I introduce this birth first and foremost as my second birth, my healer birth.
On a Monday night it began. I recognized the sensation, the roots of my being were beginning to quake. I called my midwife who stayed that night across the hall with our wonderful neighbors. I felt safe knowing she was so close by. I sang my daughter Alona Maya to sleep through my surges, and with help from two glasses of red wine and a nourishing dinner, I slept relatively soundly. I woke up in the morning, took a shower and stayed quiet. I took light steps and spoke quietly. I wanted to keep the holiness and remain concentrated. I remembered that when labor starts to pick up speed, there is nothing left to do but ride.
After a nap, a little play with my daughter, some movement and deep breathing, the team began to arrive; my midwife Valeriana, soon her assistant Gayla, my doula Debra, and a documentarian, Ela. I had opened up my experience, this was Ela’s first time witnessing a birth. These powerful women held the space for me immediately. The attention and care was overwhelming, even intimidating, but they helped to foster my power and strength. Since things were slowing down, my surges farther apart though still strong and deep, they all agreed I should take a walk with my husband Isaac. My daughter was with our mother’s helper, and I felt safe letting her go for now in my mind, which helped me to release even more.
Isaac and I took a walk in the park a block from home. The fresh air, the breeze and the trees calling out to me began to ignite my body. It was quickly time to head home. With Isaac’s help, while I swayed and held on, we made it in the door. With surges sending me into the walls and doorways, I made it into my room. From the moment I walked in the door, Isaac and Debra were in my ear and by my side. Their words of encouragement and support were empowering and grounding. I rocked on the ball, went to the bathroom, crawled to the floor, and was thrown into it all at full force. The deep rocking of the surges, and shifting tides within me, all the more powerful and quick. Even still, I was present, calm, and able to work with it. The midday sun filled our room and my focus narrowed to Debra’s voice guiding me and helping me down from the peak of pain. All around me my team was setting up our tub, cleaning our home, getting everything prepared. Caring for me in ways I couldn’t see, but could feel.
I made it to the tub, by then I could only focus on breathing through and falling into the sensations that were quickly becoming fast and intense, bringing me to my deepest level of strength. All the while held by these incredible people looking at me and keeping me safe. I sang out “I can’t do this, I can’t” and Debra responded with certainty and through a smile, “You ARE doing it!” In the water I danced and sang through it, through the deep pain and pleasure of birthing my child, I gave birth to my Advah Lily. Through profoundly intense pushing and releasing, my daughter came into being. I am forever grateful.
Alona Maya napped soundly through the birth. When she awoke on her own Isaac brought her in, her eyes still heavy with sleep, to meet her new sister.