My dear friend Stephanie sent this to me, and I had to share- it’s so full of light, love,
surrender, sweetness & knowledge. Stephanie, you are a true gift to this world... it is SO in the lil omm style of living and loving that we had to share….
Hi my little girl; it’s me, your mom. I wanted to share with you the story of your beautiful birth.
The spring equinox came and went and with a new moon still in the sky, I kept hoping you would come to me soon. The anticipation of fresh perspective, warmth, new life, and color that I feel every year when winter awaits its turn to spring was amplified this year as we awaited your arrival too. And by march 21, you seemed still cozy in there, but I was feeling physically ready to meet you and needed to relax mentally too, so I got an amazing massage that afternoon, that included some acupressure known to help in labor as well. Saturday passed, no you yet , but I certainly felt and smelled amazingly good, like a combination of peppermint and sage. Sunday, March 22, after a nice morning swim, we took your older siblings, Gianna and Angelo, to the zoo in the morning and walked and walked seeing all of our favorite animals for what we knew would be the last time as a family of four people. We grabbed soup on our way back at what has become our favorite Sunday lunch spot- the little red fox. I took a walk that afternoon to gather materials to make Gianna’s teachers their “tributes of love books ” in which I was assembling letters from all 15 kids into 3 books for teacher appreciation week. Talk about last minute project before your birth. After dinner of homemade pasta, pesto, and meatballs, daddy and I gave your siblings baths and tucked them in. Gianna must have had a sixth sense because she said to me, as we were saying what we were thankful for, “I’m thankful for you mom. Your the best mom in the whole world and there is no other like you- when will I see you next?” “In the morning” I replied, and she said, “sure unless you have the new baby, then it will be 2 days probably right?” She was right.
After finishing crafting the teachers books, I went up to bed to read a great new novel. At about 930pm, I started feeling contractions that were getting stronger and closer together while I was reading in bed. But that was the third time in the past week and a half that “start+stop” labor had happened so I tried not to make too much of it. Mentally, the last week had been tough for me because of this different labor pattern (which happened leading up to your big brothers birth too) and I needed to keep confidence in my body’s ability. You were going to pick your own birthday when you were ready. At 10, Daddy came up to bed and I told him about the contractions but not to make too much of it. After having contractions for an hour, I called GW hospital and found out Nora was the midwife on call- I had seen her most in my pregnancy and loved her, and this made me very happy. She told me to take my time and come in. Dad called the Rices to pick up Shorty. Although these were definitely real contractions, I kept thinking they would stop, because the pattern was kind of strange, 7,4,4,3 min, and then would repeat again. Daddy was excited and called our doula Michelle and told her we’d tell her when we were leaving and Tia Cara and Tio David to tell them to come on over to stay with Gianna and Angelo. But, my contractions stopped at 11pm right after they arrived. They opted to sleepover on the red couch just in case things picked up. I called Nora back to say they’d slowed down and she said she would be there all night.
Then at 1230 am, actual labor started. Contractions were even stronger than the warm up set I had just a few hours earlier. I felt like my bladder would explode during contractions because the strength was so intense! I remembered this feeling from Angelo’s labor and started secretly knowing you are coming to me. I told Daddy to sleep for the beginning despite his desire to be attentive to me. I wanted to labor alone, especially to trust my body. So that I could be alone, I went into our little upstairs bathroom and turned the space heater on outside the door. For the next two hours or so I labored mostly in there, standing in a relaxed goddess pose, swinging my hips side to side and in figure 8s during contractions and would come back to the bed to rest in puppy pose between them. I was breathing so well- all of the yoga I did with you in my belly really made focused-breathing second nature. At 245am or so I knew this was going to be the day that we would meet you! I called Nora on the hospital phone to tell her we were coming in, and Daddy called Michelle. It was hard to leave the house with the contractions close together, but by 3am, I had pieced together the following hilarious outfit between contractions: Shirley’s tens machine pads on my back, a skirt, a dry fit running shirt, a Patagonia bra, my hiking zip up sweatshirt , socks and my clogs. We said a fast goodbye to Tia Cara and Tio David. I had another contraction outside in the parking lot holding into the back of the minivan and then got in, shivering because it was really cold out. We saw so many police on the drive down to GW so daddy didn’t speed, but we broke at red lights and rode through when we could. Again like with your brothers birth, contractions in the car without the ability to move were so hard. I just tried to stretch my body diagonally during them and lift my bottom up so there was some gravity and space for you. Daddy kept reminding me that we were going to meet our baby soon which was my favorite grounding point.
