The Story of You, My Baby

This is a lovely unassisted birth story, as shared by Mama Wise, and presented to you with permission.
bound by love; my husband and our son

... as told by your by graceful papa:

AG, you were born in our hearts before you arrived to this world of joy and
strife. As any two people sharing lives, we had our struggles, your mom and I, but never with you coming to our lives. We watched her belly grow, amazed at the biology, at the miracle of you in there getting ready to live a human life with us in this mad and beautiful world. Just the vision of your little face and hands, of your smell and cooing baby sounds always made us smile, and sometimes even cry... not something I do very easily. And then, when you finally arrived, well, my heart cracked open wide as I cry now and forever in sweetness for you... that which I only feel for you and your big brother, Brandon.

We really wanted to have you born in the softness of our own gentle home. I was nervous about this, to do this without experienced help, but not your mom; she knew what all women know but most forget, that we would have the collective help of all the women who have ever lived, that giving birth is what she is made for, and that you would come to us like water from morning air.

We tried to be patient as your due date arrived and passed, but as you’ll know soon enough, waiting is a lifelong treasure. We went to a museum that night, and something in the air felt different, kinda dreamy for me, and kinda constipated for your mom; We knew you were coming.

She knew it would be hard... or she thinks she knew it would be hard because people tell us this and she was reading about it for nine months; I knew she had no clue what she was in for. It started slowly and softly, around ten o’clock. We lit candles and played mellow music; I scurried around making sure everything was in easy reach, while she tried to find comfortable positions for the surging waves that would eventually build to be an earthquake in the air... really, she was making sounds that made the air shake. The most primal and true force of nature had enveloped our home through your mom. It was late at night and, though I knew the neighbors were understanding of what was happening on the other side of their wall, I hoped nobody had to get up early for work or church. At one point I was certain the police would come pounding at the door, guns drawn, demanding my surrender for murder.

In the bathroom, really? That’s where she wanted to be and nothing would be better, not the warm water tub, nor the propped pillowy bed. On the toilet, really? I just had to figure out how to maneuver her and you and me all in that small space, and I really hoped you wouldn’t land in the bowl. Our sweet puppy Oso was curious all night, seated right outside the bathroom door... trying to get a few times to see what the ruckus was all about. Between the throes of her thundering, I tried to massage her, give her water, or whatever she wanted, but of course, little I did could ease the pressure of the next swelling wave. She wanted to be alone for some of this, to focus, to surrender into this rolling ride, in and out of here and now, off into some other place you nor I will ever know. I thought it would go on for many more hours, so I laid in bed to rest and listen to this tribal superwoman scream and vibrate the walls. Around three a.m. her contractions were very close together and very intense, and I mean out of this world

Intense; there’s no way anybody who hasn’t done it before can be ready for this kind of intensity, no matter what people tell you or what you read. And that’s about when I saw the top of your head inside your momma’s vagina... “whoa, okay, here we go, now I can do something. First of all, it was really cool, you had dropped in for the final descent, and I could see that you had lots of dark hair. I could see the amniotic sac intact... hmmm, should I break it, how do I break it, when do I break it? Your momma kept wailing as her body pushed you closer to the world... it wouldn’t be long. I was nervous about what I didn’t know, but calm and ready to do what ever needed to be done to take care of you and your momma. The top of your head came closer, more of it showing, and your momma’s cootchie stretching unimaginably. I decided to touch the sac with my finger to feel it’s texture and thickness, and when I did this it just popped like a bubble and thankfully clear fluid poured out. I rubbed your hair... another pushing and you were closer, and then another... I could see you were facing downward, your head more than halfway out, WOW, this is amazing to watch and hear and smell, your momma, still on the toilet, pushing your small body through a yet smaller opening, like squeezing a watermelon through a garden hose, as they say.

She lifted her hips with each pushing surge as I gently guided your head further and further, until suddenly your whole head was out and you turned your head to the side and I saw your face... Oh my god, your face, buddha like with eyes wide open gazing about. I slipped my finger inside to feel your neck... smooth and clear, no cord, pheeew. Here comes a shoulder, and whooops, quickly here comes the rest of you like a wet eel... I had to hold your head with one hand and catch your slippery body with the other, clutching you to my chest so you wouldn’t slip away from me... no, I did not almost drop you.

You had a blue-ish tint to your pink body, normal and healthy. You weren’t crying like I thought you should be, but I could tell that you were breathing. Your momma lay down on the bathroom floor, towels underneath, and I put you right to her chest, your lifeline cord still inside on the placenta. I could feel momma’s heart beat still pulsing through it to you. I suctioned your nose and mouth, rubbed your back and legs and feet... I really wanted you to cry, to take big gulps of air to hear your lungs open wide, but you didn’t; you just cooed and gurgled a little, gazing about the candle-lit bathroom... okay, he’s still got good color, he’s breathing, his reflexes are wiggly and strong, his face is expressive, his heart rate is strong... the cord stopped pulsing, so I clamped and cut, for you to forever have your own blood supply. Where’s the placenta... c’mon... this isn’t over yet... the baby is okay... now the momma... more painful contractions and after about 25 minutes it came out looking like a big piece of liver spilling onto blood soaked towels. The quaking noise stopped and I wondered if the world knew you were here, or at least maybe the neighbors.

We moved to the bed... everything seemed okay, though the bathroom looked like a scene from Dexter. You were perfect, relaxed and dazed. Your momma was perfect, relaxed and dazed... but I was still in there, monitoring, watching everything. At the least, for the re-assurance that you and momma were safe and healthy, I’m glad we went to the hospital. I’m really glad we went after our own home birth, by ourselves, just our family right from the start; nothing will ever change what the three of us did together.

 Through the night, I was indeed focused on the business of birthing you,
keeping you and momma safe, but I was also above the whole scene of us, watching from somewhere else. I’ve always been somewhat of a living contradiction, so to say I’m a “spiritual atheist” makes sense, and it feels right to say that the god-who-doesn’t- exist lifted the curtain that night... gave us a live back-stage participation in one of the greatest forces in the universe, the creation of a new life-force... You...AG, may you always take big gulps of air with wide open lungs, and gaze about the world... buddha-like.

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