Let me set the scene:
I’m very hugely pregnant (measuring 44 cm a week before the birth). I had about 8 hours of “practice” labor at 39 weeks. My mom came to stay with us 3 days prior to this. We had asked her to be at the birth to help take care of the kids. At the point this story begins, I have been in early labor for a day or so, with contractions about 10 minutes apart….
Monday, May 4, 2015 (41w2d)
I woke up a little after 2 AM for yet another trip to the bathroom, then again just after 5 AM. The second trip I found more bloody show. Yay! I went back to bed, but couldn’t sleep. Around 6 AM, I noticed my doula (Kim W.) was online and messaged her, “This is gonna be a long one, but at least it’s easy. The contractions aren’t really worse. A little longer this morning though, but also a little more spread out. Last night they were more like 10min/30sec, now they are more like 15min/over a min. I consider that the same.” An hour later, I was back to the bathroom again - more bloody show (and lots of it!). Yay!
Joanna Elise Gabriella's Birth Story
Our precious little girl is such a miracle! She is our sixth baby, but the first that we have been given the gift of bringing into the world and shepherding. Part of me cannot believe it has been almost a year—I had planned to do this much sooner—it has actually been written since May, but alas! ☺). However, the gift of learning the art of surrender with which Debbie and Claudia blessed me with has proved a more challenging lesson than I thought—which serves to prove how much I need to focus on embracing surrender. I am realizing that part of the reason that I could not write this until four months after her birth really had very little to do with having not watched the video all the way through (although it was enlightening—there were a few things that did not remember and that I was surprised by—namely that I was actually pretty sweet to everyone, even funny at times, that I called out to The Lord for help when I needed it most, and that I could transition so quickly to being this little one's mama—more on that later), but that I still feel I'm in the birth process. Being postpartum has been the most challenging time in my life and in many ways I will always be postpartum and so this growing and changing will always be a part of me for the better-this is just an element that I could never have imagined. However, I feIt I could finally write this because I felt myself waking up to who I truly am-though I know that may not make much sense, but just a few weeks before she was four months, I felt I began to see myself clearly and quite possibly for the first time because the feeling was identical to seeing her for the first time—part 'oh, so there you are—it's you' and 'who are you, sweet one?'-a strong sense of knowing coupled with the realization that there is a vastness yet unknown which has produced a strong desire to learn how to know more fully. I know this is supposed to be our birth story and not a window into my process of 'forging the smithy of my soul’—just beware that I cannot help it, and perhaps you may find that you won't be able to either, because my journey with this child has been just that and more.