I’m a woman of many passions.
Its a running joke among my friends, partner (Nicholas), and I. If I considered being “too” passionate a “thing” then I would be too passionate. Far too passionate. I have a habit of putting my entire heart and soul into everything I enjoy. I educate myself on literally everything I possibly can. (Education is actually a passion of mine…)
I am constantly exploring my passions as deeply as I can. Its a craving that is never satisfied. I feel this drive within me to know as much as my mind can hold. To explore everything around me. And I would never try to change that about myself. Its something I truly love about myself.
But above every other passion I may have, the most incredible, magical, and fulfilling one would be motherhood.
Bringing my three flowers Earth side.
Where could I even start? (Incoming story time)
I found out that I was pregnant with my first child, Liliana, when I was just sixteen years old. I remember not even noticing the pregnancy at first. I found out that I was with child from a very severe UTI. I was shocked, as was her birth father. Right then and there I made my life change. In that moment when time seemed to stand still, I became who I needed to be for my child. When I told my parents, the first thing I told them was “I want this is be a positive experience. It IS a positive experience. And I do not want to be shamed for having my first child. Because I want this to be a joy-filled time.” Obviously, it was easier said than done. But my parents coped extremely well with the news.
I remember that soon after I found out that my womb had worked up some magic, I went outside once the moon shone her beautiful face once again. I felt so human, loved, and earthly. As if the grass underneath my feet connected me to another realm where the energies of the lands filled my being. Such a warmth that I usually only feel while meditating, I was feeling fully awake and aware. It was so magical, and a time I’ll never forget. I walked the land, enveloping the sweetness of the moonlight, all while asking the moon for protection for the sweet babe within me. I felt heard and safe. And after that night, I never worried about the situation at hand. Only about how much love and appreciation I had for my child. Because she saved my life.
The day I gave birth to Liliana was indescribable. An induction because of pre-eclampsia beginning, I was 39 weeks and 5 days. I was incredibly nervous. My mother and I had gone out for lunch before heading to the hospital, and I remember shaking almost the entire time. Walking into the hospital was both exciting and nauseating. What on Earth was going to happen? All I had to go off of was my mother’s labors with my brother and I. Both were TERRIBLE. My brother’s birth had ended in him getting caught in her pelvis, and after he was born her stitches tore, and my birth had resulted in a poorly placed epidural that had left my mother in a coma for the first month of my life. I had taken labor and delivery classes, but they never taught me how to manage the pain. Only to “breathe” and to get the epidural when the pain got bad enough. (Go modern-day hospital tactics) So I felt very unprepared, despite the research I had done, and all of the books I had read.
I was soon in my room and had been given a tablet to begin dilating my cervix. I walked the halls with my mother and my best friend, Brittney, and very shortly after I was in a lot of pain. I made my way back to my bed and around 4-5cm dilated I was given the epidural and pitocin was started. I labored for a total of 16 hours, and in 45 minutes of pushing, and a second degree tear, all 9lbs 7oz of Liliana Susan was born. She was born at 7:10am on April 15th, 2011 (two days before my 17th birthday). She was the most beautiful little creature I had ever seen! Everyone on the L&D floor was completely in love with her chubby legs and arms. She was perfect. I remember walking around the halls pushing her in her bassinet just beaming with pride. She was mine. She was the beautiful soul that I had just nourished for nine months. I couldn’t believe I had ever gotten so lucky. I never felt nervous about having a child so young. I just recall accepting and welcoming her. I adapted very well to motherhood. I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do- raise my sweet babe to the absolute best of my ability. I still to this day have never regretted having her once. She saved me in more ways than I could ever describe.
Fast Forward 13 months.
At this point in time I was newly married to Lily’s birth father. So we decided that we would begin to try for a second sweet babe since we wanted our children close in age. I had been on birth control since Lily was around three months old, so we weren’t sure how long it would take for me to conceive.
It was around that time when I truly developed a passion for my own reproductive system. I began to research whenever I had the chance. On fertility, a woman’s cycle, pregnancy, birth, hormones, you name it. It was fascinating! I could not feed that craving for knowledge enough. Mind you, I wasn’t researching to try to become pregnant faster. I was just learning to appreciate and love my own body. How I was part of a glorious cycle within nature. That I was nature. It was astounding.
However, around 11 days past my first ovulation since coming off of hormonal birth control, I knew that I had conceived. There was an instinct within me that let me know, and it was at that point that I knew I should take a test. Well, sure enough, on May 18th, 2012 (11dpo) I received a faint positive test! My womb had whipped up magic once again! As I cried tears of joy while looking at the test in my hand, I knew that the sweet love within me was a female. I have never needed an ultrasound to tell me my children’s sex.
