Well, I just finished my birth story (this most recent version anyway). This has been a very fufilling experience. I share this story with you in trust. Each of our stories is so life changing, affirming, beautiful, hard, amazing. I look forward to reading the stories written and posted here, and hope to hear back from you about mine. (Nora, I started reading your story and will continue tomorow...sleep is calling my name. Your story truly touches my heart and you write very beautifully).
With love and light,
The Birth Story of Amaya Madrone
I want to remember my power on those laboring days. My perseverance and inner strength. The supportive loving women who helped me and my wonderful man. I want to remember that I rode each contraction…I never once thought of pain medications. I only knew to let each one come and pass through me.
Life on her way through me.
The eternity in the bedroom…hands and knees and pushing back into a cat-like position. And Delilah (my kitty) wandering in and out to see what I was doing. All those moans and moans and moans. And later, as I reckoned with the forces, the growling. Not struggling against, but surging with undeniable power. Pushing with all my might.
And continuing to do so for 10 long hours
My man and my midwives encouraged me to stand and walk as perhaps that might aid my pushes and bring this baby down and out. "How about walking outside" they suggested. The eternity between the bedroom and the sliding glass doors...I could not fathom the long journey. So I stood and hung from my man's shoulders. That pressure...the most incredible, intense, un-explainable force surging through me. I could barely handle it. Yet I did, for hours more. I stood when I could, and even braved a shower on my own. My babe's head pressing against my inner most being.
Yet, she was not born...not yet. I asked my man the time, he told me "4 and some change" (though after the birth he admitted it was 3 minutes to 5). Though there were few to no thoughts outside of labor, I was able to do the math... I had been pushing for 7 hours. Why was she not here yet? What was hindering her descent? Desperation and exhaustion led me to the tub once more. It was there that one of my midwives told me that the heart beat was starting to be off and that we really should go to the hospital birth center. I knew that we had to go at that point...for my baby. Yet the despair of leaving home and the birth I had envisioned left me feeling so dissapointed, worn out...Actually there aren't even words for those few moments of time. The realization that the dream was not to be. Getting out of the tub, into some pants, slippers, a robe. Unable to talk to any of my beloved birth team. Beyond tears.
Out the door into the pre-dawn morning. Pausing for contractions. The car ride, surreal. The midwife's van ahead, her rear lights, gleaming red in the darkness. Pushing in the front seat. Drenching my pants. Pee, amniotic fluid. And pulling up to the hospital.
And then, when I was told to lay on my back with my feet on the squat bar, and without water, and with an oxygen mask (on and off and on again) and with the fetal heart monitor, and with a few minutes of the uterine catheter in place, I still pushed. When that doctor came in the room and said I may need a cesarean, I continued pushing, seeking reassurance from those loving people surrounding me, trying to believe that I could bring forth my baby into the light.
I pushed with all my might, through exhaustion, through puffy eyes, through fear, determination. I pushed through disbelief and not being able to see my yoni opening, opening, her head filling my opening. Pushing through my pain, my maidenhood, my lost expectations, past all that. And even when I agreed to the vacuum, me-miss natural homebirth spokesmama, I was grasping at the possibility that with the help of the vacuum my baby could be born, the exhaustion over.
And so I pushed with a force unknown to me and there is barely any other recollections in those moments. Only pushing and burning and then – I felt her body slide miraculously from my body into this world. And through the flurry of activity that followed, with that brief glimpse of her face and head - not yet in this world, but still shifting over, I knew that she was ok. I did not worry – only yearned for her soft body snuggled on mine. She was cut from me, brought to a warming table for breath work under bright lights. The beginning I had tried to shield her from. Yet when the time came when she was brought to me, my sweet baby child lay in my arms and love poured forth through and within me, immersing me with awe, love, reverence for this beautiful being who lay peacefully looking into my eyes. She was here, the babe of my dreams, a little girl after all.
My eternal daughter, for you I will endure anything. I love you Amaya Madrone.