This is the story of how our beautiful baby girl, Aurelia Moon Trifa, journeyed to this life.
My due date was January 4th, and slowly the days went by with no sign of labour. Honestly, every day felt like a month. I was trying to just trust the process, however it turned out to be, but as every day passed, I feared that we wouldn’t be able to have the home birth we planned. On Wednesday, January 11, we went to the midwife to have a stress test done. Everything was fine, and the midwife told me that we had lots of time, and that I shouldn’t worry. It was a weird space of ..don’t worry you have lots of time.. but also we have to schedule more tests to be done to keep making sure everything is ok. I was feeling the pressure. Everyone around me was asking, “is she here yet”. My sisters would stop by everyday to see if I was in labour, and every time I went upstairs my mom would say.. so how are you feeling? I was going crazy. It’s all I could think about, so there were many times when I just had to find balance, and let go, and try to enjoy and appreciate the time before the baby arrived. A theme in my life has been to have patience and trust, and I think this was the beginning of Aurelia constantly teaching me this lesson. I know there will be many more times she’ll have to bring me back to this in the years to come.
So, our midwife gave me some natural induction methods that we could try. She gave me verbena to make into a tea. The plan was that if the tea was working and I felt things moving along that night, that I would take a strong cocktail in the morning, and if nothing happened I would take the tea again until the end of the weekend, and the stronger cocktail on Monday, because two of the midwifes were off that weekend. We went from the appointment to home where I had the tea. I didn’t really feel much different that night, so I didn’t really think things would move along that quickly, but I tried not to dwell on it. The next morning Thursday January 12, [Dad] and I tried some other natural induction methods, and shortly after, I started having contractions around noon. I tried not to get too excited. We decided to do some cooking and listen to some Bob Marley while [Dad] continued to time my contractions. I had some spotting that started in the morning, but I phoned [our midwife] and she said not to worry, but to call her back if I notice that it’s getting heavier. I remember at one point looking outside and it was snowing. I think this was actually the first time I had seen the snow falling since winter had started.
Around 1 or 2 pm, we went downstairs to our living area, and I tried to get some rest even though the last thing I felt like doing was laying down. I felt like I needed to walk for every contraction, but I thought I’d try. As I was laying down and getting pretty relaxed, my water broke. I don’t think it fully broke but there was some gushing. I got up quickly and tried to get to the toilet. I didn’t make it. Around three we phoned our doula and she came 4 or 5. She helped soo much by giving me some hip presses, massaging, and reminding me to keep my groans low and jaw relaxed. I kept asking when I’d be able to go into the tub. I felt like I needed someone near me during the majority of my contractions so I was sure glad that we had a doula, or else it would have been a very draining day for [Dad] and we probably wouldn’t have been able to fill the tub ha. By six or seven we had tried calling the midwives for about three or four hours with no return calls. To reach the midwives you get the answering service and than they send a message to the midwives. Finally around 7 June arrived who said that they hadn’t
received any of the messages. They were not happy with their answering service. Luckily, we didn’t have any major problems, but I did think that maybe I would have to catch my own baby. When [a midwife] checked me I was about 6 cm dilated. Around 5 or 6 we decided to fill the tub, but ran out of hot water, so my mom, my sister, [doula], and [Dad] were boiling water on the stove and running up and down the stairs to try and fill the tub. I was so happy to get in there. [Dad] and [doula] would massage me, pour water over my back, feed me ice chips, gatorade, grapes. When things were getting tough I remembered the different phrases and things I read in Ina May’s books…keeping my jaw relaxed, allowing myself to open up, thinking was scary feeling wasn’t, My body is wise, the pain isn’t harming you, have faith in the universe…(I actually had these phrases posted all over my walls in preparation for the birth, along with candles, pictures, and music.) I remember that before a heavy contraction would come and I could really feel things progressing my body would give me a longer break in between contractions. In retrospect I find this really fascinating. I also couldn’t stay in one position for too long. I was either on my hands and knees, laying on my back with my arms over the edge, or leaning over the edge as [Dad] held me up, or moving my hips. It was nice to be able to let my body do what it needed to at the time.
A couple of hours later, I was 8 cm. The last five hours are such a blur to us. I remember times when I would start thinking that I couldn’t do this anymore, but I was very aware, and knew that I didn’t want to be in this space, so I would try to bring my thoughts back, and just let myself do my moaning, and [my doula] was always very good at noticing this and bringing me back. A couple of days later, [Dad] told me that my moans reminded him of sacred muslim prayers, which I think is absolutely beautiful but definitely isn’t the way I remembered it being. haha [My midwife] came around midnight. I was definitely in my own zone, but I was happy to see her. A little while later she told me that I could try pushing if I felt like it so I did. I didn’t really feel an overwhelming feeling to push, but I just couldn’t take the pain anymore, and thought that I would try to see what it felt like, and than I didn’t want to stop. I thought I would like pushing better than the contractions, but it was actually the scariest part for me. I kept thinking that I was tearing, because I could feel the burning, but everyone told me that it was
just my skin stretching. It felt like everything was going to come apart. After pushing for a couple of contractions, they wanted me to get up to go to the bathroom. I remember saying that I didn’t want to, but they said it would make room for the baby. Really, I think they knew that this would get things progressing faster, walking, and the sitting position on the toilet. I went, and it was just [Dad] and I in the bathroom. I had a contraction, and [Dad] says, that he saw my body open up and a head starting to come through. [My secondary midwife] came in and said, ”[Primary midwife] you better come here”. [She] came and said, “this is the one place you cannot have your baby,” so they helped me walk back to the tub. I had a couple of more contractions and at one point they asked if I wanted to feel the head. I will always remember this. I felt a head… and I felt hair! They pointed the flashlight and I got to see it! I didn’t push for very long, and I remember feeling her moving down, and the head come out. I knew that maybe I should let her come out gradually, and a little slower, but I just wanted her to come out, so I kept pushing and out she came, and [the midwife] put her right on my chest. I remember saying “oh my God” and feeling overcome with an unexplainable joy. I remember seeing [Dad's] face. He was smiling from ear to ear, and blinking his eyes, in the way that he does when gets teary and than I saw that she was a girl!!!! I don’t know why, but I kept feeling like we were having a boy, and I was so surprised to see that it was a little
girl. They were trying to get her to have a good cry, to expel the mucous. Because I pushed her out so fast, she didn’t have time for this to happen naturally. She had good color, she cried a bit but not the scream they were looking for. After the imbilical cord was finished pulsing they let [Dad] cut it, and they gave her to [him] and he put her on his chest while the tried to get her to cry to get the mucous out. After, I delivered the placenta, they took me to our bed where [Dad] and Aurelia were laying. I absolutely loved seeing [him] with our little girl. I layed down while they stitched me up. I had second degree tearing. She wasn’t expelling the mucous, and so they used a machine thing to get some of it out. After I was stitched up, I got to nurse her, and she had her first bowel movement shortly after. Aurelia Moon Trifa was born at 1:20 am, January 13th. She weighed 8lbs 5oz, and was 21 inches long.
We had Aurelia picked out as our girl name, but as we were laying in bed and I was nursing her, [Dad] thought of moon as the middle name. When I asked him about it later, he said that she had moon energy… powerful but still.