Ella, Nora, and Grace's Stories.....

Its amazing how different every birth is. The birth of my first daughter Ella’s birth was a roller coaster ride forced by pitocin along with annoyed angry nurses because my body and baby were not compliant. I labored for 22 hours on Pitocin, strong unruly contractions, each time they decreased the dose my contractions completely stopped. At the 24-hour mark the “only” options were to continue with the induction and an epidural or prep for a c-section. I knew what was happening wasn’t right, but I was vulnerable and my voice was silenced. Once the epidural was on board I slept for a few hours then, when I woke I pushed according to the doctors orders and delivered a healthy little girl. In the end I was happy to have a healthy baby. I had to keep telling myself, “I did what I had to do to have a healthy baby.” Or did I? Did it really have to happen the way it did? Was it healthy? I wasn’t sure at the time, but one thing was for sure… I felt robbed of experiencing the most normal natural process on earth.

We connected with aunty Mari when I was pregnant with my second child, Norah. Her aura and character drew me to her immediately; I felt like I already knew her.  When I started labor in the wee hours of the morning she snuggled into my couch while I slept in-between contractions. I had comfort knowing she was close by, but at the same time she was invisible and appeared at essential moments. Aunty Mari guided my husband and I through early labor with suggestions and demonstrations. Then, at the most intense part of my labor her hands were only touch I wanted. I remember hearing her voice while I was transitioning, I can’t recall what she said but her guidance took me from a feeling of fear to a feeling of trust. That was irreplaceable and extremely memorable. I was experiencing birth and I wasn’t afraid! I have actually written about my experience with her and shared it with other women and while in nursing school.
 

With my third daughter it would have taken a miracle for her to make it to my birth, I pretty much gave birth just after realizing I was in labor, baby Grace came within an hour and Aunty Mari was just behind her. I was sitting on my couch when I saw her walk up and the same amazing feeling of comfort came over me, just as it had with my previous birth. She encapsulated both of my placentas within 24 hours of giving birth and shaped the umbilical cords into little hearts that I was able to frame=)
 

Beyond being an amazing doula and queen of all trades, Aunty Mari has been a person I look-up to and find myself calling on when in need. She has always been available, from chats over coffee to big life decisions to the best remedies for the whole family. Her life experiences and welcomed advice is invaluable. She has gone above and beyond and I am forever grateful to have met such an amazing woman whom I have been able to share my births with.
 
The best gift received from aunty Mari and the process of birth is the ability to listen to my inner voice, it was there the whole time I just didn’t know how to trust it. Intuition is now the force guiding my life, no matter what the outcome, I trust in my choices and the process.

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