The evening before Cedar’s birthing day, we returned home at dark. There was an expectancy in the house; I had the distinct feeling that a much-anticipated guest was about to arrive. I awoke at 4 a.m. on his due date with cramping that continued for the next few hours but stopped after I got out of bed. When I met with Laura, my midwife, that morning, I told her this had felt like a warm-up.
After lunch I lay down to rest, and the surges began again as rhythmic waves. I lay there by myself, breathing through the sensations. At 3 p.m., I stood up and heard a pop, and felt a small gush of liquid on my thighs. Once my water broke, the surges became stronger, about thirty seconds long and two minutes apart. My husband Chris readied the space, and yet neither of us knew how fast our labor would be. I talked with Laura on the phone several times in the next hour as more liquid came and the sensations intensified. Our daughter Alana, almost three, was helpful, bringing me food and water and rubbing my back.
Laura arrived around 4:30. It was then, with Laura and Chris fully present, that I felt safe and ready for Cedar to come down. During several strong surges, I hung on Chris’s shoulders. We stood, eyes locked, our love inviting to Earth the child that we had created together. I felt deep gratitude for my husband’s tender yet strong masculine presence. It was then that I felt the baby descending as I opened my legs, moaning deep and low. We went to the bathroom, and I welcomed that familiar urge to push. “I’m either pooping or this is my baby!” I exclaimed, sitting on the toilet. I reached down and felt his head between my legs, and after one more push I quickly got onto all fours. His head crowned on the next surge; Alana and Chris were behind me to catch him. With the next push, the rest of his body emerged. He was born at 5 o’clock, after less than an hour of active labor.
The joy of holding my son for the first time was unforgettable. I felt the immense pleasure of meeting someone whom I have known for so long, yet never seen. I felt relief as I caressed his healthy, complete, perfect body. We were all surprised at how quickly he appeared. Yet it seemed so ordinary and natural to open my body to life. With a big YES, in birth as in conception of my children, my body opened to life. We lounged in bed as the sun set, our family taking a new shape, the four of us falling in love. This gentle journey was indeed better than I could have possibly imagined.