Our daughter was born on April 10, 2017 at 9:06p. We didn't know her sex for about an hour, which was awesome to simply Be with this new person. I say that my labor journey started on April 6 where I began noticing subtle shifts in myself. I felt spacey and a little nauseous and ungrounded. On April 7 I went to a Butoh dance show with Ryan and my parents about the disappeared and killed pregnant women during Chile's dictatorship that my parents lived through. I started crying and felt like some deep layers of healing were happening for my lineage and history and at this time I felt practice contractions for the first time in my entire pregnancy! And continued to feel them throughout the night. On April 8 I woke up to find myself pretty wet, I thought maybe my water had broken, but when I went to the bathroom I saw that there was some light pink blood and I immediately thought "I'm in labor!" Ryan and I were ready to head back home (we had stayed with my parents to see the show) and called our midwife to tell her. She told us to go back to bed, that it could still be a while and that yes bloody show is a sign but it's not certain that I am in labor. So, we went back to bed and then headed back home later in the day. We went to the co-op to get groceries for a yummy delicious soup and to gather food for labor and after. Later in the day I lost my mucous plug and continued with on and off bloody show. I took a bath to relax and Ryan massaged me. On Sunday I had the same signs and my midwife told us to go about our lives normally until I can't anymore. By evening I started to experience cramps, but nothing regular.
On the morning of April 10, I woke up around 530a to tell my parents not to go to work, I knew my baby would be here soon. I then got up around 9a and Ryan made us a super yummy breakfast and I was feeling super nourished and relaxed. We decided we'd go for a walk to the trail by the food co-op. The sensations I was feeling were in my hips and legs with a downward pressure, sort of like an intense period cramp and happening sort of regularly. It was raining as we left the house and we decided to collect flowers for the birth. I was pretty convinced that I wasn't in labor, but looking back, I think I was saying that as a way to cope, even though I had all the signs that yes, I was indeed in my birth process. I had an idea in my mind about what the sensations would feel like, and what I was feeling didn't exactly fit that, so I convinced myself that I wasn't actually in labor, everyone said that "you'll just know" which I guess I did, but didn't want to admit it fully :)
As we reached the trail into the canyon the sky opened up, just like my cervix was opening to let my baby through. It was a really magical walk, just Ryan and I and the sun and trees and water and wind with us. I felt the presence of my little baby all around us in the forest canyon. The sensations increased in their intensity during our walk, but still weren't in any regular pattern. My body was dancing with my baby's body slowly getting baby lower and lower into my pelvis, getting ready to come out into this world. I felt connected to everything on our walk. It felt so good to feel the sun kissing us gently through the swaying trees. The trees reminded me to be rooted yet able to flow and move with the winds. I called a friend to see if she could drop off an essential oil that might help and she said she'd stop by during her break. We walked back home and as we left the canyon forest we thanked the spirits for their presence and literally as we left the sky closed again and started to drizzle on our way back home. I am pretty sure we had all the weather that day, rain, sun, wind and I heard from my roommates that there was some hail that day too and a double rainbow!
After we got home I called one of my good friends to tell her what was going on and she asked me how I was feeling, I explained the feelings to her and at this time everything got sort of warped, like that feeling when you're about to start tripping while taking psychedelics. We decorated the birthing space with the flowers we gathered on our walk and I started playing with some clay to keep my mind off the sensations. I ended up making a little bowl that was used as a candle holder during the end of birth. My friend arrived to drop off the essential oil and some food and I remember talking through the contractions but that it was starting to get really hard, it felt like my grasp on my normal day to day life was starting to slip and I was teetering on that threshold. After my friend left I turned on my birth hypnosis tape and did my best to lay down and relax. About 20min in to the meditation I got up and started moving around more, the sensations were beginning to get pretty intense. I really had to poop so I went into the bathroom and I finally let myself believe that I was actually in labor and that my baby would be coming "si o si" at this point, I let myself believe it cause that was the sign-loose stools- I was waiting for. I remember Ryan looking at me and saying "thank you for doing this, i love you" and his face just had so much love for me and that was really nice to see. He asked if he should call our doula and midwife and I said that I wasn't sure, I didn't want anyone coming too early.
He did call our midwife because he was having some trouble setting up the tub and needed her help. She arrived around 3:30p. I didn't have pants on anymore and I was
beginning to make sounds, I was heavy in the process. Ryan took my lead and we slow danced a bunch, he rubbed my back, he was just with my 100% - so strong and so sensitive to my needs.
Our doula arrived around 5:30p and I remember time not really making any sense. As soon as she walked in I reached for her during a contraction, hanging off of her and Ryan. I really wanted to get in the tub and my midwife wanted to check me before. I remember her saying that most likely it was ok for me to get in because of how I was acting, but just in case she wanted to check and make sure I was dilated enough. I guess getting in the water can slow down labor or stop it if you get in too early. Between a contraction I laid down and she checked, she said "oh honey you're about 9.5cm dilated" and I said "oh shit." They wanted me to get up before the next contraction, but I remember feeling so good and comfy laying there.
