My home birthing chronicles - Part 1. The birth of Phoenix

I have decided to share with you the stories of my four home births in ' My home birthing chronicles'. When I was pregnant each time, I loved reading other women's positive birth stories, so here is the first installment of mine, in the hope that it will inspire someone somewhere for their own birthing journey.
  This part one is the story of the birth of my youngest child Phoenix.

 Before I begin I wanted to mention that during my eldest son Shiin's birth I had an internal examination very near the end and it was excruciating and put me right off my natural rhythm and flow, so with all my other births I chose not to have any internal exams and to trust that my body and my baby knew the perfect timings. This has proved to work perfectly each time and probably would have during Shiin's birth too, but I was only 23 then and he was my first baby, my opener of the ways and I was scared! Since then we have birthed our other three children without the presence of a midwife. 
 So, this story takes place in our home town of Glastonbury on a cold April day in 2013. I am hugely pregnant (I have big babies... Kiya was 10 pounds 10 ounces!). It is a very cold day and our boiler has packed up the day before so our house is pretty chilly. For whatever reasons our baba chose this day to begin his journey earth-side. 
 So anyway, I have promised my boys a trip to the next town, so I struggle into my sandals, (I was rocking the socks and sandals look in late pregnancy as I could barely reach my feet let alone do up laces!) and me and the kids clamber into the van. It is bitterly cold. My daughter Kiya has insisted on wearing her new flip flops despite the arctic weather and her feet soon turn deep reddish blue, but she doesn't care! I waddle about Street with the children doing stuff then we drive home.
 I sit down and start cutting patches for the quilts I am making for the kids. Soon I get what I assume to be a Braxton Hicks contraction. I have been having them on and off for a couple of weeks now. Then another one comes, this is around 5pm. Rer makes me some tea and we chat away while I cut patches and he sits at the computer. After more contractions I request my birthing ball to sit on and my wooden pole to hold onto and the children bring them. I roll through a few more before I decide to move upstairs. My dad drops by and upon discovering my labor has most probably begun, rushes off to buy a small halogen heater, God bless him! Once dad delivers the heater and leaves, Rer sets it up in our room and lights some candles- much better! 
 I sit on the ball and breathe through contractions with Kiya playing next to me. She reminds me to look at mama monkey when contractions start getting stronger for inspiration.(Mama monkey is a big smiling monkey toy who for some reason has a zip in her yoni area, which encouraged lots of birth simulation play from my boys when I was pregnant with Kiya. Mama monkey has a big kind smile and has birthed many babies over the years, so she was my mascot and birthing guru! )
 I explain to Kiya what is happening and she happily plays next to me. I go for a pee and lots of water keeps coming out so I stand over a bucket. I call Rer and tell him I think the waters have broken. This is now around 7.30pm. A few more rushes and more water comes out with each one, then part of the mucous plug- so this is really it then! Excitement! At last! Back to the bedroom, plastic sheets and towels down and back onto the ball. Moaning deeply now with each expansion/contraction, sometimes standing up holding onto the chest of drawers. Rushes getting stronger but still seem short to me and plenty of time between them. 
 I call down to Rer 'Please call Jady now!'. Jady is our dear friend and doula. She eased Kiya out with her small strong hands when her shoulders got stuck a few years previously. She is a marvelously intuitive, sweet lady who gives herself in service to others on a regular basis as a doula and all round lovely person. I call her Jady angel! 
 Rer phones her, she will come in an hour. I am starting to need all my focus to get through the rushes now, water coming out with each one, vocalizing and picturing opening up and sweet baby moving down. DOWN GOOD OPEN YES! My trusty birthing mantra. Ouch, this is starting to hurt quite a bit. 'Rer I need you!' I have been feeling his loving strength and support from downstairs where he is tidying and and making everything lush, but suddenly I need his physical presence with me.
