Read Leah’s first birth story here.
Our sweet little Milo man came to us May 22, 2016, at 8:30 p.m. The labor process was the same as last time, but stretched out, which was nice. I had time to process over a longer period of time. Contractions were consistent for about 10-12 hours before we headed to The Birth Center of Boulder. Up until that point, all felt manageable. I went straight into the bath tub and worked through contractions from about 5:00-7:30ish p.m. At this point, we were going into about 20 hours of labor that had gradually intensified, and I was pretty tired. Contractions were about 2-4 minutes apart, I was fully dilated, everything was ready. But, my water hadn’t broken yet. The same thing happened with Asher, my first, and I knew that last time the birth progressed a lot faster when my midwife broke my water. So, the midwives obliged and broke my water for me. The sensation was sort of like going from being on the moon to being on Earth. Gravity pulled hard, and labor went into game-time mode fast. I’m not totally sure, but I think he was born within an hour of breaking my water. And that was the pain cave from another dimension. It’s hard to speak into what that hour felt like. But I’ll try because people think I’m crazy for not doing pain medication. And I’ll preface this by saying, this is MY story, which I want to not be projected onto YOURS. These are just my candid feelings, and honestly, how your baby comes is your process that I respect and salute you for. I think it’s taken two births to really FEEL this process more spiritually. I think the first birth was more my animal mind—survival. This time, I could take in a bit more.
Why feel the pain? One, I’m not good with not knowing where I’m going. Or maybe I’m not good at following direction. If an epidural made it hard for me to feel pushing, or have a sense of what was going on, I knew myself well enough to know that I wouldn’t be coachable or at my best in that moment.
Second, I want to own my births completely. For me, that means DIY. And I’ve come to a place of really trusting the process and my body. I mean it’s not like I’ve been telling my own self how to make this baby the whole time, my body just did it on its own! So I handed over control to God and the innate process completely. I have way more of an affinity of doing this with just Matty and a midwife, than lots of people, things, cords, lights, sounds, suggestions, whatever that I’d have to make decisions about in a conventional setting. These things don’t bring me comfort. They stress me out.
Three, the pain is divine. Not like, “this molten lava chocolate cake is divine.” I mean it’s Divine. And I call it pain. Maybe in my next birth I’ll call it surges and hypnobirth my child out with a gentle sigh. Alas, I still identify what I was feeling as pain and contractions and really freaking hard. But, that doesn’t make it less beautiful. Being in that moment completely, and surrendered to it, was somewhere between the world of flesh and bone, and the world of angels. I was confronted with all my fears, the greatest physical pain I’ve ever felt, and an immense level of doubt that I was about to break. It’s like you reach into another dimension and pull your baby into the world at just the moment you think there is no way out. When I pushed through the doubt, it truly was the most of me I could ever be. I’ll never have a reason to try this hard at anything else in life, than to bring this little being into the world. I would never go this far into pain, because it’s too much. A place where in my animal/right mind, I would say that’s not possible, I can’t look at that, I can’t do that. I was just taken to a limit that I didn’t think I could get to, high-fived God, and then Miles was here. And when I left the pain, I entered such great light, and joy, and love. And I was really, really alive. It’s a pure moment. No distractions, just pure joy. And in a world with a million distractions a minute, meeting my baby boy in the flesh is a pure moment, unadulterated by media, people, things, thoughts. Just us and Daddy whose voice I could hear say, “It’s a boy!” What a beautiful surprise! I will treasure that surprise forever. I’m so glad we didn’t know, it made the entire moment even more magical.
As a baby, Miles needed to be touched all the time. And there were times when it felt exhausting. But I also love this about him. He slows me down, he makes me sit, he makes me ask for help from others, he makes me stay close—he’s been grounding. He was also tiny, just one ounce barely under 6 pounds. But the kid packed on weight really fast. He was 11.8 pounds by 2 months. What does that mean? Milk, milk, milk, milk. And nursing has got to be the most grounding commitment ever—mama can’t do a thing without that baby, and feeding just makes you stop what you’re doing and feed. He smiles so big. He snuggles so much. He loves to be super close, and his spirit is generally so sweet and endearing. I just love how special he is in his own way. These boys are who they are, I just can’t believe I get to be their mommy.
In the end, there were no tears, stitches, interventions, just a lovely, powerful birth. Brutal, yes. Birth is no walk in the park. But to mamas out there: Be empowered. God made you for this. And God made you for this baby, specifically.
I adore my boys. All three of them (Matty included). They are the light of my life, and I truly believe there is nothing I’d rather do more than mommy these two boys in this short life. The days fly by and they are never the same in the morning as they were when I kissed them goodnight. It’s exhausting, challenging, messy, and crazy, yes. But being able to love so big not once, but twice, as a mom is almost more love than I can really handle.
I’ve learned to never take this psalm for granted.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Ps 139: 13-14)
Written by Leah Hosburgh