Birth Reflection: It Only Takes A Second

Welcome to the First Carnival of Birth Reflections

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Birth Reflections hosted by Patti at Jazzy Mama and Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Participants are writing posts that reflect on how birth has transformed them into who they are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


Enjoying the Afterglow

Enjoying the Afterglow

I have given birth at home four times. I have written about three of those births, but never my third birth. The birth of my second son and second living child. Why am I blocked in writing about his birth?
I think part of it is because he’s my second and I also feel guilty that I view his birth with his sister’s stillbirth that occurred 10 months earlier. I feel that he deserves to have an individual birth story just as my other children have. But, realistically, if I wait to get clear on this, I never will write his birth story. And to write about my children now, is to include all of them.

I created my second son’s online nickname, Ganesha, because it fits him so well. He is the remover of obstacles, the reminder to be patient, the bringer of wisdom, and an immense heart of an elephant. And this is what his birth was for me.

Please bear with me, now. This part gets a little Woowoo

I was still in a state un-reality after my daughter’s stillbirth. So, I went to a therapist who specialized in birth loss. She talked me through a guided meditation through the chakras. I allowed myself to open to her words. If I had known what would happen, I would have been too afraid to allow this to happen.

Deep in the meditation, I felt her-my daughter. I felt her presence, just as I had had felt her when I told her I loved her and that I knew it was time for her to leave just before she died. She was inside me again and she left something with me before she left this time. A male presence. And I knew I was pregnant with Gan. It was too soon for tests, but I knew. I knew she had guided him safely.

I knew that this child would be healthy and strong.

I still spent my pregnancy in fear and in grief. I had panic attacks that something sudden would happen and he would die. But, I did my best to keep him safe and healthy.

I had a month of prodromal labor. Twice, I was certain I was in active labor and called my midwife. She checked me, but it was always the same shake of the head. She wanted me to keep calling her anyway because she was worried I would mistake labor for more prodromal labor and not call her in time.

I almost didn’t.

Gan born at home

Gan born at home

By the time I called my midwife and doula, we didn’t have enough time to finish inflating the birthing pool. I remember the pump was annoying me and I grunted to ask that it could be turned off. My midwife took one look at me and asked if I was feeling pushy, but I wouldn’t answer. I wanted that sound turned off and I wasn’t going to be deterred from my request by a little thing like my body bearing down. Fortunately, my midwife both honored my request and talked me into getting into a position I felt good to push in because this baby was coming right away.

I knew I was in transition when I grabbed hold of my midwife’s forearms, looked into her eyes, and said, “Help me. I’m afraid.” But, I wasn’t afraid of what my body was doing. I couldn’t express that I was afraid I would be overcome with grief. A deep well of sadness was my partner as I pushed, or I should say, my body pushed on its own while my heart went along for the ride. I knew how to get my mind out of my body’s way and let it do its best. But, I was afraid of that sadness.

Nat watches his new brother Gan

Nat watches his new brother Gan

I was in my home. My husband and son were there supporting. My trusted midwife and doula were helping me. My new baby was actively participating in his birth. But, I felt alone. And then I felt her presence. She was there, just as she had been before. Guiding my son and me through this transition.

I felt again free to love and feel the sadness.

And then Gan came barreling into the world after less than five hours of labor.

I was no longer afraid that I would disappear into grief. I would stay here and feel this love intermixed with sadness, yes, but with a full heart. It only took a second. A second of time to understand. A second of time to fall in love. A second son to refill my heart.



Carnival of Birth Reflections

Visit Jazzy Mama and TouchstoneZ to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Birth Reflections!


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

26 thoughts on “Birth Reflection: It Only Takes A Second

  1. Pingback: In the Middle – A Progression Through Four Birth Experiences Part 1 | Peace For Parents

  2. Oh wow, how beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am so glad you found healing through this birth. Thank you for this carnival. I am looking forward to finally being able to read the other participants after this wild weather weekend we’ve had.

  3. Oh my goodness, Zoie, I can only imagine the inside of your experience. Thank you for sharing what you did. This sums it up beautifully…

    “I was no longer afraid that I would disappear into grief. I would stay here and feel this love intermixed with sadness, yes, but with a full heart. It only took a second. A second of time to understand. A second of time to fall in love. A second son to refill my heart.”

    Isn’t it amazing how we can actually feel more than one emotion at a time?

    The story of her presence is beautiful, too. I feel her. 🙂

  4. I have taken something away from each birth story I have read during this carnival. Yours has me close to tears. The fact that he came so quickly, that everything was almost too right – that is what I relate to here. My second daughter was born in just over three hours. It took me 8 months to retell the wonderful story. Thank you for having the courage to share your beautiful story and for hosting this wonderful blog carnival. It has had a profound impact on me.

    Leah @ Zen and the Art of Cloth Diaper Maintenance

  5. Yep – you got me with this post! I actually read it a couple of time because I was afraid I missed something through the tears.

    I cannot imagine the pain you felt in your soul. I cannot imagine what it took to get through the birth of your second son. The strength and the courage and the fear…but clearly, you had the experience your daughter wanted you to have.

    It is so beautiful to me that your angel baby was there to guide your son along the way. No woo woo in my book. There are guiding lights of those we loved and lost all around us! Personally, I think that we only make it in life because of those souls who are there making sure we are supported…even from woo woo land.

    Beautiful, beautiful read. Thank you for sharing and for your honesty. Chills, chills, and more chills!

  6. Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad this carnival gave you the opportunity to get your son’s story out. I imagine it was difficult, but you are a strong woman. I’m sure all of your children are proud of the woman you are.

  7. Zoie, I cannot imagine the mix of grief and joy you have experienced in your journey. Thank you for processing with us and sharing so openly. I love the beautiful connection you have with those you love. *hugs*

  8. Pingback: Reflections « Rosmarinus Officinalis

      • *grin* I must admit that my first time reading it, I thought it was a bit woowoo. Then I thought, “oh stop being such a narrow-minded silly girl! couldn’t God do whatever He wanted to do to bring Zoie healing? even if it’s not something you picture Him doing? OF COURSE!” So I read it again and was just so touched by the love between you and your daughter. What a gift for your son.

    • Thank you, Patti. Mind if I just cut and paste your comment back to you on your blog? You described how I feel when I read your posts. You always leave me thinking and striving to find truth with gentleness. I’m so glad we did this Carnival together *mwah*

  9. Pingback: The Birth of My first Child – Our Miracle Baby « The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe

  10. Pingback: The Birth of My first Child – Our Miracle Baby « The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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