On my way to the tub now, things are so heavy. I'm letting out sounds that I could never replicate. The water felt soooo good and I felt that I was in transition forever, this was the hardest part. I felt weightless in the water. I set up my birth space so nice, with the intention to look at certain things, but that didn't happen. I stared at one spot on the floor the entire time away from everything I set up.
I kept my tones low and held onto Ryan and my doula's hands. This part was timeless, the space between sensations was juicy and relaxed, I sank into my body. Each sensation was like a rolling sound wave that I could hear rumbling closer and closer until it came out of my mouth. The Energy I felt was the most I have ever felt. I didn't know what to do with it. Sometimes the energy would get stuck in my hands and they would start shaking. At times I couldn't figure out how to bring the energy down to my pelvis, but eventually I would figure it out. I remember feeling like I didn't want to move, I was on my knees in the tub and I felt so uncomfortable, I couldn't bring my legs close together at this point.
My water hadn't bad broken yet, so my midwife suggested that I break it to relieve some of the pressure, I could feel my baby's head when I checked and with the next contraction my midwife said I could just pop it with my nail, so I did. I felt the release of the water just swooooosh out into the tub.
I did a ton of preparation for my birth, I learned everything I could and unlearned all that I could. And all of this preparation-the breathing, the hypnosis, went out the window, I just allowed my body to take over, I felt raw and primal and real and powerful and strong. It was fucking hard work! I felt tired, I felt some pain, but we did it. I remember feeling good when my midwife would be in the room, like she reminded me of my capability and strength because she too had birthed at home and has supported so many women through this same process.
I wanted to get out of the tub but was not ready to feel gravity again and my midwife suggested I get out to let gravity do some of the work. I got out and went to the bathroom where they had set up a little space for me to sit comfy on the toilet for gravity. I did not like this at all, it sucked, and my feet were cold on the tile. So I got up and walked slowly back into my room, moving and rocking my hips, so ready to let this baby come through and to feel some relief. My midwife showed me how I could bare down by grunting, so I did that. I remember saying "I don't know what do anymore" and everyone reminded me that I was already doing it and that I don't need to know what to do, my body is doing it. I told myself "I open, I'm opening." I hung from Ryan's shoulders into deep squats walking back to the bed now, grunting, pushing. I made my way to the side of the bed where I would birth my baby. This was it, I told Ryan "I'm pushing baby out" and I felt the ring of fire! Oh shit that ring of fire. Up until that point I didn't feel like I was really in my body, like I was totally there and present but I was also somewhat disconnected to all of the sensations that were happening. I felt so floaty and not really here or there, just more expansive, I think this was a way of coping, and it didn't really feel painful to be honest, it was really uncomfortable and intense, but I wouldn't call what I experienced as pain, just really uncomfortable. So at this moment when I felt my tissues stretching I was set right into my body! And that felt painful, I yelled out "the ring of fire! the ring of fire! I feel the ring of fire! It's real!!" And then the pain left! I had pushed her head out in a goddess squat with hands on my knees and as soon as baby's head popped out I plopped over onto my hands onto the bed taking a breath. It felt like immediately, but who knows, my midwife and Ryan started stimulating my nipples to bring on another contraction and I don't even think I waited for the next contraction and I just pushed the rest of baby's body feeling her shoulders, torso and legs glide through. I heard my doula say "Javiera! Your baby is born, look down!" I looked down and there she was, upside down grayish purpleish and slippery. I took her into my hands and I can remember the sensation of her slippery new body just born still on my hands to this day. And the next moment I remember as if we were falling onto my bed, Ryan behind me and baby. Every discomfort and pain I felt was gone and I was in bliss and so much joy!
Everyone else came into the room afterwards, the assistant, other midwife and my parents. Baby latched right away and after sometime my midwife asked me to cough so she could work on getting the placenta out since I didn't know how to push anymore lol. After about an hour I checked and let everyone know that our baby was a little girl :)
Some full womb wisdom I learned from this birth: I felt so much love and strength and trust in my body and in life. True expression, I was so open and raw- I couldn't hold back or even try to! The amount of power I felt will always be with me. I respect myself and alllll mothers, wimyn, those who bring forth life so much more now. WE ARE POWERFUL! Our body's are pure power, transformational portals to the unknown, life givers and movers. I opened to each moment and learned about trust and not giving up. Life is so beautiful, life and death, I felt it all, like a mini explosion/implosion of all I knew, becoming a new person more open to the raw, pure life. Thank you sweet body for birthing Inara so simply and with ease and power and magic. The days, moments, breaths with you, my little Inara, are pure love, opening me/us to deeper parts of ourselves to untapped wells of greater and greater love.