Our second pregnancy was unexpected and surprising. The more I begin to bond with my belly, the more thrill I had become to meet my baby, especially for Anora to meet her new baby sister. I always wanted to do a water birth in the comfort of my own home with my first pregnancy but didn't educate myself enough to go through with it. During my second pregnancy, I was going for it because, in my heart, this is what I wanted. I was able to prepare myself mentally and physically and, most importantly, surround my self with a fantastic support team.
We hired doulas 37 weeks into my pregnancy once we discovered my partner might be absent during my labor. Week 39 arrived, and the next day I was experiencing cramps, my partner had taken off for work but would be back in three days. I knew my body was going into labor from all the cramping. On Tuesday morning, surges were becoming more frequent and stronger. I was able to cope through it with breathing techniques I learned from a hypnobirthing course I had taken. Thank god for that! I had just put Anora to bed; I knew baby was hours away from arriving. I was on and off Facetime with my partner updating him. I had already prepared myself mentally, knowing he might not be with us. I was pretty calm.
I contacted my doulas around 5 am the next morning when I needed more support to get through each surge that was coming in every six minutes, and they arrived shortly after. At 8 am, it was time to call my midwife when my surges became four minutes apart. She came around 9 am, followed by my sister and my best friend, Amanda. I was 6 cm dilated by then more than halfway there, I was relieved. Surrounded by love, I felt strong, brave, and comfortable. I had to be strong for myself and baby and to show Anora mama could do it. She and I were going to get through this together. She was there, visualizing everything that was going on, somewhat confused, but knew something was happening. She would come upstairs and check on me from time to time. My sweet baby girl helped keep me together every time I glanced at her precious face. By 7.5 cm dilated, I finally emerged my self into the birthing tub, the warm water provided immediate relief. Rocking back and forth, listening to piano instrumentals, and letting my body float. Once Anora saw me in the tub, she insistently wanted to come inside too. I held her in my arms for a moment as I cried, letting all the emotions out. My water still has not broke, and getting to 10 cm started to feel long. My body started to feel restless, I was exhausted, and the surges were intense by then. I decided to have my midwife break my water at 9cm.
After that, it was time she was coming. I felt lots of pressure. I was extremely vocal, moaning, and groaning. I got up from the bed and instantly dropped down to my hands and knees, trying to cope through the surge right before I emerged myself back into the tub. Fifteen-minute after, my body began to nudge my baby down. Babe was on Facetime, and everyone else was in the room surrounding me with love and positive energy. I climbed back into the tub, and during each surge, I'd get my knees under me to feel more grounded as I breathe my baby down. In between, I went back to floating, releasing any tension. As the third surge approached, I reached down, felt my baby's head, and pulled her up to my chest. I glanced around the room, looking up to my sister and Amanda with tears in their eyes- I announced it was a girl. Anora was by my side the whole time; her emotions were heartwarming. Babe was still on Facetime, though he was not there physically I felt him in my heart. I felt empowered and in control. The most encouraging, magical, and amazing experience. I did it I birthed baby Alya all by myself, I felt beyond proud!
It's just been us since you made me a mama. My other half, my sweetest little friend. Come here my baby, and be my only, for just one moment more. This expansion will build us. Make us fuller I know. But when I see you again, you won't feel as little. So just lay with me, let me rock you slowly. Let me thank you, my baby, for being the best teacher a mama could know.
Tree of Life Birth Center
Doulas of Orlando- Keshia & Kinsey
Hypno Birth Course- The Positive Birth Company
Birth Photographer @erinmillerphotography