written to her by her mom, Asha
Sunday night I had contractions, six minutes apart for 20-30sec. I went to bed. They stopped for a while, but then at 2:30 a.m., they picked up again. I didn’t have a watch, but I knew they were about 30 seconds and probably six minutes apart. I decided to remain lying in bed trying to relax through each one. I practiced different breathing techniques breathing to see what helped. I couldn’t stand it anymore in bed, and I got up at about 6 a.m. to bake the scones that I had promised your sister.
When my contractions were five minutes apart and 30-40 seconds long, I called Deborah, our midwife. Then I called the acupuncturist, Maya. She was going to help me keep labor steady. She came and put needles in my ears. Deborah arrived and joined me in my sounds as I met each contraction with an Aaaahhhhh or OM. I loved hearing her sweet echo and my intense sound as I tried to match the sound to the intensity and location of the sensation of the contraction. I labored walking around the kitchen. Sometimes Papi or Maya press on my lower back or hips, and that felt really good. The counter pressure really met the contractions well. Music was present and I was present to it. Deborah said, “This baby is going to come out dancing!”
Deborah felt I had progressed but since I didn’t want to be checked to see how dilated I was she would guess between 2 or 3cm. I didn’t want to know since I was a little traumatized by my last labor when I was focused on the goal of 10 cm and was told I was only 4 cm, then only 7 cm after working all night long. That was so discouraging. This time I wanted to just keep working with my body until I felt the desire to push.
So, it continued. Deborah went home because she was only a five minute ride from us. I labored in the kitchen then decided to go to bed and do some relaxing exercises. I figured that if contractions slowed down, I would get up and keep walking. Things got more intense. As I visualized my body being completely relaxed, I also visualized my cervix opening and visualized your descent! I relaxed on my left side while hugging pillows. Papi came into the bedroom as he was talking to Deborah on the phone. He asked me, “Do you want to see Deborah?” I said, “I think so….” So he asked her to come over. I heard Maya say, “Her sounds are getting deeper,” and I thought, “YES, they are! I am feeling very internal and primal.” I mentally thanked Maya for bringing this observation to Glen and Deborah.
Papi lay behind me. I had a couple more contractions while visualizing opening up. I looked up at my drawings. (I made drawings that depicted me having my Mona Lisa-type smile that resembled my inner knowing as I held hands with other women around the world. The other was of my wide open cervix open words describing what would accompany me in labor: Dharma, Isis, Water, Determination, Music, DOUBT. Doubt stood out, but so did Determination, and so did Experience and “In this Moment”.) All these words danced in my head as I recalled the conversation Papi had with Dr. London while Deborah was still at our house. Dr. London told Papi that my Strep B test was positive, and that I could choose to go into St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with everyone and anyone I wanted. The doctor had become uncomfortable with my midwife and my desire to birth at home!
I had asked myself earlier, “Do I want to go to St. Elizabeth’s and do the ‘right’ thing?” My answer was, “I don’t know.” Well, my new way of living had been that if the answer was I don’t know, then the answer is really NO. Also, I asked myself, “If you DID know, what would you choose?” The answer was “Stay home and have my baby.” I asked my angels to help me remain in my conviction and give me strength to stay in my knowing: to maintain my AUTHENTICITY.
While Papi lay behind me, my moans and sounds got deeper to meet the depth and location of the sensation. The last few contractions were long, deep, and intense. Then I had this overwhelming feeling of joy, peace and happiness. I decided to share how I felt and I said out loud “I am so happy to be home,” and then “I love you, Glen.” Then like unbelievable magic, I felt a POP and warm liquid gushing out of me. I immediately felt you squirming around, no liquid, just baby. I felt you positioning yourself down and squirming to keep going.
Deborah was on her way… I was afraid, excited and looking for guidance. I said “Where is Deborah, because I have to push!!!!” I didn’t have the urge; I just KNEW innately that pushing was next. I asked four times for Deborah, and then I heard someone scream, “She’s at the door!”
Total relief came over me.
My intension was to sit on two people’s laps and be supported while pushing. But I couldn’t get myself to explain to them what I wanted. So, Papi sat on the edge of the bed and I held on to his neck squatting on the ground. I asked Deborah if I could push. She laughed. (I guess because it was so obvious that this was the next step, and said, “Of course!”. I told her very authoritatively, “No, check me!” She checked and said laughing, “Oh, yeah, the baby is right there.”
I pushed, and I felt my cervix opening up, burning but I was super focused on getting you out. I wanted to know immediately that you were OK. I pushed again and I felt a bloop, bloop. I reached down and felt your head and I said, “It’s the head, my sweet baby.” Deborah echoed me, “Yes, your sweet baby.” I grabbed Papi again and I pushed a couple more times. Then I felt another bloop, bloop. I asked if it was only part of the body or the whole body. Deborah said that I just needed a little more. So one or two more pushes and the third bloop, bloop. I grabbed my sweet baby and held you in my arms. The cord was a little tangled on your body, so I couldn’t’ get a good hold. Plus you were so slippery!
I looked to see if you were a boy or a girl and then I said, “It’s a girl. Hi, Sarada! You looked like a little Indian baby and Paloma, the other name I had chosen, just didn’t fit you. Sarada you were. Nobody heard any of this. Maybe I was communicating mentally with you, and I never said a word out loud? All I know is that I was the first one to hold, love and communicate with you.
You cried and I said, “Thank you, God,” and I heard Deborah’s echo, “Yes, Thank you God.”
(Asha has been called Spiritual Midwife by her clients. Find more about her offerings at Reclaiming Your Power.