The Power of Birth

moments after my first son, Isaiah was born!

moments after my first son, Isaiah was born!

My doula Claire took this picture that I will hold forever has a dear treasure. I very rarely share Isaiah birth story anymore, but tonight - on the eve of his 5th birthday {born at 2:15am on the 31th!} I am indulging in reading it:


{Isaiah birth story written has letter to the amazing Prenatal Yoga Teacher Hilary Nette!)

Hi Hilary,


While I am writing this, beside me, a little man is sleeping. I still pinch myself,  he is breathing, he is living- this love was inside me.


My husband Scott and I named him Isaiah William: he was born August 31 at 2:15 am. These past few days have been a miracle. I couldn’t wait to write his birth story, has I remember just how much I love hearing them in your yoga class.


My due date was August 29, 2011. Yet, both my doctor and my doula were assured I would go in labor early. My body seemed to have been preparing for birth for at least a month. Everyday I would have more Braxton Hicks, my mucus plug started disintegrating at 33 weeks and I dropped at 36 weeks. I was 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated at 37 weeks and stayed that way until 39 weeks were I was 90% effaced and 2 cm dilated. I really felt like a walking time bomb.


In hindsight, I wish they hadn’t told me I would go early because the last two weeks were the hardest for me. Not physically, but emotionally. I was drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea like I wished it was beer, I was squatting my days away on top of walking and cleaning like a maniac – oh and sexing it up big time! Despite all my best effort- nothing. I realize I wasn’t on my time anymore, or my doctors or my doula’s… but on baby’s time.


A day after my due date,  we were watching old Soprano’s and had just finished dinner when I heard a big ‘cluck’ down there. I ignored it until I had my first contraction. I though to myself : ‘geez that was a real painful fake one!’. But you wouldn’t believe that the next contraction brought me to my knees! At that point, we went upstairs to the bedroom, and thought it would be wise to start timing my ‘really fake painful contractions’. Right away, I laid down my yoga mat and table top seemed to be the most intuitive pose for me, so I listened to that. I would do puppy pose, and some lunges in between contraction, some hip circle- y’know rockin’ the labor flow. My husband was great, he was trying to make me laugh and sometimes just he’s body against mine, his warmth would be appreciated. I remembered to let go of my jaw, I remembered to do really low, earthy sound like OM. It’s when I couldn’t talk, couldn’t laugh, when Scott had to close all the windows of our house so the neighbors wouldn’t think he was beating me up, that we called our doula. Only one hour had passed and my contraction were 5 minutes apart.


It was such a relief when I saw my doula, Claire. I knew her and she knew me. I started crying because I knew this was “it”. Upon the arrival or yet another contraction, she knew where to press, she knew what to say, she knew what I wanted. But you wouldn’t believe that after only 2 contractions at home with Claire, that she decided we had to go the hospital, like, right NOW. Minor detail of living out in Cow Bay is that it is 35 minutes away. I manage to throw up my whole dinner on the down the stairs and there I was, hugging the passenger seat while Claire his rubbing my back, head in a bucket and Scott is driving us quickly but safely to the IWK. I don’t know how I made it without fainting. But at midnight, we did.


We got to the entrance and Claire asked for a wheelchair. After 10 minutes, and contraction now at 2-3 minutes apart- with the urge to push, NO wheelchair. I do not remember this, but apparently, finally 3 wheelchairs came at the same time and when I saw that, I just turned around and started walking to the elevator! I remember having 2 nurses helping me down the hallway and having to stop 2 or 3 time before making it to the room. My legs would give in, tremble. I told myself then, that if I was only 4 cm I would take the drugs, ANY drug for that matter.


We got in the birthing room, and nurses checked dilation right away. I was 7 cm. Say WHAT? I knew then that I was in transition, I knew this was going to be the most intense but quickest phase, but I knew that I was almost there. I would tell myself to give in and let my body to the this, that my body was made for this, that my baby was almost in my arms. At 8 cm, we were just waiting for my membrane to rupture. The urge to push was intense, and I couldn’t. I was hugging the bed that was tilted diagonally when Claire decided to moved me upright, and that did the job, my water broke and next thing you know I could push.


I must admit, this is the only moment I panicked, because excuse my french- it hurted so FUCKEN much. At this point the doctor came in the room, he saw my distress, and looked at me and said: ‘LOOK! You can’t be screaming like this, you are almost there, I know you can do this. Now focus, and PUSH’. Those words were exactly what I needed. No ‘sweeties’, ifs, ands or buts; I needed to be put back in my place. I remembered finding my center the way I do in yoga, by looking at one point on the wall, my drishti, and then using the squat position, push like I have never pushed before.


Time stood still and suddenly Isaiah was on my chest, crying. Really, we were all crying. There he was, my little love.


I am only on day 9 of this motherhood journey and I realize there is no limit to our power as women, as partners, as mothers. At the same time, I feel blessed, lucky that everything  went so well. Let it be the fact that I did yoga almost everyday while pregnant, or genes, or random chance, who knows? I always would hear horror stories of labor, and I am proud to say that this experience was such a positive, empowering one. It made me want women to know that it is possible to remember pain coping techniques while in the throws of labor, that is possible to have a 4 hour and 15 minutes labor with your first child. That it is possible to push for only 6 minutes and that it is possible to do it with no drugs.


In the meantime, Hilary,  I’d like to thank you for your classes which were so fundamental to my growing as a mother. Thank you for letting me share such a precious moments. 


Writing your birth story is a sacred ritual I strongly recommend to my girls in Prenatal Yoga!! As I sit here, red in hand, cuddle up with my family, 5 years later- i sip it all in 😉🍷- grateful I have this detailed and most important piece of memory in words! 🎂happy birthday to my first born, my little love that turned into a massive, bigger than life love! ...... ZaZa.......!!!!!


with love, Mommy


Estelle ThomsonComment