Saturday, May 15, 2010

kai's birth

the whole sunny warm day i kept feeling a lot of tightening in my belly.  i thought, "it's just braxton hicks contractions- i still have four weeks until my due date."

that evening i was so hungry, i sat and ate warm, leftover spaghetti...lots of spaghetti...while talking to carrie (my close friend in oregon).

then, i felt a trickle of liquid from my vagina...
i knew right away it was my water breaking, but i didn't want to say it out loud.

"carrie?!" i said faking my best normal, calm, voice.

"yes, jen?" she replied.

"i have to go, i'll call you later okay?! i love you, but i have to go."

"okay" she said short and perplexed. "jen, are you okay?"

"yes, but i have to go."

i was so not okay...

i went to the bathroom-flipped on the light and sat on the cold, white toilet.  all the amniotic fluid started gushing out like a garden hose just turned on very quickly.  the force surprising you every time.

"" i thought.

the gushing subsided a little and i stood up and looked into the bowl-slightly pink fluid, but mostly clear with lots of bubbles.

this is my water breaking! shit!

and i'm not ready...i'm not ready...kai's not ready yet, but it's happening...

i sat down again- my head starting to pound from intense panic.
another gush...

i heard the front door open and saw rowell step in.  the bathroom door was open and i could see him perfectly standing at the threshold.  he had just come back from a long run on the steven's creek trail- his black hair drenched in sweat and his face and arms glistened from the afternoon sun.  he was just pulling the small, white headphones from his ears when-
i locked eyes with him and said,

"rowell, i'm gushing water! it's happening..."

after much running around throwing stuff in a bag- i actually put a book in there too! i'll definitely have time to read after kai was born.

the many moments leading up to transition are very memorable and contain laughter, hurt, pain, fear, and love.

but me becoming present-becoming ready- and the deepest memory of kai's birth came

during transition
when the pain was the most intense
i closed my eyes and saw the beautiful brown women in the warm, lush, forest

smooth skin
big afros
and long black hair
they were all nude
and proud to support me

they were waiting there among the big, leafy, palms
showing me the way to have kai

i can do this; i have the power of all the women of the universe behind me...

women are having babies right now all over the world
we can push our babies out-we are strong.

"come labor and push with us," the women said calmly.

at the same time, rowell supported and whispered his mantra in my ear, "you can do it, you're doing great.  one contraction at a time" he said as he gently stroked my forehead with his soft palm.

rowell nourished me in that sterile, cold, florescent hospital room.  his soft voice in my ear relaxed me.  i was able to transport myself to this other place with these peaceful women.
kai went with me to that forest.  when he actually came out of me- he was so surprised, because there was a team of doctors with yellow masks and latex gloves waiting there to suction and "check him out".

treat him like he was sick, when he wasn't.

after they
and swaddled
i got to hold kai.

his sweet face made all of my pain go away.

his eyes were still closed.  he was still in the forest being supported by mother universe
and the women.
i felt drunk
overflowing with love
i was crying
kai asked me about that later. was i sad? because he saw tears.

"sometimes you cry when you're happy.  there are so many emotions, it just comes out" I told him.

rowell and i held kai
for about fifteen minutes
at 5:30 am that april morning and then
rowell went with him
and the doctors
to the special care nursery to do the
spinal tap
and all of the other crazy tests they do on babies that come "early".

i hated that i couldn't go with him to keep him safe.

the resident that stitched up my second-degree tear couldn't do it fast enough.

"could you hurry up!" i said between painful twinges. "i need to get to my son."

"i'm going as fast as i can," she said with disdain.  "if you had an epidural, you wouldn't have torn so much".  not even the truth!!!

"just hurry up, i need to get to my son!" i snapped.

she finally finished and the nurse put a huge pack of ice on my vagina.

the cold felt so good,
after all that fire.

then, finally i got to where rowell and kai were....

i put him in my arms
then up to my chest
and he opened his eyes and greeted me.

we were instantly a family drunk with love.

yes, things did not go as i had planned, but then when do things always go as planned?

kai decided to come one month early
i had pitocin (that was painful)
i didn't have a midwife
i didn't just get to hold kai and breastfeed him after he was born


i had a natural childbirth vaginally with my amazing husband supporting me.
i was able to go to a forest filled with women to have my son.
he was safe and warm there,

magic happened that earth day morning
and it continues...
that kai looks at me with his light brown eyes
showing me the way
to peace.

kai was there with rowell, misa, and yelena (my midwife), when i had story at home 5 1/2 years later.   he told me when story was coming out.  he was calm and amazing and has all of those new memories of birth in his cells now.
still working on story's birth story....soon to come.


  1. You are an amazing, strong, loving mama, and your boys are so lucky. I remember when you first read this out loud--how powerful it was. It is just as powerful now. I love the visual impact of the way you shift from prose to poetry as you move into the most intense part of Kai's birth--it reflects beautifully and clearly the shift into the nonverbal, spiritual realm of your journey.