Friday, August 26, 2011

Jasmine's Birth, My Rebirth

Welcome to the First Carnival of Birth Reflections

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Birth Reflections hosted by Patti at Jazzy Mama and Zoie at TouchstoneZ. Participants are writing posts that reflect on how birth has transformed them into who they are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


My daughter Anna was born naturally, in hospital, attended by two midwives on April 30, 2004.
My daughter Holly was born naturally, in hospital following an abandoned homebirth, attended by a midwife and an OB on December 31, 2005.
My daughter Jasmine was born naturally, at home, attended by two midwives on January 8, 2008.
Her birth changed who I am.

Labour and Birth

I was 4 days past my due date when I started to feel pressure in my lower back and pelvis.  Around 5pm I phoned my mother to come to be with my older daughters (ages 3.5 years and 2 years), in case a transfer to hospital was necessary. 

Jasmine emerges into my midwife's hands.

Partner-Guy's hand on the midwife's hand on my hand on a very purple Jasmine.
At 7pm I called my midwife to let her know that my labour was beginning.  She came over immediately (she lives just 1 mile away).  After sitting with me through a few contractions she told me that I wasn't in hard labour yet.  She went back home and told me call her again when my contractions lasted for at least 60 seconds.  At that moment, I assumed control of my labour and birth.

I laid down with my 2-year-old daughter Holly and she went right to sleep.  Then I put on my shoes and coat and went out for a walk.  It was a surprisingly mild evening, considering it was early January!  After 30 minutes I came back to put my 3 1/2 -year-old daughter Anna to bed.  Then Partner-Guy and I walked around the block until 9pm.  I was totally in sync--body, mind and spirit.  I knew I needed to rest and focus because there was hard work ahead.

I was extremely uncomfortable with my parents being in my home while I laboured, but I tried to push those feelings out of my mind.  I went to my bedroom and sat on a big exercise ball as my contractions increased in duration and intensity.  At 10pm Partner-Guy phoned the midwife and asked her to return.  He also called my friend Julie who had agreed to photograph the birth.

On her first examination, the midwife determined that I was at 6cm.  I felt GREAT knowing that I was progressing so well.  I pictured myself climbing a mountain, gazing at the summit and continuing to put one foot in front of the other.  The pain in my lower back was considerable and I knew that the baby's head was pressing on my spine.  I stood and swayed my hips like a belly dancer for the next hour, resting my head on Partner-Guy's shoulder between contractions.

At 11:15pm I sat on the edge of the bed and rested.  I closed my eyes and breathed deeply.  I stopped moaning and sighing and was silent.  I pictured my baby emerging from my body.
Joy!  A girl!
Then I stood up and announced that I was ready to push.  The midwives sprang into action (although somehow no one got around to putting the plastic sheet on my bed).  I laughed at them and reclined on the bed as a wave of energy rushed down my body from head to toe.  I felt like I was seeing the birth from the ceiling.  I pushed and the baby's head emerged at the same moment as my water broke, splashing the entire room and everyone present.  I pushed and the rest of the baby emerged into my midwife's hands.

No crying.

Jasmine was born asleep.  She was quite purple but breathing and strong.  Quickly someone covered her with a blanket and put a hat on her head.  I began to laugh.  Minor chaos ensued as everyone tried to figure out what to do about the wet bedding and mattress.  I just held my sleeping baby and enjoyed all the wonderful hormones of ecstacy.  Wow, what a high!

Jasmine, asleep for 45 minutes after her birth.
 I required a few stitches but I was in such an altered state that I don't even remember my midwife doing it.  I talked to Jasmine and told her her name.  Jasmine, for her dad, James.  Taylor, for Taylor Creek Park, where he and I had our first date.  Meinje, for my mother's mother, who was also born on January 8.  Jasmine Taylor Meinje.
About 45 minutes after her birth, Jasmine opened her eyes for the first time.  I nursed her and around that time Anna and Holly (who had awakened when the midwives arrived) wanted to come in.  They ignored the baby and laid down on the bed to go to sleep.

Still sleeping and not ready to nurse.
 After midnight, the midwife weighed, measured and examined the baby.  She was perfect.

The midwives went home, my parents went home, my photographer went home.  I laid down beside my three daughters on my bed and went to sleep.  I was forever changed.

She opens her eyes for the first time!

I Have the Power

I didn't know about The Secret and The Law of Attraction when Jasmine was born.  But in hindsight, I was using The Secret to have a successful birth.

For the birth of my second daughter, I had planned a homebirth, but I could not picture it.  I couldn't imagine what position I would birth in.  I couldn't imagine what would be on my bed.  I couldn't imagine where the midwife would stand or where Partner-Guy would stand.  I couldn't imagine where the mess would go.  I couldn't imagine where the midwife would put her equipment.

