real life

"We love you more than we knew possible, Aya." A birth story.

I woke at 4.30am on the 21st of January, after a night of strange dreams and unfamiliar feelings. I knew that you would be arriving soon. I could sense the shift, I quietly got up out of bed, trying not to wake your Dad and realised that the fluids protecting you in my tummy had started to leak. I was very excited and at the same time very calm, you were on your way and I treasured the moment. Your Dadda was stirring in bed and I told him we would meet you soon. He lay there smiling and wrapped his arms tightly around us.

We went to the beach, it was the most beautiful sunny day, and started walking. Occasionally we would stop and hug you between us. Your Dadda went for a swim and then we sat and watched him do yoga. I was feeling you wriggling in my tummy and thinking about how blessed we all were.

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That day felt like a dream we were so ready to meet you, but didn’t want you to feel rushed our scared. We told you how much we loved you and how safe you were. I ate fresh fruit and your Dadda made lots of snacks. The midwife came to see us in the afternoon and we discussed what was ahead. I felt that I would be labouring throughout the night and told her and my own mother this. I always pictured you arriving before sunrise on the 22nd, and it was all unfolding this way.

Your Dadda and I decided to go to the beach again and as I left the house I felt my body surge as you began your journey downwards. We went for a very very long walk. My surges began 20 minutes apart and each time we would stop and your Dadda would hold us. We picked frangipani flowers on our way home and laid them around the house, we prepared for a long night.

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We watched a silly movie and laughed aloud together, sometimes I would surge mid laughter and my body felt torn in two. But my breath would be my saviour.

I needed to start focusing on you more so your Dadda ran us a bath, the room smelt of frangipani and was lit up with candles. He put on the Gayatri mantra and we sat together and meditated. I felt you inside of me and sent you my calming breath.

I was content on it being just the two of us so your Dadda got a couple of hours sleep as I laboured you on our bed and in the shower. My breathing began to change and I hummed through each surge, the vibrations eased the pressure. I visualised my uterus expanding and you descending downwards with each breathe. Soon things started getting more intense and I needed your Dadda with us. He woke up and I asked him to let your nana know she needed to leave if she wanted to be here for your arrival. I was curled up in the bottom of the shower, the hot water was the most beautiful massage. Your Dadda held us, whispered to us and used pressure points to ease the intensity of the surges. Soon they were about a minute and a half apart and around the same duration. We slowly made our way back to the bedroom. Occasionally I let fear in and your dad would start the breath cycle for me and bring me back to focusing solely on you. He is an incredible man, he smothered us with love and protection that night.

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The midwife and your nanna arrived together and my eyes filled with tears. It was time to leave home and head to the birthing centre.

The car trip was hard. One of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I didn’t realise it at the time but I was transitioning into the next stage of labour. My breathing changed, I grew quiet and the surges rippled through me one on top of the other. Your nanna was watching and consoling us and I could feel her love.

As I entered our room I started feeling very different, I wanted to push you out. A feeling of relief and excitement washed over me, you were getting so close, Aya.

I had to get into the pool as it was still filling, it was like receiving a full body hug. I leaned against the side of the tub and your Dadda sat in front of us. With every surge came the overwhelming need to bear down. I felt you, all of you, moving and could feel exactly where you were inside of me.  I felt calm and began preparing and visualising you in a perfect position to make your entry Earthside.

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With the next push I asked your Dad if he could see you. I had been in the pool for about 20 minutes when he saw your hair for the first time. The midwives were very shocked as they hurried over to see you. Within minutes you were born into your Daddas arms. He told me that he felt you wriggling underwater. When he turned you over you were awake, you had your eyes open and stared into his as he brought you up into the world. We put you straight onto my chest and you didn’t make a sound, you just slowly blinked, very curiously at us both.

The midwife gave you a rub and you took your first big gulps of air. I have never felt such emotion pour through my heart and I looked at your Dad and I knew he felt it too.

You were born at 7.08am on the 22nd of January, weighing 3kg, you were the tiniest little human I had ever seen.
It’s going to take me a long time to process the night you were born, maybe a lifetime. I can’t explain how I feel about you being here because there are no words for that. So I’ll just say, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Oh and we named you Ayana – our ‘beautiful flower.’ But we call you ‘Aya’ after a powerful plant medicine that changed your Dads life and ‘Joan’ – in memory of a kind, loving, strong, creative and wonderful woman – your great nana.

We love you more than we knew possible, Aya.

For more from Jinti, visit her blog or find her on Instagram.

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