Moonbeam’s Birth: A Visual Account

Birth.Beauty.Healing.Love. Light. Power. Safe.Natural.Peaceful.Loving.

Birth is a sacred rite of passage. It is the most holistically profound and spiritual experience one would ever have. It’s the one thing We all have in common, WE WERE BORN, WE’VE EXPERIENCED BIRTH. Yes, our birth stories vary -some naturally, some traumatically, some peacefully, some by surgery, some vaginally, some after long labors and some after short. But regardless of how we were born, we were BORN. And that in and of itself lets me know how powerful BIRTH is.

Pregnancy and the journey to birth is a healing process, it’s a time when all of your senses are heightened, you are more aware of not only the world around you, but also the world within you. Birth is not a medical condition and shouldn’t be treated as such. Yes, there are certain circumstances and situations that rely on medical interventions to keep mommy and baby safe, and I am grateful that they exist for mommy’s in those situations. However, I also believe that many pregnancies and births are low risk and have the potential to happen without much medical interference. When a mother is empowered, informed, and supported- birth isn’t scary.

The power to birth comes from our Creator and exists within the woman who is birthing and no one else. I am so greatful that my team believed in this, supported this, and helped to remind me of this during my birth.

I have not yet finished the writing of my birth story, or completed the short video compilation that I hope to create… please enjoy the visual account linked below of my birth done by The Memory Box Photography.

It would be a sin for me not to share such a beautiful, powerful testament of birth. This is another perspective of our Journey to Moonbeam.

Photo Slideshow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIbmkNBbn0g

There are some very intimate images, and you’ll even see my placenta up close and personal. If you are not a birth nerd like myself and many of my friends, please remember that these images are a reflection of the beauty and power of birth. They are not meant to make you uncomfortable. It takes a lot to decide to share so much of yourself with the world. But I believe this is part of my destiny to inspire and empower other women to be proud of their bodies, their births, their journey’s to motherhood and to be conscious, aware, gentle, and loving mothers. This is one step towards me fulfilling my goal of “celebrating the art of motherhood”!

If you have any questions about what you see, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

If you haven’t yet seen the video of me meeting my Moonbeam for the first time, check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woWDxWE0bn4&sns=fb

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.

Birth has a lot to teach us!

“Your birthing experience breathed LIFE w/in me: to write, to love, to accept the will of Creator, to bear witness to beauty.” – Bashirah Mack

I am beautifully overwhelmed with the responses to my birth from my birth team, twitter friends who followed along as my team tweeted about my birth, and those of you who have viewed the video of the divine meeting of me and my Moonbeam.

I am humbled by your words of love, support. They are a reflection of what I set out to achieve during this pregnancy and birth. To prove and share that birth is sacred, powerful, and healing. And that in being the one thing all human beings have in common has the power to transform lives, and mold us into the people we want to be, WE NEED to be.

I will continue to share pictures, videos, and eventually my birth story with you, to continue to create space for dialogue to happen, and to hopefully restore or inspire another woman’s faith in her mind, body, and spirit to be empowered and transformed by the miraculous process of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and mothering.

If there is one thing that my birth taught me that I would like to share with you all, its that. We are able and capable of doing anything we set our minds to if we take care of ourselves holistically, equip ourselves with information and knowledge, surround ourselves with loving and genuine support, are honest about our fears, and willing to breathe through the pain in order to give birth to beauty. WE CAN DO ANYTHING! In the final moments of labor, I felt like I couldn’t go on. The energy in the room sustained me. I looked into E’s eyes and asked for help, he told me to “transcend the pain” I looked into my midwives eyes, asked for help and she told me, All the help I needed was already within me… and with those things, I went in, into myself and yelled, grunted, groaned, and moaned through the pain, through the tears and before I knew it, was holding in my arms perfect love.

Birth has a lot to teach us about life.

He’s a He! Moonbeam has arrived!

Moonbeam was born on February 18th, 2012 at 11:03pm. 7lbs 12oz and 21 inches of perfect divine love. He was born into his daddy’s arms, in a birth tub next to our bed, surrounded by an amazing birth team cheering us on. (Full birth story coming soon). I am a VBAC and HBAC mama (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean and Home Birth After Cesarean)… And oh so very PROUD!

We are waiting on his name to emerge. But I think we are close.

I want to thank everyone who has offered prayers, kind words, positive thoughts, etc to my family as we embarked on this beautiful journey. The outpouring of love and support has been beautifully overwhelming.

As you are aware I am very enthralled by the birthing process. Its a sacred time, and I believe that many women have lost their connection with birth due to many of the hospital birthing practices that don’t acknowledge and interfere (sometimes unecessarily or against our own will) our God-given ability to birth our babies with little or no intervention and the picture media and our society has painted around birth. Birth is powerful, it is healing, and it is transformative. The environment women give birth in, the way they are treated by their care professionals, and they way they give birth can have huge impact on breastfeeding initiation, post partum depression, ability to bond with baby, physical healing, and can even make or break your confidence as a mother. It is because of this I have chosen to share Moonbeams birthing experience with my social and personal networks. I have already shared the Meeting Moonbeam youtube video of us meeting just moments after birth, and the response has humbled me greatly.

Be on the look out for my birth story, photo images, and additional video footage. It is my hope that in the sharing of these precious moments, conversations and dialogue will happen and women and their partners will be motivated to take a more active role in the births of their children.

Journey to Moonbeam: Love Pics

E and I went out to the lake the day after my birthday. The weather was amazing. Being born in Chicago, and born on January 5th, I have never had anything other than a blizzard, blizzard aftermath, or below freezing temps on my birthday. Well this year was different, the Sun was majestic and bright, the weather was comfortable, and the energy I was feeling was very reflective. I decided what better time to capture some photos than NOW! Here are some of the photos from Moonbeam’s Maternity shoot. Enjoy!

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…?