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Beautiful Home Birth Story of Baby 5: Keys to Transforming Fear

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“The birth of Ezra was one of redemption and renewed faith in letting go and letting love be our covering. The whole pregnancy I had to ignore toxic fear, and just believe that he was going to be okay and we were going to be okay. With my four previous births, I delivered naturally, at home with a midwife and at a birth center in Norway where my husband is from. Each birth is story written in my mind, body and soul as a testament of faithfulness, strength and lessons discovered through seasons and growth ... separation and fulfillment. Somewhere in the practice of ignoring fear, I became ready for a birth that til this day, I'm at a loss for words on how to describe other than that I was so present that I could anticipate his decent, and catch him in a little less than two hours.                   

On December 3rd, the kids, my husband and I were doing what we had for weeks leading up to that day, preparing to meet the baby. For the kids, preparing was coloring pictures for the baby, talking about him and folding a handmade blanket over and over that my seven and six year old had made for him. For me it was cleaning, resting, eating a good meal and resting some more, going on walks, drinking herbal teas, watching the lunar phases and talking with my birth team. For my husband it was preparing the pool, helping with the kids and cleaning. On the morning of the third he picked up an early dinner for the two of us from our favorite Indian restaurant and when he came home, we sat down to eat. When I stood up, my water broke and we looked at each other with shock. It was 4:15 in the afternoon and this was it! 


I texted and called the birth team, my family and our friend who was going to keep the younger kids. Gathering the kids, getting into more comfortable clothes and Gaute filling the pool up, I had quickly progressed to contractions that were 3-6 minutes apart… deep, piercing and I would soon have to stop and go into a separate room to cope quietly as the friend arrived to bring the kids to her house. Anelyn stayed with us and I just knew that the baby would be born within a couple of hours. The midwife, Bethany, my friend Amber who's a doula and photographer and a midwife's assistant arrived soon after I had texted. Shortly after they arrived and checked on the baby, I got into the pool to labor through the deeper contractions. So close. 


The sun was going down, the water was warm, as the contractions came, in my mind I whispered and thought comforting and peaceful thoughts… ‘This is good, it's okay, I'm okay, this is good, I love you, baby, you're doing it, I'm doing it, you will be here soon, breathe, he'll be here soon.’ I said that it would be, ‘Just a couple more contractions.’ Sure enough, two more contractions and he was presenting, I reached down and pushed 1,2,3 and he was in my arms. I just wept and wept... It was 6:04 pm and he was in my arms, so perfect and peaceful. I wept a tears of joy and pure shock that I was gifted such a beautiful and empowering birth, I looked at my husband and his face was glowing with tears, my daughter was leaning over to get a look at her new baby brother that she prayed for, a dear sweet baby to love. The birth team surrounded us with love, supporting, documenting, celebrating and serving so peacefully. This was the Birth of Ezra.

Thank you for your powerful and inspiring work and allowing moms share our stories.”

Rockstar Mama: Christan R @mommareveur 

Awesome Photographer: Amber Rhodes IG @amberdenaephotography and @amberhodes 

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There are so many wonderful ways to transform fear so common today, and have a beautiful empowering birth at home, in a birthing center or hospital. Excellent childbirth education and preparation in advance are crucial, and a major reason why I created my Love Your Birth course. It is a comprehensive online course that teaches women what they need to know about planning and carrying out the birth that they want in all settings - the hospital, birthing center or at home. It’s a course on how to have a holistic, healthy pregnancy for the body, mind, and soul - and is how I have guided thousands of women and their families in my midwifery practice for over 21 years. It contains a rolodex of my favorite resources with over 200 of the best books, movies and supplies I use personally and professionally with my clients, family & friends. Even diving into a fraction of this list will have you feeling empowered and prepared for conception, pregnancy, postpartum and parenting...It includes resources on improving and even ensuring ensuring healthier pregnancy and birth outcomes than the status quo, and preventing and healing from birth trauma so prevalent in the modern world!  Be prepared to do some research on your own, but knowledge restores your power. I also help you prepare your mindset for such a task, to debunk myths, and to reframe any current ideas or conditioning about pregnancy and birth that can use a change in perspective or that are simply incorrect and do serve you. After finishing the course, the idea is that you are now able to create and have the healthy, beautiful and empowering pregnancy and birth that you want. 

You can get a free nugget from my course - all about creating your ideal birth plan here. A huge part of having a birth of your dreams is getting clear your birth preferences, knowing the pros and cons about all the tests and procedures, all the interventions your may be faced with, so you can make informed decisions - rather than simply give over your body, your choice and voice to your health care providers and institution you choose.

  “Anne Margolis was my incredible midwife. She is practical, science-based, and vastly experienced, but most importantly, she’s an awakened woman here to light the path to your most joyful self. Anne is the incredible midwife who taught me, through this process, how to midwife my own patients’ rebirth experience. Her own educational course is a deep but manageable dive into her accumulated wisdom, packaged for your journey. Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.Yours in the truth.”    — Dr. Kelly Brogan MD

“Anne Margolis was my incredible midwife. She is practical, science-based, and vastly experienced, but most importantly, she’s an awakened woman here to light the path to your most joyful self. Anne is the incredible midwife who taught me, through this process, how to midwife my own patients’ rebirth experience.
Her own educational course is a deep but manageable dive into her accumulated wisdom, packaged for your journey. Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.Yours in the truth.”

