This week is Anson "The Chief's" fourth birthday and I've always wanted to write a more vivid account of his birth story. At the time I was too scared to explain the entire story--no more! Here it is in four parts:
After discovering the world of Unassisted Childbirth I went on an information binge. I ordered every book I could get my hands on, I spent hours on the internet tabs-deep in websites, I read pamphlets from my sister's midwife's office. The more I learned about labor and my body, the more I accepted the idea of birth being an intimate, sexual, spiritual experience, one that is inherently safe and natural.
But it was also alarming.
I had never been exposed to something so counter-culture and I knew I didn't have the extensive background or experience to talk about this philosophy with anyone in my life. Except Chup of course, who could understand the concept wonderfully, but had his reservations.
There was nothing in my heart that told me to stop learning. In fact, the hunger I had was being fed in the most enlightening way possible. Knowledge was following me wherever I went, I could see truth in everything I was learning, even the warnings and presented risks. I knew this was a faith or fear presentation. I studied faith. And all of it was like consuming joy.
As my due date approached in the beginning of May I set out to compile all that I had learned into a comprehensive birth plan: we'd do whatever we felt was right. Stay at home, ask for home assistance, go to the hospital, whatever we felt was the best, we would do. With this multi-option birth plan in place I started to tell my sisters about what I was thinking. Page, who had birthed her seventh baby in the car on the way to the hospital was the first person I knew who had an unassisted birth (albeit accidentally). She asked if she could be a support for me during the birthing process and showed up at my house with a bundle of homebirthing supplies (and her trademark abundance of energy!)
Chup's job required a lot of travel, so I had solo time to meditate on everything that was happening, and was about to happen. I visited the temple. I asked for self-awareness in all my prayers. I could feel my baby moving all the time, he moved the entire pregnancy like a racecar driver with feet pushing the imaginary pedals in my uterus. My skin would pop and roll. I thought about how he'd be a stunt devil like his grandfather and father. But mostly I wanted to hold him, see and touch his body and bless him with my arms.
Each day I grew in circumference and circumstance. The days rolled by, past my due date, into two weeks and on until one night I had a dream about being in an elevator with my childhood best friend. At some point the elevator stopped and I felt a gushing of water out of my body. In the dream, I knew my water broke and I announced it to a crowd who had gathered to cheer.
When I woke up I was drenched.
It was on.