Kimberly's eyes were closed tightly, her hair matted across her face, her body trembling with fatigue. I had no idea what was going on inside her head but as the minutes ticked by I could tell that her confidence was starting to fade. I wanted to tell her how strong she was and how everything was going to be ok, but the words seemed hollow somehow, and so they remained frozen in my throat as her struggle continued.
We held hands and bowed our heads, silently asking God for guidance and grace as we waited to take whatever steps were next. Kimberly was beyond nervousness and fear of the unknown, so exhausted that she would have fallen asleep on her feet if not for the adrenaline coursing through her body. All we were waiting on was someone to tell us what to do. As it turns out, the midwife's idea was as simple as it was brilliant: Push Really Hard And See What Happens. 😲
by Buddy Rushing, Tree of Life dad
I always imagined driving while your wife is in labor to be a cross between Mad Max and the Indy 500, where you blast through stoplights, scream at the cars to get out of the way, and screech into the parking lot with six cop cars hot on your tail. In reality your heart is beating like your are about to be dropped into a cage fight but you do everything you can to act calm and not wreck the car during the drive, your top priority being to protect the precious cargo inside. 🚗
by Buddy Rushing, Tree of Life dad
"Baby, it's starting." I glanced at the clock: Midnight. Kimberly grabbed her stomach and doubled over in pain as the first of what would be more than 350 contractions over the next 18 hours seized her body. I doubled up my fists and ground them into her lower back as I'd been taught, bringing her relief as the pain subsided, only to be replaced 5 minutes later with another, more intense contraction. We looked into each other's eyes and laughed with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. It was going to be a very long night...⏰
by Joni Hargrave, Tree of Life mama
Ok, so it wasn’t exactly a bar, but it had kombucha on tap, the girl was me, and the “ouch” was more of a series of ouches 3 minutes apart, but we’ll get to that later.
The morning is January 17th, 2017. I’m exactly one week past my due date, swollen, anxious and making all sorts of irrational interior decor decisions for our house. Driving to Vista (twice) in a rain storm for a freaking cactus is just one example.
It was August 1, 2014 and I was 2 weeks overdue. We were just getting home from celebrating my dear friend's birthday and needed rest, I was scheduled to have my baby in the morning. Each of my 4 previous pregnancies were late, my third was 2 weeks overdue as well, but that didn’t change how frustrated I was with my body. Susan (the mid wife for my second birth 12 years earlier) was so good at encouraging me to be patient! She has a calming nature and it was the perfect balance for my anxious state of mind. You would think that with all of the practice I had in this area I would find it easier to be understanding, but I was dying to hold my baby! Once I hit full term, Susan supported my requests to spur on labor. I had my membranes stripped and took lots of long walks, all in the hopes that I could give it a little nudge. In the end nothing worked, and after 14 long days I had no choice but to be induced. It had never come to this before and I needed to find peace in my situation. After getting home that evening and getting settled into bed, I locked myself in the bathroom and cried, a good hard cry. In that moment I let everything go that I had bottled up over the last two weeks! Trying to be patient, trying to be strong and trusting my body to do what it was designed to do, I surrendered and went to bed.
Nature has a way of prepping your body for childbirth. About 10 days prior to my due date, I started experiencing pre-labor symptoms. Nausea, cramping, soft stools and a burst of energy to clean and nest, then moments of exhaustion. I’d wake up in the middle of the night anticipating the labor, with nerves and excitement. I called all my support people letting them know it might be happening soon, but then it didn’t. A week passed and Friday, June 3rd rolled around. My due date was June 7th, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t make it. I started feeling those symptoms again, but didn’t get too excited this time. I went to bed thinking, maybe tonight or tomorrow knowing the new moon was happening on Saturday, June 4th. I remember going into labor with Barrett, our first, on a full moon and was curious if Emelia was born around a full or new moon. I looked back and sure enough, I went into labor with her the night of a new moon so my mama intuition said things would start getting into motion on Saturday. This particular new moon was supposed to be the strongest of the year as four planets were all intersecting simultaneously.
by Joely Rese, Tree of Life mama
It was 5 am on Sunday morning. My contractions had started almost exactly 24 hours ago. I knew, though, that my husband, Jacob, and I still had a ways to go before we were going to meet our son. Earlier that night while laboring at home, the frequency of my contractions had picked up and it seemed like things were moving quickly towards baby. Our midwife told us to come to the birth center. By the time we arrived at Tree of Life Birth Center, the contractions had slowed in frequency, though not in intensity. After several more hours of early labor at the birth center, I was throwing up from the pain, Jacob had barely slept since my contractions had started 24 hours ago and my cervix was almost completely thinned, but still only about 3cm dilated.
by Laura Mann, CNM.
As a midwife and a mother, I understand waiting.
I get it. The moon waxes and the moon wanes. The tides roll in and roll out.
And still we wait.
We wait for the first contraction. And then for the next. We wait for the cervix to ripen and open and for the mama to drop into her vortex and for her baby to drop into and then through the pelvis. And the placenta to follow. and the family to form.
by Cara Cadwallader, a Tree of Life mama.
Perfection Embodied, you remind me that we are all born this way ~ Innocent. Pure. BeeUtiful.
You arrived in the nick of time, just as I knew you would. You did not, however, arrive on the 21st. Although I hoped that you would because there was so much energy swirling across the planet on this International Day of Peace with thousands of people meditating and hundreds of thousands marching in the name of climate justice, you were just too content to budge. We understood as we kept moving to the beat of time, allowing you your own natural process of unfolding.