— Dr. Kelly Brogan MD

I have a holistic approach to life, including healing after pregnancy and birthing. Nothing replaces abdominal toning and exercise for restoring muscle strength and tone - which I encourage for all mamas as soon as they feel up to it postpartum. Nothing replaces touch, slow deep abdominal breathing, and a 'love your postpartum body' perspective that I promote.  But I have found many mamas simply feel comforted by this support garment, especially early postpartum and temporarily as needed....to be used without forfeiting abdominal toning and strengthening exercise, breathing well and touch. I have found Bellefit supportive garments to help like they use belly binding around the world such as in Indonesia. They do aid in early postpartum healing and provide support many mamas feel comforted by. I deal with human beings and the reality is many postpartum mom's struggle with body image, feel frustrated that getting back to themselves takes longer than expected. Being into holistic health and healing includes being sensitive to real human struggles - the mind, body, heart and soul of each person and their unique situation. Having helped countless women with these issues after having a baby as a midwife, I have found many still love that binding and feel better with this support, and ability to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and sooner than they would if they went through a C-section or natural childbirth recovery without it - especially when they have to dress up and fit into a certain favorite outfit for a special occasion or wedding not long after having a baby.

For more info on the Bellefit girdle, check out my blog about it hereHave a Great Postpartum Recovery (with a little help from Bellefit)!

I am thrilled to announce that you get a $20 Off with code: ANNE20 at checkout - if you purchase here.





Healing VBAC Birth Story

 
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“My first birth was a natural birth gone wild - my sons leg came out after 24 hours of natural labor - - so this VBAC was soooooo healing for me!!!!

I still cry thinking about both births!” Kimberly Spair of Reclaimers of Health

Here is a glimpse into my birth story, written by Birth Doula https://philadelphiabirthdoulas.com/ 

VBAC baby girl arrived on November 9 after 48 hours birthing!! (Vaginal birth after cesarean!) Past her October guess date it began November 7 at 8 pm and after exactly 48 hours of unmedicated birthing, Hypno-baby Braelyn Mae arrived our world at 7:55 pm naturally at 9 lb 4 oz. After over a day of consistent pressure waves (contractions) exhausted still at 4cm, mom released her emotions and fears about a repeat cesarean. Her first birth was scary and traumatic. She expressed her fears and replayed trauma of her first birth with us. We honored her, we reminded her that this is a new beautiful birth, and that she was doing it.

Birth was filled with beautiful intense emotions, physical challenges, consistent counter pressure, and mom continued to change positions, in and out of the birthing tub, using her natural instincts and accepted every suggestion to birth her baby. Mom pushed for 4-5 hours and then her moment was here… she reached down and their beautiful baby girl was in her arms.

“Fear is what got me through. I was MORE afraid of a c-section and more trauma. My birth was extremely hard-but not traumatic! I guess I can say “old fear” because I had very little fear of going naturally.” She shared and released her fears with us although what WE saw throughout her entire birth was fear that she overcame with COURAGE, STRENGTH, DETERMINATION, AND CONFIDENCE.

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It was an honor and joy to be part of this special family’s beautiful birthing. They mean so much to me. We were fortunate to have a calm, supportive environment and to work with an incredible midwife. All birth is beautiful, all birth is unique. Going on 6 years as a doula this birth experience was truly unique to any birth I’ve had the opportunity to support. I can’t possibly describe this 2-day birth in an announcement. One strong mama! Mama, You inspire me and I thank you for inviting me in to be a small part of your pregnancy and birthing journey. So proud of you. You did it! Thank you for sharing your birth as I know you inspire many other families. Congratulations to a very special family of four. #VBAC #Hypnobabies #unmedicatedbirth #VBACaccomplished #VBACthat #wowbirth #ilovewhatidoula

Was your birth upsetting or traumatic? Do you have more questions about processing your birth and need help healing? Arrange some time to chat with me. I’d love to answer your questions and help you heal and get yourself back - I have a program specifically got you, that can also include this revolutionary and last natural healing modality called Clarity Breathwork.  Helping women heal from birth trauma is one of my passions and areas of expertise. 

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This is why excellent childbirth education is a must, why planning for your birth is so important today, and is a major reason why I created my Love Your Birth course. It is a comprehensive online course that teaches women what they need to know about planning and carrying out the birth that they want in all settings - the hospital, birthing center or at home. It’s a course on how to have a holistic, healthy pregnancy for the body, mind, and soul - and is how I have guided thousands of women and their families in my midwifery practice for over 21 years. It contains a rolodex of my favorite resources with over 200 of the best books, movies and supplies I use personally and professionally with my clients, family & friends. Even diving into a fraction of this list will have you feeling empowered and prepared for conception, pregnancy, postpartum and parenting...It includes resources on improving and even ensuring ensuring healthier pregnancy and birth outcomes than the status quo, and preventing and healing from birth trauma so prevalent in the modern world!  Be prepared to do some research on your own, but knowledge restores your power. I also help you prepare your mindset for such a task, to debunk myths, and to reframe any current ideas or conditioning about pregnancy and birth that can use a change in perspective or that are simply incorrect and do serve you. After finishing the course, the idea is that you are now able to create and have the healthy, beautiful and empowering pregnancy and birth that you want. 

