Our Birth Story

I can’t believe I’m laying here now nursing our precious, snuggly, soft baby girl.

And it’s my utmost pleasure to introduce you to Ms. Zoë Amaya Nau, born on August 13th at 1:40, weighing in at 8lbs 1oz at 19 3/4 inches tall, during the Perseid meteor shower. In Greek mythology Perseus was the son of the god Zeus and mortal woman Danaë, he was most famous for being the hero that slayed Medusa.

Zoë is Greek for life and is the Greek version of my first name Liv.

We had a capital A – amazing birth and I feel blessed blessed blessed to have been able to give birth naturally in our home. (For the record, I one hundred percent respect each woman’s choice in how and where she wants to give birth. Each birth is just as special and magical as the next, the most important thing being where mom feels the safest and where her intuition is telling her to be. I knew in my core this was the right choice for us.)

Here’s Zoë’s birth story.

Early labor started on the night of the 11th, or so I thought. There was no regularity in the pattern, so it was basically just my body’s way of warming up. My mind was like, – Oh yeah- it’s on! When I woke up with contractions on the night of the 12th, I was down for the birth happening soon, but I also knew from my classes that these early signs can go on for a while. But again my mind was an eager beaver ready for action – Come on baby, I’ve waited long enough already! During the day my dear friend Elena came and gave me acupuncture and moxa to stimulate labor, then I told KB I needed to get out of the house to distract myself, so we went to the movies. As soon as I got in the reclining seats I passed out, to my big surprise. I breathed through the increasingly stronger contractions and we went to Whole Foods and Fresh Thymes for dinner, I couldn’t eat much really, so we left to get flowers for my bedroom.

It’s kinda funny that it dawned on me that I was going to give birth that night while I was waiting in the car for KB to bring the flowers from Safeway. Because I had seen the red and pink flowers so clearly when I had visualized the birth in birth class a few months earlier. When we got home I called our midwife who told me to get back to her when my contractions were 5 minutes apart for 1 minute consistently for 1 hour. I hung up and told KB that and he was like – Honey, it’s been like that for the past few hours! So I called her back and she came around 9pm.

I continued laboring by my bed while KB and Lauri was setting up the space, filling the tub and making sure all was in place. Around 10:30pm I heard my second midwife whispering downstairs and thought to myself – I must be closer than I thought for her to be here…until the next surge came and captured my full attention. Trying to remember all the positions I had learned in class and trying them out, I found that nothing really worked as well as simply leaning over, supporting myself on both hands on our bed. While swaying my hips back and forth and breathing and sounding. I was amazed how little my midwife interfered with my process, she would come in and say – You’re doing great! And let me continue. Later she just sat next to me on the floor, supporting me silently with her presence…

Snuggling with newborn - skin-to-skin.

Snuggling with newborn – skin-to-skin.

Once KB had filled the tub, he came and joined me in the bedroom. Just having him there gave me all the comfort I needed to feel safe and held. As soon as he tried to touch me or make a sound, I had to tell him to stop as it interrupted the intense focus I had to maintain in my body, on my breathing. He totally “got it” and kept holding space and encouraging me along. Between each surge I plopped myself next to him on the bed and relaxed my entire being. Then up again, breathing, mooing, groaning, laughing (thank you Pauline). I called on all my helpers, Angels, mothers before me, my friends, God, Mother Earth…and kept repeating, – I can do this for as long as it takes to meet my daughter, as long as it takes. Riding the waves, all the way to the beach, oscillating between pain, relief, euphoria, peace, fierceness, and stillness… Taking to my baby – Soon, we’ll be together. Soon!

As the surges got closer and more forceful, I met them with more focus, swearing in Swedish -Fan I helveteeeeeee! Breathing rapidly until I could make the out breath loooong. At one point I remember throwing my head back and arms out surrendering to the forces taking me, carrying me, possessing me, energy coursing up from the earth and down from the Universe, meeting in my womb, connecting everything and beyond.

Nearing midnight I said to myself, – I’ll do two more contractions and then I’ll ask Laurie to measure me. I laid back on the red sheets we had bought for the occasion and Laurie reached up and let me know I was at 9 centimeters!!! I could have cried of joy, I felt like I would have died a little if she’d said 6 or something lower. I said, – OK, now I’m ready to go into the tub. At this point I had had a few contractions where I felt like pushing, but I was instructed not to since I wasn’t fully dilated yet. (Note to the reader who haven’t experienced this. Trying to hold back a pushing urge is similar to needing to take the biggest poop of your life, sitting on the toilet, and having to hold it in… Not so awesome in other words.)

Getting into the warm water felt like melting into a cosmic love pool from heaven. In there I could meet the contractions with presence, slow breaths and welcome them. – Hello, surge! Welcome! And you too fucker, welcome as well (said to the first contraction’s more intense cousin.) After an hour of laboring, I told KB and Lauri, – She’s coming… And they realized the water was too warm for our little baby to arrive in. They started draining the tub with buckets and filling it with more cold water. I kept at it.

As everything in me shifted and I wanted to puuuuuush I got really, really scared. I started whimpering saying – I can’t do this! I can’t! Now, my midwife didn’t buy it one bit and started coaching me step-by-step. She was truly amazing and a complete life saver. Some of the later surges got me so high and so calm, connecting with Zoë and God and my body, riding this huge wave of love and trust and surrender. I started talking to her saying – Soon we will be together. I love you so so much…

As I was in the final stages of pushing I freaked out so much feeling her move through my pelvis I must have ‘left my body”. I somehow thought I had to push her out in one giant squeeze or, she’d go back in and I didn’t want to have to do this one second longer that necessary. But, then I got the hang of it and listened to my midwife’s rockstar coaching. Zoë’s head was crowing when she asked me to reach down and touch the opening. The first time I could only feel the water sack she was in, since the water hadn’t broken yet. Then it burst and I could feel water rushing out into the pool. The next time I reached down, I couldn’t make out what was what? But then I felt a little furry head! My baby!

I kept pushing, and waiting for my body’s cues. Now, part of her head was out, but then she got stuck. Laurie had me get on all fours but that didn’t shift anything. She said get out of the pool. I did what she asked. – Get into a lunge! I stepped forth with my right foot, and felt Zoë shift and start sliding out. I reached down and caught her! And sat back and put her on my chest. We both looked at each other completely stunned. Here we are finally. Together again like we knew we would be. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and her eyes looked right at me with this look that I’ll never be able to explain or forget…

Welcome to earth Zoë Amaya Nau! Mamma and pappa love you so, so much.

I hope you enjoyed reading our birth story. I’d love to hear your stories and thoughts in the comment section below.

With so much love,

Karnasignature

Related Posts

Leave a Comment