For years I have had the privilege to bear witness to and support over 100 labor and births, majority of them successfully occurring naturally. The most special to me tend to be the unassisted, untouched, primal births. Until I gave birth to baby Micah I had never experienced that level of magic and power in my own mind, body and soul. I was absolutely majested by it, and so honored to be accepted into that sacred space. And now Iâ€™m fascinated by it on a whole new level, because I have transcended into that realm, thanks to my beautiful rainbow baby boy. Here is my story.
I woke up around 530am on Feb 16th with cramping and lots of energy. A very peaceful feeling. Noah and Joshua could feel my vibrations and woke up in good moods as well several hours later. I had blueberry oatmeal for breakfast, went to target to pick up some staple grocery items, got an iced coffee from Starbucks and came back home. Noah and Joshua spent most of the day outside. After a pumpkin soup lunch, I laid down for a few hours, rotating positions, feeling very sleepy but could not sleep. Around 430pm I got a slight burst of energy and did dishes, swept, did some laundry, and then around 520pm I felt overwhelming hot and suffocated in our house and went outside. It was about 65 outside and a lovely cool cloudy day, as the sun began to set. Noah was watching a movie and Joshua was working on his car, I went to rock in the hammock, feeling light surges every so often that would bring nausea, sweating and a mid to lower back pain. Baby movements were wonderful and frequent, he shifted several times from LOA, ROA, and OA, kicking me lots in between, but I enjoyed feeling him.
The surges went away for a bit after sunset, but I could not stomach dinner except a couple bites and my pelvis was in quite a bit of pain, more than usual. I knew labor was coming that night/the next day! I cleaned the house some more obsessively until Noah went to sleep, then laid down, having occasionally strong cramps that were sporadic but deep.
Around 2am on feb 17th I could not sit/lay down any longer and decided to take a nice shower to see what would happen with them. They did not slow, but instead slightly intensified after the shower. I paced around the house and easily breathed and squatted through them for the first hour. I put on delta waves and felt very euphoric.
It wasnâ€™t until about 333 I remember looking at the clock, enjoying the fact that it was 333 and thinking wow these are pretty uncomfortable and seem to be coming non stop. This was also the time that the song on my birth playlist Hear You Me came on and it made me feel very warm and relaxed knowing my spirit baby Elian was with me. I did not see or feel any other spirits the entire time except his though I did hear words of encouragement that my friends had spoken at my mother blessing and otherwise! It was so helpful hearing their kind words in my mind to keep me on track, like I was wrapped in their love and not alone, even though I was physically alone!
I began to strongly need to be COLD but did not want to go outside even though it was in the 50s and would have cooled me down, because of the neighbors. I didnâ€™t want anyone to look at me or talk to me, not even something positive, I desired to be completely alone, in total darkness, naked, and accomplish this birth. I stuck my head in the freezer and would lay it down on the freezer door during contractions while I rocked and tip toe swayed and stomped my feet to get through the pressure. I found it very cathartic to watch the clock as I had contractions, noticing that most of them were two minutes apart and a minute long. I donâ€™t know why this was relieving to me, perhaps because it felt like progress. I was also utilizing the rebozo to press into my butt and give myself counter pressure as baby descended.
Around 445 I thought it would be wise to get into my bath tub. Even though the water being hot/warm was nauseating the water lifting my belly did bring some relief however I couldnâ€™t fully relax because my bath tub was too small. Noted – always have a birth tub on hand even if you strongly donâ€™t desire a water birth. I was desiring a soft birth tub to lay down in so bad, but ultimately glad I got to experience the land birth I desired initially. I lasted about 10 minutes in the tub.
Throughout this process my bowels kept clearing and I was able to pee very easily which was so nice. I donâ€™t know why that was a concern of mine prior to labor that I wouldnâ€™t be able to do either but it didnâ€™t end up being an issue. However, I HATED the toilet in labor, the contractions on it were awful and my bathroom, is not labor friendly I have found.
I went back to my freezer/clock station and continued my stomping and rocking and during some contractions I felt I could have ripped the freezer door off itâ€™s hinges. To pull on something sturdy felt so good. Low soft growls were my only vocalization. I felt like a lioness or a bear in labor, pacing, growling, getting close to the ground with my contractions. At this point it was coming up on 515. I was in full distress mode because my water hadnâ€™t broken and I thought I still had hours to go. I had never had a labor with my water intact. I was not sure how I could possibly continue on like this for even another hour. I just wanted to lay down and get a quick nap and then felt Iâ€™d be okay to continue but there was no laying down or sitting down possible!
