Friday, June 11th
3:40 am. I awaken, in stillness, and feel a familiar “pop”. My heart races. I head to the bathroom. No gush, no real, bona-fide leaking, but I did have a pad on.
It had to be my bag of waters. I know this deep in my bones.
For a few minutes, adrenaline and the Unknowing kick in and my legs start to shake. I lay back in bed and tell Jason. I honor the shaking, the energy that must disperse and make itself Known before I embark and immerse my way through Birth. Surges come on within minutes. One. Then another a few minutes later. And another. Small enough to be contained within my breathing.
I sink into the warm water of the tub, not giving a damn about “too early…it may slow things down”.
My heart knows: This will be fast. I may as well be one with the waves as they crash, so into the water I gladly float.
On my iphone’s “Note” feature, I type this in at 4:37 am: “Three surges since 4:10″.
At 5:00, I sent a hurried and shaky text to my WomanTribe: “Maybe in early labor…surges coming. Send energy”.
I ask Jason to draw open the curtains and let the morning light in. It pours across my body. Jason looks out the window and says, smiling, “Leigh…oh Leigh, this is the most beautiful day to have a baby”.
I agree but also know that the natural light will be much better for my friend to take birth photos. Ha! A moment of clarity in labor…
Jason calmly hurries through the house, gathering the supplies and setting up the cameras and sweetly asking a few times if he could “hop into the shower’. Each time, his request is met with “No, please, not now. I need you HERE”.
I immerse myself sideways in the birth tub – like a submarine, just my mouth and eyes above water – in an effort to float with the surges through labor. They are fast, strong, bigger than myself. They are concentrated in my lower belly, unlike any surges I felt with my other two births. There is a force beyond all Earthliness that moves like electric gravity through my body and my bones.
I sing “Peace Like a River” through one. I chant “Breath” (not breathe) and “Flow” through the others. I chant to the music on my Deva Premal station “Govinda Govinda Hare Hare”. Later, after enduring a contraction-long Celtic-inspired monstrosity of a song, I bark “Turn it off!”.
I call members of my Birth Tribe around 6:00. “I want your presence”, is all I can manage to tell them. I am moaning and submerged and following an eyes-closed image of my breath spiraling out of my body. It is one of the very few coping techniques I call upon during Lyric’s birth and doesn’t last long.
From this moment on, my skin and bones are barely hanging on to my body. My breath-song is the only thing anchoring me as my baby moves down my vessel – being pulled by the core of the Earth. I have healing hands all over me: on my sacrum, my hips, my hands, my shoulders, my heels.
I speak only in one-word increments: water. lower. higher. no. yes. bucket. baby. oh. baby.
The unsettled feeling arises and I vomit. Again. And Again. Oddly enough, this is one of the most comforting aspects of my labor because I KNOW this sensation and this process of cleansing. It has been a part of every one of my labors. It is like an old friend; you know how to greet it and react to it. I know it is what my body needs to oooopppppennnn.
I have my breakdown moment, on my hands and knees, where I start to sputter and cry and say “Dammit! No position is comfortable!”.
Then the Time, it comes.
Jason sits on the edge of the tub and I squat in front of him. I grasp his collar and neck with every ounce of my being and bear down into the pressure that carves a canyon through my womb and pelvis.
My eyes are wide with a mix of questioning and a call for HELP. I stare into his and demand “Talk me through this. You have to talk to me. Breathe with me. Stay WITH me”.
And his does. Of course he does. He knows this too, this Transformation. He bows down in utter honor, moaning low and powerfully with me. OM’ing when I do. YES’ing when I do. Ahhhh’ing when I do.
There is no LaborLand traveling with this birth. I am Here, aware, awake, present, and with little time in between surges to recover. I am Unraveling before myself in a way I never have experienced; I am a big juicy red string that is tethered to my heart. It’s BIG and intense and borders on scary at times. But the good kind of scary, the one in which you know you’ve got to walk to the very Edge and jump or dive. And trust it all, that belief that you will swim or fly perfectly.
But that WALK, oh god that walk.
And I decide it’s time to really go with it. The pressure in my yoni tells me I can push, and push, and push and grunt. No one tells me with their words or their hands. This…this is empowering.
And really? It just fucking feels better to push through it all, like a fire shooting flames through the night sky, imploding and moving energy through its heat.
I turn over, reclining against Jason in the birth tub and prop my feet against the edge for counterpressure. I grab hands, any hands, and PUUUUSSSHHHHH.
My pushes are open-mouthed groans. Over and over. In the moment, I feel like I’m holding my breath and gritting my teeth. But my video reveals that I am not….(whew!)
“Girls”, I half-whine, half moan.
I am ready for them to be brought into the room.
There is a Shift.
More Immersion to come….photos and story, but my son (my son, my son, my son!) calls to me.
In massive love and pure light,