A year ago today, at this exact moment, I knew that today was the day. I knew you were ready. I could feel it in my heart and in you. Your energy shifted. Your presence was calm and peaceful yet very grounded and strong. I could feel you go from stretching and kicking and sleeping to gentle burrowing and nuzzling with focus and intent.
I could feel my body getting ready about two days before you were born. It was preparing for what was to come. I was tired and a little grumpy any time I had to get out of pjs and go anywhere. I could feel my hormones making shifts along with you. I couldn’t focus on much of anything outside of my body. You pulled my mind back to you with each contraction and burrow when it drifted to anything else.
I woke up on Sunday morning, March 26th 2017, and told your Daddy that we needed to get ready and leave the house as fast as we could. His eyes told me he knew too and he was as focused as you were. Your birth day had come. Your Grandma Ori and Papa Chiro were there at the house and playing with Jaxon and Jordan so that we could get ready for you. Everyone thought you would be here 5 - 6 days ago but I am used to you all being on your own timing so I wasn’t anxious about it but I was definitely ready!
Daddy and I made sure we had everything we needed and got in the car. We held hands and made plans for the morning to get some breakfast and take it to the park so I could walk around. But I was so uncomfortable in the car. You were moving so far down and sitting felt impossible. We got breakfast but I felt like I couldn’t eat much of it. I needed an adjustment more than I needed breakfast. So we went to the office and I swayed through some contractions while your Daddy ate his breakfast. I was patient because I knew that he probably wouldn’t be eating much all day.
Contractions were picking up a lot since we left the house and went from every 20 minutes to every 10 minutes and were now at about 5 minutes apart lasting a minute. After my adjustment I felt my pelvis open and you shifted more center and moved further down. When I got up I had a lot more pressure. For the next 20 minutes we hung out because I really wasn’t sure where to go next. I knew I couldn’t go back home where Jordan and Jaxon and Grandma and Grandpa were because contractions would space back out. I wanted to go to the park and walk but things were getting way more intense quickly. I tried to get into the car so that we could possibly go to the park and it became clear that that wasn’t an option because I couldn’t really sit down. Daddy laid the seat down and I got on all fours facing backwards so that I didn’t have to sit down. We had almost an hour drive ahead of us but I knew he could make it in about 35-40 minutes and he did.
When we got to the birth center things spaced out a little bit from the drive and I started to feel nervous that maybe we came too early! But I knew it was where I needed to be especially with the long drive. All I wanted to do was spend the day walking with you and helping you come down as peaceful as possible. And we did. We worked together all day long. We walked outside the birth center and lunged and squatted because I could tell that I needed more pressure and power if things were going to progress. It was a beautiful day outside and I remember the flags whipping in the wind. I decided before our labor even started that I was going to submit to the power of my body fully and give way to you. And I did. I didn’t resist you one bit and I wanted you here so bad so that I could see your precious precious face. Our Doula Dana and photographer Kourtnie were so sweet and helpful through the entire day but at one point I felt like I really needed some alone time. I felt like things still weren’t strong enough and that everyone was waiting around. I started to feel pressured. Not by them at all but just by myself. I knew by witnessing so many labors in my life that when that happens it can really make things slow down. So I told everyone to go have lunch and coffee and that we would call them back after a while. When everyone left Daddy and I worked together in sync for a long time. It was so beautiful. Honestly, we have never felt the absolute depth of our love and connection as much as we do when we are bringing our babies into the world. The world could be burning down around us and the only thing we can feel or know is you & US.
The afternoon started to pass and I knew that I would have you that night and your sister wanted to be there to watch you come into the world so badly. We talked about it the entire time that you were in my tummy. So, I had the nanny Lyndsey bring her to the birth center to be with us. By the time she got there it was around 5pm and I was working hard. I was sitting on the birth ball listening to music. I didn’t want to see anyone or hear anyone. I just wanted to feel you, ride the waves of you coming and block out every thing else around me. There has come a point with each birth I’ve had that I just need to be inside myself with no distractions, no conversation, no anything. When it gets there and I am connected in that moment it feels like I am floating in the abyss of the universe, suspended in time and space with the one who created me and the one I created and nothing else. A weightless, limitless place where love abounds and peace only stays if I can connect with my creator as I bring forth my created. Its a space of alignment and sacred connection. If I can find it it will bring me through to the other side of all of this.
