Reflections from our birth team- part 1

As you all know I had an amazing team of people surrounding me and cheering me on during the birth of Moonbeam. I have asked them to share words, thoughts, reflections of the birthing experience. So that I can share them here with you. Be on the look out for more from our birth team.

1 member in particular I am especially grateful for. She was truly a heaven sent gift. Our photographer and my new friend Vicki. We we worried about not being able to afford to pay someone to photograph our birth. It was important for us to document this journey, because we knew this experience would be beautifully healing and powerful and we wanted to be able to share this experience with others through pictures, words, and video. E is a photographer but I knew I needed him hands on with me during labor and birth and that he wouldn’t be able to take snap shots.

We had spoken with a friends daughter who is interested in photography about coming over. She was excited, but I wasn’t sure it would work out. I didn’t feel right about calling her in the middle of the night or asking her to drop what she was doing to come over during labor if it happened to come at an inconvenient time for her. One of E’s photography buddies also mentioned if it happened at the right time for her, she would be willing to come over and take photos as well. I still didn’t feel like we had a secure photo documentation plan.

Well a few weeks before my due date my midwife mentioned that she knew a photographer who wanted to expand her portfolio of home birth photography and was looking to shoot a homebirth pro bono. She nominated us.

A week later we found out that Vicki has accepted the nomination moments after E was robbed for $1700.00. We were so grateful that E was ok, but were a little shaken by the experience. The good news of Vicki accepting us as clients, was very comforting and calming in our time of disarray.

A week or so later she came over to meet us, get to know Sol baby, and see the birthing space. From that moment on I felt connected. I had tons of prodromal labor starts and stops, and Vicki would text me to check in. Those texts and check ins helped me more than she would ever know. Her support and advice always helped me to refocus and lift my spirits.

During the birth, Vicki was one of the first people to arrive and last to leave. She was so much more than a photographer. She was family. She was an integral part of our birth team. She played with Sol. She helped us remove water from the birth tub so we could add more hot water. She made the call to the midwives to head back when my labor progressed. She talked to me during labor and just seemed to always know the right things to say and how and when to say it. And she captured such a beautiful day in such a beautiful way.

She wrote the following poem as a reflection of our birth experience.

Rebirth

She’s smiling, happy to know it’s finally time

First Baby is happy, but shy

Working through waves, letting them wash over her

More people arrive, excited and ready

Time passes, as her body opens the clock changes

Daddy lovingly creating in the kitchen, checking on her

Settling in, it could be a long night

Her body decides it’s time for Second Baby to enter

She doesn’t think she can do it, everyone holds her up

Embrace her, love her, encourage her

Self-doubt, her body letting go regardless of her feelings

Low energy, but she musters strength enough

Strength she’s always had, never known before

Power she’s always had, but never been able to use

Love, overwhelming love in the room, palpable

He enters. She cries. They all embark on a new journey together.

– Vicki Beauchamp , The Memory Box Photography

Here is a preview of some of the amazing images she captured, more to come.

Sol Baby is 2 years old…

I just realized my Sol baby’s birthday post was sitting in my drafts, waiting for an entire month to be posted. She turned 2yrs old on January 8th. I am going to try and get the recap from her So(u)l Rhythm birthday party up this evening…

Two years I gave birth to the most beautiful So(u)l I ever laid eyes on. From the very beginning she was a joy, as a newborn she had a peaceful spirit and was always alert. We noticed very soon that she was developing very rapidly. She rolled over on the table at a very early visit to the doctor’s office; she was making eye contact and smiling, grabbing for things, and trying to sit up well before she made 2 months old. This was a sign of things to come; Sol went on to sit up at 4months, start crawling at 5months, taking steps at 7 months and fully walking at 8months. She began doing performing sign language by 9months, her first sign was milk, and then she went on to master, eat, more, all done, bath, and sleep by 12 months. Shortly after turning 12 months, I noticed she was removing her diapers before using the bathroom. I was in denial; my child was not ready for potty training. But she was. At 13 months I bought a potty chair, and took her occasionally. By 18months old she was potty trained and in panties, we skipped training pants, and she was only in diapers at night for my own sanity, she wasn’t having accidents overnight, I just wasn’t ready for no diapers at all. By 19 months she was done with diapers all together. And has only had one or two accidents since then, and usually it was the fault of the adult.

She is smart and has a thirst for information. Her language skills are very well developed and she can have a conversation with you. She knows her colors in English and Spanish, her shapes, can count to 100 by 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s, knows her states in alphabetical order, her continents, her abc’s and the phonetic sounds, she can write the letters in her name, and circles, she can dance and boy does she love it, she makes up songs, she can sort objects by color or shape. She eats. Boy does she eat. Everything from lentils and rice to kale chips and avocado. She just recently starting liking sweets like cookies and ice cream won’t touch juice. Loves apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes, and will finish her food and yours if you let her.

Her favorite toys are planes, trains, and automobiles. She loves anything with wheels especially school busses. She loves to run, jump, and flip. And she loves kisses, butterfly kisses, eskimo kisses, kisses on the cheek, and sweet sweet for mommy and daddy (kisses on the lips).

