As we all know, life can be quite demanding and we can sometimes stray away from what truly inspires us. When i learned i was pregnant i was working as a phlebotomist and had no idea what kind of journey was ahead of me. I knew this little miracle growing inside my belly needed me to do the best that i could to help it grow and come into this world the way nature intended.
The father of the baby was very pessimistic about a homebirth and we argued back and forth in terms of what was "safe" and "normal" for the first trimester. But through the help of The Bradley Method classes he soon came around and was just as excited and passionate about the birth at home.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and all of a sudden this little heartbeat evolved into a kick boxer in the making. As my due date came closer the reality was beginning to set in. It was all of a sudden time to order my birth kit and set up my birthing tub in the dining room. My due date came and passed with no baby. I couldn't figure out why the spicy foods, bouncing on the exercise ball, yoga, sex and walking was not helping this baby come OUT!
The sixth day I had to meet the FOB's family for breakfast and everyone swore that i looked "so different" and that the baby was coming that night. I wasn't at all excited because at this point i figured "what's another 6 days". Contractions came and went all day but nothing that made me feel as though i would have this baby any time soon. Then finally 10pm the contractions really had my attention but were not unbearable and not consistent. Around 1:30am there was no possible way that i could ignore these contractions. I got up to use the bathroom and my water broke. I knew there was no turning back when i couldn't get myself off the toilet for two contractions. I crawled back into the bedroom and quickly called Christy around 1:45am. She tried to convince me to get some rest and to go back to sleep and so did the FOB. I thought these people were insane and there was absolutely no way that i was getting any rest with contractions like these. I made my way down the stairs to be by myself and work through a few contractions on my own but the FOB soon found me and was helping and coaching me through these intense contractions that just did not let up.
Another call to Christy and a good friend of mine were made by FOB and i was in full blown labor. Christy was on her way. I felt like i just couldn't get a break and didn't know how long i would be able to go on experiencing contractions coming one on top of the other. Then the strangest thing happened and i couldn't control the urge to push. Finally my friend arrived (who has two homebirths under her belt) and i remember looking at her with such confusion and asking her why i felt the urge to push and how it was out of my control and the most beautiful words came out of her mouth . . "push if you feel you have to push, just listen to your body". Finally it was all making sense i knew that i had to get into the tub and begin to push this baby out. It was such a relief to finally have some time in between these pushing contractions and i remember not wanting to focus on the pain but instead on the fact that this baby was coming and i was finally going to meet it. One more call was made to Christy who was about 10 minutes away still (I live an hour from Philadelphia). I just kept pushing when i felt i had to push for as long as i was able to push. My body just took over and i knew exactly what to do. I wasn't fighting anything. Christy arrived and 30 minutes more of pushing brought the "ring of fire". I knew i was going to meet this baby soon. Then with a powerful push the head was out. Everyone was assuring me that one more push i could finally see and hold my baby that i've waited 9 months to touch. With all my might i pushed and out she came! An instant feeling of emptiness rushed over me as her soul left my body. Holding her in the water and hearing her beautiful voice let out a cry was such a feeling that i am unable to describe in words. She was here, 10 fingers & 10 toes and i did it - i actually did it! Because of homebirth i was able to prove and remind myself that i am an amazing, beautiful creature that was able to work with god in the miracle of life. This has truly moved me and been such a powerful and gratifying experience. I don't forsee any event topping the birth of my daughter, unles it be another homebirth, of course.
-Valerie, mom of Liliana, born March 2008