That was when my next contraction came with a gentle bearing down and I was so thrilled. I knew either my water was about to break and I would get some relief or baby was coming out en caul. I called my birth photographer (my phone says I called her at 528) hoping she would make it as baby was crowning, thinking I still had another half hour plus to go probably. I was very wrong! Only 5 involuntary pushes and he shot out. Right before he crowned I ran from my standing freezer station to our small in home trampoline, knowing I didnâ€™t have the strength to catch him and that even if I called for Joshua he wouldnâ€™t have made it in the few seconds I had to make a decision.
I squatted on the trampoline and braced myself on the wall and felt my pelvis completely expand. The sensation was unbearable yet oddly comforting. I felt a strong burn as his head emerged, my water broke with it, not stopping to restitute at all, just a steady â€œhere I come!â€ and his body was born in the same push. FER is powerful as hell. I let out my one and only deep primal scream, and he was born into the trampoline covered in a soft wool blanket. Joshua woke to my scream and baby cries and I asked for the time quickly, 542am. I picked him up and was shaking so badly, all I could say was â€œoh my god hiâ€ over and over again. It was hard to breathe and collect myself, so surreal that it just occurred. He had zero crowning, molding, any discoloration or anything, he was absolutely perfect. Thank you to my chiropractor for obviously having him in the perfect position so he came out so effortlessly. I checked right away to see if the sneak peek test had accurately depicted a baby boy, and he in fact has a penis! And itâ€™s staying whole #YourWholeBaby thank you very much!
Joshua cried, rubbed my back, stared at baby and back at me, and told me I was so brave and beautiful, that I made a healthy big boy, got my goal and I should be proud. That this was MY birth and I didnâ€™t need anyone, and ooooo hoped I felt powerful. He tried to get Noah to come out but Noah wasnâ€™t ready to wake up. Joshua got me water, a blanket for baby, and went to lay back down.
Baby pooped all over me and himself SEVERAL times, luckily I had warm washcloths waiting for me in the crockpot to clean us up.
My birth photographer entered about 15 minutes after birth, took lots of pics of the first latch, baby, and me processing trying to get the placenta out. The placenta took about an hour, maybe slightly over. It was highly irritating and I wanted it out super bad, I couldnâ€™t even enjoy holding my baby fully because it was so obnoxiously sore and crampy, and I lost quite a bit of blood. I had never experienced an unmanaged third stage before.
I gave myself very gentle cord traction and massaged my belly to work it out as quickly as it could safely come.
When it came out, I felt so much relief but was exhausted and asked my photographer to come back at a later time when I was rested to do the other postpartum photos I wanted like baby weighing and family photos. She agreed and we said goodbye!
I got to bed, carrying my baby and placenta bowl, and Joshua made me soup, tea, and more upon my request to help rejuvenate me. We rested, then Noah woke up to snuggle and meet his brother, then Joshua and Noah burned the cord together and we went back to sleep.
Many say during their births they donâ€™t recall a lot, and went off to a different realm, I did not experience this. I felt very present and conscious the entire time and aware of my every move, feeling fairly rational and connected to my surroundings. I remember it all very well as I write this and can play it back in my mind easily. This was my first natural birth, home birth, and unassisted birth all in one. It was very different than my previous experiences but I have to say I donâ€™t blame anyone for not wanting to go natural. I feel it takes a lot of self control, trust, mental preparation and strength, itâ€™s a brutal but beautiful process. I feel it paved the best way for my second sons health and brought me peace as a woman to heal from my birth trauma and know that I can give birth, physiologically. If there was one thing I could change I would have been recording myself throughout the process, I was really loving my birth playlist and didnâ€™t think to get my laptop or camera or anything to record but I wish I could see myself as he was born. I also would have definitely desired a postpartum doula/Birthkeeper to help clean up, and do the newborn eval stuff for me so that could have been captured on photo. It was such a chill, independent experience but sometimes you just desire that feminine energy and understanding after from someone you trust and I would have really loved that even if just for an hour.
Micah is such a little blessing, coming in hot at:
7lbs 3oz (I for sure thought he was bigger!)
15 inch head – now thatâ€™s what was big, I felt that ðŸ˜‚ðŸ˜‚
21.5 inch body
42 weeks gestation
Stay tuned for articles on what I did with my placenta, tips for cord burning, how Joshua nourished me postpartum, advice for heavy blood loss like mine, and more that stemmed from this amazing freebirth experience!