MOBI'S BIRTHSTORY PART 1:
My pregnancy was from mid December 2014- September 22 2015. I had little to no morning sickness and stayed fairly active throughout the 40 weeks. I only drank water (tons of it) and pregnancy safe teas. I kept a vegetarian diet. I used raw shae butter on my belly and ended up with not one stretch mark (wow..). I was very lucky to have the support of my partner Aaron, which allowed me to not work the entire pregnancy so I could focus on sending loving energy and food to our little one. During the last 2 months, we began taking Hypnobabies courses from our beautiful doula. Hypnobabies is designed to retrain your subconscious mind to think of birth in a totally new way than what we have been fed by the main stream. This technique teaches you to rid your mind of fear and bring up confidence in your natural ability to give birth. Also to produce hypno-anesthesia. There is a HB language we used to follow this more positive mind set. We never said "Labor"-instead "Birthing Time". Never "Contractions"- instead "Pressure Waves". Never "Pain"-instead "Pressure.
From the start of the pregnancy, I knew I wanted to naturally give birth in the comfort of my own home. This wasn't an easy path considering the legal issues regarding midwives in Alabama, but we were very determined to give that to our son (and ourselves). For that reason, I won't be using any of the professionals names who attended the birth. Instead, I will just say "Midwife" and "Doula". The people who attended our birth were my partner Aaron, mother Darci, Doula, Midwife, and her assistance. A little more of a crowd than I wanted but that's how it (thankfully) worked out for us.
Also I want to point out, during the pregnancy I was very lucky to have a few friends who became pregnant at the same time which gave me someone to talk to and relate with every step of the way.
MOBI'S BIRTHSTORY PART 2:
This is Aaron, Mobi, and I about 4 days before the birth just outside of our home. It was such a relief to be going into the fall weather after the intense Alabama summer heat (not having AC in the car+big belly was crazy uncomfortable). You know that freeing feeling at the end of summer, the cool breeze, the beautiful colors and all. We actually had just played 2 rounds of hide and seek outside.
Every morning, I started off with the 1 hour track of positive birth affirmations. I did find this particularly helpful to keep my mind in line with my power. A big part of hypnobabies was something called the "finger drop technique". This was basically a light switch to move myself into hypnosis. "Raise your index finger and drop it. Instantly your eyes close, all muscles become limp and you feel a wave of hypno-anesthia. Move the switch to CENTER position to stay in hypnosis with the ability to open eyes and move when necessary..then back to OFF during pressure waves."
For about an hour each day, I listened to a track to practice moving into and deepen this state of hypnosis. There were also 3 cue words Aaron and doula used to assist me during birth.
'RELEASE' was used to automatically turn my switch off if I became overwhelmed.
'PEACE' or 'RELAX' were used to help me deepen my hypno and let tension leave my body/face. We mainly used "..Peaaceee...". I even found myself saying this word during the pushing stage. Along with another pushing cue of "Open, Open, Open".
Relaxed jaw=relaxed sphincter. Mamas to be..REMEMBER THAT.
It's hard to describe the last days before birth. Surrendering to the mystery of "is today the day?" Excited and nervous. Waking up every hour to pee/eat/sit through practice pressure waves as my body was preparing for birth...for days my lower body was softening/opening, turning to jello. Each night as my body had practice pressure waves I thought.."Is this it??" Night after night..after realizing it wasn't "it", I'd finally fall asleep (after propping my belly/legs up with like 5 pillows, trying to support my body just right).
MOBI'S BIRTHSTORY PART 3:
This is the last picture I took of my belly at max capacity(lol) about 24 hours before birth began. The birthing time was 16 hours total and started at 11pm.
Aaron and I had planned on going to the grocery store that afternoon, but never went because we got into a pretty emotional argument..the kitchen was bare..During our argument he accidentally dropped and broke a glass piece that held a lot of sentimental value for me. I was absolutely crushed and couldn't believe it. I'm thinking "what does this mean?? What does this symbolize??" I was flipping out and crying..Aaron felt terrible so he went and took a walk while I calmed down. He came back with a little bouquet he made of fallen flowers with an apologetic note. It was getting late so we decided we should just head to bed.
When I laid down, like all the nights before, the waves started. They were more intense than the previous nights, I really had to concentrate to get through them. I even started my finger drop technique. They kept coming. I started timing how far apart they were. 8 minutes every time. Before I knew it 2 hours had gone by..(1am) I woke up Aaron and told him.."its happening now". We had no idea what we were about to go through..
