Anaya’s Birth Story

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The water felt soooooooooo good!

On March 16th before I went to sleep I set my alarm for 7:55 am, because my mom had decided to take the next day off and treat me to some pampering. That night, though, I laid in bed thinking: ‘Anaya, tomorrow would be a pretty good day to decide to come.’ To be honest every day after March 8th (her due date), I laid in bed thinking that. LOL! To be even more honest, that thought was running through my head at night at least two weeks prior to her due date, too! I’ve been ready for her to make her debut for some time now! Anyway, on March 17th my alarm went off at 7:55 am. I got up from the couch & there it was… that familiar trickle of water that indicated a birth would be happening today. (Side Note: Glen was snoring the night before, which is why I was on the couch. If I fall asleep before him I’m fine, but I wasn’t really sleeping anyway so I made my way downstairs the night before.)

Many people think of March 17th and associate it with St. Patrick’s Day. I think of March 17th and associate it with a woman I never got to know as well as I would’ve liked to, but who gifted me with one of my greatest treasures in life: my momma! March 17th is my grandmother’s birthday. On March 17, 2017 she would’ve been 92 years old. Rather than getting a mani pedi, I got to celebrate by bringing her great granddaughter into the world. Anaya shares her birthday with her great grandmother. As impatient and anxious as I was getting, there was literally no better day in March for my sweet baby girl to be born. The perfection of the day does not end there.

So, my water broke. I made my way upstairs to tell Glen. I could tell he finally believed I was in labor. LOL! We had a couple of false alarms before that, but the actual breakage of the water was a solid signal for him. He had a meeting he was getting ready for at 8am. I told him to keep it, but cancel any plans he had after that. While he was in his meeting, I called my mom to cancel our plans. I could tell she was emotionally excited that this was the day. It’s funny because when we first told her the projected due date she said, “wouldn’t it be funny if she came on your grandma’s birthday?” Other things my mom spoke out into the universe for the Lord to hear: “You know Theo & Uriah were both born on Fridays;” & “I hope she comes during the day!” I’m pretty sure my mom has a direct line to the Lord, y’all! LOL!

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XOXO!

After I called my mom, I called our doula to let her know what was up. At that point, the contractions hadn’t really started. I’d say contractions began at about 8:30 am. They were averaging 5 minutes apart, but they weren’t the really intense kind yet. They were pretty manageable. After I hung up from my doula, I paged the midwife. She called back within 2-3 minutes and I just let her know my water broke & answered other questions she had. It wasn’t really time for her to come yet, so she said to page her again later. This piece of instruction left me a little uneasy, but thank God for our doula because she was there a little after 10 am ready to help us get through the day!

After hanging up from my midwife, I got in the shower. I knew the boys would be waking up soon & I wanted to maintain as much normalcy to the start of their day as possible. I got myself together, and they were up soon thereafter. As we were all sitting at the table eating breakfast, I decided this would be a good time to tell them their sister was expected to arrive today. They were super excited, except for the part when their poppa & I tried to explain that they would probably see mom in moments of discomfort/pain but it just meant that sister was closer to arriving. Here’s a clip of that conversation:

The rest of the day was kind of a waiting game. I’m not going to lie, I was expecting it to go quick and that she’d be here by noon. LOL! However, when noontime came I figured I better not put a time on her arrival. I can’t say that I was really watching the clock, but I will say by ignoring the clock it made things go a lot smoother. Eventually, I let Glen & Chan (our doula) monitor the app that we used to keep track of my contractions and I was completely free to be in tune with my body. The entire home birth experience was exactly what I desired it to be and more.

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Speak LIFE!