Unfortunately, the pregnancy with my second child was a terrible experience all around. My then-husband became extremely abusive, and it showed in my pregnancy. From 15 weeks on I spent it in and out of the hospital almost daily for stress related contractions and preterm labor issues. It was to the point where the entire labor and delivery floor knew my life history and they even had a separate room set aside and made up for me for whenever I came in. The nurses on the floor never truly believed I was having legitimate contractions however until I was 25 weeks. My husband and I had been arguing a lot, and he was getting worse mentally. I remember waking up that morning thinking that something was wrong, but for once not feeling any contractions. Instantly I was terrified. I made it to my OB office and she assumed I was just overreacting. I was not contracting, and that was a good thing, right?! I was just a lunatic.
But things quickly changed. The nurse had me undress from the waist down, and sit on the table. My urine came back clear of infection (which I am notorious for getting) so the nurse blew me off. When my OB came in though, she decided to check my cervix to calm me down. As soon as her hand reached my cervix, her entire face changed. She got worried, and immediately said “Okay, well your cervix is thinning and is very soft. I’m going to hook you up to monitor your uterus for a while” Meaning she was going to check for contractions. As soon as I was hooked up, we saw that I had been contracting. For hours. But I couldn’t feel them. They were constant and every five minutes, and she immediately panicked. She told me it looked as I labor was starting and had me transferred to the hospital.
Once I arrived there, I was given and IV for hydration, and the first of two rounds of steroid injections to mature baby’s lungs incase she was born soon. I had to stay for two days to be monitored and was put onto a medication called Procardia to help slow down my contractions. When the medication didn’t work, I had to take a double dose, which was two pills every four hours around the clock.
I was sent home after my cervix was no longer changing, and continued the pregnancy on Procardia despite my several trips to the hospital for contractions that were indicating labor was beginning. It was truly a nightmare. I hurt. I cried. I was on strict bed rest for 20 weeks and felt terrible, though Lily was an angel during that period. The worse my husband got, the worse my contractions got, which would in turn anger him more, causing him to become more abusive towards us. I was never so relieved as I was when I finally gave birth to her. On January 24th, 2013 at 4:31pm Delilah Autumn was born. 8lbs of sweet love. Looking in her face made every single contractions worth it! A natural birth, and a very quick 7 hour labor! I was so happy to finally have her earthside and in my arms. And again, just like her sister, she saved my life.
Fast forward 13 months (yes, again!)
Note: I will address my divorce in a separate post. For now, enjoy my third birth story! I apologize for some missing pieces!
After a very long, stressful, yet blissful year, my children and I had finally found happiness in our family. My husband was finally out of our lives, and legally was not allowed to be around us. I had finally found my soul’s mate. We had been living together for quite a while, and on March 4th, 2014 we got the most incredible news we could have ever received. I was expecting once again. We were absolutely thrilled. Never had I shared such a happiness with someone. The girls were excited, our families were excited, our friends were REALLY excited. It was such magical time. Our family had finally found itself. And as a bonus, a sweet new earthling was to join us as well. We celebrated and embraced the growing love in our house.
The pregnancy had its share of contractions as well (mostly because I suffer from severe OCD and panic disorder. My stress causes the contractions) But it was always manageable. Since we had been transferring from a conventional lifestyle to a natural one, I wanted a home birth and a midwife. I wanted my pregnancy to be completely natural, and aside from an initial ultrasound at 6 weeks to confirm, it was! I had my first midwife appointment at 25 weeks. Renea was an absolute angel with my pregnancy. She was very relaxed, funny, and soothing. She calmed my fears and empowered me when I needed it. It seemed that the pregnancy flew by, and it was then time to wait for labor to begin!
Three days before baby boy’s due date, I had been feeling incredibly anxious. So anxious in fact, that I had been grinding my teeth with so much force that my entire face hurt. I could tell there was a major hormone shift (I always get extra anxious when my hormones shift) and instinctively I knew he would be coming soon.
Two days before his due date: I had been trying everything natural to start active labor, because I had been having a VERY slow early labor. But that day Nick, the girls, and I had done some shopping for cleaning supplies. We came home and Nick and I began cleaning everything for the hundredth time just to make sure the house was ready. I had been making sure to squat while I cleaned, and jump up and down as I did. (It was quite a sight, let me tell you!) But anything to move that baby farther down!
We went out and ate dinner that evening and when we got home, I decided to rock around on my birthing ball because I was having lower back pain and inconsistent contractions that I wanted to keep going. I bounced and rocked for an hour, and they all stopped. At that point I was livid and crying and just wanted that baby out. Nick comforted me, and we all went to bed.