You can get a free nugget from my course - all about creating your ideal birth plan here. A huge part of preventing birth trauma is getting clear your birth preferences, knowing the pros and cons about all the tests and procedures, all the interventions your may be faced with, so you can make informed decisions - rather than simply give over your body, your choice and voice to your health care providers and institution you choose.

In looking for that supportive birthing space I talked about earlier, seek care providers and settings that have a low intervention rate (low rates of medical interventions like inductions and epidurals, low rates of cesareans, etc.)—their practices are more likely to be in line with your goals.

I have a holistic approach to life, including healing after pregnancy and birthing. Nothing replaces abdominal toning and exercise for restoring muscle strength and tone - which I encourage for all mamas as soon as they feel up to it postpartum. Nothing replaces touch, slow deep abdominal breathing, and a 'love your postpartum body' perspective that I promote.  But I have found many mamas simply feel comforted by this support garment, especially early postpartum and temporarily as needed....to be used without forfeiting abdominal toning and strengthening exercise, breathing well and touch. I have found Bellefit supportive garments to help like they use belly binding around the world such as in Indonesia. They do aid in early postpartum healing and provide support many mamas feel comforted by. I deal with human beings and the reality is many postpartum mom's struggle with body image, feel frustrated that getting back to themselves takes longer than expected. Being into holistic health and healing includes being sensitive to real human struggles - the mind, body, heart and soul of each person and their unique situation. Having helped countless women with these issues after having a baby as a midwife, I have found many still love that binding and feel better with this support, and ability to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes comfortably and sooner than they would if they went through a C-section or natural childbirth recovery without it - especially when they have to dress up and fit into a certain favorite outfit for a special occasion or wedding not long after having a baby.

For more info on the Bellefit girdle, check out my blog about it hereHave a Great Postpartum Recovery (with a little help from Bellefit)!

I am thrilled to announce that you get a $20 Off with code: ANNE20 at checkout - if you purchase here.

 

Birth Story: Beautiful Homebirth, Awesome Midwifery Care, Happy Mama...and the Little Doula in NZ

 

The birth of Alexander Eric 9th August 2017

I am finally getting round to putting my birth story on paper, nearly ten weeks later! I have been meaning to of course since the first week that Alex was born, but you know how it is, too much effort and thought having to go into it! But I have thought enough is enough let’s get it done, as I’m looking through the labour and birth photos and think they are amazing and I am amazing that I finally got my home birth/water birth yay!

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On Tuesday morning, the 8th August I woke up feeling rather sorry for myself after another sleepless night from pain in my pelvis, heart burn-you name it,  but also because I was feeling uncomfortable in my belly that was different from the tightenings that I had been having since the second trimester! We had planned to go out to Rangiora and visit my mum and hang with her as it was Tuesday café day but I said to my daughter Lily-Rose, who is seven and is homeschooled, that lets just stay in bed today and not go anywhere! But I thought if this was early labour starting then the last thing I wanted was to be at home waiting around for something to happen, much better to keep busy; so off we went and over the course of the day I complained to my mum that my tummy was starting to get a few niggles of something, and we had a laugh that I would probably go into labour that night because of all the washing I had drying inside due to the miserable Christchurch weather, and not having a dryer! Or a washing machine!! (as we were still waiting for some of our things to arrive from Australia after moving back home in June to be closer to family while we have this baby). Anyway, nothing much happened over the day but by the time we got home and having dinner I was starting to get irritated with my tightenings which were still spaced apart. I couldn’t even concentrate to watch Game of Thrones with the hubby that night because one- I had to reply to an important email about my exemption to homeschool and they wanted further information which if I didn’t do at that time then I may not ever get it done; and secondly because the tightenings were starting to get more uncomfortable, where I had to start focusing on my breath. I didn’t really say to the hubby and daughter that this was it because it was still early days; and also I knew that my daughter would want to stay up with me as we had been talking about labour and birth for what seemed like forever, watched all the water births on you tube, and had been preparing for the birth together by making the birth mat, and getting the pool ready that week (yes I took a while to get organized because I didn’t feel ready-I definitely wasn’t like with my first when I was ready emotionally long before then!!).

Eventually I went to bed as I was so tired, and I started to listen to my Hypnobirthing Australia affirmations and Surge of the Sea track with my ear phones, but lying down trying to sleep wasn’t going to happen so I went out to the lounge where time rushed by and things started to get more intense. I lay down on my side as much as I could and breathed through the tightenings, listening to the hypnobirthing tracks still. I ended up using the gym ball and hot water bottle to help get me through it, and eventually I felt like I wanted to get into the pool but I didn’t want to get in too early like I did with my first, as was thinking this labour may be long and drawn out like hers was! I texted my midwife sometime after 3am on the Wednesday morning asking her if I should hop into the pool as I was worried that I would get in too early. She then texted back asking me if I was in labour and how far apart the surges were- I replied that yes I am in labour and I hadn’t been keeping track of the tightenings but probably 3-4 in a ten minute period. She then replied that she was coming over.

I didn’t want her coming all this way and be in early labour so I said to check me when she got here and if not far along then to go home again. Not that I was being unwelcoming, only that I didn’t want everyone here if it was going to be long and drawn out (thinking it would be like Lily-Rose’s birth). Molly my midwife arrived at 4am, and noted that I was in labour and that I didn’t need to be examined as I was going to have this baby at some stage, and encouraged hubby Clay to fill the pool up. I still insisted on an internal and I was 9cm!!!!! I caught on to her feelings of panic? Maybe it was fluster? Anyway it was then that I thought holy moley I really am having a baby, and texted my mum, student midwife Catherine and birth photographer Sharon that it was time to come over. Molly had already rang her back up midwife, and Sharon by the time I came back out to the lounge where the pool was filling thanks to hubby.

