14 years ago today marks one of my greatest feats of my life. Not only did I give birth to my amazing son, but I succeeded in something I had worked hard and trained for, natural labor itself. Yes, I know every woman does it, and yes I know thousands and thousands of babies are born every day. But for me, it was a very special occasion. It was a pivotal point in my life, especially my life as a mother, and I want to share this with everyone.
I have been blessed to have two very special people in my life who have taught me life lessons in learning that not everything is as it seems, you don’t have to follow the norm and the conventional way of life. It is one thing to read about these type of people or watch them in the news protesting for our rights, clean water, animal welfare, etc, and it is quit another to be related to one. So, upon finding out I was pregnant with child #2, I took a visit down to my brother and his girlfriend and relaxed in a tiki hut located in the corner of the community garden he ran. I sat with another super cool mama who told me of her birth story. Her life and her story were was so out of my element at the time, yet got me thinking…. I want to do that, too. I want to be a mom with a cool birth story to share one day, and inspire positive, natural, birth experiences; NOT the one who just literally told the story of the hospital-epideral-episiotomy experience that wasn’t even aware that other options existed. No, not her.
Upon arriving home from my mini trip, I began investigating birth centers, prenatal yoga, nutrition, the difference in prenatal vitamins and every birthing option, book and video I could get my hands on. I met my midwife the following week, and she told me “you will prepare for this birthing experience just as you prepare for a marathon and triathlon, because THAT is how strenuous of an activity natural child birth is” Her name was Jamen, from the Labor of Love and I will NEVER forget her. She wore sneakers at our visits, and made sure I was doing my squats correctly.
Skipping to the fun stuff, I did just that. I did prenatal yoga daily, learned to meditate and how to turn with in for pain tolerance, ate healthier than I have EVER eaten my whole life, and for the first time in my life, I learned how to control and deal with my low blood platelets accurately ( Due to addressing this issue, even though I suffer from low blood platelets, the condition that killed my great grandmother during child birth, I didn’t even bleed one drop of blood during my delivery). Towards the end, I walked EVERY day for gravity to work its miracles on my baby dropping. (there are a couple of other techniques I used that are more personal, but extremely beneficial) When the day arrived, I delivered a miracle weighing 7 pounds and 2 ounces in the water, on my own, with only supervision from the midwife. NO pain medications. NO intrusive cuts. NO long hospital stay. Super mom delivered this baby in four hours start to finish. YES, it was the most excruciating pain I had ever experienced, but after pushing that baby out, I felt like I had just literally climbed Mount Everest. To me, it was running through the finish line of that race. Against all the advice, family and friends concerns and skepticism, I have a story to tell to help empower other moms, as I was empowered.
No one took my baby from my arms at any point (except to conduct the first initial APGAR testing). I held him until every last bit of blood drained from the umbilical cord, he received no unnecessary shots, and stayed skin to skin until two hours later when I went home. Yes, that is right. I went home. No stitches, and no muscle pain. Seriously, I was so up for days straight, not because the baby didn’t sleep, but because I was so ecstatic with my accomplishment.
From that point on, I didn’t follow the norm, and I never went back. I did everything just as I wanted to do. I home schooled a few years, took them to Montessori a few years, debating immunizations with Doctors, allowed beach days instead of school on many occasions, and fought against all odds, to be a stay at home mom. (which may have been the most difficult challenge of them all)
When I look at my son who is celebrating his birthday today, (and has been doing so for the past week, needless to say) I see that thru him, and my other two kids, I have truly learned, and continue to learn, important life lessons. You really do have the power to live the life you choose. Stepping out of that box could very well be the best decision you ever make.
Feel free to share your birth story in the comments below! As a mother, I think it is all something we love to tell and hear. I think it’s important for new mom’s to hear all their options. I wish I had!
Happy Birthday, my sweet Eli!
Your proud Mom,
PS. I am truly happy for all the doctors and hospitals that have been able to intervene and save mommies and babies. I have NOT taken this for granted, and thank God for their existence and all the miracles they have been able to accomplish as well.