Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Your Birth Was My Favorite

Welcome to the June 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Embracing Your Birth Experience
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about at least one part of their birth experience that they can hold up and cherish.
My darling Ariana, your birth was my favorite.  You are my firstborn, and it was all so incredibly fresh and new.  I woke up early with contractions ten minutes apart, although they didn't really hurt.  I went and taught 6 hours of high school and middle school, smiling to myself as they continued every ten minutes.  We actually went to the hospital a few times before they let me stay--I was so excited about meeting you!  Just before the last time, I was having to work quite a bit through each rush.  I would pull on the tall post by our bed just like pictures of some of the indigenous women that I have seen.  I didn't see the pictures till later, but it just felt right.  Between contractions, I read Calvin and Hobbes and wondered if you would share my sense of humor.

After we got to the hospital, I had an epidural and had to stay in bed.  Your daddy and I held hands and whispered, our eyes already overflowing with joy in you.  I tore a lot as you came out, but there was no pain at all.  Just delight in finally meeting you.  We snuggled and cuddled, and watched the snowflakes through the window.  You made my heart warmer than hot chocolate.  You are my friend as well as my daughter, and you still make my heart sing.

My beloved Joelito, your birth was my favorite.  Although we were so very, very excited to meet you, whenever I think of your birth, I think of peace.  I couldn't feel the contractions at all after the epidural, and was so surprised when they told me that you were ready to be born.  The lights were turned so low, we were all relaxed and sleepy.  There was a hushed reverence in every voice.  The nurse quietly asked if I would like to see you be born, and positioned a mirror.  The OB told me that you were so close to coming out that even a sneeze would push you out, and he was right.  The tiniest of pushes, and I got to see you slide right out, so very small and perfect.  You are the only one that I saw be born, and I will never forget.  Your birth was the most tranquil and peaceful of all, my favorite boy, and I seemed to see both a glimmer of laughter in your eyes and a stability and confidence, even though you were a newborn.  You are a faith-child, and you will accomplish amazing things.  Your birth taught me to breathe in peace, and to be fully aware of the wonder in each moment.

My precious Elenita, your birth was my favorite.  From the very beginning of pregnancy, it felt as though God and I were sharing a secret.  I was so sure that you needed to be born naturally.  I'll be honest--I wasn't sure that I could do it.  I was a bit afraid, but I knew I had to.  What an exhilarating ride that turned out to be!  I labored at home with Heather, and couldn't believe how manageable it was.  We went to the hospital and they were playing the stupidest movie ever--one of the Planet of the Apes sequels.  Even that obnoxiousness couldn't get to me, though, because I was too focused on meeting you.

I started to push, my water broke, and Dr. Bob's face went white as a sheet.  You had a prolapsed cord.  It was a God-thing that he didn't try for an emergency C-section, but just yelled for me to push and get you out now.  It was a God-thing that Heather was there to tell me in a quiet voice that you needed to be born right then.  It is a God-thing that you were born so quickly, without any heart decelerations.  After you were safely here, our OB told me that if I had had an epidural and pitocin, you would have died or been severely brain damaged.  I still get chills thinking of it.  My warrior princess, your birth taught me to listen and trust, and that I was stronger than I knew.

My adorable Amaya, my sweet night rain, your birth was my favorite.  I knew by this time that I wanted a home birth.  The funny thing is that nearly every night, I dreamed I was giving birth to you, and I was never at home.  I was so much more comfortable with my body, with pregnancy and with birth in general by the time you were here.  Heather was so incredibly generous with her gift of being our midwife.  I could never thank her enough for all she did.  The contractions started exactly when I had finished turning in grades from the summer classes, and as I labored with you, I was so tired.  Things kept slowing down more and more, and my fear started to grow.  When we finally transferred to the hospital, I felt like a failure and I was so scared.  We prayed so hard.

And God honored my desire for a home birth in ways I never could have imagined.  The nurses gave me a birth ball and were so kind.  The OB on call was respectful and did something unheard of in our state by allowing Heather to catch.  We did pitocin for a few minutes--yeeeouch!--and then stopped.  I was still on all fours, the only bearable position, when he broke my water.  Those were the only interventions.  Then I felt you slide lower and begin to crown.  I reached down and felt your curls as your head emerged.  That is one of the best moments of my entire life.  I was the first one to touch you.  What an indescribable gift!  The ring of fire was nothing compared to the joy of feeling you be born, all nine pounds, six ounces (and that nuchal hand--no wonder you took a little time to work your way down!).  Even though we were in a hospital, I still got everything that I had hoped for in your birth.  They never washed you, and all that sweet vernix seemed to make your skin even softer than most babies.  I stroked you and nursed you and gazed into your eyes with tears of joy and thankfulness making you look all blurry.  You are contentment, our laughter-child.

My precious kidlets, each of you had a very different birth.  But each one brought something unspeakably glorious.  Your births were my favorites.



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon June 12 with all the carnival links.)


Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Dulce, you are number 34 on my Carnival reading list, and I'm sitting here with tear-streaked cheeks. I love every one of these birth stories, what a beautiful way to present them. Thank you.

Lindsay said...

Awwww. So sweet to hear about how different and precious the births of your children were. I love that you can find so much to be happy about with each one!

Anonymous said...

How beautiful. At first I thought, "Oh she must only have one child, to make that statement!" Then I got it. :) I feel the same way about both of my births, they were special in their own way. And I cannot wait to homebirth. Thank you for sharing.

Hippie Housewife said...

Dulce, this was such an incredibly moving post. Thank you for sharing your stories.

Also, you make absolutely beautiful babies!

Emily said...

Oh my goodness, your birth stories brought tears to my eyes! You are such a strong loving mama! Thank you for sharing. We're planning our second birth (and first home birth) for our next baby who is coming near the beginning of December. I've been having irrational fears about an eventual hospital transfer (I say irrational because you never know what will happen but my daughter was born without intervention at an out of hospital birth center with no transfer needed) but hearing your stories has reminded to that each birth is different and wonderful regardless of what happens!

Kenna Lee said...

What a beautiful love letter to your children. I might have to steal that idea sometime for my own little ones.

crunchyfarmbaby said...

How absolutely beautiful.

Rose ASL said...

Wow, this is so sweet. It's how I feel about my kids' births too. Each one had its beauty.

Adrienne said...

Love this!! And it encourages me to have more babies. :)

Summer said...

So sweet! Loved the variety and splendor in every birth. What a blessing to have such fond reflections.

Andrea @ talesofgoodness said...

Seriously I am crying now. This is touching. Thank you.

Alinka @ Baby Web said...

Your story is so beautify and moving :) I hope my midwives will also take me by surprise telling me my baby will be ready to be born when I will be in labor next month!