Around 5am I woke up with a pain in my belly. Not unusual because my bladder was full, but I knew as soon as I felt it that it was time. I walked to the bathroom and was expecting my water to burst as I sat down. Nothing. No bloody show. But I still knew. I felt an entirely different energy around the house. So I walked to the living room to let Nick sleep a little longer. As I sat on the couch, I felt it again. Three minutes later I felt it again. So I walked into the bedroom, and shook Nick until he woke up. He looked at me and I said “So I’m contracting.” That didn’t mean too much, however. I had been contracting for a month. He shut his eyes again, and I said “And they HURT.” He asked “Do you think its labor?” and I nodded. He immediately got up (naturally a nervous wreck) and helped me to the living room so we didn’t wake the girls up. The pain intensified immediately. I sat upright on the couch because I couldn’t move. I grabbed my heating pad and held it on my lower belly while Nick applied counter pressure to my lower back. I hummed, but I was still too excited and nervous to fall into a meditative state. So naturally my body tried to fight the pain, only making it worse. I texted my midwife and my mother in between contractions. My midwife didn’t think I was in labor yet, though because I had had no bloody show. (Except I’ve never had bloody show prior to labor)
So Nick helped me, and around 8am, I was clearly in transition. I remember telling him “I HAVE to get to a hospital” and “I CANNOT do this at all!” He held me and was amazing. He texted my midwife again and told her to get there quickly. Since my midwife has four young children of her own, she had to get her babysitter there first. Right after transition, I went silent. I didn’t make a noise at all. I had FINALLY found my “groove” with labor, and was no longer fighting the pain. I was still sitting on the couch, and I would assume was around 8cm dilated at the time. My eyes stayed shut, I didn’t move, I just rode each contraction like a wave. It was so incredible so feel so free during such a life changing time. The feeling is indescribable. I was even falling asleep! (Nick and Renea are witnesses!) With each wave I felt a bit more calm, and I began giving small pushes to combat the pressure on my pelvis.
When my two midwives and doula arrived around 10am, they didn’t believe I was in labor. Renea slipped in silently, and made sure to not make a sound as she set up her equipment. She brought in the birthing stool that I had requested, and silently chatted with the other two women and Nick. Once she was ready, she crouched down beside me and whispered “Would you like me to check your cervix?” I initially said no, but changed my mind. I scooted towards the edge of the couch and she quickly checked me. She didn’t say anything, other than “Whenever you feel like pushing, go right on ahead. Do whatever feels right” Then I heard her whisper to Chelsea (the other midwife) and Jessica (the doula) “She’s at a 10!” Everyone was shocked! It wasn’t soon after that that she coaxed me onto the birthing stool. Nick sat in front of me as did Renea, while Jessica held my heating pad on my lower back while stroking my hair, and Chelsea rubbed my upper back while taking photos. (all while she was pregnant! Go her!) It took one contraction, and I said “I can feel his head dropping down” and Renea told me to keep pushing. I pushed hard, and splat! There went my waters! All over the floor, Nick, and Renea. (It was actually pretty funny) Then his head slid out. Then one shoulder. He was so big that he had gotten stuck, so Renea to me on all fours and tried to pull him out, but he wasn’t budging. So the threw me on my back and he slid out the rest of the way. The first thing I said was “Holy CRAP I feel better!” I understand why I said that now! The first thing Jessica, Renea, and Chelsea said was “WE HAVE GOT TO WEIGH THAT BOY!” He was HUGE. Nick and I looked over his sweet little face, while we waited for my placenta. Once that was born as well, we realized why I was so huge. Kohana Robert was born on November 13th, 2014 at 12:14pm. He weighed 10lbs 13oz (!!!!) and his placenta was the same size! It was so large that I actually hemorrhaged and had a Class III Hemorrhage that required a blood transfusion and four bags of pitocin. (NOTE: If you have been or are considering a home birth, DO NOT let that story discourage you. I hemorrhaged because of Kohana’s placenta size. It is VERY unusual for that to happen. Postpartum hemorrhages happen with only 6% of births)
Regardless of what happened postpartum, his birth experience was MAGICAL. I have never felt so connected to the energies around me, or the women that surrounded me, as I did in labor with Kohana. Once he was born, the love and magic in our home grew even more than I thought possible. It surpassed the amount of love I thought one person could have. Kohana brought a new light into our eyes. He had everyone wrapped around his precious little fingers, and I think always will. There is a certain aspect of him that just captures everyone. He is beautiful in every conceivable way, as are our precious daughters. We are so incredibly lucky to have such precious flowers!
So there you go. One of the many topics I am overly passionate about- birth!
A few photos from Kohana’s beautiful birth.