Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tribute to Heather

Once, in a heated tone, Heather told me not to underestimate her. I have kept this advice close. Heather is my elder by 3 years. When we were younger she was “in charge.” She was a self declared president, vice president, secretary, cashier, detective, librarian etc. We often played games she invented and she was the leader. I was her devoted playmate and follower. Somewhere in the midst of our growing up, I became my own and occasionally even led her. Helping Heather have a natural birth was one of the rare and special times that I was able to lead and assist Heather in her own story.

Heather was quite reserved about her choice to have Claire (her 4th baby) un-medicated. She had great experiences with her previous births. But little sister Stacie is a huge empowered birth advocate and wouldn’t stop talking about birth options, showing video clips, and encouraging Heather to go natural. *empowered birth: women choosing how they want to give birth and being supported by care providers- not necessarily natural birth.

I wasn’t sure what Heather would choose to do, but I knew that I was going to support her and slightly push for a natural birth J She did go past her estimated due date and was feeling more than ready. So Mother’s Day 2011 she got induced. I got to the hospital to find Heather smiling and relaxing on the bed. Her very nice and experienced nurse was ever so accommodating. She supported Heather to have intermittent monitoring and pretty well left the laboring up to us with little interference. Brandon was there. He had a nervous excited energy. He didn’t know what to expect as their previous kids were born with Heather lying in bed with an epidural. It’s always entertaining to observe husbands while mom is laboring.

I came in and took charge. I felt more confident than ever before. I started with some essential oils on acupressure points to encourage regular contractions. The effect was almost immediate. Heather and I went walking around the halls of the hospital. We circled a few times then came back around for some monitoring then walked some more etc. I remember walking near this area of big windows with natural light, chairs, and waiting room toys. Heather asked if we could stop here and rest through her next contraction. We had to stop and she had about 2 or 3 contractions in this beautiful sacred space. I knew right away that we must hurry back to the hospital room because she was entering into transition, but I didn’t want to alarm her so I kept this to myself.

On the walk back we stopped several times. Heather would lean on me while I was leaning on the wall. After holding her for several minutes, several different times I said a specific prayer asking for angels to hold me up while I held Heather up. As I kept calm, I noted Heather’s poise. She was totally calm. She visualized her way through several rainbow mediation techniques. She’s a natural mediator, but she doesn’t know it J There was a specific contraction when we both knew that there would be no more walking. While in the hallway, the thought crossed my mind that Heather could have this baby in here and now, but she didn’t. I helped her into the room and onto the bed then basically ran to get the nurse.

It seemed like minutes. The doctor came and Heather pushed. While pushing Heather would go back in these awesome birth warrior trances. She was so concentrated. My voice was her grounding tool. I told her to relax her forehead and her pelvic floor and to breathe. She obeyed. I don’t know that her eyes were open until her beautiful Claire was out of her body. Claire’s shoulder got stuck and this can be quite painful but Heather handled it perfectly. When Claire came out we were all so surprised. Heather birthed an almost 10 lb baby! Claire was huge. Claire brought with her a special joy.

Since her arrival, Claire has always been joyful and beautiful. I feel like Claire is an expert telepath. She is great at communicating. She is the light of everyone’s life. I can’t put into words how much I love Claire.

This birth was one of the most cherished births that I’ve attended. There is a special bond and trust between sisters. Heather was so vulnerable and put so much trust and faith in her body. She totally opened up to me in a way that has never before happened. She owned her body and this birth. Thank you Heather for sharing this day with me and for teaching me once again to never underestimate you!

The love and experiences we share are eternal. The link of sharing birth experiences with women is unmatched by any other joy in my life. Thank you to all of the wonderful women who invite me to support them in their beautiful birth experiences.