I was struggling to find that space and thats when our midwife Donnellyn came into the room. I had my eyes closed and I didn’t see her but I felt her. I could feel her presence and then she reached out and touched my forehead and swept my hair from my brow. It was so comforting to know that she was there with me. I felt her anointing me with oils and I was so relieved. I knew she knew exactly what I needed.
A few seconds later I had a flood of images coming up through my mind… it was of me and baby Jordan in labor. I had flashes of the trauma we went through and I started to cry. All I could think about was how much Jordan and I went through together and how hard and scary it all was and how much I wanted to protect her from all of that but couldn’t. I realized in the moment that with Jaxon’s birth I had been so focused on not letting him experience the same birth trauma Jordan and I did that I hadn’t actually let or felt Jordans birth heal. I was so focused on having him safely and peacefully that I didn’t take time to grieve and let the grief pass away with the next birth. I felt guided to let go of the pain and regret I had with baby Jordan and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I had a big cry and I remember peeking open my eyes a tiny tiny bit to see what oil she used on me because I felt like it did something!
It was Trauma Life. She knew exactly what I needed. And that’s why all those memories started flooding through. And once they did I found that place. That abyss. I found it.
We got into the shower to relax and dull the sensation a little bit so that I could keep my mind and body fully connected and calm. It was so warm and I squatted with each contraction and swayed in the hot water as Jordan came in to see me. She was so sweet and concerned but not scared at all. I would open the shower door and reassure her and give her kisses. She loved being there and her presence made me feel so special. I wanted her to feel comfortable with birth and capable of accomplishing incredible things.
Contractions started to get a lot more intense after dark and I knew it wouldn’t be long. I asked them to start running hot water for the bathtub because I wanted to have you in the water so bad. By now I couldn’t keep from scrunching up my face during each contraction and I felt a lot of discomfort. My energy shifted and I feel like I started telling people what to do… haha. I told them to check me because I really wanted to know how far a long I was mainly because I started having thoughts of “I can’t take this level of pain much longer.” I felt like something might be a little off because I felt the power but not as much pressure as power. I knew I needed more pressure on my cervix which is why I kept squatting.
I made my way down to the bed and Donnellyn checked me. As she did I tried hard to focus on the sounds coming from outside the birthing center instead of what she was doing. It was storming and it started to sound like it was getting pretty bad. I have always wanted to be in labor and have a baby while it was raining outside. I have always loved the rain. It relaxes me.
I was laying on the bed looking up at the skylight and Donnellyn started to tell me the bad news in her sweet voice of course, “Well, you are only about 4 cms honey and now the baby’s head isn’t on your cervix. It's over to the side and he’s a little asynclitic. At this point I was soooo uncomfortable, no wonder, that the thought started coming through my mind about not being able to do this anymore. I thought to myself… “There is no way that I can handle this if I still have 6 cm to go.” I felt like I was in transition. I felt like I should be at about 8 1/2 to 9 cm based on how much pain I was in. I felt like I was at that stage where every woman wants to give up because she is literally about to be complete and push her baby out. And it’s normal for a woman to want to give up at that point. Her body is at its maximum capacity and so is her mind. And that’s where I felt too. At my maximum capacity.
My Doula tried to reassure me and her and Donnellyn told me that we could do you some corkscrew maneuvers and a series of inversions and different things to get him to move. I’m not sure if I said it out loud or not but I’m pretty sure I did. I’m pretty sure I said “I’m not doing that.”
As the chiropractor in my community I am the person that midwives an OB/GYN‘s call when a baby isn’t in a good position. I’m the one that goes out and adjusts them so that their baby can get in a better position and they can have a successful labor and birth experience. I knew I did not have it in me at all to do any of the maneuvers they were talking about. I was literally physically incapable of doing them with the amount of discomfort I was then. I wasn’t giving up but I couldn’t take a deep breath and I couldn’t move without excruciating pain. I remember asking them to give me a minute as I laid there trying to decide how I was going to convince them that I wasn’t going to do that and how I was going to turn my own baby.