I turned on the lights and noticed our front room(birth room) was such a mess. I attempted to start frantically tidying..and was majorly upset because we had very little food in the house. We had "NO GRAPES". I wasn't going to be well rested or nourished. Trying to make peace with that I felt a wave of anticipation(heavy birth hormones)..this is the night. everything we have been preparing for and I'm already feeling panicked. Aaron realized this and sat me down so I could start my "Welcome to your birthing time" track as he cleaned up, made some toast and texted doula. We worried about having to wake our birth team at this hour just in case it wasn't really time. Denial.
1 hour later(2am) and the pressure waves were already 3 minutes apart and getting stronger. I was moving from the couch to the (glorious) birthing ball listening to my "Deepening" track.
Tuning out the world around me, the waves had already taken control. I was riding them as gracefully as possible, breathing in and out very slowly, while swirling my hips on the birthing ball and letting my body make small moaning noises. ~omm~.. to be continued.
MOBI'S BIRTH STORY PART 4:
I stayed on the birthing ball leaning over on some pillows with head phones on while Aaron started blowing up the birth tub. My reality was surreal and timeless at this point. It was 5:30am when doula showed up. Her presence made the room go still, she was like an angel.. In my peripheral I watched her walk to me so slowly, silently.. pull up a chair, gently sit down with hands in lap, smirked and mouthed " 'sup". I was relieved by her presence. I attempted to smile at her but was already feeling worn out and smothered by a hypnotic trance. Another wave started, she knew and began putting pressure on perfect spot on my back. The wave stopped and she moved back to her chair. Again and again we worked together like this. If I tensed up she said calmly, "RELAX face muscles.." I did, it helped.
She suggested I take a shower. I leaned on a chair in the shower, but have little memory of this, feeling overwhelmed. Aaron dried my body off while doula helped me back to the ball which we covered with a pad because I was bleeding some. It was hard to walk. Aaron came face to face and told me "You are doing great", but It felt very trippy, like I was looking at myself..such intense ~oneness~ It took me off guard..
It was time to fill up the tub, but the water hose didn't fit to the sink..so Aaron starts filling it up bucket by bucket..
I go ahead and get in what warm water is there, such a relief. The sound of swirling water and some weight taken off my back. Doula poured water down my back. Heavenly.
My mom, midwife & assistant showed up 1 hr later. (930am) Mom took this picture & brought me some GRAPES. This simple thing made my love hormones rage as I devoured them. Aaron offered doula some and it made me think of how much love was in the room..how we were all sharing this intense experience.
Their presence intensified everything, I knew I was a sight to see/hear at this point..
Midwife checked Mobi's heart beat while I stayed in the tub a bit longer. Turns out it was leaking both air and water so I wasn't going to get to give birth in the water. Deeply in hypno I didn't let the feeling of disappointment sway me.
MOBI'S BIRTH STORY PART 5:
Birth is such a transformative experience. You come face to face with your habits, subconscious etc. Our birth showed me how to let things be..to be less of a control freak and perfectionist. To stop and witness the love all around. Even though the memory of the birth is fading I am trying to hold on to these lessons.
After checking Mobi's heartbeat, I got out of the tub..I really have no memory of the next few hours, but I'm told I was just moving from place to place trying to get comfortable with each wave. I think everyone attempted to get a nap in. I really only remember hearing my hypno tracks looping through..
"Deeper and deeper...relaax."
Next thing I remember, Doula says it'd be a good idea for me to try to pee. I get to the bathroom and can't go..but my bladder is SO full, so this stresses me out a bit. I keep wondering when it's going to be over..I imagined myself having about an 8 hour birth(ended up double that). 3 hours left to go at this point.
I give up trying to pee and want to move back to the front room..then suddenly.."UGHNN" my first urge to push as I feel my water break and start trickling down. I feel the weight of his head bearing down on my bottom. -Never take direction from the nurse tellin you to "wait". Baby's not waitin!-
Spent an hour in the bathroom getting through the first pushing waves. The moans getting louder. Aaron was moaning and moving along with me so I didn't feel alienated. Keeping the moans deep/low since high pitched moans cause tension.
