The Birth of Phoenix

The past three weeks have gone by in a blur of nursing, diaper changes, pumping and bottle feeding. It’s definitely a brave new world to have a toddler and a newborn, that’s for sure.

To tell Phoenix’ birth story I’m trying to figure out where to begin. Because this process has taught me that birth is much bigger than the moment you go into labor, in fact, I’m starting to feel like it’s one of the biggest missing puzzle pieces of how we can heal this crazy world. (More about that later, now back to Phoenix.)

The pregnancy was a challenge, not so much from the symptoms of it but because I got sick so many times while being pregnant. Stomach flu on top of a pregnancy is just fucked up and no one should have to endure that shit. But you do.

Fortunately, the last month I felt healthy and strong and I danced my way through the end.

SUNDAY

Blessing Way Photos

My due date was May 17th, but I had the feeling he would come slightly earlier. My friend Nancy organized a blessing way for me on the 7th of May and that day I woke up feeling so in tune with my body. As I got dressed for the occasion I felt like a magical goddess preparing for a ceremony of great importance.

Sitting down with my five powerful ladies wearing the orchid strewn crown crated for me I giggled at how lucky I was to be given friends like that. Lucky doesn’t even begin to describe it actually. Each person’s face radiated such love, in her particular flavor and I felt bathed in Divine Goddess energy.

Blessing Way Women

We went through a ceremony including a flower foot bath that ended with corn meal being rubbed on my feet, we honored the four directions, threw glitter, invoked blessings, hummed prayers and I received some marvelous gifts. I even got anointed with oil!!! What more could a mama to be ask for? Absolutely nothing.

The day started off warm, sunny and blue – yet in the middle of the ceremony a powerful storm swooped down from the mountains. BANG! A door slammed right at the end of a particularly sacred and potent moment reading this blessing:

Blessing Way for Phoenix

We all looked at each other, not knowing what to say – we just felt it deep in our bones. Something sacred was unfolding and we were all part of that miracle.

At the end of the blessing way Nancy had us tie little blue strings around our wrists with the instruction to cut it when they heard news of the birth. We were tied together by intention and yarn, like an umbilical cord we all shared.

MONDAY

The following day was a Monday and I had my final appointment with my midwife. As soon as I walked up her stairs to the office I told her I felt something happening and later asked her to check me. I was 2 centimeters dilated “– AHA, I thought to myself, I knew that!”

She said what I knew she would say, that this could mean he was coming any time or in a few weeks. There’s just no telling when you’re dealing with a soul coming to take form. It has its own plan.

But, I knew Wednesday was a full moon and I told KB. “- Get ready for Wednesday because we’re having a baby then.” He said: “-But the due date is more than a week away, I think we still have time.”(Me on the inside smugly “- No dude, we’re having a baby in two days…”)

TUESDAY

On Tuesday I was back in Boulder, this time the whole family was running errands and we ended up in the new Vitamin Cottage. I was hell bent on having the Harmless Harvest Coconut water at this birth, because I loved in during the birth of Z. While standing in line I bumped in to my backup midwife Maddison, we laughed and felt the birth magic at work. “- See you soon!” I said and I was very right about that.

Next stop was Whole Foods because I needed flowers and I knew that my birth flowers where there (I get very tapped in and turned on during pregnancy and before birth my intuition and knowing is just off the charts!) There they were! Giant, gorgeous, white roses! They had “Welcome Phoenix” written all over them, so home they came.

That night I had all this crazy energy running through me. I felt as thought I had failed, I hadn’t gotten everything done, and my list was still long and I hadn’t relaxed as much as I should and why did I work up until the end of my pregnancy… I called my friend Katherine around 9pm crying and told her how I felt. She reassured me like only a fellow mama can do and told me I had done great, I could just relax and let it all go and what did I need to do right now that would make me feel like the glowing goddess I am?

I knew instantly what to do and we hung up the phone with her sending me all the love, and “- You got this”, and “- Call anytime and I’ll be there.” I grabbed my roses, a rose quartz and rose massage oil (seeing a theme, anyone?) and down in the basement guest room I went. I took some fierce mama photos in the mirror so I’d always remember that moment and rubbed my oil and roses all over my naked body. I then spotted a deck of “wellbeing cards” I have on the desk down there for my guests and pulled a card. Seeing a bouquet of white roses and a full moon on the card, coupled with the words:

“By visualizing your desired outcome, the perfect action is always inspired.”

