It’s been a long time coming – the story of my 2020 pregnancy and the birth of my little lady. Chris and I had been talking for over a year about being ready for a new addition to our family. Our children are about 5-6 years apart in age and I enjoy the gap greatly. I had felt an energy swirling about for quite some time knowing that the time was coming for new life in the home and even some of my intuitive friends could sense it before we had made up our mind. In 2019, I shared my ideas with Chris around what I would want my next birth experience to look like, talking about things like a birth center and midwives, going natural instead of the interventional births I had in hospitals prior. He listened and watched the videos I shared when I tried to explain what I was looking for and would share his insights with me. He preferred the safety of a hospital birth and so I planned to try to find birthing centers within two miles of a hospital in the event of an emergency.
In January 2020 we actually got a bit of snow in Texas – just enough to get excited and claim it as snow, ha! I decided to go out and play with the kids and collect a little to do a snow ritual and set intentions for the year to come.
We both knew our family wasn’t complete but weren’t in a rush to grow it. I was totally loving my new job and wanting to make a name for myself and had set a big goal for myself. I had come back from a week long work trip all pumped up and told Chris I think I’d like to put growing our family on hold just a little longer and get more time at my job under my belt and really put effort behind my newly inspired goal for work. He was super supportive of whatever I felt called to do and life went on. I had been nursing both the boys of respiratory issues of what we suspected was the flu shortly after this and I had become super exhausted and under the weather as well. I was using herbs and such to help relieve our symptoms and try to recover and rest as much as we all could during that time.
During some of my down time I decided to play a little with herbs and create intention globes. I started with creating a Fertility ball for a friend adding in crystals, herbs, a stamped token and more. It turned out so awesome and I plan to make more custom globes for friends and family over time. Little did I know, that fertility ball had some plans of it’s own for me. It’s been a year now that I found out that I was pregnant with my littlest little.
During the first couple months I was lethargic and tired and it was the beginning of the Covid-19 disaster that would destroy families, friendships, and communities worldwide. My husband was let go from a job he spent a decade of his time and loyalty, we had a friend move-in with us for a few months while we figured out next steps, and my kids were home full-time doing “virtual” learning. The beginning of an emotional upheaval was upon us and we did the best we could.
I found a midwife that I thought would be able to give me the experience that Chris and I wanted. The boys were able to go with us to our first appointment and sonogram to see the little blob on the screen and we were going to make this a family journey from beginning to end. After a few appointments masks became mandated and my family was no longer able to join me for the prenatal appointments. We did a blood test to find out the sex of the little blob and I anxiously awaited the news of whether I was going to remain a “boy mom” or if we were going to change life up quite a bit.
My girlfriend and sister saw the results before us and utilized my idea to put the results inside of fortune cookies. I wanted to open the fortune cookies with Chris and the boys and then send the rest out to friends and family in the mail since so many were fearful to gather at that time. We prepared the cookies and hit the Post Office. It was awesome to be able to hear and or see the reactions of our friends and family!
It was about mid-April when we found out we were having a girl and I knew that I would want to do things as naturally as I could and minimize on what we would get to prepare for her. We had no idea on names and just went with the flow. We were all adjusting to life at home together which brought on all the emotions from excitement and fun to give me space and frustrations of all sorts. We had never all been home 24/7 before and it was a huge adjustment for Chris who had been going to the same job for 10 years to be home all day everyday, Aiden who had spent every day in school with teachers and friends, and of course Silas who was used to his own schedule at his day school with friends and a routine. Adjust, we did, and it feels super weird even now when we aren’t all in one place.
We are big gardeners and spent a lot of time outside planting and building up our food and flower gardens. It was a special time for us and I was so grateful to have Chris home even if it wasn’t a choice we would have made for ourselves financially. In true COVID fashion – we were experiencing a whole new way of life, ha! I have wanted a Homestead for a long time and I was getting my practice on! I had some of my favorites growing in the food and garden – comfrey, bee balm, rosemary, tomatoes, okra, peppers, chives, and more!
As time went on I got larger and larger (to be expected of course) but I was also studying and learning about making tinctures, salves, balms, and more with herbs. My apothecary grew significantly. I wanted to make products that I could use pregnant and with the baby once she arrived. I made carrot and calendula soap, wildflower scrub bars, wound salves, bug bite balms and more! My legs were cramping a lot so I even made some magnesium lotion to help with that. Before I knew it – it was time to talk baby shower. I knew I didn’t want a traditional shower type event and my sisters did not disappoint. Chris and I came up with the name Kynzi and with the boys – we decided to push forward with it.
I had been reading alot of books about hypnobirthing, studying hypnobabies, and learning more about natural births and books about different cultures and how pregnancy in general is treated in different parts of the world. At the Blessing shower – friends and family took natural gemstone beads and created a necklace for me to wear through the remainder of my pregnancy and during birth. Each stone represented a specific blessing, wish, and intention for baby and me. We also used herbs and made blessing satchels and tied them up for baby. It was a very special day and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in such a dreary time (aka 2020).