My affirmations had been up for some time now, so it was nice to be able to walk around and encounter those reminders as I was breathing through contractions. My “Anaya” playlist was playing in the background. Let me tell ya! That playlist was exactly what I needed it to be when I needed it to be. I’m not even sure that last sentence made sense, but praise and worship through song has always been my way of encountering the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Lord filled my home on Friday, March 17th like I don’t know that I’ve experienced it before. That scripture in Isaiah 40 that talks about the Lord renewing my strength… let’s just say He did that ALL day long!!! The affirmations hanging, the lyrics of the worship songs in the playlist, the best husband in the entire world, the doula sent straight from above, the momma who loves me well, the sons who I can’t get enough of, the photographer who is the biggest sweetheart & a like-minded midwife with her team of angels were exactly who needed to fill my home on Friday. I praised God through and in between contractions with complete abandonment IN MY HOME!

I must admit the birth of my boys in the hospital was not a bad experience. I chose to have a home birth this time because I didn’t want to feel rushed and I like the idea of experiencing such a miraculous moment in the warmth of my home. Hospitals can be very sterile environments and don’t necessarily make me, personally, feel relaxed. Being in our home just made the whole thing feel so good. I could look out the window and see the wind blowing through the trees, I could hear birds chirping & the rays of the sun filled our living room. It was just a nice comfortable & familiar feeling. In fact, I feel a little more anxious in hospitals. Also, the nurses are on shifts, and depending what time you get into the hospital you could see 2-3 different teams just as you got used to the ones you like. I still remember Charmin from Theo’s birth. I remember feeling so abandoned when she had to go home. The nurses that followed her weren’t bad, but I had grown so attached to her that I did not want her to go. With this home birth, we literally picked our team and they were there the entire time. Not only that, but they were all like-minded in faith and process. Furthermore, after all was said and done we went upstairs to go to sleep! We didn’t have nurses in/out through the evening we just had a baby without a sleep schedule. Haha! It was great!

I think when we told people we were having a home birth, among their greatest concerns was how the boys would handle witnessing it. I really enjoyed being able to have the boys there. The decision to have them there came from the fact they’ve watched their sister grow inside of me for 41+ weeks. I didn’t want to just all of a sudden show up with her without them getting to somewhat understand the whole process. I know it could’ve been described to them, but how much more powerful (or deep) is one’s understanding if they can experience it themselves. My mom took them to the park at one point to get them out of the house so they didn’t go stir crazy. I will say I was a little caught off guard by both of their reactions. We called mom to come back prior to the time it seemed like it would be time to push. As you can probably imagine, things were even more intense than what the boys saw before they left. When they first got back, they both were poolside next to me seeing what was happening. In between contractions, I did what I could to look at them and smile just to reassure them I was ok. Eventually, Theo excused himself to his room because he didn’t like hearing me in so much distress and what he equated to pain. Uriah was poolside the entire time reassuring me that I was ok… “Mommy, you’re ok!” is what he kept saying. I cannot even begin to tell you how proud I am of my boys. I’m impressed with Theo for knowing his limitations and removing himself from a situation that made him uncomfortable. I knew he was mature for his age, but I don’t know that I knew he was that mature. I’m impressed with Uriah for being such a great source of encouragement during what was the most intense part of the labor. Hearing his voice saying those three words repeatedly gave me so much willpower.

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When the midwife arrived at about 4pm, I was only 7cm dilated. This was a fact she didn’t share with me at that time. In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t ask & I’m glad she didn’t tell me. At that point in the labor I know I would’ve felt so defeated. By the time she arrived I felt like I was ready to push! My midwife, her assistants & my doula kept telling me to listen to my body… to basically “operate” (my word) according to how my body seemed to be telling me to move. So I did just that. At some point they could see the baby crowning. This meant it was “go time!” One instruction they told me that I never heard in the hospital was to “feel your baby” and to “move your baby.” Haha! I still don’t know if I understood what they meant by move your baby, but feeling Anaya as she was coming out was HUGE!!! Being able to feel her made it so much more real that she was coming. It made the pushing so much more intentional and manageable. Between feeling her & hearing Uriah say, “You’re ok, mommy!” I got a pretty big dose of adrenaline. The plan was for Glen to catch Anaya, but the midwife had to intervene to reposition Anaya as she came out. Anaya Zai Henry took her first breath at 5:02 pm. A breath that represented so much more than life itself. It represented God’s promises in our life.