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I decided to stay out in lounge but I only had my affirmations on in one ear, once back up midwife Tamara arrived at nearly half four I was starting to feel like I was getting out of my “zone”. I hopped into the pool but was unable to really hear my birth tracks via the laptop, as I didn’t want my phone to accidentally fall into the pool! By the time 5am arrived, everyone was here that needed to be here. Baby’s heart rate increased to 170 while I was in the pool because it was super hot and I was super hot so it was time to hop out for a bit, I stayed in the lounge and we rang my sister via messenger video and she supported me this way for a bit but I felt like everything had stalled even though I was still getting regular and intense tightenings, there was so much pressure and I begged Molly to break my waters, (as a midwife myself I would recommend avoiding interventions but I was desperate and knew that if this happened then I might have a baby sooner!!!). She declined to do this! I hid out in my room for a bit and it was then that I should have started getting in my zone again listening to my affirmations but for some reason I thought that would be anti-social (note to self-don’t worry about pleasing anyone when your in labour!!) so I didn’t end up really listening to them again, which was silly as it was that which helped me get to 9cm in the first place! I requested Molly to do another internal at about 6am because come on yes I was getting impatient, it had been two hours since I was 9cm and where was this baby?! I still had a bit of cervix in the way and that it would go, Molly reassured me that all was ok and to carry on! Carry on! By this stage I said to my mum, I am going to hospital if something doesn’t happen soon! I guess you could say I had had enough!! By 7am I had convinced Molly to break my waters, which she did thank goodness as I was ready for that epidural! She pushed the bit of cervix out of the way with the next contraction and I felt baby move down which is when I started to feel like I was losing control, and started freaking out! And making a lot of noise, which worried my daughter! Molly convinced me to hop back into the pool but I was feeling like I didn’t want to move really at all! But thankfully she convinced me and it was amazing enveloped by such warmth, but pity I was having shooting sciatica-type pains down my thighs each tightening which was not ideal! I was on my knees using the side of the pool and hubby’s hand to get me through each tightening. My sister Agatha in Australia was called again at this time and the phone set up next to the pool, her voice helped ground me and she talked me through it as I started to bear baby down (she’s done this eight times so I knew she completely understood the feelings of panic that I was having!). With my first I didn’t get to experience what pushing a baby out felt like due to a spinal and an assisted birth, so what a shock it was when I felt baby’s head moving down, I was trying to breathe through and be nice and quiet but I didn’t care anymore and why was this baby taking so long to come out!!! Once I focused on moving baby down with my breath and bearing down (as taught in the Hypnobubs online Hypnobirthing Australia course), then it wasn’t long until crowning and oh my goodness now I know what that feels like I will never forget it!!! Once baby’s head had been out for a few minutes Molly said it was time to push the body out but I couldn’t and I told her it was stuck! Once she got right inside and unhooked his shoulder from under my pubic bone, I had a surge of adrenaline shoot through me as I realized that this was shoulder dystocia and was potentially life threatening situation for my baby. My calm and experienced midwife got baby out and I rolled over to sit in the water and there I saw my baby, mum had voiced out that it was a boy! A boy! But at that point I was super relieved that he was out, that he was crying and it was all over!!! Born at 8.03 am, four hours after being 9cm!!!

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Molly knew about my previous postpartum hemorrhage so I didn’t stay in the pool for too long, and I was helped out, pushed the placenta out but with lots of clots and walked over to the couch (the joys of being at home!), where my bleeding was monitored, but ended up agreeing that I needed to have oxytocin needle into my thigh to control my moderate bleeding. Cord was cut by his daddy, and me and my baby boy Alexander (named after my dad) had skin to skin, then the first breastfeed where he latched like a gem 30 minutes after birth. I ended up having a 2nd degree tear that Molly sutured, yes I didn’t have to go anywhere but just stay in my lounge! Had a cup of my Artemis Pregnancy tea which is good for postnatal as well, and munched on an apple, I was happy it was all over and that I got to stay in my house with everyone around me. Thankful for my mum and sister that were there, my hubby of course, my wonderful birth photographer Sharon from Bloom Photography NZ, my midwife Molly for being so chilled, and Tamara and Catherine. And especially to my darling daughter who kept me hydrated with water, and who said to anyone and everyone afterwards about how much noise I made and that I owed her $2.50 for the swearing I used (20cents per swear word apparently!).

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I am so grateful that I got the home birth I wanted, it’s only now that I look back and realize how amazing I am and how the whole experience was amazing, even though immediately after I wished I’d had the nice quiet quick serene birth that I was anticipating! I felt as though I had failed somewhat, but I didn’t and I have these amazing photos (recommend to have a birth photographer, especially one as amazing and caring as Sharon!) that I just look at and think wow, this was the most challenging and intense thing I have ever done in my life but I did it! When I look back and wonder why labour stalled for so long I believe it was because I allowed myself to get out of my zone and I freaked out, and if I would change anything it would be to keep my ear phones on, stay calm and grounded, and continue my hypnobirthing affirmations. Looking at the past 9 weeks it’s what comes after the birth that’s just as challenging, but that is another story in itself! I am coming out the other end now of newborn life and I am just in love with my boy, and my daughter and I often stare at him and ask ourselves how did I manage to push this beautiful baby out, and now that’s she has recovered from it all is asking me if we will have another so she can properly watch the birth this time as she knows what to expect! x

With thanks,

Melanie S. @melanie_rose_sutton  

 

ALL Photos by

Bloom Photography NZ

https://www.facebook.com/bloomphotographyNZ/posts/1475498022496781

@bloomphotographynz

 

 Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor

  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself, letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby

  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy

  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom and communicate with baby in belly

  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum

  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

It’s wonderful alone, a great refresher or adjunct to any other course!

“Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.
Yours in the truth

— Kelly Brogan, MD

 

Happy Birth On The Farm...Except For The Cat

 

Dearest Baby James Barry (formerly known as Boop),

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You are 22 hours old. You are slumbering next to me on the bed. You are a little miracle and a little marvel. I am relishing this time. Midwife Anne has banished me from stairs, and I am glad.  We spent the day in bed together, you and I, and will do the same tomorrow. What a gift.

Your arrival was not so different from what I imagined and hoped for. Still it is a miracle! Your big sister Elaine June arrived two weeks after her estimated due date. So I did not expect you to come on yours. Still, one gets antsy. The days rolled by. 

(Part of why I thought this is because I had dreamt you were a girl.  But you are a boy, and we're so very thrilled that you are who you are! Your dad and sister both thought you were a boy all along.) 

Anyway, on Monday night, I got out my cello. We stretched around it together, you huddled in front of course, and I played "Happy Birthday" to give you the idea, and some Bach suites, and "The Swan," then "Happy Birthday" again before I put it away.  

Tuesday went by with more “no baby yet” comments from one and all. On Wednesday night EJ said, “I want Boop to be born on Thursday!” I agreed.

I had assumed that my labor would begin at night, since that's what happened with EJ. Thus, each awakening morning brought disappointment as I realized, yet again, NBY—No Baby Yet. Yet...as I ate my breakfast yesterday morning, I felt a cramp. Just the same kind of cramp I'd felt in early labor 4 years before...

I told Dave, and felt hopeful. But I was well aware that some women have contractions for days before their babe is born. At 7:30 a.m. I realized that your Grandma Sheena was about to leave for work. I called her off, even though I wasn't sure this was the day. She commenced to work from home. The contractions slowed. Dave went to work; I took EJ to school. The pains returned and were somewhat regular, though, every 20 minutes or so. I left a message for Anne, and called Sheena with a disappointing “no news yet” message. Back at the farm I went on a walk, and the contractions slowed down. It was a nice walk up past the pump house and around to the garden where I pulled a few weeds with the crew. I finally saw the log cabin. I returned and called Sheena again with more non-news.

Dave came home early from work. We had an appointment with Anne, set for 1 p.m.  I didn't want to drive there myself so long after the due date, especially with contractions! In fact I hoped we'd soon be birthing at home. But the contractions kept petering out, only to come back after a while, only to slow down again. Nothing seemed certain.

Your dad and I picked EJ up from preschool and she ate a packed lunch by the gazebo on the river. The contractions were back, and fairly regularly so, 10-15 minutes apart. I spoke with Anne and all agreed that we should head home. I looked at my early labor list...made a frittata, moved some stuff around, and wondered when I should call Jean (your Grandma Sheena) to come be with EJ. We didn't want a crowd here waiting for things to get moving, as that would surely slow it all down. But the contractions started to be dependable. We called Jean around 2:45 p.m.  

Grandma Sheena was here by 4 p.m. and took EJ down to the lake. We were timing my contractions, which were coming 7 minutes apart, then 5, then 7. Anne said she'd like to be heading here when they were 4-6 minutes apart, but she could come anytime. Dave and I were torn: we didn't want a house full of folks just waiting too soon...a watched pot doesn't boil! But our friends had just had an accidental unassisted birth since it went so fast!  The contractions got closer together, and Anne was on her way.

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Then, of course, the contractions slowed, 6-12 minutes apart. Nancy, Anne's assistant and a wonderful doula, arrived and suggested a long walk. EJ and Sheena came up from the lake, and got ready for yogurt and a bath. I don't know if she ever ate dinner! Anne came, and your dad and I left.  

Up around the farm we walked, through the gardens and the flower area. I had to tell your dad not to pull weeds. We'd stop now and then when I had a contraction, though they did seem further apart. As we descended the hill, there were dark clouds and Dave wanted to hurry. Um, no, I could not hurry! The contractions, though spaced out more, were starting to really hurt. We got home and EJ was excited. I set up a bed on the couch for her and Sheena. EJ wanted my attention and I was trying to give it to her, but the contractions were regular now, and hurting more and more. A movie distracted EJ. I finally realized I needed to settle in upstairs.

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We decided to birth in Elaine June's room. She had agreed to this months ago and we'd spoken of it often. Mizoo cat kept attacking poor Anne, as had been his tradition since the home visit.  She set up all of her instruments on a sterile field which he promptly hopped upon between attacks on her.  Dave finally had to trap him downstairs in the bathroom. Patient Anne and Nancy had tried hard to bear with him, but the bugger was relentless. A couple of days later EJ coined the phrase “attackive” to describe him. (He's not like that with everyone; I don't understand! And by the time you're reading this, James, Mizoo is likely to be a mellow old dude, or remembered as such.  Funny, these felines!)

