The Birth of Sira
by her doula!
Born on Friday, December 28, 2012
Welcome to the world sweet girl! You may not remember me, but I was with you the day you were born. I met your mommy and daddy through a mutual friend at a birthday party, and the next morning I awoke to a beautiful email from your mommy asking if I would be interested in being her doula, which means she invited me to be with her at your birth! I said yes! “Doula” is a Greek word that means “servant,” but your mommy treated me much much nicer and not at all like her servant! She was so loving and made me feel very welcome!
I feel so grateful that you and your parents invited me to your birth, so I want to write you a little note about how I remember that day in the hopes that it will help you remember your birth story! My memory sometime fails me, so there may be parts missing and who knows if the happenings are in chronological order, but this is how I remember it.
On Thursday, December 27th, 2012 I stepped outside in the evening with the intention of going to see a movie at the cinema. I walked a few blocks and looked up and saw the full moon, stopped myself, and then returned home and decided to stay in that night. I had a very sneaky feeling that the big beautiful full moon was attracting you and I wanted to be sure that I was ready and available for you!
At 9.11pm, I received a message from your mommy letting me know that her water broke an hour before. She said she was fine, and not to worry as she hadn’t started any contractions yet. She said she would get in touch with me in the morning to let me know when she needed me. Mommy usually knows best, but I was so excited that you were on the way I could barely sleep all night and was convinced you would come quickly through the night! But Mommy was right, as usual!
At 6:38am on the morning of Friday, December 28th, 2012, your daddy sent me a message saying your mommy was 7 hours into her contractions, and asked me to come over at 8:00am. Then he wrote back saying, no better at 9:00am. For me it was all the same, I had been up and dressed since the first message, because I was just so excited to meet you! He said the midwives arrived to your house around 2.00am so I bet they were guided to you by the light of the moon. An hour later your big sister Camilla woke up and so your daddy thought I should maybe get there a bit quicker so he could be with her.
I got to your house around 8.30am and your daddy met me at the door with a big smile and huge welcoming hug. He seemed tired, but very happy and positive. Camilla was there checking out the scene and she seemed very excited about you too! The apartment was dimly lit, and so quiet. Candles were burning and there was a very strong energy in the room. Your mommy was in the birthing pool in the middle of your living room. Her back was to me and she was sitting on her knees waist deep in the water, and resting her head on the rim of the pool. I could tell she was tired, but she was sitting there so still and quiet that I didn’t want to make any noise! Your daddy handed me a bucket and asked me to keep your mommy warm, so I sat with her and kept warm water on her back while your daddy got Camilla ready for her outing!
Everyone worked together to keep the pool warm for you, and Inma (the midwife) had the good idea to soak a towel in the hot water and lay across your mommy’s back. Each time the water poured over that red towel draped over her back, it gave the impression like your mommy had dragon scales that were rippling, and that wings were about to sprout. I was certain she was going to start flying! As dragons are very strong, I was comforted by the thought of your mommy, the strong dragon! She was so powerful that day, I am still in awe of her.
The midwives were busy at work at the table by the window, taking notes and making sure that you were remaining healthy during your journey. They periodically took your heart beat, and each time that little brave heart of yours beat it sounded like a slightly excited scuba diver underwater breathing quickly on her own with a little help from an oxygen tank, and your mommy was that oxygen for you until you learned to breath on your own just hours later.
Your mommy’s contractions were fairly steady but still a bit far apart. After one of the contractions, she said she wanted to poop in Michel Odent! We were hoping she actually wanted to poop, but I think she meant it just as a figure of speech. The midwives thought that the dragon needed some time out of the water … it was time to heat things up! Your mommy put on her bathrobe (and then removed her bathrobe only to put it on again … and this over and over again for hours!) and she moved around the living room clinging to furniture, or your daddy, or the midwives, or me for some support during the contractions. She was so brave. And as I watched, her face was almost always calm and the corners of her mouth lifting to a very mild smile. She looked so beautiful and at peace!
Your mommy drank from her water bottle and kept hydrated. We tried to sneak some food into her, but she was not really that interested. Though she did have some pineapple slices and a bit of cinnamon / honey tea! She looked to the candles quite a lot, and I was not sure if she was worried they were going to catch fire, or if she just liked looking at them. At one point she put them out, so either she was avoiding fire or just didn’t want the extra light. We’ll have to ask her!