I knew in my heart it was ON.

Blessing Way Card and Roses

Next, I was directed to look up a birth preparation mantra on YouTube – I scrolled through five before I felt “This is it!” I feel asleep listening to it…

“I can trust my body… My body knows how to give birth…Everything is unfolding in perfect love…” 

WEDNESDAY

I woke up at 2 am with mild, yet persuasive contractions. I knew labor had truly begun. As it was in the middle of the night I decided to stay in bed and ride the waves on my own until it was necessary to wake up KB. I listened to my ocean wave tracks and just kept breathing… around 4 am thought it was best I started timing my contractions as they seemed regular and after 50 minutes I realized they were 7-8 minutes a part! Right after 5am I snuck up to KB and crawled in bed with him saying “- Good morning honey, we’re going to have a baby!” “- What… Now?” He replied and I nodded my head.

KB called our midwife and let her know it had started and she told us to go back to bed a little while. We spooned for another hour, and then I felt the contractions intensify. We got up around 6am and right then Zoë woke up. I went in and picked her up and brought her into my room. I asked her: Who do you think is coming and she replied “-Linzee!” I said ” -Nooo, someone else.” l And she yelled “- Phoenix!” And right in that moment the water broke!

I couldn’t believe it, but then again I could…  I yelled to KB to come get her so I could shower, and was smiling from ear to ear. KB took Zoë and woke up Sam. They started assembling the birth tub and I went into the shower. KB also called Elizabeth who said she’d grab a coffee and come over. I was laxadasical about her coming but KB sensed the urgency and asked her to come over ASAP.

I showered and got ready, and by this time the contractions were intensifying big time. Zoë ran into my bedroom where I was laboring and I remember it being hard to talk to her as the pain was getting real. I yelled to KB to come get her, he did and gave her to Sam. They went down into the basement to play.

Then I turned to KB and said ” – Fuck the tub – just get in here!” By then my mind was racing and I was scared. I thought I had at least four hours to go, because I was comparing the timeline with Zoë’s birth, and I thought there was no way I’d make it that far if the pain kept up being that intense! At that moment, soothing just felt like it burst inside and I bent over with my hands on the bed and sobbed… KB held his hand in my back and stroked me reassuringly. I felt like a hot wave came over me and I surrendered to the intensity and power of it all…
 
After my big release I felt, wait what!? I’m close to needing to push. I asked KB “- Where’s Elizabeth” and he said “- A few minutes away. “

I could feel Phoenix coming and I went into my tiled bathroom to not get blood on my carpet!! I was breathing with every intense contraction, so present, so primal. 

Then I saw Elizabeth’s face peer around the corner! I took one look at her and said “- I think it wants to push…” As in a trance, I sat down in a half squat with my right foot on the floor.

As if my pelvic floor was an elevator, Phoenix’ head was being lowered down into my hand, as the force of gravity was a wave that was lifted up to catch him.

Painting of Phoenix birth

With one push his head was out! Bewildered by the simple process I looked at Elizabeth, still holding his warm, wet little head in my hand, I asked her “- What do I do now? “”- Birth his body with the next push!” She replied.

By inspiration’s nudge I flipped the other foot, so I was standing with both feel on the floor, knees bent. And with the next wave, I gave a slight push and his body slid into my waiting hands.Umbilical cord between my legs, I asked KB and Elizabeth to move so I could walk to my bed. Elizabeth followed with towels to keep those carpets clean and KB followed with a shocked look on his face. With Phoenix on my belly, I laughed with surprise and relief! He was here – alive and well – and the birth had been magically smooth! About 6 hours in total.

Like Elizabeth had nudged us, we allowed Phoenix to do a “breast crawl” where I placed him on my belly and he wiggled and crawled his way to my boob to latch on, it took about 9 minutes and he finally made it to my nipple and we where right there together, in heaven.

The Birth of Phoenix

I love you forever Fifi,

Your mama.

PS. Be sure to check out my Pregnancy Guide for healthy mama and baby before, during, and postpartum here.

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