Our baby # 6 was born one year ago today (October 14) after a 43 week secret pregnancy. It was by far the best pregnancy I ever had! Until the last month or so I felt better than I ever have in my entire life! I woke up on the morning of the 14th with some interesting contractions but that was nothing new but by about 9 I felt like I should call Matthew so he could get home just in case but I didn’t want to get my hopes up-I was prepared for a 44 week pregnancy by this point. My pregnancies are long with prodromal labor for up to 6 weeks but due to all that prep work my births are hard and fast. We had two all American Hospital births, then a hands off midwife hossy birth, then two midwife assisted home births so this was our first freebirth and it was Matthew’s idea!
He got home at about 10. At about noon the labor became intense and it was finally clear that today was the day. It was such a nice day outside-warm for mid October and quite windy. I sent all 5 kids out to play so I could chill as they were clearly picking up on the intensity. Labor was crazy hard and I expected it would go on for ages. I’d never bothered with a birthing ball before but my dear friend, Megan, loaned one to me and it was a godsend! I labored in the bus sitting on it between the beds in the back. As my labor intesified so did the gusts of wind coming in through the bus windows cooling my sweat and making me feel so rooted and grounded. Something was telling me I had a bulging bag so I checked during a contraction and my suspicions were confirmed! With every contraction the bag was out more than a crowning head! I told Matthew if it didn’t break soon I was going to do some crochet! My husband was convinced I was wrong and that it was an elbow-I’ll have to ask him why because I still don’t know where he got that feeling. He wanted to check and I let him and he still insisted it was an elbow. I giggled because I knew he was wrong but I let him check one more time and when he did the moment his middle finger touched the “arm” (sac) it burst and amniotic fluid and meconium went everywhere! I screamed like a wild banshee for the kids because she was on her way out and would wait for no one! I tried to hold her in so the bigs would make it in time and it is a good thing they are fleet little beasts because they made it just in time! I Matthew was trying to fold a towel to put under me and he got it there after she was completely born! It was less than a minute and not even a push! She came out with the cord wrapped in so many places: it was around her neck, in her underarm, under her left knee pinning it to her chest-it wasn’t scary but somehow graceful and peaceful. Time just stood still while I looked, assessed what I needed to do, and I calmly unwrapped her while Matthew gently encouraged me. 43 weeks and she still had vernex-vernex covered in some meconium on her perfectly round little head made her look like she had bright yellow hair! The boys all started snapping photos and they and Artemis all began taking turns snuggling her as I nursed her and delivered the placenta. I anointed her with Sacred Frankinsnce on her third eye and Myrrh on her belly. My parents came over right away and we all snuggled and loved her all day. Not long after my grandma and inlaws arrived and that evening some friends and cousins too. It was a perfect day! We kept the placenta in one of my fave antique bowls for almosta full day at which point Matthew, my mother, and I cauterized her cord with two of my mother’s hand dipped beeswax candles which I still have for her. I anointed her belly with more myrrh and did so periodically until shortly after her perfect little belly button emerged-among the longer duration, the candle cauterization, and the myrrh it was the speediest and healthiest umbilical transition I’ve ever experienced and the smell of Myrrh always brings me back to that time.
Now remember, we kept this pregnancy a secret! After a couple of days I started posting a rapid progression of pregnancy photos:
I didn’t respond to any comments, I just kept posting and giggling:
After a few days of fun I finally announced her:
We named her Persephone Tempest: Persephone after goddess (if you don’t know her gorgeous and seasonally fitting story Google it now and come back when you’re done, I’ll wait for you) and Tempest for the Tempest that she rode in coming earthside.
Here she is at a day old:
She’s been an absolute joy in every way for the past year. She is funny and happy and loving and clearly an old soul. She has grown to fit her name perfectly. She is a beautiful, wild force of nature and a bringer of love and light!
Here are way more photos of her than you probably care to see.
With all of her sibs and her two cousins-this was the first time for both of the girls at the ocean:
Last, but obvs not least: 1st birthday selfie with the fam!