Nursing for the first time.

I couldn't picture the birth because I was totally focussed on the room and everyone in it.  I had completely forgotten to picture myself giving birth.  Crazy, eh?  I had no confidence in myself and my own body, but I had felt pretty confident that my midwife would handle the birth.  Then, when an alternate midwife answered my call that night, I was shattered.  My planned homebirth was thrown out the window, I called an ambulance in a panic and my 2nd daughter was born just 5 minutes after arriving at the hospital.

So with my 3rd birth, I took control.  I knew what I wanted, I pictured it, I willed it to happen.  Then I surrendered to my body and I let it happen.  I surrendered to the power and The Power became me.

I'm not a hocus-pocus kind of girl.  I'm sensible and honest and smart.  But I have to say that Jasmine's birth transformed me into a person who believes in my own power to transform any aspect of my life. 

I used to be so, so so negative.  I believed that life was just meant to be hard for me.  I believed that no matter what I did, it would turn out to be the wrong thing.  I believed that I didn't deserve to have good things happen to me.

It was something about Jasmine's birth that made me decide that I had to take control of my own destiny, create my own joy and find my own power.  And I did it.

I didn't discover The Secret until this year, but I've been doing it for the last 3 1/2 years and I can say that it works.  I have opened my life to love, happiness and circumstances that I would never have imagined were possible before Jasmine's birth transformed me into a woman who can change her own life. 

In fact, all of you, my dear friends and followers, have joined my life through my desire for a community of mindful mothers.  Much love to each of you who has touched my heart and let me into your life via your computer screen. 

We all have the power to create whatever we want and I offer to you my desire that all your dreams come true.

Have you tapped into your Power yet?
A happy daddy!


Carnival of Birth Reflections

Visit Jazzy MamaTouchstoneZ to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Birth Reflections!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


  1. What an inspirational birth story, Patti. It's amazing how homebirths seem to universally transform us into realizing our true power. My life-changing homebirth also took place on January 8th! -Kerry

  2. Wow, what an incredible coincidence! January 8 must hold a special power!

  3. Love it! We human beings are pretty wonderful. And it made me laugh that Jasmine arrived asleep. :-) Thanks for organizing this carnival! - Cat

  4. Beautiful post. I love that this is a part of the Carnival.

    This line gave me goosebumps from how much I identified with the emotions in your post: "Her birth changed who I am." Those goosebumps never went down. I, too, felt the power and was changed forever. It is so amazing, and utterly female, how we can take the power within, surrender and open to it, while at the same time control, trust, and OWN it!

    Thank you for highlighting this. I wish this feeling for every mother, however and wherever they choose to birth.

    I'm so pleased we did this carnival together. Thanks for working so hard with those entries and everything else. Love to you, my "bloggy" friend

  5. Such a beautiful girl. I too would have a really, really hard time with family being in my presence as I labored. When I was visualizing my own birth, I never once pictured anyone there other than my midwife and my husband. We would call everyone after she had arrived! ;)

  6. What an inspiring story! You've really given me something to aspire to when I give birth next time!

  7. I agree with Shana! A wonderful post, a beautiful birth, and a role model for us all!

  8. Ok mama...first and foremost it CRACKS me up that you have makeup on! Seriously. I love it!

    Your pictures are awesome. What a beautiful pictorial of your baby's first hours in this world. Really, really beautiful.

    I am very moved by your story and can really relate to the negativity, why do things happen to me attitude. I am kind of stuck in a cycle of "things happening to me" and have considered giving The Secret a try. I am really glad that you discussed how your outlook and thinking has changed your life and that The Secret really does work.

    Your story is just so wonderful and it is beautiful to hear that your baby changed your life so profoundly! Thank you for sharing such a joyful, hopeful, inspirational post!

  9. So, this post is beautiful and your daughter will undoubtedly treasure it when she can read it herself. But what I really want to say is damn, girl! Looking good in those immediately-after-birth photos! In mine, I look like a drowned rat.

  10. I love this story. It is amazing how important dates can be. My homebirth took place on my mother's birthday, who had died just 10 months before that. I am soo a hocus-pocus kind of girl! At least, I'm trying to be. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join such talented and heart-driven company in this blog carnival.

    Leah @ Zen and the Art of Cloth Diaper Maintenance

  11. Patti! Thank you for sharing your story and how it relates to using your mind intentionally. That is powerful. :)

    I love your confidence as Jasmine slept and roused after 45 minutes, it shines through in the lovely pictures.