One wave stopped. We hurried to get me back to the rug in front room. A wave came and I collapsed, very loud "AUHH" while trying to get the feel of an effective push. I end up laying on my side pushing for the next hour or so. I was so hungry..thirsty and weak..almost stranded like this. In between each wave someone brought a straw to my lips as I chugged water. (angels)
For the short time in between each wave I completely rested my body and mind. For 1 minute I would sometimes pass out and have a short dreamy moment..Soul outstretched holding Mobi's hand while we fly towards Earth with a power most certainly from the heavens..
MOBI'S BIRTH STORY PART 6:
This power moving through my limbs is like nothing I've ever felt before. Coming through my crown moving down to push Mobi straight through. 45 minutes left. I feel Mobi's head getting so close..With each pushing wave he moves 2 steps forward-1 step back. With each wave I wonder how many more times I have to ride up to such a height. Midwife starts to use 2 fingers to stretch out my perineum because they can SEE Mobi's head bulging as I push. This felt so raw and brutal, but was nothing compared to the pressure of Mobi slowly moving through my birth canal. Aaron gently dabbed a warm rag down there to clean off the fluids that were coming out with every push..the most vulnerable I have ever been. I notice everyone's tired expressions start to shimmer with excitement..Mobi is almost here.
I reach down to see if I can feel him. 1cm in I touch him for the first time, his hair.
Doula suggested I get into a new position since gravity was working against me. My arms have been doing most of the work holding up my weight for many hours..they are so sore, but I managed to Get myself on hands and knees. Leaning my face on doulas shoulder I felt my toes and knees squishing around in my fluids..Arms and legs shaking from the power moving through.
My thoughts: This is the moment all women wonder about! And I'm here NOW. In amazement with jaw dropped, I lock eyes with doula. She just nodded and said "I know, it's so much power".
Like a tide drawing back to sea, I felt the next wave comin. "Okay..Okay.." I steadied myself. Long deep breath. Then a sound a did not know I was capable of making. I felt like a mighty Lion who's roar made the Earth quake. So primal. A few more times this happened while I gripped doulas shoulders. I felt my face turn to a whimper as I shed a few tears from exhaustion, yelling "PEACEE". They encouraged me and with the next push I felt what people describe as "The ring of fire". But hypnobabies describes it as a 'halo' moving down and out. This imagery was burned into my mind during pregnancy, it helped me not tense up. I reached down and felt Mobi's face outside my body! Yes!
Midwife signaled me to roll over. Aaron was behind me sitting on the mattress. 1 second later I'm in crab walk position, with my arms on either side of Aarons legs..I lean my head back, close my eyes and see a flash of light as Mobi completely emerges from my body. Instant bliss. I feel the weight of Mobi's warm, tiny, wet body on my belly. Looking into his eyes while he quietly cries. And this is only the beginning of our journey together baby boy.
MOBI'S BIRTH STORY PART 7:
(this picture is 24 hours after birth)
During the pregnancy, deeply in hypnosis, I often listened to a track called "Your Special Safe Place". This is a place I built in my mind where I could go to find peace in a chaotic situation. It was on the shore of the ocean at sunset. It guided Mobi and I to walk hand in hand along where the water would occasionally hit our feet. The sound of the waves. I told Mobi about everything I experienced in my 25 years before his arrival. How I became who I am today. The places I've been.. the people I've known. A life review that started during pregnancy and concluded once I saw that flash of light.
Cycles are found everywhere in nature. The seasons..The Lunar cycle..each day. From our own births to the birth of our first child, that flash of light was the transitioning point. A new life for us all. A new generation for our family.
My mom cut the cord once it stopped pulsating. Mobi started nursing immediately. The energy in the room was complete love and bliss..quiet laughter and talking. We all made it..together.
My body was finished, I absolutely could not move. I had a small tear that would heal on its own as long as I kept my legs closed..they cleaned me up and picked us up so I could relax on the mattress behind me. Mobi and I skin to. Aaron came and fed me numerous bowls of soup that my mom made...oh I enjoyed it..thinking of it now still warms my belly. I gave midwife and doula each a picture I painted for them as a gift. I am still high from the hormones.
Doula tells me it's very important for me to empty my bladder within 2 hours..so the 2 of us go so I can try. My mom takes Mobi. This is the first time we are separated. I'm in the bathroom sitting on the toilet...the first time in 40 weeks I am only my body..my belly feels so hollow and I can't help but slouch..I get hit by a wave of linear reality..I realize I have to come back down now. I tell doula I feel like I might pass out. She brings Mobi back to me and tells me to smell him(to help ground myself) I'm okay now but still can't pee. I realize I am in shock from the experience..so I get back to the bed to eat more and rest.