I’m sure you know by now that your mom is a belly dancer, but did you know that she also is a cabaret dancer!?!? That’s right! She gave me a lap dance right there in your living room, with the hope that this would help you come out. Your daddy sat behind her and we supported your mommy hovering over the floor with her legs up in the air. We were all laughing as it did seem a bit funny, but you and your mommy kept on working throughout the party!
Did you also know that your mommy is a koala bear? She clung to your daddy like he was a tree and Inma and I shook her legs up and down.
All that tossing around made your mommy quite sleepy, so the midwives went downstairs to get a coffee and left your parents to rest. Both were able to get a small nap, they needed their strength for the coming hours!
Once back, the midwives said it was time for some “natural oxytocin” to get you moving. I will leave this up to your parents to explain, but I think that your daddy showed your mommy a lot of love in the privacy of their bedroom, and this love made your mommy dragon spread her wings and fly! Her wings beat so strongly that her contractions became more frequent and stronger. She wanted to bring you out and into her arms! Your daddy came out of the room feeling quite proud of himself. We called him a “midhusband” for his help.
The next thing I knew, the faint light coming in through the closed curtains was starting to fade, and I realized nighttime was soon near. You were still healthy and had a good heart beat, but your mommy was starting to feel a bit exhausted. With her wings out, your mommy was ready. She put on some music and danced around the room with her eyes closed. The midwives decided they needed some fuel and went downstairs for some food at a nearby cafe. Your mommy decided to put music on the speakers, and selected a mix of peaceful, natural sounding music. Having this music on really changed the whole vibe in the room. For me, it become very mystical and it seemed to help your mommy relax and move around a bit more. We got her squatting and hanging off the edge of the foot of the bed. But the music was a bit too calm when what we wanted at this point was some action.
The midwives returned and your mommy decided she was ready for the action. She sorted through the stack of CDs and pulled out a mix that her friend Kate made her, and put it in. Suddenly, your living room transformed into a dance floor! The swinging and hip hopping tunes had everyone in the room dancing. The energy changed from peace and quiet, to active energy and movement. That was exactly what the doctor, or uhhh … midwife … asked for. The movement was so good and your mommy’s hips were swaying so freely that your head came down further and she kept having the urge to squat. This was a good sign and we all looked at each other and smiled, and I could see the midwives beginning to prepare for your birth!
Your mommy wanted you to be born in the pool, but you decided to be born at the foot of your couch instead. From an early age, you were disobeying your mother but it seems like in this case (and only this case!) you knew best. Your daddy sat behind your mommy, on the couch, and supported her from behind as she first tried to push you out on all fours. She then turned around and squatted, still supported by your daddy … and that position seemed to work well for you!
I’m bad at keeping time during a birth, it all blends together for me in my memory, so I’m not sure how long exactly your head tried to make its way out, but probably around 30 minutes or so. Inma saw your black hair started to peek through and everyone was so excited to see that you were arriving! Your mommy waited patiently for each contraction and she helped push you down. Inma called you a turtle, slow and steady wins the race sometimes in life, and slow and steady you started yours! Your little head peeked out during the contraction, and then disappeared back in. You probably thought how cold it was out there in the real world. But once you realized that you had warm loving arms and a heated towel waiting for you, you decided to go for it and popped your whole head out! Your daddy looked down and said you had a big head! I think this means you were born with confidence!
With one last big contraction, your body slipped right out and you went straight into the arms and chest of your mommy. Oh! She was so happy to see you! And your daddy couldn’t stop kissing your mommy because he was so proud of her! After a few welcoming words and snuggles, your mommy and daddy wondered if you were a boy or a girl, so they took a peek and said it’s a nena! I know they were happy either way, but I bet Camilla is happy to have a little sister!
While you and your mommy were busy falling in love, the midwives made sure that you and your mommy were okay and got you both nestled on the couch. You started pecking like a chicken trying to find the breast for your first meal and everyone was very patient and encouraged you. It was so sweet, and your mommy looked divine. Eventually you found the breast, perhaps with a little help, and once you were breastfeeding, about an hour later your mommy had to give birth again! This time to the placenta, a magnificent sack of life where you spent your first 39+ weeks!
When I eventually left the home that evening, a beautiful shining happy family was there enjoying you.
Sira, I can tell you firsthand that you were born out of love and into love. Thank you for sharing that love with me, I will carry this experience in my heart forever!