The contractions were closer and more painful but I had yet to have the bloody show or broken water or anything that felt productive. I called Dave at last and moved onto my knees in the bedroom. (I had been pacing the hall, and swaying low with the contractions.) Finally I peed and found some bloody mucous. I don't think it was long after that, that I started pushing, and soon enough the water broke. I was glad things were moving on. Nancy kept checking your heartbeat; it was always good and strong. Thank you for reassuring me, sweet James!

Oh, my, I certainly had forgotten the pain! Through each contraction I would remember: breathe low and slow through the pain, stay loose and open, and—the hard one for me—do nothing extra.  It took a long time for me to give in and Do Nothing Extra.  Between each contraction I wanted to give directions on where to find things, what I wanted to drink, that I didn't care if the yoga mat got bloody, etc.  At least, before I finally got myself to shut up, I was able to tell Nancy where to find an empty trash can, as I sensed that I was going to puke. They suggested the green bowl I had there for the placenta.  But it's so dear to me and I didn't want to throw up in it!

Nancy came through, transition came on, I threw up, and at last realized that I had to stop talking and save every ounce of energy to push you out. It was agony for a while. But I pushed with all my might, knowing that I had prolonged EJ's birth by pushing with half-strength for hours. During those most painful contractions I shuddered and moaned, I prayed, and I begged you to please come down, Baby Boop, please come down now. Anne said she enjoyed hearing the horses and sounds of the farm as I labored. I heard nothing, only felt as you slowly descended. All of this time, on my knees, I was squeezing and clawing your dear Dad. He managed to hold my hands, hold a hot water bottle on my back, and massage me all at once, or so it seemed. Anne and Nancy massaged too; it felt so good and eased some of the pain.  

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You were low; it was time to wake EJ. I heard her crying before Sheena brought her in. I couldn't talk. She came in crying for me, wanting to snuggle and hold my hair. After trying to calm her, Sheena took her away. Anne said “you can't force these things” and I knew she was right. All along I had known it might not work to have your sister there. I was sad, but I knew I had to let that go and move on and get you born, dear James!

Breathe, low and slow, through the pain. Stay loose and open. Do nothing extra. James, this time I was so grateful to actually feel relief, even briefly, between the contractions. EJ's birth was back labor and there was pain even between. With you there was brief, blessed rest in those middle moments. At one point I asked for the birth stool. I had the idea that squatting might make you come faster. It was awful, though--I felt so unsteady. I remember crying “I hate this stool!” and everyone scrambling to help me turn back to your father, return to my knees, and keep pushing you, and pulling and pawing your dear dad...

The door opened, and Sheena came in, carrying a quiet Elaine June. Dave opened his arms and she crawled in. I even managed, between pains, to tell her I was so glad she was here. So glad, so grateful! She watched, quietly, with the occasional “I love you Mommy, you can do it Mommy” escaping her thumb-stuffed mouth.  

I knew you were low, James, that you were close. But I also knew it could still be a long time. The pain, though fierce, was now somehow bearable. I shuddered with dread as each contraction came on, but I knew you were coming. Anne held a warm, oiled cloth under me and I pressed into it. Your head was there, with hair. The “ring of fire” stung, but it meant you were so close. I pressed into that warmth, and you came closer each time. But how close? Finally, finally Anne said your head was coming out. Then it was out. Then, with a last surge that took my breath away, you slipped right out behind me. I'm crying even now writing about it, dear baby boy. You came out to tears and joy. I asked “boy or girl?” Anne replied, “I'm not telling!”

I was still on my knees.  Anne passed you in between my legs and I carefully picked up wonderful, slimy you. I thought you were a boy, and checked to be sure. Then I said “it's James Barry Llewellyn!” and held you for your Daddy, sister, and grandma to see. And I held you to me.

Elaine June said “I have a baby brother!”  (She wanted you to be a boy), and/or “just like I wanted”...the truth is I'm not sure. She was thrilled and could not wait to kiss you. (She had been watching birth videos for months and was not alarmed by my screeches nor your sliminess.) Your Daddy said that, when you were born, she gave him “the biggest hug she has ever given anyone”. (That is a big hug, James.) Later, to me, she said, “Mommy, remember when Boop was born, how I gave you so many kisses?!”  

I felt very unsteady and shivery, and wanted to birth the placenta. Anne and Nancy had me lay down and I held you to my chest, baby boy. The placenta came and Anne asked who wanted to cut the cord. I knew your dad didn't. I asked Sheena, and she and Anne asked if EJ wanted to.  She did. Dave asked me, “are you sure?” I said, “she loves scissors!” Anne helped your proud big sister cut the cord. You latched on a little but were really just exploring. We had to get up.

Nancy helped keep me steady for a short shower. As I left, I heard your Daddy say, “he has the beginnings of a beak!”, then he and Sheena discussing your Morrison nose! I went to bed and you were brought to me, dear Baby James. Such a marvel! Such tiny apricot ears and long wrinkly fingers...you were just inside of me, and now here you were!!! Your fingernails were like daggers, we'd have to clip them soon. Your fingers were so dinosaur like—wide at the bottom and pointy at the top, wrinkly and peely. You latched on. Anne stitched me and cleaned me up some more. As she did I held you under a towel. When it was lifted it revealed what Nancy said was the biggest meconium poop she'd ever seen! We laughed briefly about James and The Giant Poop, while Nancy patiently and tirelessly cleaned us both.