She is now anticipating the birth of Moonbeam, and is already very protective of my belly. She accidentally scratched my belly the other day and she cried, b/c she thought she hurt the baby.

Its weird, because I can’t believe my little girl is two but at the same time she feels much older and it seems as if I’ve known her my entire life. She is my best friend. I love her so much it feels as if my heart is going to burst. People always ask what did I do to make her this way. I always say God sent her to me Amazing, and all I’ve done is meet her where she is, accept her for who she is, and love her as she is.

2 years of love that can never be measured. 2 years of memories that can never be replaced.

2 years of nursing my little suckling and providing her with optimal nutrition. While gazing into her big brown eyes.

2 years of amazement and awe at her lively spirit and thirst for learning.

2 years of cuddles in the night.

2 years of waking up next to the most beautiful sunshine that ever existed.

2 years of laughter, 2 years of tears, 2 years of moments where I felt insufficient along with 2 years of moements when I felt like the worlds best mom.

2 years of blessings

2 years of mistakes, no parent is perfect.

2 years of growth

2 years of dancing

2 years of life…

A lifetime to go.

Happy birthday Sol baby, mommy loves you dearly.

Gangsta Birthing Affirmations

Birthing affirmations have been my saving grace this pregnancy. They have made me confident in my ability to give birth without unecessary interventions, they have helped me to stay positive and focused on this birth without being negatively impacted by things that happened during Sol’s birth, they have restored my faith, and have helped to to establish a meditative, relaxed mood which I hope I will be able to duplicate during my birth as a form of pain management.

Up until now, they have been great. I have used some Hypnobabies tracks along with some Hynobirthing tracks but haven’t committed to their entire programs. I’ve found some youtube videos, and even revisited some class materials from the Bradley Class I took when I was pregnant with Sol.

Once Sol falls asleep and sometimes while I am nursing her, or cuddling with her, I practice deep relaxing breathing, and allow myself to relax from head to toe, repeating peacefule affirmations either in my head and sometimes out loud…. Examples of these affirmations are:

I trust my body to know how to birth this child.

I trust my instincts to know what I need in labor.

I deserve to have the birth I desire.

I am a strong and capable woman.

My pelvis releases and opens as have those of countless women before me.

I now feel inner peace and serenity.

I accept this labor as my labor and believe it is the right labor for me and for my baby.

I love and accept my body completely.

My body contains all the knowledge necessary to give birth to my baby.

My baby knows how and when to be born.

Birth is a safe and wonderful experience.

My body knows how to have this baby, just as my body knew how to grow this baby.

I am focused on a smooth, easy birth.

Well, recently these haven’t been enough for me. I feel like they worked and have helped me to practice relaxation. I’ve even used them or similiar ones during uncomfortable moments in this pregnancy to help relax my body and help me to change my perception of the pain/uncomfortable feelings. But lately, I’ve been feeling like I need some more aggressive affirmations. I’ve gone from feeling like a birthing goddess, to wanting to be a birthing gangsta. Ya know? I’ve been feeling more umph! and less ommm! So I have come up with a list of gangsta birthing affirmations… to satisfy my need for something a bit more ( I can’t find the word I am looking for, but hopefully you get what I am saying). I can envision turning this into a childbirth education method, and helping mother’s find their inner G during pregnancy, labor, and birth. Some of them may read as peaceful, but you gotta say them with a gangsta attitude. Some are also lyrics to songs, if you’ve never heard them, youtube em to find the tune.

I am going to rock the shit outta this birth.

I am a birthing gangsta.

My inner G will impact my energy, and I will birth this baby like a gangsta.

I got this.

My birth, my baby, my body…

I’m a G, I’m a G, I’m a G.

These contractions aint got nothing on me.

ahhh push it, push it real good (to the tune of Salt and Peppa)

I got 99 problems but this birth aint 1. (to the tune of Jay Z)

Photo shoot fresh, looking like wealth, I’m ’bout to call the paparazzi on myself. (to the tune of Otis by Kanye and Jay Z)

You are now watchin’ the throne, don’t let me enter my zone. Don’t let me enter my zone, I’m definitely in my zone (Jay Z and Kanye)

If you know like I know, you don’t wanna step to this.
It’s the G-birth era, funked out with a gangsta twist
if you birth like I birth, then you high like everyday
and if your ass get in my way, then I will regulate (to the tune of regulators by Nate Dogg and Warren G)

Grin-din’, when you know what I keep in a lining
doctors better stay in line, when
When you see a mama like me birthing (Grin-ding!) (to the tune of Grindin’ by Clipse)

La Di Da Di, we likes to party
We don’t cause trouble, we don’t bother nobody (to the tune of Snoop Dogg)

Who the, windy city woman still still comin and gunnin
Straight from the chi
Tonight’s the night for all the mama’s, let’s birth all night (to the tune of ladies night, da brat’s verse)

That’s all I got for now. I will come up with some more and share them later.

You have any gangsta birthing affirmations that you would like to share…?