The Sling Diaries, Volume VII. A photo-documentary chronicling the art of baby wearing in the lives of families around the world. Over the course of six months, Sling Diarists will create their own Sling Diary though a series of diary entries interpreting a unique theme given to them each month.
Meet all of our Sling Diarists here.
We are born of love;
Love is our mother.
At 3:15 a.m. I wake up and discover the difference between pee streaming down my legs and my water breaking. Thank you Google.
I am 40 weeks plus one day pregnant. I wake up to use the bathroom for the hundredth time this evening. I take one step out of bed when I realize I'm not going to make it. My knees buckle as a burst of liquid rushes down my legs.
At 3:20 a.m. I rediscover what a labor contraction feels like (and why it's also known as a surge). Here we go again.
In the shower I notice a very subtle tightening starting in my lower back that wraps around to my belly. I flash back to this same realization during my previous two labors--the "Was that a contraction? Is this really happening?" moment.
At 3:30 a.m. I try to time the surges and discover that letting my body do it's thing is the best course of action. Holding steady at six minutes apart.
I phone the midwives then wake my husband Daniel to begin filling the birth tub. I glide from room to room tidying up while organizing birth and baby supplies. Eventually I end up back in our bed, peacefully rocking through cat-cow pose as the surges strengthen.
Around 4:00 a.m. I rediscover the power of breathwork and the radiating magic of a lover's touch. We've got this.
And this is where everything begins to blur together. The pitter patter of tiny footsteps breaks the quiet of my breath, our curious three year old Tamayo appears in the doorway then slides onto the bed beside me.
Daniel's fingertips dance across my back to soften any discomfort from the surges. He asks our son to take notice of how hard I'm working. I remember when he said the same thing to Kahlo while I was laboring with Tamayo.
Soon after this the midwives arrive. They work in whispers and on tiptoes. Outside is quite the opposite, it's been stormy all night. We brought Kahlo into world to Etta James, Tamayo arrived to Bob Marley, but this baby girl is something fierce--she's making her debut to the howling wind.
Around 4:30 a.m. I sink into the warm water of the birth tub and discover that I am exactly where I need to be. She's almost here.
The boys are in the book room obsessing over their new marble run. Every now and then I hear the wooden blocks stacking on top of each other and the marbles hitting the bamboo floor. I am on my knees with my head resting on my arms along the edge of the tub. A midwife whispers "you're close."
Every time I feel a surge coming on I call out for Daniel. He presses his forehead against mine while reaching over to rub my back. Again and again he calls me his "warrior mama."
At 4:48 a.m. I know our baby girl is ready to join us and I rediscover how strong I can be. I am fearless.
I breathe and push slowly, with intention. Her head emerges. These next two minutes seem to last an eternity. For a split second I wonder if I can carry on but I quickly dismiss the thought. I remind myself that I am seconds away from meeting her. I cannot wait to look into her eyes and tell her how she's already made me a stronger woman, and how honored I am to return the favor one day.
And with that I give two more smooth pushes to ease the rest of her body out of mine. Into Daniel's hands she goes then up onto my chest. The time is 4:50 a.m. and I soak up every bit of her magic.
Sweet Melibea, how I love her so.