Two years ago on the first Saturday of September I went into labor.
It was a beautiful Labor Day weekend.
On Saturday mornings I usually teach an 11am class. I generally leave a couple of hours before class and sit as Starbucks.
I sit alone.
I drink a hot drink.
It’s my Mama time, and has been ever since Hunter, my almost 5 year old was born.
This Saturday it was exactly the same as any other, other than the fact that I started to feel something.
I was 36 weeks and 4 days pregnant.
I had planned to work with one of my sweet yoga teacher friends Jen, to shoot some video of partner yoga postures to help during labor.
She called me that morning to tell me that she’d had a bit of a house emergency (some sort of flooding I believe) and she would be unable to come meet me.
It didn’t bother me in the least because like I mentioned before, I was feeling something.
I had this overwhelming sensation to turn inward.
I didn’t want to listen to anything
I didn’t want to engage with my computer at all < gasp! >
I didn’t want to think.
I only wanted to drink my hot drink and feel…my body….and my baby.
I felt like I couldn’t keep myself together, like if walked too fast I would split in half. I was feeling a pull downward.
There was absolutely a discernible downward pull from Mae. I could sense her little head pushing deep into my pelvis.
When I walked from Starbucks to where I taught my 11am class I felt like I was moving through water and everything was in slow motion.
I was waddling. Oh man was I waddling! Really super slow waddling.
I felt round, curvy and flowy, like I had not straight lines inside of me whatsoever.
I remember that walk took me twice as long as it usually takes because I simply could not walk fast. I honestly thought Mae would just fall out!
It took everything in my power to draw in to my midline.
I knew she was coming. What I didn’t know was how FAST she would come
Once I got to class there happened to be only one student that day, not surprising as it was Labor Day weekend here in the states.
She happened to be an earth mother embodied, with a name to match Gaea. Is that not prophetic or what?
Gaea’s energy is just as you would imagine, calm, steady and grounded. She was working with some shoulder and knee issues so the class was incredibly tailored to her and was also very focused, calm and steady.
Upon looking back of course it was the perfect class for me to teach with the perfect student.
In fact, I taught the entire class seated on the biggest exercise ball that I could get, slowly moving back and forth, never letting go of this deeply intuitive need to move like water.
During class I started to feel contractions. They were very very mild. They felt like little lower belly hugs. In my mind these were all Braxton Hicks type of contractions or “false labor”.
After class I called my Mom and told her all the small minute sensations and symptoms that I was having. We bonded a bit reminicing on when she went into labor and what it felt like.
It’s amazing how deep the commonality of birthing pulses to our womanly experience, and how fast we can connect, particularly with the one that birthed you.
She told me to call my midwife – and I did.
My midwife didn’t tell me that I was in labor nor thought that there was too much to be concerned about.
My only concern was that I wanted Mae to stay inside until Tuesday, which was exactly 37 weeks and according to the medical establishment that was considered full-term.
I was not worried she was coming early, but knew that if for some reason I needed to go into the hospital to have my baby, there would be issues because she would be considered “premature.”
Randy came to pick me up to go to Nanny’s house (grandma) which is where my almost 3 year old was at that time. I told him immediately that this baby was coming soon.
He kinda believed me…but not really.
The rest of the day at Nanny’s house I felt like I was in a dream. I usually work and do chores when I get to Nanny’s, but I didn’t that day. In fact I have no memory of anyone else except of the time that I was alone.
I sat outside in a chair and at the risk of sounding SUPER kooky, totally communed with nature. Seriously. Everything was all shiny and neon looking.
In yoga terms, full of Shakti.
And then…a bunny appeared!
Dude. A bunny.
And of course in my heightened state of awareness and emotions I just started weeping, quietly, not out of sadness but simply because I knew something huge was coming, tinged with a bit of fear of the unknown…
Then I HAD to get on my 5th limb aka my iPhone and google bunny totems 😉
“Traditionally, rabbits are associated with fertility, sentiment, desire, and procreation….The rabbit is also a symbol of Ostara, an ancient fertility goddess whose symbols are rabbits, various flowers and eggs (more life/growth/fertility themes!).”