I drifted into hearing the noise from outside again. And I realized it was a lot louder. I opened my eyes to look up at the skylight and saw pallets of hail hitting it. The sound got louder and louder. I calmly asked them if the skylight was going to break over the top of us and if I needed to move. I remember them saying no and that it was a double pane window and a few seconds later in what seemed like a simultaneous moment - the sound of breaking glass echoed through the room and the midwife and Doula and Daddy launched me off of the bed in unison! Tornado sirens blared out and we all knew without speaking that we were taking cover. The momentum from being launched off the bed in one swoop carried us almost through the door of the closet when I screamed and looked at your Daddy with sheer terror “JORDAN!!! GET JOOOORDAN!!!” His face turned to panic and he bolted through the room and out the door!
Dana and Donnellyn and the other midwife and nurse and photographer Kourtnie all joined us in this little storm shelter under the stairwell that thankfully served as the closet to our birth room. There was a tiny twin bed in the deepest part of the closet and I was on it on all fours waiting to see Jordan’s face come through the door. I could see the nurse with the crash cart making sure she had everything she needed for delivery and an oxygen tank and extra scrubs hanging in the closet and that all made me feel nervous.
Through the blaring sirens and glass shattering and hail I could hear your Daddy and Jordan and Lyndsey make it into the closet. I told Lyndsey put a movie on your phone for Jordan and distract her. I knew things were about to get a lot more insane for me.
Once I knew everyone was in there my brain clicked back over to feeling you and my belly and everything else! At this point my breathing was so shallow. It hurt so bad I couldn’t breathe and I could hardly muster the strength to talk. I started talking to God in short sentences. “You have to take over. I can’t do this. He’s not in a good spot. I’ll turn him. You have to help me. Can’t take the pain. Let me breathe. Can’t get an ambulance in a tornado. No other choice. No one can save me but you. It’s me and you. You have to do this. I only have minutes of this pain left or I won’t make it.”
I tapped your daddy and whispered to him that i was going to turn you and I said “I can barely talk. Listen and do what I say.” He locked eyes with me and I knew he was with me. He has heard and seen me help other women in labor and he knows what I am capable of. He believed in me and I could see it in his eyes and that was all I needed. It was me, you, God and your Daddy and we were working together.
I told him to get the vibracussor (a vibration instrument we use on the spine). He used it to adjust my pelvis with positional adjusting. I knew you were on my left side but too close to the back. On all fours I stretched my left leg out behind me and let the left side of my stomach dip down lower than the right. I stayed there for a minute letting my belly hang and I shimmied you by swaying my belly down toward the bed sharply while dropping my left hip. He worked on my left sacrum.
Then I told him I was going to hook behind your shoulder with my left hand while on all fours and for him to press the vibracussor into the back of my hand as I gently pushed and released into your posterior shoulder. I started with ease and increased the pressure. I felt you stretch out and then curl up. A contraction came and we waited for it to pass and did it again.
This time I eased into you and then pushed a little harder and a little further. I did it a few more times and I started to feel you turning. I felt your anterior shoulder shift past my pubic bone in the front and I told him “Ruuuuun!! Get my Deep Relief!!!” It was out in the main room! The pain spiked to about a 9/10 and I lathered my belly above my pubic bone with about 1/2 a bottle of Deep Relief Essential Oil. It took the edge off and I got a deep breath, I started talking to God again. “He’s almost there. Bring me through. You don’t have a choice. You have to save me.” In that next moment I felt you completely rotate into an anterior position and come way down into my pelvis. The pressure. Ohhhh that was it. I felt my cervix pop open from that 4 to who knows what and my water broke. In the next moment my body started pushing on its own and I let out a deep and low “uhhhhhh.” I told them to get the tub ready. I told everyone I’m pushing. They were all shocked and the midwife wanted to check me. I couldn’t get on all fours so she checked me right there. I remember having such extreme pressure and my body was pushing on its own. My body opened so fast that I couldn’t hold my head up. I was so thankful Dana was doing it! And your daddy had my hand and I was squeezing it and using him to hold me up because I couldn’t.
