Mom Bloggers For Social Good. Stella's Birth Story

What a wondrous ability we have been bestowed with. We woman, we mothers, we earthly beings. This miracle of creation. I remain in awe of myself,  my children and of the men and women that devote there lives to helping nurture and care for mothers and babies around the world. As part of Save The Children's Annual State Of The Worlds Mothers (SOWM) report I am honored to recall the births of my two children this month. 
From the first fluttering deep in my belly to the nursing of my sweet babes the first and every time. We are miraculous beings. Never have I felt more purpose on earth and connection with my body then during my pregnancies and during the labor and delivery of my children. I first shared Stellita's birth story here a week after she was born. Joaquin's birth story was written in a journal, before I started blogging and I have yet to share it here. Both days I remember with immeasurable joy and amazement. As different as my two children are so too are their birth stories. My labor was incredibly short with Stella, my second child. Four hours from when I woke with the pinch of contractions to her actual arrival qualifies as quick I think, no? I hesitate to say it was "easy" because giving birth just isn't, you mothers know. Frankly though once my water broke Stella was born within seven minutes and two pushes. And so goes the story of Stella Anita's birth. 

 via Save The Children
I woke with moderate contractions at 3 am. They were not contractions I could ignore and already about 5 to 7 minutes apart. Mr. and I quietly packed up a very asleep baby Joaquin and dropped him at my parents house a few minutes away. It was a week before my due date. My Mom and Dad met us in the night air in front of there house with smiles and wide eyes. Today would be the day! We left them with Joaquin and  headed up the hill to Feather River Hospital 30 minutes away. It was 3:45 am. My midwife, whom I like very much had gently lectured me that this labor could go very fast and to be "prepared". She mentioned that I may not have enough time to make the 30 minute drive to Paradise hospital where the midwives deliver babies. I may have to go directly to Enloe Hospital just a few minutes from my home where a Doctor would be overseeing my labor and delivery. Having had an extremely positive experience  with the midwife during my sons labor and delivery I convinced myself we had enough time to make the drive. We arrived at just about 4 am and I was bracing and breathing through now with every contraction. Although I new I was getting close and my contractions were getting really intense at about 3 minutes apart I had no idea how close. We got into a room and the nurse checked me stating I was 8 centimeters dilated. Everyone started scattering and darting and my Mr. seemed to disappear for a few minutes perhaps to spread the news? I tried to make myself comfortable. The quick feet and rustling about from the nurses did not effect my calm. I was going to meet my baby girl soon! Walking around the room and letting my belly hang down as I held the side of the bed, rocking side to side proved helpful. The midwife arrived and promptly checked me and asked if I felt the need to push. Um, really? No. I was fully dilated but had no urge to push.  While I wanted a natural child birth at this point and with my previous birthing experience I asked the midwife if I could have a pain killer of some sort. I was still experiencing an manageable pain level but was thinking ahead of what I was sure to come. She quickly told me that there was "no time" for it. "The baby was coming". I panicked just a bit. My son being only 17 months old at the time the memory of his rather painful and drawn out labor and delivery was fresh in my mind. After a few more contractions and moving to lie on the bed I asked her again if there was anyway they could give me something for the pain. Her reply was the same and this time she addressed my Mr. as well. Perhaps he had panic on his face too? Or rather she was looking for him to reassure? She was kind and yet direct and having complete confidence in my midwife I accepted her answer. I would do this completely natural and it would be okay, I told myself. I was scared.  Nauseous at this point I thought I was going to get sick. Maybe I even did get sick, my husband would most definitely remember that bit of detail. The pressure of the baby was very uncomfortable (like she was pressing down on my tail bone).Reaching the unbearable I announced I was going to sit up or stand to try and relieve the pressure I was feeling. Standing proved very helpful with my sons delivery as did walking around. There was a quick glance between nurse and midwife (the only other people in the room aside from Mr. and I). Just then as I turned my body to the side to get lift myself up my water broke and the pressure was instantly gone. I laid back down and as the midwife took her post an enormous contraction came over me. I had read and heard about the "need" to push but hadn't experienced it with my first labor and delivery. I never once had the "need" to push when delivering my son. I pushed when I was told to, with a contraction. Whammo! There was no way I wasn't going to push with what I was feeling this time. It was as if my entire body was working to push the baby out without me. The midwife was ready and with another overwhelming contraction Stellita was born. It was 7:12 am. She was tiny and pink and nursed within minutes. My eyes scanned over her admiring every detail. She had trouble staying warm for the first few hours so I held her skin to skin as much as I could and she spent some time in the Isolette under heat lamps near my bedside. I was immediately grateful for the attention and care she received from the nurses. I was in complete awe and remain so to this day. Stella is asleep a few inches away from me now as I write this. My almost three year old baby girl. She remains true to her birth story. Fiery and quick and I love her.I plan to share Joaquin's birth story, a very different experience and one that sealed my faith in midwifery and the care given in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), on Mother's Day as he is the one that made me a mother. Come back if you wish and please share with me your birthing stories.

This post will be shared on The Gates Foundation Blog as well as as part of my association with Mom Bloggers For Social Good. To close I'd like to share lovely Save The Children video featuring Jennifer Garner, Rachel Zoe, Alyson Hannigan and Jennifer Connelly reflecting on some first moments with baby.

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