Let me start this with a disclaimer as I know how touchy the topic of birth can be for many reasons. I'm also writing for future births. I was terrified at the idea of birth before watching 'The Business of Being Born'. After watching this eye opening doc my mind was blown. I began researching more and decided my birth plan along the way of research. My choices are not for the sake of being a strong superwoman but reinforcing Gods perfect design of vaginal birth and breastfeeding. My body was made for this supernatural miraculous event. This is not a story of superiority or to shame anyone with their choices or story. It is my story in hopes to shed light and empower women. And with that…..
Empowering My Body in Advance:
Where do I begin!? Well perhaps you know me from 2008 till now and perhaps you don't but in '08 I was finally ready to do my own research on
'alternative' healing and medicine. You see I was on the 6th year of antibiotics prescribed to me for blemishes and I knew this just can't be good for the body. I decided to look up the word antibiotic. Anti meaning 'against' or 'opposite of' and Biotic meaning 'life'. It was at that moment it hit me… I'm basically taking death pills for 6 years!!! I was reminded of Proverbs 18:21
"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
(This scripture has been the pinnacle of my research since!) Needless to say, I ran into tons of probiotic research, juicing, detoxing and so much more. All this to say, that was the day I began preparing my body and womb to one day embrace a child.
“Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human fem
ale bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” ― Ina May Gaskin, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Fast forward to 2014 after many years of hearing only horror stories of childbirth and telling everyone and myself I never wanted to have a child of my own. At the time I only wanted to adopt and I had watched my husbands hope of having a baby of his own flesh and blood dwindle to accepting that we may never have our own child. God was renewing my mind in secret and blossomed into speaking life back into my husband about who would one day be our baby and how we would raise our baby if we had one. We began praying about it and how we wanted our baby to be a servant to those in need and the world of traveling for her education. I put my eating choices in high gear with choosing only organic, non-gmo and raw sources as much as possible, this was to be our health insurance.
I never wanted to have a summer baby but we agreed with the Lord and decided we would try for baby in October. On my birthday, November 1st, I took a pregnancy test and it revealed we were in fact pregnant! Our dreams were already coming true as on my birthday we had booked time to serve students through Awaken Arts with Christine Apa. Our baby was already involved in serving the community whilst in my womb! My health was great, I began eating more probiotics, drinking more water and working out more regularly with our outstanding trainer Mike Piacentino of Pi Gallery and Frek ware.
We decided to keep it a secret and honor our parents by telling them first face to face. Soon after another prayer was answered as we put everything in storage and traveled by car from Los Angeles to Indiana to tell my parents and then to
Tennessee to tell our mentors and dear friends, Michael and Celeste Guido and then to Houston in January to tell Daniel's family. It felt great to embark on the open road and read through the midwife movement on The Farm in the 60's.
We didn't know where we were going to land, thinking we were going back to LA with job offers in NY, Portland and Tennessee. It was approaching April and a decision needed to be made as baby was coming in 3 months. Every door closed and we started wondering where we went wrong. It was a time of many emotions and testing our faith. With no jobs extended our way we spent our nights walking the grounds of Daniel's parent's school and daycare, God's Rainbow Christian Academy. It was a time to extend our gratitude to all God has done in our lives and praise Him for who He is.
“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we” ― Ina May Gaskin
During a cleanse God began speaking to me (this happens often and I have several reasons why -But, another time, another story.) in visions and ideas for the land of the Academy. A couple sleepless nights passed and the vision kept repeating and growing and so I said ok Lord I will create the map and fund raising plan.
Sometimes when you don't know what to do to get from A to B, the best thing is to simply do the one thing you know God wants you to do. So I did, it took about a month to create digital files, pull an inspiration board, source materials and budget. Then we were ready to present the campaign alongside the social media tools we created for the Academy back in February and March. The school board loved it! Milagros, founder of the Academy, had explained how some of these things created were exactly like the things she had drawn for the school 7 years ago! It was divine confirmation as our family in Tennessee told us we would be birthing hope!
Before & After
After prayer with my husband we decided we would do the project and let God do the rest as well as dedicate a year of our time to it. So we decided we would commit to remodeling the room offered to us as the first material donation. This room would set the tone for the rest of the land project and made into a classroom when we left.
Finding a Midwife:
With so many things shifting around our comfort zone, I had little time to think about my pregnancy, birth plan and getting my first check up. It was April, I was approaching my 3rd trimester and I searched the Houston area for the perfect Midwife who would honor my choices. We found a few, visited one and the second was was a believer in Christ and I felt the connection, genuine heart and sensed her intelligence and confidence. She didn't make me feel judged and allowed me to turn down any 'standard' procedures I didn't want as well as give me the reasons for each one. Ashley of Wellspring Midwifery Care & Birth Center was on board with my wishes for a water birth, delayed cord clamping, no ultrasounds and no drugs for my home birth.
In my third trimester we planned a road trip back to LA and northern California to take care of some business, visit friends, do an art show and attend a beautiful baby shower my husband and good friends put together. As I entered into my 3rd trimester I was still pretty active and not in a rush to give birth as we were still waiting on the room to be finished as it was where I would give birth.
