It seems like just yesterday that Nettle was born into our lives. I had wanted another kid pretty much since my first child, Ololiuqui, was born about 8 years ago. I waited patiently for years until I was pregnant again… This time I was determined to have the birth of my dreams. Part of me didn’t know if it really existing because of the birth of my first son…long and painful, frightening at times…powerful and great. I was now believing in pain free, enlightened, glorious, romantic birth and quite certain I would be able to have it…and I did.
When we celebrated Olo’s first birthday my dear friend Gay told me you need to tell the child their birth story on their birthday, every year. I have kept up with this tradition the past 7 years with Olo and the past 2 years with Nettle.
This year I decided I would write the story out and share it with everyone who loves me and Nettle, Cam and Olo…
Each year the story changes a bit. Some parts are more memorable than others.
This is the short version.
Hum getting close to my “due date” I started leaking out some liquids and thought it must be a sign that I was going to have a baby soon.
I told Cam and Olo we had to go out to our favorite restaurant, the mexican restaurant and eat really spicy food!
We went out to eat and I remember telling our friend Clare, the waitress, that I was somewhat having my baby… I think we laughed about this. She told us they had some new HOT sauce called Habanero. We got a little bowl of it, and man…it was HOT and delicious.
That night might water started leaking through out the night.
At some point the next day, Monday I must have decided I was in labour. I think it was in the afternoon around 1. We phone Oceane, Marie-Eve and Sheila to let them all know we would need them to be on stand-by for their birthing support.
I remember Oceane came over first maybe around 2:30 and she started baking the chocolate cake from the ReBar Cookbook. It smelled to amazing. Olo was her helper. I remember Olo bringing me a lot of drinks of water and checking up on me. I was in the kitchen for hours doing squats on the kitchen chair to get my baby out of posterior position and help it to come out.
I was really happy! I had no pain. Amazing but true. I was just in love with my family and Oceane. I think the cake came out of the oven around 4:30 and Sheila came over around 5:30. I was still doing squats on the chair and I was really present but really spaced out. Sheila was watching me doing squats and she kept saying, “are you having a contraction right now?” and I just said… “I don’t really know, maybe, I just don’t know” It was nothing NOTHING like my first birth. I knew every “contraction” for the whole 29 hours! This was pure magic straight out of the Ina May Gaskin Spiritual Midwifery Book. I can’t remember how many times Sheila asked me if I was having contractions or not, I remember we were timing them- whatever they were and they were 5 minutes apart at some point. I was still talking, eating and doing squats all through the “blissful waves”.
The time came where Oceane said they were taking Olo to the grocery store and I said goodbye to them all and then VOILA. Cam and I were alone, special… I kinda remember things were getting a bit more intense, I was still in no pain and feeling blissed out. We hung out in the doorway for a bit, not sure why…and Cam turned on Sandro Perri singing some song I love that I really just can’t remember the name of right this minute. It was a cover song that meant a million things to me…and well Sandro Perri…listen to him, fall in love and then we’ll talk about it again.
We kissed in the doorway, that magic kiss that you hear about at Blessing Ways ceremonies. It was true magic.
At some point those guys came home from the grocery store and Olo made his famous fruit salad. I ate so much of it. 6:30 maybe… I ate so much fruit salad on the chair, still doing squats. I thought, I must be going to have this baby tomorrow because I’m eating so much food, talking…thinking and squatting.
It was raining outside and I really wanted to go for a walk. I had always suggested women do some kind of a ‘walk’ while giving birth, and so I must do it too. Cam and I went outside in the rain and by this point I couldn’t walk very well. I was definatly having some kind of wave, however it wasn’t painful. I just had to stop walking every so often to hold on to Cam. I don’t know how long we were outside but I think we only walked around a hedge and it might have taken 40 minutes, we were soaking wet from the rain when we got back inside. I was so happy!
At some point here Olo goes to bed. I am on the birthing ball rolling around, maybe doing a bit of moaning. Someone wonders if we should get things set up for the birth, maybe time to fill up the pool…I thought it was time to call the midwives and tell them my baby was on it’s way out…
From this point hum…not sure what all happened after hanging out on the birth ball for a bit. This must be when Marie-Eve gets here, or else she was there in the kitchen and I was clueless on the birth ball in the dark living room with just Cam. Things are started to intensify and I needed to go to the bathroom, I remember the bathroom was really far away. On the toilet I told Oceane and Sheila to go to Tamara’s and get the pots to boil water for the birth pool. I remember they didn’t believe me They said I was way to clear and mobile to be having a baby and let’s wait a bit to get the pots. I think I said, no you need to go…and then I remember Elisha (midwife) came in and said hi she was going to set up her ‘stuff’ I huffed at her to keep it out of my way! and tried to tell her I didn’t want any of it anyway, everything would be just fine.
A little longer in the bathroom, like 5 minutes and I knew the baby was coming out. I started freaking out at this point. I remember saying, “I don’t like it anymore” and Elisha said, “You don’t have to like it, you just have to go through it” Alright I liked her answer…I started freaking out some more…yelling a bit…
“Get me out of here. Get me into the living room. Get me off the toilet, someone help me.” I couldn’t really stand up and I wanted to go on my knees. I said, “I want to be on my knees now” and Elisha said, put down some towels for her so she can be on her knees” and I remember being pretty bossy saying ” GET ME OUT OF HERE! I’m not having my baby in the bathroom, take me to the living room.” I swear for about 15 minutes of figuring out how to get out of the bathroom I was holding Nettle in like a pee…Somehow I put my arms around Oceane and Marie-Eve (?) and they kinda hobbled me to the living room. I went in there and Elisha said, “you wanted to be on your knees…” I went on my knees and it wasn’t long at all and Nettle was zooming out under me. I remember him flailing around under my stomach on the living room floor and I picked him up and it was amazing…
He was adorable! So much for the birth pool, it had like 1-2 inches of hot water in it…
The room was really steamy cause the hose was blasting hot water into the birth pool that we were all huddled around in my miniature living room.
Then the ‘after birth’ pains set in. They lasted longer than I wanted, and I regret not taking Advil sooner. I didn’t really want to take anything…I just wanted to enjoy the moment but after a couple hours it wasn’t working and once I took the advil, I was ready to phone the world. That was at 1am.
Nettle was born at 9pm. We burned the cord, drank tea, some people hoped in the birth pool and relaxed a bit. We ate chocolate cake! It was heaven.
We ate chocolate cake for days…
I wanted to get pregnant the next day…ahhh. sweet Nettle and our magic birthing day.
Every birthday of Nettle I just warm up remembering this magical day.
Love birth!! xo