Boden's Birth Story (told by his mommy)
Boden’s birth was preceded by many storms that led to the grandest rainbow. Love this big is never a cliché. Before conceiving our rainbow baby, we experienced two significant losses. We lost a baby at 8 weeks gestation and then our daughter Valeria at 23 weeks gestation. After you lose a child, it almost seems impossible to imagine ever holding a healthy baby in your arms. Finding out that we were pregnant again should have been filled with pure joy, but we couldn’t help but fear the worst—losing this baby, too. After our 20 week anatomy scan, we were so relieved to know that our baby boy was healthy and well and that we would get to meet him 20 weeks later! The rest of my pregnancy seemed to fly by, because a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders, and I could finally allow myself to dream and put his nursery together without fear.
August 17th was a hot summer day and I remember barely fitting in the car to drive myself to get a chiropractic adjustment. I didn’t think much of it, but this would be the last adjustment I would receive before our son arrived, and one that I am confident made a huge difference in the ease of my labor. That afternoon, my mom, who had the day off, helped me cook 4 traditional Bulgarian meals “just in case” so that we would have enough food for our birth team, in the event that our baby decided to make his debut. In retrospect, I realize that this was all ordained by the Father, orchestrated perfectly. My husband and I went on our final “date night” that evening which consisted of getting ice cream at Braum’s, which was just about all my swollen feet could handle. Little did we know that our world as we know it was about to change completely. After we went home that night, I did a quick video for my Young Living team and as I pressed the “finish” button, I felt my first true contraction. All of my mama friends said I would KNOW when the contractions are real in response to me frantically wondering “how will I know it’s real labor?” They were so right, because I had no question in my mind that this was the real deal. My contractions quickly got closer together and lasted longer.
After taking a shower and resting, we realized that we had passed the point of no return and that we would be welcoming our baby boy soon. The contractions were intense right from the start and I believe that my body completely skipped over early labor and went straight to hard active labor. In my very rational laboring mind, I initially asked my husband to clean, because our birth team couldn’t possibly use a dirty bathroom or kitchen. After several intense contractions, all ideals for cleanliness went out the window, and it was all hands on deck with prayers, hip squeezes, meditation, and essential oils. Our midwife Jamie and my sweet friend and photographer Ina made it to our house, with my mom and sister following shortly after.
Our midwife Christy made it to our house a bit later and was the most powerful and helpful pushing support. We had the BEST team and each person had a role that they carried out perfectly. My husband was my hip squeezer and the victim of many painful hand squeezes. He says that he couldn’t have done enough push-ups to prepare for the workout that he got during my labor. My sister was my essential oils guru and would slather me in whatever oil name I shouted out. If you hadn’t gathered yet, I was VERY bossy and vocal during my labor. My mom’s role was to keep our birth team fed and taken care of, but I know on the inside, all she wanted to do is hold me and take the pain away. What she didn’t realize is that this was so redemptive for me, that I felt so empowered to be able to bring my baby earth side and that my pain was purposeful and beautiful.
I labored in three distinct places—my living room, the bathroom and our bedroom, but by far, the most progress was made in the tub, with the warm water helping me get through each wave. I had no concept of time but I knew that each contraction was bringing my baby boy closer to me. I felt so supported by my midwives who prayed over me, gazed into my soul and encouraged me without even saying a word. They never left my side, despite being bribed multiple times with food and drinks. They are my heroes.
After working so hard and pushing for over an hour, our (not so) little guy was in that in between state—not quite in our arms, but no longer in the safety of my womb. That transitional period is so powerful and truly the most important moment of a woman’s life. This is the moment when she gives life to a child, and her child gives life to her—a mother. I remember praying that I never forget what this feels like in all of my days, that I hold on to this moment forever. I feel so fortunate to have had my incredible friend and photographer-Ina, as well as my midwives, encouraging my husband to catch our baby boy. He prides himself with it now and to know he could have missed this experience.
After my husband caught our son, he gently placed him on my chest, with our little boy’s arms reaching out for me. I loved being able to give birth to my son at home, in the most peaceful environment, without distractions, without him being pulled away from me. We were able to bond in those critical first moments and fall deeper in love, as if that was even possible.
We announced our son’s name at the time of his birth—Boden, a name of Scandinavian origin, which means shelter; one who brings news. Boden was truly my shelter—he is where I was met by the Holy Spirit daily during the longest 40 weeks of my life, but he was also the bearer of the best news—that there is hope and life and peace after indescribable pain and heartbreak. On August 18th at 3:06am, our rainbow emerged after two long years of storms, of pain and of trials. We could not have chosen a better birth team to help bring our baby boy to us and a photographer who worked so seamlessly and was somehow invisible but fully present, capturing every crucial moment of our journey. We pray that Boden continues to bring good news to every person that he encounters, that he, too, can be a shelter for others and that he carries the spirit of love in his heart.