February 20, 2013

Natural Water Birth Story

irie5The Birth of Willow Irie

On the morning of September 21, 2012 I woke up asking our baby if today was the day that he or she would bless us with its presence. I think our baby heard us as I would be going into labor later that night. My husband, daughter Sage and I got ready to go have brunch since I was going to get a non~stress test at the Inanna Birth Center and they recommend eating before the test. As we were eating, my husband tells us that he thinks this is the last family outing, as it being just the three of us. While we were eating I had two contractions which at the time seemed like Braxton hicks contractions that I was experiencing daily. We went to Innana for the non~stress test and Betty said baby was doing beautifully. She told me that the monitor showed that I had a couple contractions while I was there but I did not notice them at all. Betty asked to check me and she told me that I was 2 cm dilated, 80% effaced and that she believed that I was going to have our baby by this weekend. She asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes to get labor going and I said, yes of course! We started getting excited knowing that it could be any day now. I called Brandi, Boomers cousin who was going to take our birth photos to come spend the weekend with us, because baby might be coming really soon! She came a couple hours later and I’m so grateful she did because my labor progressed very quickly later that night. Boomer told his work that he wouldn’t be coming into today because he wanted to help stimulate my labor by encouraging me to pump and go for walks. We did this for a couple hours while I experienced some very light and non-painful contractions. Later that evening Boomer made us dinner, we had a photo-shoot with Sage on the front porch and settled in to watch Ina May Gaskin talk about being a midwife on The Farm during the 1960s. At around midnight we decided to try to get some sleep just in case baby was coming the following morning.

At 1 am I started experiencing the more intense contractions which made me want to move around and find labor positions that felt more comfortable. We started tracking my contractions and they were 17 min apart, an hour later they changed to about 5 min apart. I called Betty and she said she would meet me at the birth center in about 30 minutes, since she lives in Plano. As Boomer was packing up the car, I felt like I was all over the house going from one position to the next as my labor was progressing very fast and becoming more intense.


I asked Boomer if his parents were almost here to pick up Sage because I felt that it was time for us to leave, I could feel baby coming closer to being born as my contractions went from five minutes to about 2 minutes apart. He told me that they would be here very soon and I told him that I would go wait in the car until they do. As I was walking out to the car I could feel baby descending and told myself, please let us make it to the birthing center! As soon as his parents got to our house we left for the birthing center which is right around the corner. The roads of Denton are very bumpy which made the ride very uncomfortable for a woman in labor.

When we got there the lights were dimmed and they were running the bath water since they knew that my dream was to have a water birth this time around. While it filled up, Betty checked me and told me that I was 8 to 9 cm dilated and that she knew that I would labor this way.


We had no time to get our birth playlist together because a couple minutes later I was telling Betty that I had the urge to push and so they helped me into the tub. Getting into the tub was like a wave of relief as the water rushed over my body. It made me feel more relaxed as the contractions would come and go. Boomer was there by my side whispering loving words in my ears as I hold his hand and he rubs a cold wet wash cloth over my head. Just as we created our baby together, we would be bringing our baby into the world together. He is my soul, my best friend, my lover and I couldn’t do it without him next to my side, telling me how wonderful I am doing and how proud he is of me for being so strong.

I started to push and they told me that the baby’s head was right there. As I felt down there I could feel baby’s head still in the caul, giving it a very smooth, slippery feeling. It was the best feeling in the world, knowing and feeling that our baby was on our way and that we would be meeting very soon. My water broke shortly after which was amazing to see in the water. As I was pushing, I kept thinking about this birth affirmation that says, “Open like a flower, a flower of love. Open like a flower, a flower of life!” I pushed for about 20 minutes until Dena, the student midwife placed our baby into my loving arms, still connected as one. We spent a couple minutes just enjoying all the feelings of love and happiness flooding over us as we hold our baby for the first time.


After enjoying those first beautiful moments together we were finally ready to see if our precious baby was a boy or girl. We had waited so long for this moment, this precious gift of the unknown. Boomer told me that it was a girl and that Sage was going to have a little sister. Love and light filled my eyes to know that Sage would experience the love that sisters have for each other. As someone once said, “Sisters are a gift of the heart, a friend of the spirit and a golden thread to the meaning of life.”


Our daughter, Willow Irie was born on September 22, 2012 at 3:43 am weighing 8 lbs. and being 19 inches long. It was such a beautiful experience being able to give full trust in my body and my baby to birth naturally. I loved the calm, nurturing energy that our midwife Betty and Dena were giving us as I needed that loving environment to birth my baby into this beautiful world. Thank you both for helping and supporting us through this whole experience, one that we will be forever in our minds and hearts!


Photography by Kindred Photography

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