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.
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.
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.
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.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- In the Middle – A Progression Through Four Birth Experiences Amy at Peace 4 Parents shares her birth experiences and the central focus that holds them together.
- A Birth Story-The Post Where I Finally Let Go Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama finally frees herself of all of the negativity she held onto regarding the way in which her daughter came earthside.
- From Hospital to Home Birth Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling explains how it took three pregnancies to realize that birth is a natural, empowering life event to be celebrated at home.
- Preparing for Joyful Birth-Making Peace with my Soul Shana at Tales of Minor Interest prepares to birth her second child with joy after a traumatic first birth experience.
- Reflections Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis reflects on the planned cesarean birth of her breech daughter.
- The Top Five Utterances of my HBAC Leah @ Zen and the Art of Cloth Diaper Maintenance comments on how an HBAC brings many new expierences and phrases.
- Labor Phases: Latent, Sleep, Transitional, Hell CatholicMommy shares the surprises of her birth story.
- The Birth of My first Child – Our Miracle Baby Darcel @ The Mahogany Way Birth Cafe shares her story of the traumatic birth of her first child. Darcel still feels guilt over the birth and is looking for ways to heal.
- My Thoughts on Birth: 10 Months Later Adrienne at Mommying My Way compares how she feels about her son’s birth now that he’s ten months old with how she felt right after he was born, and how that impacts how she relates to other new moms.
- Jasmine’s Birth, My Rebirth Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that the birth of her third daughter would change her entire view of her Life.
- Birth Reflection: It Only Takes A Second Zoie at TouchstoneZ reflects on her third homebirth-the birth of her second living child