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Anaya’s Birth Story

  1. Lita Esposito says:

    What a beautiful way to have your lovely Anaya. While in college I did a paper on home birth and knew then that I was going to have my baby that way. It was my midwife who educated me in the understanding that every woman should have her baby the way she desires. I could not have been happier with my experience. We are powerful creatures who are built for this. Power to the mommy! Welcome Anaya!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sherrie says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m not a mother yet but watching the videos leading up to your birth made my husband and talk about what we will do when we are blessed to become parents. Miss Anaya is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sbradsha565 says:

    Wow, that was great! thanks for sharing your amazing with your home birth and your connection with the holy spirit just awesome, Also, a great testament to share with Anaya when she is older and a way to help her understand why her brothers are so protective, they have done it all along. You have some really special young men you and Glen are raising I see it in the videos you guys have shared and I can’t to see the ones that will included the princess of the house.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. feistyonline says:

    Yvette thank you for sharing this incredible story. Your boys are amazing because you and Glen let them be. Such a gift. I think this post will help many families feel more comfortable with home birth and giving birth in general. Glad Glen was the best husband in the world (though honestly I think my husband is 😘). Mazel tov again and another gorgeous chocolate baby!!!! ❤❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hannah B says:

    Absolutely incredible! I too had a homebirth with my first (and only so far) and there is nothing quite like it. Reading your birth story and seeing the beautiful video your husband made is so inspiring and gives so much glory to God. You have so much composure and a raw feminine quality of strength that is inspiring. My baby girl is 16 months old and I have not gotten pregnant again because I think I am scared of going through the intense pain again- but I feel so much more confident just hearing and watching you. You are so beautiful as is your family so Thank you for sharing your story. I think you should strongly consider being a midwife, just saying.
    Xoxo, Hannah.

    PS if you would like to see my birth video this is the link..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Priscilla Auguste says:

