I birthed a human through my vagina and it was the most empowering phucking thing EVER.
We were SO excited to become a family of 4 (hubs and I have a 3 year old) and we KNEW we wanted to do this thing ourselves...Yup! NO doctor. No midwife. No doula. No ultrasounds. No unnecessary tests and stress. Just birth. (It’s called “unassisted birth” or “freebirth”)
Not when black women are 234% (or 3-4 times) more likely to DIE in hospitals from birth complications. Not when the very reasons for these deaths are mostly 1) RACISM (they don’t take our complaints and concerns seriously) & 2) completely unnecessary interventions (think inductions, c-sections, tests with high numbers of false positives, vaccines, health officials’ lack of accurate knowledge etc.)
Plus, I’m hella #RebelliousByNature anyway so the decision was easy. I didn’t want anyone to have authority or the sense of authority over me. Or around me. It didn’t feel right (for me). I was gonna have my own baby and that was that. I did my own prenatal care, never had 1 ultrasound (I’ll post about the dangers of those-WHY did no one enlighten me about this with my first? And had a completely uneventful and happy pregnancy.
See, my first pregnancy ended in an unnecessary C-Section. Not surprising huh? Especially when Tennessee’s rate of c section is 32.4% (the CDC recommends it be only between 10-15%, ideally- in 1970, it was only 5%.
My pregnancy was perfection. No complaints. I researched my ass off, ate good, ordered my own labs-CBC + CMP + Ferritin levels (this is definitely not necessary, I’m just a numbers person and wanted to analyze my own bloodwork), visited my chiropractor once weekly and simply *waited* (more on my routine and regimen later).
38 weeks rolls around and I leave work. Finally!
38weeks + 5days comes and SHIT.GETS.REAL. I go to the bathroom around 9pm and my water is trickling! Not a full on gush at this point but it was definitely coming. Very mild contractions.
I continued leaking allllll night long. Hubby (Courtney) and I cleaned the house and went to Walmart. We were there for hours getting every little last thing we could think of (I knew I wouldn’t be out the house for awhile so I wanted to stock up on essentials, new towels etc)
At 8AM I woke to a FULL on gush of water. It was amazing and made me super anxious. “Am I in labor??? WHAT is happening???” I knew that PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes aka water breaking) could happen days or even weeks before actual labor so I just chilled. Took my temperature regularly to check for signs of infection. Temp stayed normal throughout. I felt good. Checked my blood pressure a few times too but mostly just rested. And waited.
“My baby knows when to be born” is what I told myself. “I trust you to choose your birthdate” is what I told baby.
Went about my day as normal. We went to Old Chicago and ate, walked around the mall a bit.
The days went on. 24 hours since initial leak. Then 48. Then 72 etc. I wasn’t worried one bit. I saged myself and our home and felt at peace.
“My baby knows when to be born”.
Side note: If I was birthing in a hospital or with a midwife, I would have BEEN induced by this point.
Finally, I started having consistent waves! (Waves = contractions) Omg. It was intense from the start. I quickly figured out that I was experiencing back labor. It was absolutely horrible, not gonna front. They started around 10-15 minutes apart. Then 8ish. Then 3-4 minutes. Then 1-2 minutes.
I yelled. I screamed. Popped 3 ibuprofen (& I don’t even take pharmaceutical medicine. Matter of fact, I don’t even know why that shit was in my house...), a dropperful of AfterEase (this stuff is amazing for the afterbirth contractions, WOW), Motherwort tincture, Kava/Lavender tincture, Rescue Remedy, Arnica pellets + gel, Magnesium oil.
I stayed in my birth pool for about 5-6 hours (Courtney kept refilling it with boiled water, it felt soooo good but still didn’t relieve the waves much). Hot shower on back multiple times, he did rebozo sifting on me a few times and massaged my back (these last 2 helped the most!) WHENEVER I needed it. Took temp randomly- stayed in 96-97° range, BP good, felt minor movement throughout.
At one point I worried baby was transverse (sideways) because she wasn’t coming out for sooooo long. It had been almost 24 hours since I started having this horrible back labor! Can you imagine...it was legit like what I imagine torture to be. By the 12 hour mark I was exhausted.
I decided to consult with my Free Birth Society group (a private group of amazing mothers + women) and let them know what was going on. They encouraged me! Sent me positive vibes. Gave me advice and overall just supported me. Nowhere else have I found this type of support by and for women.Their words gave me the strength to go on.
Then, I vomited. Around 2pm. “It must be close!”, I thought. Welp, I was still contracting for an hour after that. It felt like I had to poop and I couldn’t get it out for the life of me so I sent Courtney to Walmart to get me a new enema kit. This part is so funny to me, thinking back.
Well whowouldathunkit! As we were FaceTiming and he was at Wally World, I had another wave while standing up in the bathroom and baby’s head emerged! I didn’t even have to push. It was FER at its finest. Vagina vomit.
I showed him and he hung up to rush back home. I set up my selfie camera on my phone to record. 1 or 2 more contractions and out baby came! Right into my arms!!! 3:33PM on the day of the New Moon. Intense, but not painful. The intense feeling immediately ceased once baby was out, it was CRAZY. I suctioned the amniotic fluid + whatever other gunk out of her nose and mouth with my own mouth. Turned her over and rubbed her back and just loved on her. I didn’t tear at all. Thanked my placenta for its divine work and it released itself easily from my yoni in almost exactly an hour, intact.
Hubby got back maybe a minute or 2 after she was born and was in awe. We checked the gender together and were both ecstatic that she was a SHE! I felt extra feminine energy emanating from me since before I was even pregnant + was drawn to rose quartz, and Court had been praying for a girl next so it was cool for the real life confirmation. I loved “not knowing” but trusting my intuition instead. I got some postpartum shakes/shivers a couple hours later (probably) because I hadn’t eaten. Time was going so fast, I was on a birth high. Shakes just lasted a few minutes tho and I felt even better after eating. We attempted cord burning but her cord was too short for comfort. So we cut it and burned the end that we cut. Placenta is in my fridge! Sleep that night was so peaceful & perfect.
This was the the most blissful experience of my life. Even though labor was more than rough, I did it. 23 hours, non stop.
This labor was a LOT of work, I can’t even front. Completely unexpected... Throughout my pregnancy, I read manifestation and intention books such as “Unassisted Childbirth” by Laura Shanley, “Seth Speaks” by Jane Roberts etc...they were great. I felt prepared and informed, which I was am and was. I *was gonna have* a painless birth. Lol, didn’t get that BUT it was all well worth it.
Throughout the process, I kept reminding myself “Mari, you’re not in danger. You’re just having a baby. You’re safe.” It was so comforting to remember that there is a reward at the end of (your) birthing time. It wasn’t pain for no reason- it had a purpose.