Words by Mama Amie Robertson and pictures by Doula Rebecca McKinney
From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank Samantha and Rebecca for believing in me and protecting my sacred and intimate birth on January 14, 2019
...but joy comes in the morning.... 2:04am to be precise. The first fives pictures were taken 2:03am ‘til 2:07am. Our newest little one came into the world
It’s been nearly a year since I met you. I feel like it was so long ago. Trying to describe your birth usually leaves me speechless. The kind of speechless that is brought by complete peace and joy.
During pregnancy, I was petrified of being your mother. I didn’t know how I was going to survive. That thought humors me now. But I remember the pain of not knowing how I was going to breath or survive. I remember that thought came pretty much everyday. Baby girl, fear is a lair..
You, my sweet Leia, were our fastest surprise. You were just meant to be and Daddy was going to be home for you! I had such a hard year before before you with deployment and dealing with anxiety and adjustments. While you were growing, daddy wasn’t home a lot of the time. I grew even more weary.
Even though, I was scared to raise you the only thing I knew was I could birth you. If it was the one thing I believed in it was you and me working together to bring you earthside.
I probably was going a little nutty at 38 weeks. For three days you were giving me constant warm ups. I called Rebecca, my doula, about how I was confused to the point I was even crying telling her I felt like it was soon but I knew it could be in even a month. But every night a bath and bed it was and the waves would stop and I would sleep. At 38 weeks and 3 days, we were finishing up the remodeling of the bathroom (I told you I was a little nutty.) and yet again I was telling Christopher this might be the night. But since daddy had work in the morning he went to bed.
I hate timing contraction because I just love letting my body do what it’s suppose to do. First step to try to get them to stop, laying down. They didn’t stop. Second step to get them to stop; bath. They didn’t stop. But came faster. Texting my doula, Rebecca. Having a contraction, having another. Having another.... She called and asked if I thought it was it. and asked if I wanted her over. Rebecca said, “You don’t sound like your ready but your hard to read.” I told I felt ready and to come.
I got out of the bath and smacked Christopher awake and told him to make some coffee because it is time.... I still wonder about his thoughts with a smile.
She told me to call Sam, my midwife... I called Sam and did my best to explain that I was ready. I love her retelling the story of me calling her.... It makes me laugh. Her using her hand as the phone and describing how calm I was.... “I’m ready you should come. Trust me. Oh wait I’m having a contraction. Hold on..... yepp I’m ready.” I felt so silly trying to explain it was time!
I got on the ball and excitedly bounced and giggled until Rebecca got to me. I remember the giddiness I felt. Waves are so amazing to me. Powerful beautiful waves bringing you to me. We went into our room and she looked around asking if I was a minimalist now or something. And we giggled about the changes to the house since I had Jacob. Rebecca was keeping an eye on me.... I could tell she was looking at me in a peculiar way. And then she asked, “So, you’re feeling the surges still right.” I assured her I was, but in that moment I thought even she was skeptical if it was. Though I was talking through them I knew this was it and soon. Each time I felt a wave I knew you were coming. They were strong. I would smile and say, “The baby is coming.”
Sam got there with her student midwives. I did feel like a skittish animal for a moment, but I relaxed after a few minutes of settling. We got to giggle and laugh about Jacobs birth. There are so many cute little funny things I remember; Rebecca snuggled up in our bed while I labored and her enjoying my husband scratchy blanket and his pillow. And loving the blanket so much! He still comments about how Rebecca loves his blanket.
The pressure started to build and all I wanted was my water to break so bad.. We wondered if the pressure I was feeling was my water about to break or you about to come. I shrugged and said we will see... I looked at Rebecca with my head tilted annoyed at the pressure look. She with the sweet smile said, “Let’s get you in your tub, okay.” We took in the peacefulness of the beautiful bathroom daddy worked so hard to make it the most perfect birthplace just the very days before. It was truly amazing and perfect.
Oh the water, I barely got in and felt the waves get stronger. With in minutes I was telling Rebecca it felt like when we were on the bridge with Jacob. She smiled, nodded and gave cute, “yeah.” I was shifting my body for the next wave. I was guessing you would be here in about 20 minutes. That very shift and wave we all heard a huge pop of my water breaking and your head was delivered. At 2:04am, I say, “Oh! The baby is here.” Christopher said, “Really, Amie?!” And laughter filled the room in celebration. Honestly, it truly felt effortless. I’ll never forget my smile when you were born into my arms. I remember instantly wanting to protect you, scared the the water was to hot for you. I wanted nothing but to keep you safe.
As I was filled with wonder in the moment, I realized I still didn’t know who you were yet! I opened you little legs and gasped! Never in a million years did I picture a little girl. I looked at your daddy and said, “Baby, it’s Leia. It’s Leia Grace. Can you believe it.”
It was time to get us out of the water and into bed. All I remember, was I holding you and then waking up into Sam and Rebecca’s arms. I remember my first words were asking if you were okay. Daddy already had his shirt off cuddling with you. They were getting me into the floor with my legs up in the air. And Sam gave me a shot of pit. I could barely talk or move but moved the oxygen mask a little and with every bit of strength I had something to tell Sam. “I had to give you something to do.” She says she knew then I was going to be just fine. And I also said “still the best birth ever!” I was eyeing you as I was gaining my strength. Rebecca asked me if I wanted her to take you so Christopher could be with me... but I didn’t. I wanted you to be with daddy and I knew I was in loving hands with Rebecca and Sam.
It was time to get to bed and I was honestly scared of trying to get up again. LOL but I did.... Getting me settled in bed I lifted up my body so they could shift the bed padding under me. Sam commented about the strength I had even after birth.
I remember Rebecca coming into bed and her smiled said it all... it was truly a perfect birth. You were my first baby to latch with ease. We gazed at you with admiration for a moment and Rebecca squeezed me good bye. She picked up her untouched doula bag and walking out she joked about how I didn’t need her. But I needed her more than she will ever know. I needed her emotional support through it all. I need her belief in me. I needed my sacred, intimate time protected. She truly did that in the weeks coming up to birthing day.
One of my favorite moments was when everyone was gone, Daddy crawled into bed. We stared at you fondly as he told me about unbelievably incredible I was.
Bringing you into the world was proof enough that I have enough grace, love, patience and strength to get through this life. All the weariness and worries truly melted away meeting you. You were just another piece to the beautiful puzzle. You fit so perfect into our family. And what you taught me about myself, motherhood, my relationships, my journey with God, healing like never before. Leia, I’m forever grateful for it. I thank God for it everyday. I didn’t know what this life had to offer until God brought me you. You truly brought me to life. I love you my sweet baby girl. The baby I never dreamed of. Finally, all I can say is I didn’t give you the gift of life, life gave me the gift of you. It’s an honor to have the responsibility to be your mother.