It wasn’t even a week after the shower, actually – probably 2-3 days that I heard the name Lumen and told Chris & Charli – that’s her name! I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I knew then that Kynzi was not going to be the name of the little lady making her presence into our lives. I wrote Lumen on post it notes, doodled it on sheets of paper with markers and crayons, and I hung them all over the house for everyone to see and use and determine if it was the name we all wanted for her. We had shared that her name was going to be Kynzi with our friends and family and people had even had items made with her name – I felt so bad for wanting to change it – but when you know – you know – and we KNEW it was going to be Lumen.
At about 28 weeks I went to a check up and I was told that I had thrombocytopenia, low blood platelets, and that they had forgot to tell me over a month prior. The midwife told me that I would have to be induced at 38 weeks without an epidural and I was crushed. Chris wasn’t allowed at any of the appointments and I was angry about that (at every appointment I got more and more fired up about it) and then to take this news alone and try to process what it really meant was quite the experience. My gut told me that it didn’t have to be that way and I started doing research and reaching out and asking what low platelets really meant. I spoke with Chris and I told him that not only were they wanting to take my natural birth away – they stopped allowing the use of the tub in the hospital due to Covid and stopped allowing more than one support person – and I was not interested in a hospital birth any longer. I wanted to give him that peace of mind but with the way things had changed – neither of us would be at peace in that type of setting.
I called a few midwives in the area to see what we were looking at. Three told me that having low blood platelets did not require an induction and that having a home birth would be possible. We had a few interviews and I fell in love with Danielle Hogan, a holistic midwife, who was ready and willing to take me on at 30 weeks. She birthed my friend’s granddaughter and came recommended by other midwives in the area and a big bonus was that she spoke to my holistic natured heart.
Lumen was measuring on the larger side (of no surprise to me) and she wanted me to focus on a lower carb diet and lower my sugar intake for the remainder of my pregnancy. She got me set up with NORA tea and had me on Sesame Seed oil supplements to manage my low blood platelets. While I struggled with not eating whatever I wanted when I wanted – I will forever be grateful to Danielle for helping support me in the birth I really wanted. I had been watching LIVE births non stop during my pregnancy, listening to podcasts and Danielle had asked us to read Husband Coached Childbirth by Robert A. Bradley.
As we got closer to go time I was in the kitchen making all the things I could think of to support my postnatal care. I was making padcicles, nipple butters, baby lotions, and more. I was determined to have as natural of an experience as I possibly could. Danielle was also extremely supportive on what I was willing to do with Lumen postpartum in regards to vaccinations, eye drops, etc. I preferred not intervening with the natural flow of things as much as possible and what I will say to that choice is that Lumen was the most alert and active baby I had experienced right out of the womb and remains so even now.
I made birthing affirmation cards and decorated them and hung them around the house in various places. I had them hanging in my bathroom around my mirror near my tub, around the shower, and by the bed. I set up twinkle lights and really tried to create relaxing areas throughout my master suite for wherever I felt like I wanted to actually give birth.
I was walking about a mile a day, almost every day, I was doing miles circuit, eating great, and doing all the things I needed to do to stay as fit and healthy as I could so late in the game. I had a final sonogram around 36 weeks and they confirmed that Lumen was indeed large and I was measuring as if I would have her on October 1st. I won’t lie – October 1st sounded wonderful. I had secretly hoped that she would be born on October 12th which was my grandma’s birthday or the 18th which was my dad’s birthday. Both of those dates came and went and I was bummed each time. I guess I should share that her estimated date was 10/20 based on my last known cycle and they moved it to 10/17 after the first sonogram.
I started getting the vibes that time was near around October 16th-17th. We started getting the house ready, washing the sheets, getting supplies placed out where they would need to be. I made a “Meg’s in Labor list” reminding Chris to put the plastic tarp on the bed, turn on diffusers, what devices had my hypnobabies tracks on it, etc. I had been feeling crampy and even got a little nervous to drive all the way to Aiden’s football game in Sherman. I was ready and of course with never actually haven gone into labor on my own before we had no idea what to expect.
I had a visit with Danielle on October 19th and we determined that things were progressing even if slowly (3cm and about 60-70% effaced) and it could be a day or a week before Lumen arrived but I was going to keep doing what I was doing. She also suggested that I see a Webster Certified Chiropractor as I was getting more and more uncomfortable. On my way home from her house I did find one closer to home and was able to get in that very same day.
Turns out, Nicole Jackson of Well Grounded in Frisco, Texas, was holistically minded as well and I knew she would be my new Chiropractor even after birth. She did her thing, adjusted me, did some stuff with my round ligaments (all the things) and I went home and took a nice hot bath to relax. I had been listening to Hypnobabies tracks daily since about 28-30 weeks to prepare my mind for my natural drug-free birth. I played a Come Out Baby track and I did some meditating and talking to Lumen and set the space for her to make her arrival. I bounced on my ball for a couple hours (at least) after my bath before I decided to go to bed (something I also did ALL THE TIME, I practically lived on that ball).
