The day of your birth will always remain in my memory. When your Daddy called and said it was time to meet your Mama at the hospital, my heart filled with anticipation. They had waited to song for you, their little girl. Your Mama had prepared like a master; connected with you in her womb, surrounded herself with love and support, and walked the path of healing with grace. I still remember your mama’s beautiful, glowing face when I met her for the first time. I remember sitting on the floor with her, discussing the plans for your beautiful birth. Oh, how joyful she was at your impending arrival!
I arrived at the hospital shortly before your Mama and Daddy. It was a cool, beautiful Spring morning and I took time to close my eyes and envision your journey from womb to world. Your mama arrived, breathing beautifully through labor surges and taking her time to stop in the halls and focus. We were admitted into Triage, where your Mama bravely labored for around five hours in a tiny space with just a bed and curtains drawn. A window in the space let the light of the morning in. As your Mama balanced on a birth ball and leaned over the bed during surges, your Daddy would read calming affirmations about trusting her body, surrounding to the process, and knowing the process would unfold safely. Over and over, his soothing, calm voice would speak in harmony with your mama’s breath. I was humbled by the amazing connection I was witness to; what a team!
Finally, we were taken to a labor and delivery room where your mama settled in and kept the lights off for a soothing environment. Surges continued to come on strong, and your Mama rocked, walked, swayed, bounced, knelt, and stood during each of them. Her entire body was welcoming this process, her courage evident in every moan and sigh and smile. Your Daddy was at her side, supporting her and holding her and telling her she was doing such a great job.
Your birth journey was long and arduous, barely allowing time for your mama to rest. But still she continued on, doing everything she needed to do to bring you earth side. And you continued on with strength as well, always with your heart beating strongly and perfectly. On through the evening, labor progressed as your mama sat on the birthing ball and listened to music on her iPod. She began to chant with the songs and in her voice I heard the sound of heaven. In her voice, I heard her acknowledgement of surrender.
At one point, we all decided that we would have to get really serious with labor and so your mama agreed. She changed positions, lunged, squatted, and got on hands and knees. She did anything to help encourage you to move down and out of her body. She was relentless, just like the waves of contractions that came and went with intensity in her body. One moment that sticks in my mind when your mama was standing and swaying, her hands resting on her belly. Suddenly she began to sing the most glorious song, in rhythm to her surges. Her voice rang throughout the room, softly and calmly. She was a beautiful vision to behold; her face so peaceful and serene. I knew then that your mama would do anything for you. The seriousness worked, as your mama’s body opened and progressed beautifully after all that work! What a victorious moment!
As night fell, your mama’s body grew weary and worn from the intense work she was doing. She needed rest and tried to sleep between the surges. Sometimes, she would be successful and I would revel in the few moments of deep sleep she would receive. I envisioned you resting as well, curled up in your mama’s warm womb, awaiting the next push and pull. I think the nursing staff and doctors were astounded at your mama’s resilience, how she never gave up. In fact, at one point the doctor strongly urged placing a scalp monitor on you and she refused. Flat our refused with the confidence and brilliance of a goddess. I was so proud of her I could have danced!
All along, your Daddy encouraged her, giving you both the love only he could give. I knew the process was challenging for him as well, but his trust never wavered.
Soon, the evening began to turn into early morning, and we all gave your Mama and Daddy some space and privacy. During this time, which I can only imagine was difficult and emotional, your Mama and Daddy decided that you would be born through the door of her belly. I can relate to some of the emotions around this decision, Julianna, as my first daughter was born this way as well (and your sweet brothers). It is difficult to put into words how a decision such as this comes from the deepest parts of us, especially when we want so much to push our babies into the world! Many emotions surround this decision and I can only say I know it wasn’t an easy choice to make. But I trust in your Mama’s wisdom and that is something I can say without reservation. She knows. She knew. She still knows.
So, when I came back into the room, I held your Mama as tears streamed down her face. Birth is such a transformative journey and your Mama had worked harder than any woman I’ve ever seen. She wanted to meet you, feel your soft skin against her body, and rest with you in bliss. Soon, she would do just this.
But again, your Mama’s courage shined through, as she asked to see the inserts for all of the medications that were being asked of her to take. She even refused one of them and I was blown away at the clarity she had in these moments swirling with contractions, and decisions, and emotions. Your mama was as brave as a lioness, protecting you and nurturing you through every single breath. She had done everything in her power to will you through her body! I told your Mama how proud I was of her and said goodbye as they took her to the room in which you’d be born. Joy coursed through my body for her, for you, for your Daddy. Finally, after a more than 24 hour journey, it was time for you to meet.
I waited in the recovery room and before I knew it, your Daddy walked beside your mama’s bed as it rolled in. There in her arms was you; a perfect, gorgeous little girl! My heart swelled with pride at your mama’s long and intense journey. Your Mama and Daddy had finally gotten their little girl! I stared into your mama’s tired eyes, noticed her sweet smile, and was reminded of the way birth changes us, continues to remind us of our perfection and humanity. To me, your birth was full of triumph, even if it was not the way your Mama had intended.
I could not have been more full of pride for this woman who smiled before me. She did it. You did it. Together, a team that flowed with the river of acceptance, faith, and resilience. I cannot explain with sufficient words how proud I am of your warrior-Mama. I am still reeling from your inspirational birth, from the way your Mama gathered her inner-resources and mixed them with your tiny soul-wisdom, and birthed you with everything she’d ever know. She never doubted. She continued on. She made choices, tough ones.
I am humbled, on my knees, to have been a small part of your journey.