Let me start off this article with a disclaimer: I know I am blessed, I know my experience was not typical…but I still feel it’s crucial to share my story.
A lot of my friends who have recently given birth have shared their labor and delivery stories. Being pregnant I was obsessed with reading them as everyone’s story is just a little bit different. I read about deliveries that went entirely as planned, some which took a turn for their worst fears and many, many stories that involved fear, pain and anger at doctors, staff and God.
As I was reading away, I came to the conclusion that whatever happened in the delivery room, I wouldn’t feel anger. I was asked a handful of times by various family members & practitioners what my “plan” was and if I was afraid. I had no plan at all. I figured that without a child birthing class I would still know how to deliver a baby, and my only real request was that the only person who was holding my hand would be my husband.
I would jokingly tell my family that I wanted to wear a labor outfit as I didn’t like the hospital gowns. I told them I thought he was coming early because a handful of my intuitive friends told me he would (and as his momma I just knew he was ready). No one believed me and we would all laugh & joke. I knew that if I had a plan, I would have a chance at finding negativity and I needed NONE of that as my son entered this world.
Months and weeks prior to his arrival I decided to create a list of things I wanted during labor: a fabulous playlist (with different genres, who knows what I would be in the mood for when the time came), the reminder to perform reiki, hubby’s instructions to “treat me like one of my students” and remind me to breathe the entire time, and my essential oils in the diffuser. Other moms told me that I was crazy and that I may not want smells or sounds, but I put them all on the list, just in case. I figured trying to add more joy never hurt.
When I woke up on the morning he was born (a week early as predicted), I knew he would make his debut before midnight. I took the day to relax (okay, you caught me – I may have showered, run 3 errands and did laundry…). But when hubby finally arrived, I was ready. Ready to meet my baby, and ready for whatever was thrown at me.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:15pm. We checked in and I immediately set up my diffuser with the scent of JOY. I changed into my labor outfit (my favorite nightgown). I plugged my phone in and started playing the mantra Ek Ong Kar Sar Gur Prasad. I had made a huge playlist full of my favorite songs: mantras, yoga type music, country and EDM to spice things up. Needless to say, because of how much Zyan wanted to meet us and my mood, the only song that was played was the mantra on repeat.
For a while I felt pretty great. When they checked me, d I was 4cm dilated around 6pm. We turned off the music for a bit and watched Wheel of Fortune. We started to watch Jeopardy but by the time Alex was giving the last question to the celebrities (I remember seeing Debra Messing at some point…) I had lost all concentration of the show and would put my head down for the contractions. I did answer a few (correctly of course) in between contractions but it was at this point that I really needed my breath.
Mt. Auburn was amazing. I am so glad I stuck to my guns on where I wanted to give birth. I knew I would be surrounded by the most knowledgable doctors, kindhearted midwives and rockstar nurses around. I also knew they had amazing tools for birth: a rocking chair, a birthing ball and even the option of being in the tub!!
I personally made it to the chair and the ball before deciding I needed to be in bed. I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening, but I knew I wouldn’t make it to the tub (which is a bummer as my little mermaid heart wanted to be there…but I just didn’t have enough time, Ziggy wanted to meet us as fast as he could).
I finally got into bed and at this point all I could hear was the mantra & my husband, reminding me of lions breath and telling me how much he loved me.
Someone came in to check me as things were getting more intense and by 8pm I was 8cm dilated. They left the room for maybe 15 minutes and then I told my husband I needed someone to come back NOW. They checked me and as they did, a midwife donned a gown to get ready for Zyan to arrive. He arrived after 9 minutes of me pushing and was born at 8:39pm.
It was hard work, but yet it was the easiest experience I have ever had. My birth experience was the ultimate expression of being a warrior princess: hard work, determination and yet divine feminine love. I had my husband by my side and my son immediately on my heart, right where he belongs. Skin to skin was and is the most intimate moment yet. I finally got to see my son; this little beam of light that I had been carrying and creating for months had finally arrived.
Stepping into motherhood has been one of the most seamless transitions of my life. Nursing is my favorite activity of late and I just can’t get enough of my little Ziggy. Granted there are days when it’s really hard (like the day my beloved Apollo decided to attack a skunk…or when Zyan pooped, peed & puked at the exact same time – sans diaper!!), but even in the meltdown moments it’s amazing. People kept telling me while I was pregnant that it was all worth it and I’ll be entirely cliche here and reiterate that: this being a parent thing totally rocks, it’s worth every single moment and every breath.
Watching my husband make his transition has also been full of beauty and wonder. I’m beyond grateful to have such an amazing partner, someone who I view as my twin flame, my soulmate. When he holds Zyan my whole heart explodes as I watch them together and I know he’s already such an incredible father. I cannot wait to see how their relationship changes and grows.
Apollo has been a total rockstar as well. He is smitten with his new “pack member” and lies on my feet when we nurse together during the day. The three of us snuggle up in bed or the couch as we bond and when daddy gets a break, we all snuggle in together for lots of love.
Pregnancy. Birth. Motherhood. It’s all so divine and can be a blissful and positive experience. I’m here to remind you that not every birth story needs to be surrounded by fear and negativity, to remind you that when you breathe into yourself and connect to the deepest parts of your soul: you can do ANYTHING in the world. Including childbirth.
To all my friends who aren’t yet pregnant: do yoga! This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have a short or easy delivery, but it will certainly help you cultivate the tools you need to survive whatever your birth experience may be. It will help you relax your shoulders in between contractions, to laugh with your partner in those new parent moments and to enjoy each and every moment. We get so few in this world, so soak up each moment and try to infuse it with as much positivity and light as you possibly can.
I can’t wait for you all to meet Ziggy-man. Our little Zyan Jacob is the perfect beam of light and I couldn’t be happier that he’s arrived.
Sending you all so much love & light