I was absolutely blown away by this birth. At home, surrounded by her two children -- ages 3 and 5 -- her husband, aQui, her mom, and three amazing birth workers, Tali delivered her third boy. The two older boys were so deeply excited about getting to meet their new baby, and they repeated the fact many times through labor: Today the baby is coming out! The boys came in and out of the birthing space, going downstairs to play, outside to jump on the trampoline, to the kitchen for breakfast. But they wandered back in to see Tali and aQui often, sometimes holding Legos or juice, and always checking in. "I love you mama," came the frequent refrain. I'd never heard two young children say those words so many times in a short period.
Tali intended to have a water birth -- the tub was all but completely ready for her when she just couldn't wait anymore for the water to fill it, and ended up birthing their beautiful little guy at the bottom of the stairs. Maybe he's a land baby, the midwife said lovingly. The other two boys had been born in the birthing tub. Maybe he wanted to be different from his brothers, they mused.
From the moment I arrived in their home, I could tell that this birth would be different. And not just because land vs. water, but because of the gentle calm all around. When Tali had a particularly difficult contraction, she'd roar or breathe or call through it, but after each one subsided, she'd say to the baby, but a little bit to herself too, "It's ok little one, it's ok. Come out. We're so excited to meet you."
These birth workers were some of the most calming, loving, and light-hearted I've ever met. They brought an overall sense of steadiness and joy to the birth.
The boys and their grandmother set up to watch the birth directly. Best seats in the house.
The baby was still attached to his umbilical cord and his placenta, which had started to fall apart a bit, so the midwives put it in a bag to keep it safe.
The birthing pool hadn't been quite ready for the birth, but was the perfect temperature for the whole family to soak in after. As the family settled in the water, the midwife gently placed the bowl with the baby's placenta in the water to float nearby.