I woke up the next morning a bit early and just felt a little “off”. I felt more tired than usual for my morning self and since it was just me awake I decided to make me some breakfast and cleaned up the kitchen. While I was eating I had noticed some cramps that seemed to be on a pattern but was just starting to pay attention as I moved through my morning. I remember telling Chris that I was going to hit the shower because I think today is the day – I felt quite different.
I went to the restroom and knew instantly that Lumi was getting ready to make her debut. I texted Danielle and let her know my findings and I began timing my “cramps”. Let me just say that the most stressful part of all of it was trying to time those stupid contractions. I had a couple apps going to try and simplify it for myself. I ended up curling my hair to keep busy while Chris rested in bed for a whlie and then we all got up and started preparing the house for birthing company. We put the bassinet together and we took the boys to the park and I walked a while. Danielle kept checking in on me and asking me how I was doing and if I was ready for her. I had no idea when I was going to need her so I just kept going with the flow until around 3pm when she asked if she could come over. Her intuition was on high alert because as soon as she had gotten there – things picked up. I texted my sister to head over when Danielle was on her way. Chris got the boys set up in the living room with their games, tv, and snacks so that they could do their thing while we did ours. Chris told them not to come into the bedroom until they heard their sister cry for the first time. They were so excited and I’m so glad they got to be home for the experience.
Things are almost a blur from once everyone arrived. I did jump in the tub to relax during contractions (I always knew I didn’t want a water birth) and then Danielle had me get out of the tub to get more comfortable. At one point, Danielle had me get into runner lunges and I was on each leg for the duration of 3 contractions each – I was not a fan but it did whatever needed to be done to make things progress a little smoother. Chris was absolutely amazing as was my sister. Everyone let me do my thing while offering support when they felt it was needed. Chris helped coach me through the harder moments and I won’t even try to tell you that it wasn’t uncomfortable. There were times that I was ready for it to be over and I lived contraction to contraction – but never did I think I wasn’t going to survive it or that I wished I was in a hospital with drugs and unable to control my body from doing what it felt natural to do. Lumi was born with a nuchal hand – her hand was at her face and Danielle handled it beautifully. I had no tearing or complications and didn’t even know until after it was all done that Lumen was trying to make things a little more challenging. We had pitocin on hand in case of any complications with the thrombocytopenia and never had to use it.
I ended up birthing Lumen on my bed while lying on my side around 7:46pm. She weighed 9 pounds and 9 ounces and it was as magical as I had ever wanted it to be. She was alert and she was engaged and nursed immediately. The boys ran in as soon as they heard her cry and they were absolutely amazed. I am so glad that I could show my boys what birth could look like outside of the hospital setting and their dad was the best example of how to support such an important decision and life changing experience. Once we birthed the placenta – Lumen and I went to take a herbal bath together which is an absolutely beautiful memory I will never forget. Danielle and her assistant got the bed fixed up while we were in the bath and once it was over – they did their measurements and we were able to climb back into bed and rest. They ordered me some dinner and I was glad for it!
Chris loved the experience as much as I did. The boys stayed the night with my sister and when they brought them back the next day we all shared a birthday cake for Lumen to celebrate her joining the world and our family. There are sooo many more details I am sure I could share but then this has already taken me an entire day to write.
The postpartum journey has been a good one. Lumes has slept in our room and bed since the day she was born. She has the sweetest gummy smile and sleeps through the night and keeps things interesting with working and home schooling (her brothers can’t get enough of her).
I had the birth I wanted and a birth I cannot wait to share with Lumen as she gets older. In my opinion, Birth is treated like an illness or condition that needs to be “treated” in the US with interventions and hospitals and the mindset that it cannot and should not be done naturally in a comfortable setting. We grew up with the brainwashing Hollywood version of women screaming and of them telling their spouses how much they hated them and yada yada. Needless to say a fear was instilled into many of as children in regards to birth and while I embraced the hospital experience for my first two kids – I am proud that I took the leap and embraced the power and strength I knew I had with Lumen’s birth as my ancestors did since the beginning of time.
I hope to share stories that will help her feel empowered to make the best choice for herself if and when the time comes for her to have babies of her own and I hope that my boys learned a few things through their parts in this journey. Many people shared their opinions on our decision (both good and bad) and while the unknown was upon us – Chris and I are amazed at all we have endured and accomplished together in this life and the birth of Lumen may be one of my favorite reminders of that for quite some time.
Thank you for reading the birth story of our little Lume Bloom. 2020 was a blur and Lumen was but just a piece of the emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental journey we experienced last year. You can find me on Instagram (click @brunettebrujarebel ) and find pictures from our birth. I saved the shots of her actually entering the world for us but hope to inspire other women to try for the births they desire and inspire partners and families to support it in the best ways possible!
If you have any questions feel free to reach out and if you want to share your own exciting birth experience – I invite you to do so!
Shining through the shadows ~
Thank you for reading this piece. Should you want to dig into more of my offerings you can visit my YouTube channel, Synergistic Living, find me on IG, and of course continue to follow this blog.