We got to the hospital around 3:30am. Daddy double parked the car and took me up to labor and delivery and Michelle met us upstairs. I labored standing up more at the nurse’s station waiting for a room, at this point contractions were 2 minutes apart. We walked in that delivery room like a sports team- as if saying “hey we are here and ready to rock this birth.” Michelle and a nurse supported me while Daddy went to move the car; he got back very quickly too because we had no idea if things would be as fast as your brother’s birth! Michelle moved the bed up for me so I could use goddess pose and squats during contractions and then forward fold/ lay my torso across the bed during breaks. Around 3:50am, our midwife Nora came in to greet us, gave me a hug, and checked me (I was about 5 cm and almost fully thinned out). She stayed with us watching me labor for a few contractions and have such encouraging words, like “so beautiful” like a wise aunt or older cousin might offer. But, she had 4 other patients delivering that evening, so left to attend to them. After 4am the nice, experienced, and chill nurse we met on the way in, Stacey, came to join us. After laboring standing up for a long while, I was feeling tired, lightheaded from some too fast breathing, and in need of some room on my upper body to stretch so I jumped right up to the bed between contractions and got into tabletop pose. Michelle filled a cotton ball with some peppermint essential oil and laid it on the part of the bed where I was resting my forehead between contractions. This helped so much with the lightheadedness. So for the rest of labor I alternated between tabletop pose rocking back slightly during contractions and then would stretch my hands and elbows up onto the upright part of the bed to relax between (it was in an L shape). Mentally, the build up to pushing was a little harder with you than Angelo because I remembered the intensity of what was to come during an unmediated natural labor, so my tactic was to close my eyes during the majority of labor, use vocal toning with the sound “oh”, and slow my breathing. Daddy was so supportive and encouraging- rubbing my shoulders, telling me I was doing awesome and that you were coming to us! Michelle kept giving me hip squeezes and massaging my lower back and saying kind words too. And everyone kept me cool (I was SO hot) with water to drink and cold washcloths on my neck. What also helped was me picturing you…I kept thinking of the little hairs I would see on your back and arms and your super soft skin nested next to mine that I would not be able to stop kissing.
Then, I moved into transition sometime before 4:30am. The contractions were ridiculously strong and so close together and I felt the urge to push because you were moving down. I had the nurse call Nora to come back over. When she arrived, she checked me and said I was 8.5 cm dilated and fully thinned out, but that she would like me to just breathe through the contractions for the next little bit, because my baby (you) was doing beautifully moving down on its own and opening the cervix. So, those next 20 minutes were intense but we did it- the pressure made me want to tag team push with with you and my breath got too fast making me light headed again. But I started saying to myself the mantra breathe breathe breathe to get myself back on track. Twenty minutes later at 4:50am, Adele, you started pushing yourself out, my body was literally taken over by you- so much that I yelled out “I’m not doing this!” Nora said “that is ok- that is your baby is pushing itself out! Nice and soft, breathe the baby down.” This was really hard but resulted in such a gentle and strong birth. She let me give two little pushes, once at the beginning and once at the end of your head coming out. Once your head was out, she told me to breathe again as you and the contractions did their work and she ever so gently helped glide one of your shoulders out. Your second shoulder took longer because your hand was up next to your head and your shoulder got a little stuck. Once your shoulders were out and I was allowed to give another small push and i felt you slide in a big “whoosh” out of me at 5:03am on March 23. All in all you it only took 13 minutes for you to fiercely push yourself out of me! And then Nora took you and tossed your tiny body under my legs so your whole body, still connected to me, was right in front of me leaning against the top of the upright part of the bed and your newly born self was looking right at me with the most alert and curious eyes. I reached forward and started kissing you all over. I said out loud looking at Daddy, “we have a girl, a daughter”.
I scooped you up and placed you right on my chest and we lay looking at each other in wonder. You had a big head of dark brown hair and dark bluish eyes and some strong thighs. Daddy and I both loved the shape of your little head. You were so peaceful and awake. I guessed you were 7.5 pounds (and I was right; they didn’t weigh you for a while longer to let us stay skin to skin). We told everyone your name Adele Materese George . We named you for your great grandmother, our Sittu, Adele George, who lived until age 97 filling our family with her amazing love. When Daddy asked me to marry him and we called Sittu to tell her, she said to me (in words I have held close for 8 years) “I loved you as family from the moment I met you…” Besides it being such a beautiful and special name with such a powerful legacy, we could not imagine a better way for you, the newest member of our world to feel…loved from the moment we met you.
You looked at me chomping your hands and making open mouth faces – and Daddy said I think she’s ready for milk! Dad cut the cord and I delivered your placenta. Your bag of waters was described as one of the strongest they had seen – maybe all the red grapes and orange whites I ate. You nursed right away on both sides, with surprised face that something was coming out. Then, Stacey helped secure you into the belly band that I had been wearing for wireless fetal monitoring and we used it as a wrap for you, and we stayed skin to skin until we moved to a postpartum room. Gianna and Angelo excitedly welcomed you into our crew as their strong and mighty little sister on the phone on FaceTime at 615am. Both were so excited that you came out of my belly and were here. Their school printed out the picture of you and me after you were born and hung it on the classroom doors so your sister and brother could show you to all of their friends.
Adele, your birth filled me up. When I met you, love and safety and connectedness just radiated through our skin back and forth to each other. This intense physical closeness is a part of motherhood I have loved so much, and as my last little one, I hope with you I can cherish these moments the most. Your birth was so intense and powerful, but I simultaneously felt peaceful in the slow and gentle way you birthed yourself and Nora glided you out. It was incredible. And I was so thankful for my birth team for creating such a positive space for bringing you into the world. I love the way you curled up in a tiny ball on my chest, the positioning of your body exactly like I felt it in my uterus for the past 9 weeks. I loved that we spent the quiet early morning minutes just before sunrise (my favorite time of day) together as our first ones. I love that the moment I kissed your wet and fluffy cheeks and looked into your beautiful open eyes I was filled with a wave of completeness. That feeling has blossomed so much in the days since your birth too. You complete our crew, and we love you so much. All the waiting is over and I feel so happy I have you, my prize. I cannot wait to see what you teach me in this world and I cannot wait to show you love and wonder and all the beautiful things this world has. And the first on our list, little girl, are the cherry blossoms.
Love you forever and always,