I've been wanting to write this down for a year. To share it with Aiya, to share it here. My baby's birth. My birth.
I keep losing my words. None of them seem good enough. But I tried and this is what I came up with...
4.12.16...Mase and I were born into new dimensions of ourselves, Aiya into her earth suit.
I'd had Branxton Hicks (those preparatory contractions) for weeks. The initial excitement had waned...even the novelty of feeling my uterus preparing itself to birth had really worn off by then!).
The birth pool had been filled for weeks and was sitting in our living room, a large and silent presence. I liked seeing it there, I would practice yoga alongside it. Every day Mase was diligently stirring the spring water we'd had our friend Tony deliver, adding Crystal Energy and keeping it aerated so it stayed clean.
We were kind of resigned to the fact that this baby was on her own timeline.
I'd booked in to get acupuncture on the Monday, as my midwife was getting worried we wouldn't be able to have a home birth if it went much longer (there's a 14-day overdue cut off for home births in Byron). We were cutting it fine.
Saturday night came; it was late. We were watching Vikings on Netflix. Probably eating ice cream (@knoxandaya 😉). And something changed. I don't know what, really, but I just knew that she was coming. It was different.
It was around 11pm. We weren't sure exactly what we were supposed to do at that stage...I mean, it was happening but it was pretty chill. I timed the contractions in my phone and we decided that it wasn't really urgent, so we thought we'd go to bed.
That night was so beautiful - we played music and talked and made love and cuddled and I felt my body morphing but it was slow and the sensations were really manageable.
Some time in the very early hours of the morning Mase had a nap and I did too, in the pool, until dawn, when we decided we should probably call the midwives. They arrived with the bright morning sun, I'm not sure what time because by then I was in the vortex.
Plant medicine, drugs, deep states of meditation; none of it compares to birth. The biggest trip of your life. Death is probably similar, approached in a mindful way. I'll let you know when I get there. 😉
Anyway, the general consensus from my midwives was that it would take a while; they predicted a sunset baby. I'd been in the pool since the early hours of the morning and I was asked to get out for a bit, as apparently the warmth can slow those contractions down.
Up until that point I feel like I'd been ok with the sensations but holy shit, did it get real when I left that pool. Aquatic births are definitely my jam!! I basically left my watery wallow, stepped onto the floor, had one contraction which brought me to my knees and squealed and jumped straight back in that pool! Ha!
By that point Mase had called the midwives back, as I was pretty convinced I was having this baby NOW and I was deep in my own world. I remember making low, primal groans and I remember staring at Mason and feeling him so deeply supporting me...that was amazing.
I also remember joking with my Mason and my midwives, and having a small moment of total 'what the fuck' when someone called out that I just had to push her round the bend. I'm pretty sure I said something like, 'who decided a pelvis should have a bend?!'
I also remember saying something like, 'I hope the lady who is Air BnB-ing upstairs is ok with this noise' 😂 (for the record, she was super cool about it).
I remember feeling like Aiya was helping me birth her and I remember feeling like it was all going too fast. I knew that I should slow down but I couldn't.
My midwife told me how to use my breath and I did and it changed again. I could feel that I was working with my body instead of trying to fight it.
I could feel the consciousness of the contractions - how they were working for me and how they built upon one another likes sets of waves, and how if I kept to their tempo and rhythm I could be very very strong and very very powerful. And it was easier (ish). (I mean, fuck, it's not easy!)
I remember squatting because it felt like the only way to get around that bend. #whythebend??
I remember Mason. He made me want to be strong and work hard. He held such a huge space for me.
I remember looking outside and it was so bright and sunny and green, greener than I'd ever seen, and I thought how nice it was to be birthing in such beautiful light.
I have the strangest memory when it comes to Aiya's birth. I cannot remember the feeling of pain (though I know it did hurt) but I can remember some of the insights I had.
I remember feeling really, really connected to all women who had birthed - I remember grabbing Mason and saying that I really understood something in that moment. Honestly, I'd judged women who'd opted for procedures like elective cesareans...not a nice thing to admit, but I had. I just literally felt that dissolve, I was just so in awe of mothers no matter how they brought forth their children, it doesn't fucking matter.
We are all creatrixes.
I birthed Aiya into the pool; her Daddy caught her and steered her under water towards me.
I remember thinking that I'd prefer not to take the baby right in that moment, that I needed a minute or two to gather myself. But that wasn't an option (motherhood is basically that feeling a million times a day, I have since learned) and I'm so glad we got to be the first things she saw...her Daddy and I.
She had the biggest, blackest almond-shaped eyes (I remember thinking she looked Asian!) and huge hands and she was silent and staring and I wasn't sure if she was even real. She was covered in vernix. She didn't cry.
I felt like I'd been dancing at a crazy festival for five days straight, high in hormones (instead of drugs) and so so tired.
I didn't have that crushing feeling of love for her in that moment. I'd felt it when I first knew I was pregnant. I remember one night when I walked to the car to get something and I looked up and saw that stars...I just cried and cried thinking about showing her stars one day, it overwhelmed me.
But that moment after her birth, I was just in shock. I think it just hit me. That it was forever and it was not a ride I could get off or stop and there was no going back. The only word I have for it is sudden. Not good or bad, it's not based on morality or duality, it was just an awareness of the contract made and signed a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
I'm obviously fucking crazy about her, it took all of about two hours for the shock to wear off, but I want to be honest.
Aiya got on my boob, I got on the couch, I gave birth to a giant placenta and celebrated (NO BONES!) and after we were happy with the placenta/umbilicus drainage situation we cut the cord.
I got some stitches (which I was so scared about going in to the birth and that ended up being nothing to even worry about, the bend guys, that's the bit to worry about!! Haha) while Mase had a cuddle.
And that was it.
Mase and Aiya and I became a pod and a family and it's the best thing ever. I got to see the sunset at the beach that arvo and sleep in my bed that night during the most beautiful summer storms, with my kid and my man and my gigantic boobs. And life was, and is, sweet.
And that, my friends, is the story of Aiya's birth.
Also, when you give birth you poo a lot and, as Mason put it, your anus blossoms. So there's that. No one tells you about that. 🙄💩🤷♀️#consideryourselfinformed