    I’m a very visual person. So, as I’m reading through your description and looking at your pictures, I can’t help but feel like I could touch the holy spirit experience that you were having and I don’t think there are words to express it. I think my top 3 favorite pictures (one of which was posted by your husband), are 1) The picture of the two of you holding hands 2) The picture of you standing with your arms in the air and there is a look of agony because of the contractions and yet the peace/joy/thankfulness/praise because of the beauty of the moment and the knowing of what the end game was 3) The picture of the affirmations hanging in the room. I think in all the stories I’ve heard or even the birthing processes on video or that I’ve seen in person, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this, presented like this. Do I think it’s been done before, of course, but I haven’t SEEN it personally or had someone share it the way you did so that I could personally experience it myself in some way. So, I want to first thank-you for that. You and your husband have managed to bring the birthing experience to a whole other level and presented in the way that I think it was meant to be. Not just the beauty of the concept of bringing a life into the world (because that in and of itself is beautiful), but the praise and the worship, the thankfulness, the feeling of wonder, the birthing pains you feel (well, I can only assume you felt 😊) knowing that something amazing is happening, the love, the connection, the support, the unity…there are so many words that could be used to capture it and capture it you did. Sometimes I ask myself, wouldn’t it be nice to not have birthing pains when bringing a life into the world? For that to not be even a forethought? But now I’m reflecting on your reflection, and wondering, is there more to this idea of birthing pains? We often thing negatively on things like pain, death, etc. but I can’t help but see the beauty in it. Some people are looking at my comment on death right now and saying eh? How can you say birth and death are beautiful? Well, side note, to be absent in body is to present with the Lord and so to me separation via death is temporary in the grand scheme of eternity, and secondly, when you belong to family of God, you can only smile and think about that day when we get to have the reunion party to end all reunion parties! “O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). God can make anything beautiful! “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me…To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1,3). Yaaasssss! Praise God! So, when you reflect on your grandmother, you can think that God gave you two beautiful things in one day! Double blessing! Birthday party and soon a reunion party! Can’t wait! But, I am digressing and I can go on a serious tangent on how beautiful aging and death is. But back to this beautiful life we are speaking of.
    The sculpting of Anaya in the womb by God, the 9 months of carriage, the feeling of every movement, the pain of bringing her into the world. I can not help but wonder if the all brought you so much closer to her than if any of these pieces were missing? This isn’t an anti-epidural speech though. Just wanted to throw that out there for anyone else who’s reading! But, in medicine/research, one of the things you learn is that recall of an event is much clearer for those whom had strong emotional ties. Isn’t it amazing then that while you don’t remember the specifics of the pain clearly (I’m making assumptions here having never been in labor), you remember the event as a blessing, you recall the beauty, you see it as beautiful pain? There’s so many other painful events people go through and I don’t here many people saying, oh, I would love to do that again, and yet, this is something women do time and time again. In addition, in medicine we learn that the attachment of the child to the mom at the beginning of life is so important to their ability to develop appropriately. In fact, we learn that that connection has an impact on how they turn out later in life. I think God created this experience so that we could love them deeply and dearly to unfathomable depths as soon as they came out. And then when I think about your posts, and the different reactions of Theo and Riah to Anaya…Riah stayed, he stayed through the pain. And while this doesn’t mean Theo loves Anaya any less, it makes me wonder if because of this Riah’s physical connection to her is stronger? Hmmm…Theo will still love her, his love for her will just be displayed differently. I know this coming from a family of 7 kids. We all love each other in different ways. Some have closer physical connections than others. But don’t doubt for even a second that we won’t step up to the bat for one another. I remember in one of your husband’s video’s how he talked about the fact that you were both concerned about Riah not picking up his own personality and mimicking Theo too much. I wonder if you’re going to start to really see who Riah is through the growth of Anaya and his older brother mannerisms. Sometimes we all just need to get that little spark that brings out a side to us that most never get to see. Imagine if you hadn’t let them choose to be present? How would things have turned out differently? Lots to ponder I think. But again, beautiful story, loved every minute of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs. Melanin says:

      You’ve encapsulated my heart behind writing this post as well as the experience very well! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a detailed response! I’m looking forward to checking out your site. I’m noticing that you write! I could tell from this response. Haha! Thanks again for following the blog! XOXO!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. xapikleia says:

    What a beautiful, peaceful birth story! I could really feel the warmth and calm through your words. A friend shared your husband’s Facebook post, which brought me here. I’m so glad she shared! I cried at the beauty of your birth video. There were so many emotions that took my back to my own births, but then yours also had its own unique peace and beauty (I know I keep using those words, but they are the ones that keep coming to mind. I guess I need a thesaurus!).

    I have five children, and they have all been at their subsequent siblings’ births. At the birth of my fifth, my oldest two (9 and 7 at the time) decided to play outside after I hit transition, because I’m “too loud.” Ha! Like you, though, I’m glad they know their limits. They rushed right in after their brother was born!

    Congratulations on Anaya’s birth!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Erika says:

    You introduced me to the book Supernatural Birth. How did it help? My due date is May 10th and this will be my first. I go back and forth on natural or as the book says “supernatural” and interventions. I know I just need to make a decision and stick with it so that’s my current challenge. Also, I’ve been working on my playlist and would love to hear your playlist. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. GracefulBelle says:

    Choking back tears now! lol
    The scripture 1 Peter 3:1-6 has always came to mind when I hear and see(on Youtube) the love you have for your family. Your gentle and meek spirit shines so brightly; the trust you have in Jesus is so sweet- causing you to radiate( girl, your skin glows!).

    Thank you for being vulnerable and showing us what it looks like to be a Godly woman and wife. We have similar demeanor’s from what I observe and I have learned a lot from you as just as a follower and subscriber of Beleaf in fatherhood and your blog.
    Be encouraged!

    Liked by 1 person

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