Your sister came to bed -- “I want to kiss my baby brother!  I want Boop!” she said. We told her she had to be gentle on the bed. She was. She kissed you, and has been kissing you ever since. We said goodnight to her many, many times. Sheena kept bringing her down with the ploy of a movie. But that didn't hold. After 10 or 20 minutes we'd hear thumpthumpthump “I want my baby brother!” and she'd come up, climb on the bed, and kiss you and pat you and call you Baby Boop, Baby Brother, Baby James, and kiss you some more. That night she gave you her wee stuffed rooster that she had chosen for you before you were born. It's been your companion ever since.

Now you are 8 days old.  

The day after your birth Granny Annie and Aunt Suzanne came to meet you.  We all marveled at your purple, waxy peely feet and hands, your dear little ears, your masculine nose.  “His nose has salt on it!” proclaimed EJ, seeing the little white hormone zits.  I think her favorite Baby James miracle is that even your big toes are little; she mentions it daily.  She calls you Baby Brother, Baby James, Boop,  JamesBarryLlewellyn, JamesyJames, JamesyWamesy, and, most of all, Cute, as a name.  “I'm going to call him Cute, because he's cute.”  “I want to kiss Cute!”  She comforts you when I change your diapers, loves to hold you and kiss you and pat you.  She brings me water when I nurse and a burp cloth when you're done eating.  She is constantly talking about when she's older and what she'll do with you, just you: “When I'm thirteen and a half I can take Cute to Big Truck Day all by myself!”, etc and so on.  When Elaine June is asked about your birth, she tells people three things: she watched movies all night, she saw you born, and she got to cut the cord.  

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Between movies on your birthday night, your dad helped Elaine June and Sheena blow up blue balloons and put them under the frog outside, so everyone coming to the farm on Friday would know you were here.  That first day we just stared and stared at you.  Dave was bemused that, like me, youbarely have any eyebrows—no hint of his uni-brow.  (“You'd think that would be dominant”, said he.)  I kept wondering how you could be so frog-like and yet so furry, all at the same time.  Your frogginess faded in just a few days as you slowly uncurled into our world.  Now you are peeling off the waxy layer left from inside of me, ever expanding.  You are still so sweetly soft and fuzzy; Daddy calls you James the Giant Peach.  Every day you change and grow.

You were born on Thursday night.  Friday EJ slept at Sheena and Poppy's.  Saturday I was nervous about when she'd crawl in bed with us and what would transpire.  But then, and each night since, it's been fine.  I got up to pee that night, and when I came back, I saw three dear souls, all curled in their own way on our bed.  Between you and EJ there was an empty space just for me, the missing piece in our family slumber puzzle.  Such a sweet, blessed gift.

You sleep most of the time, these days.  You've been merciful at night and somehow seem patient even when poopy or hungry.  If a cry can seem polite, yours does.  When you awake, your Daddy and EJ and I look at you and talk to you and marvel and wonderful, captivating you.  You do seem to smile.  You are strong, lifting your head and even pushing up from your belly.  Both Anne and the pediatrician have proclaimed you “perfect”, which of course we knew already.  

We welcome you, we celebrate you, we thank God for you, Baby James, and we love you with all our hearts.  

Sincerely, sincerely yours, dear James...

Your Mom, and also your Dad and sister too.  And Batchy and Mizoo


 Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

 

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor

  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself, letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby

  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy

  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom and communicate with baby in belly

  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum

  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

Love Your Birth! Learn How.png

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

It’s wonderful alone, a great refresher or adjunct to any other course!

“Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.
Yours in the truth

— Kelly Brogan, MD

 

Birth Story - Sacred, Sensual, & Laughing Baby Out

 
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My second son Ojiah was born... During the pregnancy I needed guidance accepting the change that this was bringing to my life. From conception, Ojiah has been asking for my evolution as a person, spiritually and actively. While researching ecstatic and orgasmic birth, I found Suni Krall's book Sacred Birthing. My first birth was amazing and I needed to know I could have another wonderful birth (that I hadn't used up my great birth reserves, so to speak) This book, most of all, helped me with affirmations, visualizations, and meditations. I practiced mindful meditation, stating my intentions towards a healthy baby and a spiritually high, painless birth. 

The early evening of Dec 12th, I was feeling restless and hungry. I had been having pre-labor sensations for a couple of weeks and felt ripe and ready. Jack and I put our son Sedge to bed, then made love. Labor came on instantly--what a pleasant surprise! I had dribbling of water from my yoni and nice strong contractions. We both laid down in bed and tried to get some rest.

Jack's body was propped up on some pillows and I was lying on his chest; he was so solid, strong, and warm.

I focused on my breathing and closed my eyes. The waves of sensation with each rush manifested in my breathing rate and I was both concentrating on and allowing relaxation through the surges of intensity. As the waves started to come on stronger andmore often, I felt the need to get up. I also needed to empty my bowels. The rushes became stronger and this seemed to be happening quickly. I began to moan and groan to release any pain. I sought out the most comfortable positions which was kneeling on the floor, knees splayed, my upper body propped up on the couch, a stool or a birthing ball. 

