated time of arrival was July 9th. We would call her Maile Raine.
One of the most exciting things after week 37 is waking up not knowing if this is the day that will change your life forever. You count down the days to your due date nesting (cleaning the house until it is spotless and shining), getting the baby room ready and your birthing equipment together. Everything was good to go and then I waited and waited. One of the most frustrating things waking up after your due date is that you are still pregnant!
However, it had to happen one day, and on July 17th in the morning during pre natal yoga with Kadi Mourningstar I started to feel cramping much stronger than before. I had chosen a home birth. Kadi confirmed I was going into labor (it is hard to recognize the early signs the first time) so I went home. My midwife came over and we set up a birthing pool in the living room. By the evening the dimmed light, candles and warm water felt great with my partner’s arms around me. However, by 11:00pm still no baby. My contractions were weak and not very painful, in fact not too bad at all. By 2:00am my midwife suggested we go for a moonlight walk and encouraged me to walk up and down my steep driveway. It was a beautiful night, and the palm trees looked magical, but I was still not dilating to the magical 10cm.
I remember thinking I was so grateful that both midwives attending the birth were born under a Taurus sun and the waning moon was in Taurus. We needed the patience and stubbornness of the bull not to give up with the steadfast knowledge that this baby would be born! They were amazing! I was also very grateful for Dominique (who was taking photos and cheer leading) and Brad (my partner) who were our constant source of encouragement.
Finally at 5:00am I had reached dilation and was ready to push. I tried every position under the now rising sun. By this time I was exhausted, as I had not slept through the night, but have to admit that the pain was still manageable and very mild. The baby was taking its time. I remember looking out of the screen window at the dawning light thinking this moment will pass! There will be an ending! I will soon be a mother!
At 8.59am after four hours of pushing! Yes four! ( My little baby actually had one hand behind its head, elbow out, as if leisurely floating down the birth canal but had a strong heart beat). While I was on my knees with my head in Brad’s lap, and the midwives behind me, our baby finally came out and to our big surprise our Maile Raine was a boy!
Even though I was exhausted I still had enough energy to laugh. We all laughed! He was beautiful and big at 8 pounds 8. He was my son! (Who wore light red for the first three months of his life).
Maui birth story.
Image Credit: Dominique Pandolfi