Adventures of Tulsi Devi & Friends: A Homebirth Experience
You were our miracle rainbow baby that shook our world and gave us pause to really look at life in a different way. You were unexpected, but never for a moment were you unwanted. You are the 4th child brought earthside in our family. You are the 4th girl brought into the family. Sorry dad you will forever be in a house surrounded by beautiful women. Wait, that doesn’t really sound all that bad.
This pregnancy was different than all the others. I feel like it was karma for the wonderful glowing pregnancies I had previously. I was honestly miserable for my entire pregnancy. From severe nausea that caused me to lose 15 pounds in my early months to pubic symphysis dysfunction that plagued me throughout my pregnancy. Fears, doubts, and turmoil but I will tell that story another time. It was my first time experiencing prodromal labor as well, starting at 36 weeks.
Your father was starting a new work project where he travels out of state from Monday to Thursday every week. He left for his first week when I was 39 weeks. I had been having prodromal labor for weeks and when daddy left Monday morning, poof. No more prodromal. Not a contraction. Not even a cramp. You really wanted your daddy to be there to see you come into the world.
Friday morning irregular mild contractions were back. Things continued like the previous weeks of prodromal labor. We were one day past your due date. Daddy had a meeting downtown and then we were all meeting grandpa for dinner at the Loving Hut. Those mild cramps continued through dinner. Then, as if you had planned the whole thing, we had a few really good contractions while driving home for dinner. I thought, wow could this really be it?
While still irregular contractions continued to come. A huge part of me was in denial thinking at any moment they would go away like all the other days of prodromal labor. An hour went by. Then two. Contractions kept coming. Not really strong, but they sure kept coming. Up until then I had kept things to myself, but I turned to your daddy when he came into the bedroom and said, “ Pappa, we may have a baby tonight.” He instantly smiled and asked, “Really?” I nodded. Sounding like Eeyore he replied, “I guess I will go fill up the tub.” This made me smile and giggle. It was a bit of an inside joke from our last homebirth. He was so tired when I went into labor he said the previous line, but at the time he really was sad to have to stay up and go fill up the birth tub.
I continued to let my midwife know what was going on. About 8:30pm it was clear that it really was the day and we were going to have a baby. It was the first time I had prepared a birth space. I turned my candles on, turned the lights down, and played my music play list. Daddy put the older girls to bed and then joined me as I rode out my strengthening contractions. This labor was already longer than the last birth. I knew I was in for a long ride.
Around 11:00pm we decided it was time to have the midwife come and fill up the tub. 11:40pm I got in the tub with contractions only 3 minutes apart. Daddy got the older girls up to come be a part of welcoming you into the world. It was about this time that I went into “labor land.” Labor land, meaning I had little idea of anything going on around me between contractions and was consumed by my contractions as they were happening.
In my previous birth I experienced that wall that everyone talks about during transition. That place where you think, I can’t do this anymore. While I didn’t quiet feel like I couldn’t do it, it was my first time being in a place where I felt, Oh I really don’t want to be here in this moment any more. Which of course let me know what I was really close to having a baby. This time however, I hit that wall shortly after getting into the tub. I kept thinking in my head that it was taking forever. Inside my head was a mess.
Daddy was right there by myside the whole time. He got into the birth tub with me to be the one who helped you earthside. He brought me strength in my weakest moments. I tried my best to breath you down and ease your journey. It felt like you came in spurts with no movement and then a big drop closer to the outside. I remember thinking you were in the same place for so long. I could feel your head just inside, but still so far from being in our arms.
Your sisters were excited and scared at the same time. Though I am fairly quiet through labor, transition brought noises that made your sisters know mommy was working hard. My arms shook as I gripped the hand bars of the birth tub. Then with another spurt of movement you were just a few pushes away. I couldn’t breath the contractions away any more and my body was pushing whether I wanted to or not. It was the most intense so far. I could feel every part of me accommodating you so you could come earthside to us. I am sure if I had given all my might you would have popped out in one fell swoop, but I forced myself to regain a little control mid crown and pant.
At 1:33am on March 10th 2018 you came into the world. You were in the caul (bag of water). Daddy and I reached down and gently unwrapped you from your cord. You opened your eyes underwater and looked around at us. It was a magical experience to say the least. What a way to welcome you into the world.
Your sisters were so excited. Our birth team helped you and dad out of the tub. Your sister Meera was very adamant that she get to carry the placenta bowl since your older sister Irelynn got to carry it when your older sister Radha as born. The team then helped mom into bed with the rest of the gang and we spend the next few hours bonding with you.
When it came time to weigh you, you shocked us with being more than a pound more than your sisters at 8 pounds 1 ounce. Our birth team tucked us in and left about 4:20am. And thus is the beginning of Adventures of Tulsi Devi & Friends.
I want to take a moment and thank my amazing midwife who helped me through this journey to mom of 4 with an open heart and allowing me to have exactly the birth I wanted for the second time around. I want to thank my amazing photographer Maggie Cuprisin who captured this once in a lifetime event for us to cherish for the rest of our lives.
As a seasoned birth worker and business major I wanted to take my two passions and combine them into one. Over the last seven years I continue to push myself to learn more and give more to those around me.