My last blog post focused on the negativity experienced during my hospital births. Venting those emotions out is something that is necessary for all moms who may feel frustrated or traumatized as a result of their birth experience. Despite all of the things that made me feel awful that occured during my births, there is no denying that birth in any way, shape, or form, is an absolutely beautiful and sacred process.
Today, I would like to focus more on the positive aspects of my births.
Baby #1: Tutu Head
I spontaneously went into labor on a day that her father was visiting. Her father, who I was no longer in a relationship with (but still very much friends) lived 4 hours away and would visit on weekends. We were thrilled that my labor began good and strong on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Autumn! It was a beautiful day to have a baby!
I was lucky to be surrounded by friends and family! Tutu's dad was a great sport, telling me I was doing wonderfully, and holding my hand through contractions.
I will never forget the first time I saw my little baby girl. She was sucking on her bottom lip and she looked right at my face. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.
Her father began to cry. I had never seen him so happy or proud.
Within the first few minutes of holding her, my mother instructed me to nurse her. Feeling timid and awkward at first, I began to help my baby girl get a latch. She caught on immediately, and I knew that breastfeeding is exactly what babies were designed to do. I was only 17 at the time, and during my pregnancy I was very doubtful that I would even nurse. But those first few minutes after her birth changed my life forever.
I went on to nurse my baby girl for almost 15 months.
Baby #2: Bubu Man
I described in my previous post the nightmare of anxiety and fear that I endured during Bubu's birth. The greatest thing about my birth of Bubu was the incredibly beautiful baby that resulted. Imagine that entire storm of emotion simply melting away at the sight of that most perfect little boy.
I was able to breastfeed him immediately as well, and although he took a little while to get his latch, he nursed beautifully. I was so proud that this time, I really felt like I knew what I was doing. It didn't matter to me anymore that I was doing it alone.
I was alone in the recovery room after his birth, and I spent endless hours just gazing at his beautiful face. His father's threats and curses no longer mattered. They vanished away in my mind, and all that mattered to me were my children. Bubu man had perfectly formed eyebrows, short dark hair, a precious little upturned nose, and perfect full lips that pouted out when he would cry.
My best friend Bear visited during his birth, and even though he had to soon leave as I was going into transition and getting ready to push, just those few minutes that he stood there holding my hand meant the world to me! He visited me again soon after I gave birth, and he gave me a very meaningful gift.
The next day, Tutu Head was able to meet her new baby brother for the first time. She was in awe, and absolutely could not keep her hands off of him! All she wanted to do from then on was to kiss him and rub his angel soft hair. She proved herself to be the sweetest, most caring sister.
Baby #3: Nunu Baby
The night I went into labor, my husband and I took a nice, long walk on the beach. It had been a nice, relaxing day. My birth began so naturally and serenely. I am so thankful that I was able to birth at home for half of it. As my contractions were coming on strong every few minutes, I happily bounced away on my birthing ball, while browsing online and entertaining myself as Blujay slept beside me.
I went into hard labor and had to lay down and focus for a while. I tried to get some sleep, but the contractions were keeping me up. Blujay would wake to rub my back through the contractions.
I am so incredibly grateful to have had such a loving, supportive husband during that experience at the hospital. Things were going wrong left and right, but Blujay was always there beside me, making things better. It was his first time to be present during a birth, and he stuck it out like a pro! He was kissing me during contractions, he rubbed my back down with a big sea sponge in the shower while I was hitting transition. He held onto me while I leaned on him, and let me squeeze the crap out of his arms or hands if I needed to.
During Nuni's birth, I moaned without hesitation. I felt every single contraction, every bit of pressure, every urge to push. Visions of giant eyes with pupils dialating flashed before me, and I focused on them as my body opened up to allow the passage of my baby. Upon his crowning, I roared in the most animalistic and primitive way, a sound I did not even know I was capable of making. My soul felt connected to the thousands of generations of women before me who had given birth.
Blujay saw every moment of our son's labor and birth. I love to hear him describe that the very first thing he saw was our son's long dark hair poking out like a little mohawk, and his face came out looking like a little boss.
It was so wonderful to see how incredibly protective and loving Blujay was towards his son. He followed our Nuni to the hospital nursery and got to help with his first bath, all the while, sending me pictures on my phone and keeping me updated so that I wouldn't feel left out. He stood up for our beliefs and requests. Blujay was helpful in every imaginable way during my post-partum period.
I'll never forget the complete shock and surprise at what an incredibly gorgeous baby we had made! I knew I would think my baby was adorable, but I was not prepared for the massive amounts of cuteness I was about to experience! The minute I laid eyes on Nuni, he owned my heart. He had such long black hair and deep, dark eyes. His lips looked exactly like daddy's, and his nose looked like a mixture of us both. He had the Native American "serious look" that runs in my family, and from the day he was born, he was dubbed "the little boss". We gave him a name that means "The Sun", which fits him well, because he is the sunshine in all of our lives.
Nunu baby breastfed wonderfully, and wanted to be breastfed constantly, but I did not mind.
Nuni wore his first cloth diaper on his first day of life there in that hospital! I was so excited to be able to cloth diaper from birth! (I started cloth diapering Bubu Man at 4 months)
Tutu got to meet Nuni in the hospital. She felt like such a pro at being a sister! She scooped him up out of my arms, and rocked him and held him without a doubt in her mind. The first time Bubu met Nuni was a little later. Bubu instantly turned into a Big Brother, I could see it in his overjoyed eyes. He softly stroked Nuni's delicate skin, and kissed him ever so gently. Bubu gladly handed over the mantle of "baby of the family" to Nuni, and he became a wonderful big brother.
These are the memories that will last forever in my mind.
These are the irreplacable moments that make life worth living. Not all births go the way that we dream, or plan, or hope. Some births can be all-out traumatizing and require time to heal both physically, and emotionally. It is very important to express the way that we may have been mistreated during labor and birth. Without confronting these anxieties, one will only make the emotional wreckage even worse.
However, it is equally important to never forget the beautiful aspects of those very births. Every birth is a rite of passage. It is the sacred arrival of a soul being brought Earthside. Whether a baby was born naturally, via C-section, at home, at a hospital, in the backseat of a car...it is birth, and it is beautiful.