At 10:30pm, the night of my due date, I went into labor. I called my midwife and told her that I would keep her posted as to the progression. My husband, Ariel, put our 3 year old son to bed and I started to prepare for the journey: I took a shower, surrounded myself with images of earth mothers, got out the crystals, burned some sage and said some prayers. Contractions were coming about every 15 minutes and I laid down to get some rest. Ariel joined me at 2am and we laid together riding the waves of contractions, about every 10 minutes. Things got pretty intense around 3am and it was time to set up the birthing pool. While Ariel got things ready, I retreated to the confines of our walk in closet and felt the primal-ness take over. It felt like I was starting to trip. My legs were shaking. My mouth was dry. I felt a cold chill up my spine and I slipped into another level of consciousness, present and raw. Labor is one of those rare instances in life where there’s no turning back or quitting.
All I could do was SURRENDER.
As I slid into the warm water of the birthing pool, I relaxed and let a few moments of relief take over me. Contractions kept coming, each time more intense. Ariel poured hot water on my back over and over.
“What the hell am I doing, I can’t do this!”
“I said I was never doing this again!”
“Okay okay okay BREATHE!”
“Let go, soft and open,”
“There are drugs to make this pain go away!!”
“Relax, Open lips, open hips”
“Soft and open, soft and open, soft and open”
“Blow bubbles, relax your mouth.”
“Open lips, open hips open lips open hips.”
“Sing a song.”
“No breaks, one after the other.”
“Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.”
“Be the sensation, don’t be afraid of it. Stay on top of it.”
4:09am. “Okay Ariel, it’s time to call our Midwife.” He leaves to call and I hear Sebastian wake up. Ariel goes to him and an energy throws me back on to all fours and I feel air leaving my yoni. Was that a push?! Before I had time to process, another one, I bear down and the energy floods my open channel and baby pushes out. I reach around and feel my baby. “That’s not a head! Oh my God, that’s a butt! ARIELLLLLL!!!”
The energy throws my body around 180 degrees. I feel the spiral of the force spin me around, and baby spirals out into the water. I’m on my back and look down and see the cord around my baby’s neck. I reach down, unwrap it, pull my baby from the water and bring him to my chest. Breathe!
With a cough he lets out a scream and I lead him to the breast. He suckles. Ariel and Sebastian come in and Seba says, “Baby came out, mommy?”
“Yes, baby came out!” Just like that! In disbelief, awe and AMAZEMENT.
I deliver a healthy placenta but then start to bleed, and a horrendous pain took over. My uterus was contracting and I began to pant like a wild animal. The midwives had by now arrived and help keep me contracting. I am then fed my placenta, two raw cuts tucked in either cheek. Iron and protein – the blood of the mother, the life force of the unborn child, which helps me gain strength. I stabilize, now 4 little stitches.
I fell asleep with baby suckling, in love and awe with it all.
Image Credit: Nicole Bianchi