Leonis Birth Story
Everything about Leoni was mysterious from the start. She was a surprise baby in every way. I didn’t even do a test until I was two weeks late on my period as I was “convinced” I was not pregnant. Her energy was so subtle and sweet right from the get-go. About a week before my “due date” I started getting the typical period like cramps and felt she may arrive at any moment so I called my doula (who just so happens to be my best friend that lives 7-hour drive away) and we discussed when she should come.
I’d have moments of feeling like she could arrive any day and then moments of feeling like I was nowhere near meeting my babe. I oscillated between pure impatience and total trust but the second time birthing mama nerves were REAL!!! I listened to my hypnosis tracks a lot to help ease the nerves and even though I knew my body knew exactly what to do I still felt pre-birth jitters that I didn’t experience the first time around. With Leoni, my body was opening up for days… I would have random contractions, some were even quite strong but they didn’t have a rhythm to them so I’d think it went time for a second then be a little disappointed when they went away. One night I had quite regular waves and I was sure this was it!!!! I even got stepdaughter to come over from her mom’s house so she could be there.
Finally, after a few hours, they subsided and I went to bed. I dreamt all night long that I was having really strong contractions so I probably was but I was fortunate to sleep through it all!!!!! At this point, I was definitely impatient and dying to meet my babe. The day I went into full-blown labor it’s like my body knew it almost went time… I took TWO blissful naps whilst my best friend watched my toddler. By the early evening, I was having pretty strong waves but still really far apart… I remember being so hesitant to call my midwife as I didn’t want it to be a false alarm. Finally, after they got a little stronger I called her and said “well this baby is probably coming either tonight or tomorrow “ to which she replied “ no! this baby IS coming tonight! Once the sun goes down and you put your older daughter to bed your body is going to kick into high gear”.
Wow was she right!!!! So we went on with our night, ate dinner, and put our 3-year-old to bed. Amidst it all, I was having strong waves and my amazing daughter would hold my hand and say “ peaaaaace” I remember having a really strong one and everybody (my daughter, husband, and best friend) just squeezed me and showered me in so much love. I and my husband put my daughter to bed around 9:30 pm. I had some really strong waves as I laid beside her. I held my husband’s hand and he squeezed it back and we just knew this would be the last time we put Kali to bed by herself. She fell asleep and we came into the lounge with tears in our eyes, the bittersweet knowing that everything was about to change. I and Riki laid on the floor together, kissing, loving on each other. The oxytocin was flowing!!!
I’d have super strong waves but still far apart so I had no real idea how far I was into my labor. The three of us then got into fits of laughter… Riki made me laugh so hard during a contraction that my water broke and gushed everywhere!!! That’s when I knew it was GO time. I remember Malena (my best friend and doula) preparing me by saying “ok honey now your waters have released it’s really going to pick up” and boy was she right! My midwife arrived shortly after the waters broke and already by then my waves were so close together that it was hard for her to find a chance to listen to the heartbeat. I was on the toilet at this point as I kept needed to poop and it felt good to stay there. My doula squeezed my hips as hard as she could as my husband filled up the tub. There was really no break in between waves so I knew babe was coming fast. Then we moved to the lounge floor where I kept seeing the image of a lioness in my mind and even said to my birthing team “I feel like a lioness!!!”. Even though the waves were intense, like the most powerful current surging through my body, I felt so strong and calm. I met each wave with love and stared it down like a true lioness!!! I will never forget the strength I felt. As I was on the floor my midwife checked me and I was 4cm dilated. I decided to get in the tub and it felt soooo good.
I remember asking someone the time and they said 11:30 pm… I just knew the baby would be born soon. In the tub my amazing husband squeezed my hips as hard as he could for every wave… and the waves were still coming so fast so he was getting a serious workout. On my knees, leaning over the tub I reached for my midwife’s hand and she just grabbed my hand straight away. Her presence was so loving and strong. I kissed her hand in pure appreciation. I felt so loved and held and supported by everyone. My husband would kiss my back in between waves and tell me I was doing so well. As my waves intensified I would squeeze my midwife’s hand whilst my husband simultaneously squeezed my hips. This counter-pressure really grounded me and contained the energy of the POWERFUL surges. I had one wave that sticks out in my mind as the peak of intensity …. my sounds got very raw and almost animalistic and my face made an expression that luckily my doula caught on camera !!! It was so RAW and primal!! The photo still makes me laugh as I’ve never seen anyone let alone me make that face. Birth doesn’t care about pretty or perfect… it’s raw, it’s real and as damn right primal as it gets. My husband was definitely in a pool with my poop just floating around as with each of my birth I need to poop throughout!
He was such a trooper and kept bringing those epic hip squeezes. My midwife was saying the perfect things, and I felt so good just holding her hand whilst leaning over the tub. Then I started to feel A LOT of pressure… I could really feel baby descending and coming down fast. I wasn’t pushing at all … she was just barreling through me and there was so stopping her. I felt excited and happy as I knew it was close! All of a sudden she was just there … crowning!!! I was so thrilled as I knew I would be holding my baby so soon. I panted like a puppy when I started to feel the perineum stretch (something my first midwife taught me to prevent tearing). My midwife directed me to lay back and rest on my husband’s chest so that I could open my legs wide and bring my baby out into the world. After one wave and one push, her head was out and I just pulled her up and straight to my chest. I couldn’t believe it was already over and that my entire birth vision came to fruition!!! Leoni took about 40 seconds to even cry… apparently this is common with really fast births as they don’t even know they’ve been born yet. Hearing that cry was the best sound ever!!!!! My heart overflowed with joy!! Then I check down with my hand to check the sex. We were absolutely gobsmacked to find we had another beautiful girl.
The whole pregnancy we had felt like she was a boy!! But our mysterious girl brought us the most magical surprise. I cried happy tears as her big sister wanted her to be a girl more than anything!!! She latched and started suckling almost immediately and her little mouth just felt so tiny and perfect. We couldn’t believe she was here already !!! The placenta came easily and quickly as we just laid in the tub in awe of what had just happened. It couldn’t have been more perfect !!!!! Our oldest woke up shortly after and we brought her out to meet her baby sis. I will never forget my amazing big girl walking towards me with sleepy eyes and a sweet smile saying “ mommy I am SO proud of you” . She gave her baby sister kisses and we move to the bedroom so the baby could be weighed and checked over. 6 pounds 14 of pure magic. The next day my midwife came over to visit and in her words … “ all births are beautiful but last night in this house, the heavens truly opened “.