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Arae's Birth Story

When I learned about my pregnancy with Arae I was immediately desiring to push forward quickly with purchasing a home that was better suited for us. I didn’t feel that I could have another birth in the home where I had lost my last baby. I dedicated much of my time and focus to making this happen instead of focusing on my pregnancy and baby. I compartmentalized a lot and felt very disconnected while I was still sorting through the trauma with a perinatal loss therapist. I closed on my home in March of 2021 and it was at that point the imminent arrival of my last baby became the only thing I could think about.

When I look back, there is much of my pregnancy that I don’t remember like the others. I didn’t spend as much time talking to and playing with my baby. I didn’t read her stories aloud or sing to her. I didn’t take bump pictures like I had done with the rest to look back on. I decided not to hire a photographer even though I wanted that again because I was afraid I would capture bad memories instead somehow. I made tentative backup plans to birth in another state with a friend for support or house her near me if she made the trip since there was no midwife available, nor did I want to go back to the one previously hired that left such a bad taste in my mouth. In the end that friend was unable to commit due to complications in her own life, so I planned once again for another unassisted birth. 

I spent much time talking to my best friend from where I grew up about my fears and emotions about Yulia and laboring and bringing this new little one into the world. I told her how much I wish she could have been there for me for support, for yet another of my births. Though she was unable to be there physically, she was there in spirit and sent a beautiful care package for a sort of long-distance Blessingway with affirmations, Blessingway beads, and a beautiful flower crown she preserved herself. 

I had everything ready and planned out well and reached out once again to a doula group to see if there was anyone I didn’t know of who would want to attend. Even though I had a new home and could birth in new surroundings I still didn’t want to birth alone as I knew there would be some mental blocks along the way regarding the loss of my daughter and I just wasn’t sure how hard that was going to make my birth. A doula I knew from another state saw my post and reached out. She and her partner offered their services. It made me incredibly happy to know they were willing to travel and work with me on pricing and I believed they were both greatly beneficial in their own ways. One was much more emotionally in tune and I knew she could help me process and stay focused on the labor and baby still here. The other was meant to provide support and boundaries, guidance and direction for my partner to keep him helpful and calm.

Labor began almost a week before my due date. I sat with the package my best friend sent often in early labor drawing up every bit of strength and hope she packed into that box in her absence. I was in labor without much progress for several days and I knew that while all monitoring showed great results, emotionally, I was just not ready. I was entirely closed off. So I called my therapist for a session and cried for a very long time… and just like that my labor picked up and was well on its way. At the very last minute, in labor, one of the doulas bailed on me without ever delivering the message herself. She has not spoken to me since or addressed it whatsoever. I was incredibly disappointed that she let it play out that way. The second the other doula walked in the door she informed me that one of her other moms called while she was on the way to me saying that her water broke. Ever the people pleaser that I was, this made me incredibly disappointed and stressed. I felt that I had to do whatever it took to get my baby out quickly so that the other mother would not miss out on support. When she arrived my contractions had been intense and steady and I had planned on getting in the birth pool for relief. However once in there they greatly subsided and I was beginning to fall asleep. I just kept remembering the other mother in labor and decided to get out and forgo the rest and relief I desperately needed so that I could meet my baby sooner and she could be on her way. She sat in the corner quietly taking pictures but did not provide any sort of doula support. Eventually, my baby made her way earthside into my arms while standing in my bathroom. The doula helped show my partner how to make raw placenta smoothies from the mother’s side and packed the baby’s side into a lotus birth kit I had purchased while I was showering in the other room. My children were excited and gathered around. We weighed and measured the baby and just like that the doula was on her way out without any help cleaning up or otherwise. She did, however, leave a cute little care package. 

Being able to have another healing unassisted birth for my last baby was the perfect place to stop, despite the disappointment I felt for some things. As I walked through this transformation into my newest version of motherhood I knew I had made the best choices I could for myself and my baby. She was able to come into this world peacefully surrounded in love. 

I learned many things throughout this experience for myself as a birthing person, as well as how I would continue to serve families that trusted me in their sacred transitions and spaces. It was a quiet reminder of how important having the right people in this work is and to truly know who I am referring to the families I care for or am inquired of. It further cemented my commitment and intention to build a team that aligns well and provides passionate and compassionate care to all who desire it so that both parents, baby, and those who love them come out of this experience looking back on it as a time they were encouraged, empowered, and loved. If I do nothing else in this work it will always be that.

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