As we returned to Houston, the room was inching along and my due date approaching swiftly. I made myself busy with finishing the fundraiser presentation binder for the Land Project. On my spare time I stayed in the Word, prayer and Ina May's books about natural birth. Meanwhile, God continued to provide, my husband was offered a job as the creative director for the 3rd largest independently owned car dealership with full benefits and a new car!
I kept waiting for all the things society says you experience in pregnancy like vomiting, swollen ankles, cravings etc but I really only experienced tiredness in the first trimester. I also knew I would not experience much of these 'common' things from a lot of research from female raw veganswho had written about their experiences with menstrual cramps diminishing and reported lack of 'pregnancy symptoms' after they changed their diets or had mercury taken out of their teeth by a biological or holistic dentist. Because I had made healthy choices a part of my daily life prior to pregnancy, keeping up with healthy choices and self control was second nature. As I entered into my 3rd trimester I continued to eat nutrient dense foods, order green juices, smoothies, whole foods, consume probiotics and krill oil. Spiritually and mentally I stayed in the Word, prayer and Ina May's books about natural birth. With the world and media ready to give you and earful and eyeful of disastrous birth stories, I kept my mind on the many positive ones provided by the rich history of midwife culture.
“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we” ― Ina May Gaskin
My due date of June 25th rolled on by, which was fine with me as I didn't think that date was significant. So I thought July 1st or 3rd (3rd being my BFF's (Kytia L'amour) baby girls birth date too!) would be awesome! July 1st rolled around, not one contraction, not one inkling… Because Texas law requires women to be induced after a certain amount of past due dates were upon me AND I really wanted July 3rd to be my baby's birth date, I decided I would naturally induce!
How I naturally Induced:
July 2nd, Daniel and I walked for a couple hours. I felt some braxton hicks but nothing significant. Upon getting back home, I rubbed Clary Sage on my belly and inner ankles. I did an enema for common labor fear (haha!). I took some primrose oil. Before bed, I took a couple tablespoons of castor oil.
Last but not least, intimacy with my husband to inspire baby to make her debut. Around 2am, I got a few 'cramps' and tried to sleep through them as I knew my baby was coming that day and I wanted to reserve as much energy as possible. These 'cramps' were not going to be slept through, so I told Daniel to start getting the birthing pool ready and text Ashley. I was trying to clean up a bit and get snacks ready for the midwife, get the soothing music started, add more lavender to the diffuser, and pull out all the water bottles. The peaceful environment I planned for was manifesting as the candle lights flickered. The tranquil atmosphere was perfect, an exact opposite of what the hospital usually provides. My body was as relaxed as much as it could be and worry-free from random people coming in and out of the room with bright florescent lights and people yelling at you that is so very common at hospitals. The contractions were getting closer and so after a few hours Ashley determined it was time for her to come. Daniel was my rock the whole time helping me to keep moving and get in and out of the birth pool. At around 6am Ashley arrives in-between contractions, enough for me to at least say hi!
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
I loved being in the pool, the warmth and weightlessness was so relaxing. It also helped that it was at the end of our solid wood bed, in which I clutched every contraction. (Good job trees, you made a good bed.) During this time Daniel recited scriptures to keep me focused that I can do all things through Christ. Around this time the second midwife showed up. Ashley said I could reach in and feel baby's head and hair. It was so surreal and amazing! After some time Ashley suggested to get out of the pool, walk to the bathroom and sit on the toilet for a few contractions and then come to the bed to try a few contractions with some lunges. In the bathroom I checked baby again and I could feel she was making progress, about an inch and a half away from her arrival! Daniel and I walked through some contractions on the way to the bed. Somewhere in my mind I knew Daniel had been crushed a few too many times by this supernatural strength I was channeling. I was pulling and hanging on his shoulders and so on my second lunge he needed a water break. With my contractions coming closer and closer and hardly any break in-between and stronger urges to push, he asked the second midwife to grab me as Ashley was ready to catch the baby on the bed. That is when our precious baby girl entered the world at 9:52am. Miss Poetica Pearl Quinones had made her entrance and I was blessed to be her gateway from one dimension to another.
I was so beyond words to see her tiny body on my bed peacefully curled up and eyes closed. I crawled up on the bed and laid next to her in total amazement. We had an hour of uninterrupted time to snuggle skin to skin while her cord remained attached. After some time the placenta was delivered, it had stopped pulsing and Daniel cut the cord. We were able to have itdried and capsuled for later consumption. Ashley stitched me up and gave us some helpful tips on after care, diapers, swaddling and bathing. The midwives were quietly cleaning up and then left us to be with our new baby girl.
These are the things I Focused on:
Prayer and God's Word
Books: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth & Spiritual Midwifery
Keeping a heathy diet with non-gmo, organic raw food choices
Lots of dark leafy greens
Comfort Items/People during Birth:
A confident, supportive and loving husband, midwife and doula
Essential oil diffuser
Himalayan pink Salt lamp
40 watt vintage bulbs for lighting
Food grade lavender and sandalwood essential oil
Lara Bars, water and lemon EO
Hurraw Lip Balm
Meals prepped beforehand and frozen
Lots of organic and raw juices
Raw fruit roll-ups and whole food snacks
New Mama bottom spray
Motherlove Nipple Cream
Vitamin E oil
Items for Baby:
(if you don't have laundry access for cloth diapers)
Seventh Generation and Andy Pandy Diapers