LEVEN’S BIRTH STORY
I've known for years that I wanted to welcome my child into this world via a home birth. Birth can look different for almost all women and while home birth isn't the truth for every mama, it was my truth and something I deeply desired as I embarked on my motherhood journey in November of 2017.
Like the essence of why I created The Bloom Method, I wanted my birth to empower me. I wanted the support of other women who when needed could hold space for me and my child, would care for me if and when my birth got too tough for me to manage alone and would provide the energetic space that I craved for my husband, myself and unborn child. I believe all women deserve this. Whether you birth in a hospital, a birth center, home, or even unassisted in an environment that feels safest to you. Women should have a choice, a say in where they experience their birth.
I've often referred to birth as "a marathon" and while my birth was most definitely that, it was also so much more. Birth is undoubtedly the hardest, most rewarding experience I could ever be a part of. It has this incredible ability to reveal the deepest part of ourselves, take us to the edge of our biggest fears, and reel us back in to showcase the warrior living inside of us. Birth is hard but what else should we expect when we consider what we're doing? Welcoming life into this world should be hard. We should be pushed to our limits, only to rise again even stronger than before. Maybe it's like our initiation into motherhood, our rite of passage from our old form into our new form. I felt all of these layers move through me in the 20+ hours I spent laboring my son into his new world. Don't worry, I didn't spend all this time in active labor but there is something to be said for the early stage of labor and that beginning phase was as much a part of my journey as were all the other stages. Early labor can be like the slow and steady tide that's helping to prepare your body and mind for the challenging storm ahead. My "early labor" came on fast and seemed to drive me steadily into the marathon I'd been preparing for.
As my early labor began to shift and make its way into the more active side of this birthing experience, my birth team arrived ready to hold space, provide expert care, and support me in ways that would humble me to new levels. Our main birth team consisted of our midwife, doula, and birth photographer. Later, in my birth journey, we would be joined by two other midwives who would provide even more support for our birth team, mama, papa, and of course sweet Leven's arrival.
Active labor showed up as fiercely as the mama experiencing it [that would be me]. My contractions felt back to back with little relief in between. I moved from the embrace of the warm bath water to various positions around our home looking for relief and the intrinsic ability to ride each wave as it came.
I looked to my husband the most during this time, simply making eye contact with him or feeling his touch at just the right time, would give me the surge of confidence I needed to keep going. My midwife and doula were constantly at my side, offering me food, hydration, various comfort measures, checking in on babe, and reassuring me that I was stronger than each surge that showed itself. My birth was intense, the sensations pushed me to places I've never been, but in the end, the support I was receiving throughout all of this, kept me focused and able to keep pushing through. I tapped into my warrior within, during my birth, a side of me that I never knew existed until it was time to work through each surge and ultimately push my baby out of my womb and into this world.
We have all heard the semi-horror stories about birth. How painful and scary the entire process is for some women. While this may be true for some, this was not true for me and my birth experience. Like I said, birth is hard and even with it pushing me in ways I still can't explain, I wouldn't choose to describe what I experienced as pain. While birth may be hard, it's also completely doable and something that can leave you feeling more empowered and embodied in your strength than anything else. Women are incredible warriors and our births help us to uncover that in the rawest and most beautiful way.
Seeing Leven for the first time, pulling his little body up from where I had just birthed him, holding him in my arms, and recognizing that my husband and I had made this perfect little being simply because love is the most powerful thing we know, is something that I'll never forget.
I worked hard to bring Leven earth-side and by the time he was here, I was filled with every emotion I could feel in an entire lifetime. My husband and I had conceived this child, my body had magically grown this little one over the course of 9 months, and now with the support and love from my husband and birth team, I had triumphantly birthed my baby into existence. It was the most amazing thing I've ever done and the most powerful thing I will ever be a part of. Birth doesn't have to be scary and we don't have to buy into the fear-based stories we're often told. We can easily change the way we see and experience birth by shifting our perspective, knowing that we were perfectly designed to give birth, and that birth is completely natural.
There is truly nothing to fear and everything to look forward to. For if we approach our births in the right light, it can be one of our greatest teachers.
We have a secret in our culture. Not that birth is hard but that women are STRONG.