Naviyah's Home Birth
For about two weeks I had been experiencing small contractions throughout the day, which was nothing unusual for me. I knew my body was “practicing” for labor and delivery. However, on Tuesday, September 24th, I woke up with a strong sense that Naviyah would be here by Thursday, the latest. The contractions I felt this morning gave me nervous jitters. I texted family and friends and asked them to keep me in prayer. I went about my day per usual, but from time to time I would pause what I was doing to breathe deep through the butterflies in the pit of my stomach. I knew the time was coming, but not knowing when was driving me crazy. So, I dove into work and tasks to keep my mind off the thought of labor pains.
It was the last evening I would spend with my husband and girls as a family unit of 4.
9:47pm - Texting my husband (who is downstairs studying):
Me: Babe, I need water and my yoga ball, please!
Sergio: Ok! Bringing it now.
Me: I’m going to get some rest now. Something tells me this baby is coming…
11:10pm - Texting my husband, again:
Me: Babe, please come get rest, too. I’m having trouble calming my mind. I don’t know why I’m a little panicky. I know I’ve done this before but I’m remembering the pain and wanting to give up. Can you come be with me, please?
Sergio stops studying to come upstairs and showers. Once he’s done, he comes to my bedside to pray for me and places his prayer mantel over my belly as I sleep.
11:57pm - I wake up with a strong contraction.
Me: Babe, it’s time. Please call Liz and Amy.
Sergio: Ok. You got this, mama!
11:59pm - Texting my sister in law:
Me: It’s happening! Liz and Amy are on their way.
Angela: I’m coming.
1:10am - Amy, my doula, arrives and helps me breathe through and manage the contractions.
1:30am - The rest of the birth team arrives! Deanna, the birth assistant arrives first, followed by Liz, my midwife.
By this time, I had entered active labor and I knew it was only a matter of time before Naviyah was here with us! I went to the bathroom to pee in between a contraction and called my husband as a stronger one hit me. I leaned into him as I deeply groaned, surrendering to the pain. I could hear him praying for me as I recited to myself, “With every contraction, I’m getting closer to meeting Naviyah.”
It wasn’t long before I felt my body begin to work harder. My abdominal muscles began to engage and I felt a strong pressure coming down. “I’m ready to get in the water,” I said.
Everyone helped me get in my tub and stayed quiet as I breathed and groaned through my final contractions. I felt as my abdominal muscles engaged, my water broke, and the pushing began!
“I’m pushing!” I alerted my birth team. They assured me that they were following my lead and trusted my body to do the work. In that moment, every ounce of fear and pain was replaced with courage, vigor, and strength. I became one with the process and partnered with my body to do what I intuitively knew how to do. As I took a deep breath in and began to push a deep breath out, Naviyah wasted no more time.
“You’re doing it, Fran! She’s coming! Get ready!” the birth team cheered me on. At 2:04am, my arms reached down to catch my baby girl and pull her in close. I couldn’t believe it! She was finally here, and she was perfect!