Three years, three hours and six minutes later, on January 4, 2013 at 8:26 p.m. I was given another angel. Another miracle. A veiled miracle. Harlow Iris came into this world. In her veil.
I could go on and on (and I'm sure I will, in another post!) about all of the reasons little Harlow is a true miracle. She has been special and unique long before she entered this world.
I wanted this birth to be different from the last. Although Hudson's birth was incredible and exactly as it was meant to be, I really wanted Harlow to be born at home. I spent hours envisioning exactly how and when she would be born. Six hour labor, in my bedroom, in the water, at night, candles and fireplace burning and surrounded by loving and supportive people. No fear. No medication. No pressure. And no doctor telling me that if I don't do pitocin I would be putting my baby and myself at risk.
On January 3rd, Hudson and I went to the zoo and we walked. A lot. A mommy and buddy date hoping to get labor started. I was a couple of days "late" according to Harlow's guess date.
Plans were set for January 4th - Hudson's third birthday. A day of bumper bowling with his friends.
2:00 a.m. Hm, was that a contraction?! Oh yes, I recognized that feeling. But I also knew all too well that since I was able to lay in bed and ride the wave every 15-20 minutes, it was only the beginning.
5:00 a.m. - climbed into bed and snuggled the birthday boy while he nestled his sweet little angle head onto my chest. That was his last morning snuggle as an only child.
7:00 a.m. - as the day broke and the sun rose, my mama bear instincts kicked in and my labor stalled out. It looked like my babies wouldn't share a birthday afterall.
2:00 p.m. - The beautiful journey of bringing my angel into this world began. Every three to seven minutes Harlow let me know she was coming quicker than Hudson had. The surges were strong. And quick. Would I be able to make it through the night? Would I be strong enough to labor at home for what I guessed to be the next 12 hours? Deep breaths in and out.
My incredible team arrived and took over the details that I didn't want to think about. All I had to think about was birthing my baby. The birthing tub was pumped up and filled with water. It was finally dark and the candles over the mantel were magically lit. The fire was flickering and the sound of Shamanic Dream surrounded me.
Hudson came in and out of my room, offering his mommy strength. He even massaged my back ;)
The surges came every couple of minutes. Moments of fear and helplessness crept into my mind. Can I do this? I am a strong woman. A woman of strength. My body is meant to birth my baby. Naturally. Find your focus. Get out of your head and into your body. Find your focal point. And all at once, I was in the room alone. Just me and my unborn baby and my fireplace. Hudson's newborn picture hung over the fireplace reminding me that all of my strength will give me a beautiful angel. Focus. Everyone around me disappeared outside of my reality. They were there, but my focus was on the fire. One surge at a time, I can do this. Don't think about the next surge, just this one. And then a break. And then another surge. Focus. Trust. Believe.
It's time. Sunshine and Kayti told me it was time to birth my baby. My mom was called to come home from Hudson's birthday dinner as my sweet baby was about to join us. I had six angels by my side. Although they were often outside of my conscious reach, they were always physically there helping me get through each surge, one surge at a time. One push at a time. You can do this. With their strength, encouragement and love I knew I could do it.
At 8:26 p.m. Harlow was born in her veil. The caul. She was born still in her water sack, in the birthing tub. A rare and magical birth referred to as a "veiled birth.". As the caul broke around her in the water I reached down and brought my angel to my chest. And so began the beautiful relationship of mother and child. We did it. And now I was holding my precious, beautiful, healthy little miracle. I fell in love with another little human being once again.
MInutes later Hudson who had been patiently waiting downstairs, ready to share his birthday with his sister, came up to meet her. Seeing my baby boy hold and love his new baby sister will forever be one of my most cherished memories. I can't imagine a more perfect birth. Six hour labor in my bedroom, in the water, in front of the fireplace with loving and supportive partners and my first miracle baby by my side to meet is baby sister. Just as I envisioned it.
Thank you Mom, Hudson, Krista, Sunshine, Kayti and Karly for making Harlow's birth more precious than I could have ever imagined.
Harlow is four months old today. I love you, sweet little angel face!