Timing of when to call the midwife is tricky when you become so immersed in the present, but Jack was making me aware of the obvious--things were progressing--it was time to call Anne. When she and her assistant Nancy arrived, they were so gentle and respectful. Any concerns about having toentertain or having my energy pulled away from myself quickly diminished. They were immediately present and 'holding the space'. Jack's touch was amazing, connected, and strong. To complement that, Nancy's touch was soft, warm, and reassuring. Making noises during rushes really moved them through me. At one point, I remember feeling a gentle sadness washing over me and I announced it was going to manifest itself as a cry. Jack was so supportive as he sat with me and Nancy respectfully paused in the process of checking my temperature. Everyone present allowed this feeling to express. It was very calm and fleeting, and felt almost like singing. It was a gentle weeping, like a breeze through a willow, and it was over, no specific thoughts were involved--just total feeling. 

As things began to get more intense, Anne wisely suggested a shower, which was revitalizing. As the close of the birth was approaching, I began to fear that our two year old son, Sedge, would wake up and be needy when the baby needed us most. We had originally planned to call someone to be with him. Though this didn't feel right in the moment, I feared having the flow broken if Sedge became scared and needed something I just couldn't give. Jack kept talking me through this, reassuring me that it was ALL OK. Walking, squatting, bending, moaning were all part of the progression, and the pressure began to feel heavier. I felt the need to push. Anne checked me and said I was not ready--I needed to open more. Certain visualizations came into my being at this time: the opening of flowers and an affirmation from Sacred Birthing -- "I wish to envision my birth as an ultimate high". I also remembered from Spiritual Midwifery about connecting in with your man. We had smooched plenty earlier and I know this had helped me. I turned toward Jack and looked into his eyes and acknowledged and held that connection I felt. It was deep and loving and freeing and joyous, and out bubbled a laugh; it felt GREAT..... "ah hah!" I allowed the laughs to keep on coming and thought about the words "I wish to envision my birth as an ultimate high," and I was getting high! I don't remember any pain at that time. I was completely lifted above it all... it felt REALLY good. Laughing transcended me. I'm not sure how long this went on. There's no linear grasp on time, but I know that it was a prevalent gift in my birthing experience.  

Sedge began waking up then, and Jack went into the bedroom to be with him and talk about what was going on with mama. I clearly remember the 'last laugh'. It started to arise naturally and then was caught in my throat by a strong rush. I knew it was time for inward quiet. Transition. I sat on my birthing ball and felt deep calm. I was fully opened. I felt Ojiah moving lower and lower with the next contractions and deeper grunts came out of me. All I wanted to do was walk around and squat on the rush. Sedge and Jack came out of the bedroom. Sedge gave me a hug, then he and Jack sat on the couch, while I sat on the birthing stool facing them and resting my upper body on Jack's lap, hugging him whenever the intensity of feeling came on. Sedge was not just there, he was completely supportive. At one point this pure, wise little being rested his hand on my arm. A gesture that was fully present and not at all needy. He was aware of the magic and sacredness of the space and moment.

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Anne and Nancy had me on a birthing stool that was the perfect height to really get a squat. During the pushing I alternated between sitting on it and getting up onto it to get a deeper squat. Anne made lovely suggestions during this time to walk, go under the shower, and listen to music. I didn't think I was grounded enough to choose or enjoy music, but I trusted Anne and agreed to it. She took out her CD of women birthing songs from around the world. I pushed and called out with a will of strength so primal and raw.  I was actually tuned in and encouraged by the tribal music. It was ancestral. My beautiful baby boy was born. He was so gentle and peaceful and welcome.

Bringing me back to that moment swells my heart to a great capacity. It is a beautiful and awesome initiation into the countless moments of the real and perfect harmonies of parenting. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my story.

Shannon

Let Me Help You Create The Happiest Birth Experience Of Your Life...

Whether you're a first time or experienced momma,

Or a midwife, doula, or birth professional guiding mommas..

Regardless if you are planning a birth at home, a hospital, a birth center or need a cesarean section, or if you are taking another childbirth education class…

You Really Can Create The Delivery Of Your Dreams.

And have a blissful birth wherever you are.

More Precious Than A Wedding...A Birth Should Be A Celebration!

Let me show you how to…

  • Understand the sensations of your body and connect your intuition with how your body is communicating and leading you towards what to do during labor

  • Tap into your inner calm to deeply relax yourself, letting go of busy, stressful and fearful thoughts on demand for the health of baby

  • Speak your truth from your heart in a way that deepens your relationships, sets clear boundaries, and has people listen to you and support you before, during and after pregnancy

  • Trust yourself, connect with your body wisdom and communicate with baby in belly

  • Connect with natural time and sync your body and mind up with your unique biological clock for ease from pregnancy to postpartum

  • Reprogram negative patterns, stories, and beliefs that undermine your confidence, strength and self trust so you can rock your birth

 Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Photo by Megan Hancock Photography

Physicians and midwives around the world recommend my teachings to their pregnant clients and many Doulas across the country learn the secrets of blissful birthing from me to supplement their Doula Training & Certification process!

To learn more, visit:  LOVE YOUR BIRTH Online Childbirth Course!

It is based on my years of experience, as a midwife and yoga teacher, helping thousands of women tap into their calm and live and birth from a place of grounded relaxation and joy. 

It’s wonderful alone, a great refresher or adjunct to any other course!

“Forget your childbirth class, and take steps to your most empowering experience. If you are thinking about conception, pregnant, or love someone who is, take it from me that her wisdom is life-changing.
Yours in the truth

— Kelly Brogan, MD