I am going to post my latest birth. The one that gave me some power. The one that amazes everyone. The one that makes people think that I am very strong and brave. The one that made me question my other births. The one that made me so on fire to change this corrupt maternity medical system, one mama at a time. The birth that showed me what "life" is really about.
I am not taking away from my other births, they were very special also. Special in a different way. The awe that I felt from them was from meeting my baby boys when I was able to. When I was "allowed" to meet them. When I was told what to do. That isn't fair to them or to me.
I was, however, given the short end of the "power" stick with those births. I was robbed.
I was not brave or crazy or excessively strong. I am a women just like you. I have doubts and pain too.
I had people asking me how quickly I called 911-never-in case you are wondering. I chose to believe and trust in my body, my Lord and my baby. Just as I trusted those same things to create, nourish and grow my baby, I also trusted them to peacefully release my baby.
I am forever changed by Zaccai's birth. I will never go back to the naive thinking that existed before. I am vocal now. I am powerful now.
The maternity system is failing and I will not GO DOWN with that ship. Oh No!! You will see no WHITE FLAG flying or the Olive Branch waving. I will fight for my future babies and the babies of my friends, sisters, granddaughters, strangers and women.
I pray to give encouragement, love and hope. Here goes:
Home birth? Maybe. Unassisted homebirth? No way. Never say never.
February 11, 2007 PM Cold winter day, snow in the forecast
“Mom, I just had a dream that you just stood up and your water broke and the baby just came out.” my son Izayah said to me a few days before my new son was born. I laughed and dismissed his dream and told him that that never happens, especially remembering my two previous long labors. Little did I know that I would owe him an apology later because he was right on the money.
“We are probably timing gas pains.” my mother giggled when I came into the room at a whopping 39 weeks pregnant. “Yah, probably.” I thought because of all of the previous preparatory cramping and false calls. We had been timing cramps for about an hour and they just disappeared, ending with no labor. I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night with more cramping. I refused to call my son’s daddy, Willie, to come home from work or my mother or my midwife until there was some type of rhyme or reason with the cramps.
The snow turned into a blizzard and my cramping turned into contractions and I called my mother. She arrived and called my midwife and Willie. I had five hard contractions and my twelve year old dreamer woke up and came to me. I told him that we had plenty of hours left before the baby would arrive. Thirteen minutes later, I stood up, my water broke and my baby crowned. With urgency in my voice, I started ordering Izayah around to find a blanket, find the Rescue Remedy, and find the phone to call Willie again. He had sleepy but wild eyes and dutifully started running around the room to find the things I was asking for. My mind couldn’t catch up with my body. With the next contraction, his head was out. The pain stopped and the world stopped. I looked out of the window at the snow and ice and was seeing the sun peaking over the mountain. My mind was racing, but everything was so still, so silent. I felt like I was watching this unfold on a movie or reading about it in a book. I quickly said to my mom, “He’s coming now! Catch him!” I was standing up and she was behind me. Prayers went up and hands went out. With the next contraction, he exploded into the world, posterior, just in time to see the sun rise.
“Mom, do you have him?” I shouted. With a slow, hushed voice she said “Yes, I have him.” Somehow, I got turned around and was sitting on my bed, holding this familiar stranger. I rubbed him, talked to him and poured Rescue Remedy on his feet and forehead until he was no longer blue and was breathing. He slowly looked back and forth, alert and stimulated, temporarily gazing in my eyes. No better time could have been planned for my new baby to invite me into undying, selfless devotion. He barely uttered a sound and began to nurse. I had this little secret lying on me. No one knew he was born, except those present, until I chose to tell them.
Willie came rushing through the door, after a 25 minute drive from work, thinking that I was in labor. He busted in the room only to find me lying there nursing our brand new little boy. My step mother arrived and forty five minutes later she talked me through the delivery of my placenta. A few hours later Willie cut the cord and buried the placenta. Since then, we have planted a blueberry bush over it. My four year old son awoke and then returned to sleep for a bit, not quite understanding the extent of what had just happened. We had breakfast and a birthday cake as my family trekked through the snow and ice to visit us. My baby didn’t cry for thirty hours. My midwife told me later that he didn’t have a reason to cry. We did not whisk him away to a plastic container. I realized that we deserved this type of bonding, skin to skin, no rubber gloves and no bright lights. He wasn’t washed of his protective covering and his cord was allowed to continue pumping the oxygen that rightfully belonged to him. I realized things were supposed to be like this. I was connected to women, from thousands of years past who delivered their babies without unnecessary medical intervention. I was proud of my body, in awe of my baby and so thankful that I was now lying in bed with my family watching the snow fall.