How about that?
Funny how there were so many signs, not only from within, but from all around.
After the bunny incident, I went upstairs and laid down. I watched Mae move around in my belly and allowed myself to melt into the sensation of allowing for new life….
I felt so alive. It was super awe inspiring to see Mae move so much in my belly, and to see my belly all of a sudden look like a calm ocean, with gentle almost imperceptible waves.
The image at the top of this post is a picture that I took of my own belly, as I lay in bed, right as I was in labor…albeit, super super soft gentle labor.
I didn’t truly believe I was in true labor. I thought my body was prepping, so there was a sense of innocence to how I went into the rest of the day.
I hadn’t gone into labor with my first.
We went into the hospital at 37 weeks to get a Version (as a last resort as Hunter was Frank Breech) and in the process the Doctor found out that I had an undiagnosed placenta previa and thus promptly had an emergency belly birth.
I never felt any kind of contractions with Hunter. Hunter did not call the shots on her birth. She was taken out before she was ready.
This baby was now calling the shots, and being very clear in telling me that she was ready.
So what does a Mama do when experiencing possible contractions for the first time?
Well, download an app for that of course!
I quickly chose an app that I could begin to chart my “contractions” basically so that I could keep myself occupied. In my mind, I would test a few apps, and then decide which one to use when I was actually in labor.
Ha. So funny. The naiveté
That night I did have some sleep, I slept for 90 to 120 minutes at a time, being woken up by contractions. Again, they were pretty gentle and super sporadic, there was no constancy at all to them.
At around 7am I had to get up.
Mae wanted me to move. I started to ride gentle waves. These waves were not painful or uncomfortable, but they did require me to actively ride them.
I walked and waddled around and Daddy and Hunter slept.
I woke Daddy up and told him to get ready as I felt Mae was in fact ready to come.
He finally believed me and stepped outside to call his Mom, so she could come and take care of Hunter.
I had chosen to lie down on our futon, so I could move around and not disturb sleeping Hunter. I then called my midwife so that she could advice.
Once I got her on the phone she asked to hear me go through a contraction so that she could check how deep into labor I was.
Once she heard me go through it she told me that she would be on her way to out home.
The contractions had picked up and were pretty close together.
As I hung up and was riding another wave, I heard the loudest pop I have ever heard in my life – inside my own head.
O.M.G. my water broke!
I quickly rushed into the bathroom to clean myself up and then I saw…mecomium.
I knew right then that my home birth wasn’t going to be happening.
I needed to get to the hospital right away.
And the complete shift happened from a mind state that was in a natural state of trepidation of the unknown that comes from going into labor for the first time to the cold chilling fear that infused my bones + nervous system as I let the inkling of the possibility of “what if something is wrong with my baby?”
Pain took over.
Those powerful and invigorating waves became TORRID monster contractions, that felt like someone was punching me in the stomach from the inside out.
The were coming so strong and so fast that I couldn’t even stand.
I crawled to the door so that I could tell Randy that WE NEEDED TO LEAVE FOR THE HOSPITAL ASAP!
All I remember was crawling into our Jeep.
Randy grabbed everything else, including of course our almost 3 year old.
I moaned the whole way to the hospital.
Since it was Sunday on Labor Day weekend there was absolutely no traffic as we left at 9:15am. We made it to the hospital in less than 15 min.
Fear and uncertainty overpowered intuition and trust.
I could go into details of the whole hospital ordeal but I will not….perhaps for another day….it’s a pretty crazy story!
Mae Anne Miyan was born that Sunday morning at 10:20am September 4, a little over an hour after we left our home.
I pushed for 15 minutes.
Bam. She was out.
She was absolutely 100% ready to come out. She called all the shots and she continues to do so.
I sit and share this with you because we are always receiving communication from a power much greater than ourselves.
We have a direct connection to that which we hold Sacred.
When was the last time that you tuned in and listened? When was the last time you looked back and said “it was so obvious!”
I’d love to hear your stories
With Love and Moxie,