They checked outside and the sirens and hail had stopped. They turned the water on and started getting me up and to the tub. It was so hard to get up and into it but I wanted to push you out into the water so so badly. I needed the warmth and peace of it. I got on all fours in the tub. The pressure and the strength of contractions were solid and productive. I felt you coming down with each one. I told God and my body with each contraction “Let him down. This needs to be fast. I can’t take it. Let him down. Open. Let him out.”
About 3 contractions in I reached down and felt your face. I could feel your eyes and nose. I had another contraction and you didn’t move much when I pushed. I started searching for a nucal cord (an umbilical cord) but didn’t feel one. I heard the nurse and midwife calling out codes and I heard the cart getting closer and oxygen getting ready. I knew that with your quick descent and storm and everything that everyone was on their toes! The adrenaline was steady and I could feel the strength of my birth team huddled around me ready for anything that could have possibly happen next. They checked you and there was no cord and in the next push I felt you coming so I reached down between my legs and grabbed you and pulled you out and through under my tummy and in one motion onto my chest as I laid back in the tub.
I was so relieved that you were here safe and in my arms! I was so thankful that the excruciating pain had vanished. You were a little slow to cry and so I started running my index finger and thumb up your spine firmly a few times to stimulate you under the towel that they laid over you. You started to cry and they checked you out on my chest listening to your lungs and making sure you were okay. You needed a few good suctions. Then you were clear and breathing easy.
I remember saying get Jordan as soon as you came out because I had sent her right outside the door to wait for a minute. I felt like I was in so much pain that I might scream and scare the daylights out of her. They brought her in seconds after you were born and she was so excited to see you.
We made our way to the bed and I was not willing to let anyone else hold you. I held you to the bed and throughout your newborn exam. You pooped all over me and your cute blue and white stripped blanket. You had a fever almost immediately and daddy and I knew it was because your neck had been under a lot of stress with you being malpositioned and needing to be turned.
He checked you every 5 minutes and adjusted you. Your adjustment wouldn’t hold. We knew because your fever would go down and then spike again as your spine moved back out of alignment. He would gently adjust it again and on the 5th adjustment it held and your fever dropped and never returned again. Donnellyn was tracking your fever and it was so surreal to see our purpose and calling help our own little baby. Everyone was so impressed with how well you body responded when we adjusted you and released the stress in your nervous system.
You nursed perfectly and had the most perfect little nose and face and I was so happy and relieved. Did I say relieved.
Everyone started breathing deeper and laughing and reenacting the drama from the night! Lyndsey went to check on her car because she had to drive an hour back home and both windshields were completely shattered out. All the cars in the parking lot had broken windshields but one and the ones under the car port. The roof was heavily damaged and a few windows in the birth center were broken.
You and I took the most magical herbal bath. I floated you in the water and you turned your little face as if you wanted to drink it. I thought it was so precious because it reminded me of what you probably did in the womb. You really enjoyed floating and looking up at me. Your sissy Jordan got in with us in the mermaid swimsuit she picked out just for your birth day. It was so sweet.
I remember praying throughout our 9 month pregnancy together and asking God to “Camp His Angels around us during your labor and birth.” Little did I know at the time that that prayer would hold sooo much meaning.
God kept us safe as we labored down in that closet. He was there in the storm holding our sacred space for birth. He brought me through. He brought your through. And boy do we have a story to tell. Your nickname from your midwife is Stormy and for good reason.
What a day we had Mr. Jakey! But I would do it a million times over to have you my love. Happy birthday sweet boy. You bring so much joy into our lives! You are the happiest baby we’ve ever had! We can’t wait to see you grow into the man God brought you into this world to be.
You’re the Big #1 now and will be walking any minute. And you will of course continue to keep us on our toes.
Love Forever and Ever,