People who had done it before told me that after this experience, having a baby naturally and of my own strength, I would feel like a Goddess. I would find the wall named impossible and I would cross it, and I would never ever be the same.
I have to admit, without trying to minimize the miracle that took place in my bathtub this morning, I feel like nothing more or less holy than a woman. I only did, after all, what every woman is designed, specifically, wonderfully, to do. Don't get me wrong, it was a miracle indeed. It was beautiful, and it was transforming, and it was one of the most hallowed things I have ever done or seen...one of the most hallowed things you CAN ever do or see. But it was the kind of everyday miracle, like breathing, like being in love, that you can't really take any pride in. You can only be thankful.
And I am. So thankful. Not only for a healthy baby (the ultimate goal) but for the opportunity to experience this...to be able to birth my son.
Zeke's birth was a medical procedure, without trying to minimize the miracle that took place in that hospital room a year and a half ago, that is what it was...a medical procedure. Malachi's...without the beeping machines and the metal instruments and the plastic bags of IV fluids...Malachi's birth was an act of nature. It was earthly and it was otherwordly and it was the most natural thing you could ever imagine.
And only after having experienced this do I actually find peace with Zeke's birth. Only after being allowed to birth without fear of judgement, or intervention, or violence against myself or my baby, do I realize the strength I needed (and the strength I HAD) during Ezekiel's birth.
Things did not go according to plan, and I made decisions I would later regret. But at the same time, I've realized that I was a mother already as I birthed Mal. Somehow, until I held him in my arms, I had not realized that it was during Zeke's birth that I became that Godess. It was then that I found that wall of impossible and crossed it. THAT was the day I found my mother-strength.
Suddenly I find myself healed and I see Zeke's journey into this world for what it truly WAS, my passage into motherhood, my entry into that long, long, line of human Goddesses. Maybe I needed that battle as much as Zeke did.
As far as the knitty gritty details of this birth go...well...when you have a baby so fast there is not much to tell. I woke up at 4 am with a strong contraction and went back to sleep. It's happened so much over the last few months that I didn't think one thing or another about it. But at 5 am I had another and I decided to take some of the herbal tincture my midwife had given me to help turn all these braxton hicks into something real.
I doubt it was necessary because from 5 to 6 am the contractions were a good 7-4 minutes apart and I decided to call Cathy and tell her it was time to come over. She said she'd wash her face and be on her way. I jumped in the shower, decided after 15 or so minutes that the water wasn't helping as much as I had hoped and headed to the bedroom where Josh was still in bed to let him know I thought the baby might come fast and he should start filling the birthing tub. I made it to the hallway before my water broke and I suddenly thought I was dying. Maybe 10 more minutes and I was pushing.
At first I tried to fight it. My midwife was still not there! But when a baby wants to come, you cant stop it, so I moved back into the bathtub, filled it full of water and Josh delivered our sweet second born shortly after 7. Neither one of us had the presence of mind to look at the clock but luckily we did call Cathy to ask her for directions as to what we should do now and she says it was about 7:06.
She arrived probably 10 minutes too late and said "thanks for waiting for me!". But she delivered the placenta, checked on baby and I, and helped Josh take down our barely half up birthing tub. I told Josh I just need a little bit more practice and that next time I promise I will labor somewhere between 2 and 38 hours. ;)