Updated: Mar 24
To me, my birth story began in the middle of my pregnancy when I decided I did not want to give birth in a hospital setting.
I’ve always been a black sheep in my family doing things out of the ordinary, and I like it that way . So naturally, when I became pregnant I wanted to find the best fit for me. A friend of mine at that time was also pregnant with her first and it was exciting to share the experience and vision of a more ‘natural’ pregnancy and birth. I decided I wanted to talk to a midwife, which was not something I had ever really thought about before I became pregnant. My friend found a group of midwives called Moonstone Midwives and recommended them to me. We had been visiting family in Arizona and when we returned home we made an appointment and fell in love with each midwife we met. We decided to hire these amazing women and to have our baby at their birth center.
My husband and I were living on our family’s beautiful, rural land in Northern California. We had all the ingredients for a recipe of a serene pregnancy. The only hiccup was that we lived a little over 2 hours away from the birth center. Up until I went into labor I wondered how we would make the drive and what it would look like, but I am a woman of faith and I trusted my body and most importantly, God.
It was 3am and I was up like an owl watching my favorite reruns of the 1960’s Addams family show when I felt the first contraction. My husband had worked so hard that day and even though I wanted to wake him right then, I waited for an hour to see if it was the real deal. After an hour of constant contractions that were getting more and more intense, I woke my husband and my aunt and we drove the rough, winding mountain road to the birth center. I remember putting on my favorite playlist and eating some strawberry honey Greek yogurt. I also remember the smell of the skunk that sprayed our tire, nauseating me the whole way. I made my husband go to the car wash as soon as we got into town.
When we got to the birth center, I was still in early labor so we decided to go to our family’s house (where we would stay the week after the birth) to rest and recoup and return when labor was in full swing. By this point it must have been around noon and I was so exhausted but too excited to really take a nap (which now, as a doula, is the reason I urge mamas to rest as much as possible in early labor).
Labor started to kick in full force around 6 pm and we headed back to the birth center. I tried many times to walk and labor on the ball but I was so exhausted that it felt unsafe. I labored mainly on the bed with two pillows between my legs to aid dilation. My friend and my aunt would come in to put on my favorite songs and tell me they loved me but really they perfectly sensed that all I wanted was to be alone with my husband. He stayed by my side the whole time, holding me, getting me water, rubbing me, moving with me, whispering “you’re amazing, you’re doing such a great job” and telling me how beautiful I was. It was really such an intimate time for us to share together. I remember the midwives' words as they would come in and softly say “imagine opening up like a flower” and “visualize fresh water rushing through your body and out”. This was so special because as an exercise during pregnancy I drew my vision for my birth and it was my husband and I standing near a strong tree, in a field of flowers with water flowing around us.
My labor was long! Right as I thought I would give up, transition hit and I got into the tub. I got a second wind and the midwives told me how I needed to push. I pushed my sweet son out in about 15 minutes and my husband caught him in the water. At 6:55am I held my precious new baby for the first time. I felt overwhelmed with love, hope, strength, courage and questions. I waddled out of the tub and up in the bed where I birthed my placenta and placed my baby to my breast for his first feeding. My husband and I looked at each other each and our new baby, more in love than we ever thought possible. It's amazing how fast our perspective on life can change. After the midwives checked us and we got the green light, we got in the car and drove to our family home. My husband and I spent the week staring at our baby and not sleeping. Then, and now, all my thanks is to God for making me a mother and giving me the best little teacher. Allowing me to surrender to the great Love and believing that I will be shown how to be worthy of raising my little humans.