 Jady arrives. She and Rer fully focus on helping me through the increasingly intense rushes. Rer reminds me to bring the pitch of my moans low again as they have risen high, this helps. Each contraction now feels like a huge band of deep hard bruising round my womb, my legs are shaking. Very full on, this seems much more painful than my previous labors. 
 Things moving fast. I am on my hands and knees now. Blessed Rer holds my hemorrhoids in for each rush!  Jady massages my back, Rer now holding my hands. At some point he says to me 'Your back is so beautiful' and it gives me such heart and strength. Jady is behind me now. Feeling 'pushy'. I love that feeling, my strong body naturally bringing my baby closer and closer to my arms. There is a feeling of inevitability when your body starts to naturally push of its own accord and an excitement that it will all soon be over, this wonderfully massive experience of birthing a baby. 
 Much encouragement from Rer and Jady. She asks me to feel inside and I feel the babies head, WOW! Never done that before! Come on baby! Bearing down, screaming and shouting. I start to feel the splitting, crowning sensation of the head coming through. Rer calls the children who all want to be present for the birth. They are all around, excited, not minding the noise I am making. Kiya shouts through some of the contractions with me and puts her hands over her ears for others! 
 The head starts to come out, such hard work. Push push push! Running commentary from Shiin. 'Arisha! I can see the eyes!' In wonderment. Push push push! 'Arisha, I can see the nose!' PUSH PUSH PUSH! 'Arisha! I can see the mouth!' Finally the head is out. More pushing, the babies body is stuck fast, just like his sister's had been. 
 Rer and Jady moving my legs and position. Rer holding me up, Jady reaching inside to pull the baby out. Whoosh! Relief! Baby is out! 'You've done it Arisha!' Cries an elated Rer. I lean over the ball, utterly spent. 'It's a boy!' Wow, we were convinced he was a girl! 
 'Pass him to his mama! Arisha likes her babies on her straight away!' instructs Rer from behind. I sit up and take hold of my slippery little baby. Come on baby, breathe, cry. A gurgle, then a good strong cry, he cries quite a bit in my arms. He is beautiful. His little nose is mashed to one side from the time his head was half out during some contractions. I look at Rer and we smile and fall in love with our newest family member.
 The midwife arrives. Rer gets a bowl for the placenta. Jady helps me to the toilet and puts the bowl in there. After a short while I feel a mild contraction and push out the placenta. I get helped back to our room and into bed. Our little guy is wrapped up in a towel and latches on to my boobie for his first taste of colostrum. He had a big meconium poo as soon as he was born and is now peaceful after his initial long cry. We are so pleased with him. He was born at around 11.35pm. The midwife checks my yoni and finds a small tear inside and an intact perineum. Yey! Rer ties hemp string around his cord and cuts it . Jady puts a suit and nappy on baba as I am too shaky. She gives me homeopathic remedies and herbal tinctures then heads home. I am so grateful to her for pulling the baby out safely. 
 Kiya sits on the bed and proclaims 'Let's call him Phoenix!'. Wow! What a great name! He looks like a Phoenix too. The midwife spends ages filling in notes then leaves. Kiya sets up her covers and pillow next to Phoenix and goes to sleep. Rer curls up round my feet and goes to sleep. Phoenix feeds then sleeps all night. I stay awake all night gazing at him and re-living his birth in my head and giving so many thanks for the miracle of his life and also for the preservation of my own life too and for my beautiful family. 
 Birth is such a portal and each time I have experienced it, I have had to surrender to the fact that I and my baby are facing the possibility of going forth through the death portal as well as coming through the birth portal. I am sure that facing that before each birth has meant less emotional and mental blocks and therefore easier births. I am so lucky to have birthed four gorgeous babies safely and I give thanks to the God/dess and angels for assisting us so beautifully! 
We found out the next day that Phoenix Heru Ausar James David Aahmau weighed in at a hefty 10 pounds and 12 ounces! Heru and Ausar are the egyptian Gods Horus and Osiris, James was Rers father and David is my father. Aahmau is our family surname which means 'mooncat' in ancient egyptian. Thank you for reading our story.

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