Open Door Midwifery

The Birth of Tayge Snow

Born: August 14, 2008
Weight: 8 pounds and 2 ounces
Parents: Maia and Julio

Lists and lists crossed off. Packing and more packing…everything was either in our house in Ticuman or in our minivan with us as we left from our apartment in Mexico City for the 2-hour drive. As we pulled out of the city, August 9th, 6 days before my due date, I said to Julio “I feel like I dont want to go there yet, it will make it more real that the baby could be born any day now” The unspoken understanding here was: Julio and I both hoped the baby would wait for Midwife grandma. He nodded.

Fastforward to….
Aug 13th: All day we were so anxious and excited…my mom would be arriving in the night with two of my brothers, Liberty (17) and Colter (12) and my sister Kiva (20). As evening came and I cleaned and organized the house and yard we both began to breath a sigh of relief…. the baby had waited for Grandma.

The mob arrived about 1:00 AM on August 14th. We hugged, talked, slept, and BAM….8:30 AM –as I was sitting on my mom’s inflatable mattress (only the high life for the international traveling midwife grandma) …Labor had started.

I began to feel contractions one a few minutes after another. I first went to tell Julio (didn’t want another repeat from the previous birth, he had been quite upset that my mom and my sister found out I was in labor before he did! —but that’s another story. Then I told my Mom I was in labor…. nobody seemed fazed. Ok Fine! So Ma checked the baby…posterior… said I should go into our swimming pool and lay spread eagle. I helped Kiva make a delicious (NOT) white flour instant pancake breakfast (sorry Tayge) …No wheat flour to be found in that miniscule town. Contractions were picking up but again nobody seemed fazed. My Mom mentioned the possibility of false labor and Julio was chill…They both couldn’t believe it could be SO exact the timing of the birth with the arrival of Grandma. I, however, felt it was real. I did call my Mexican midwife who was also laisse faire and said to call her ‘whenever I felt like it’. Ooooops.

We all were in the pool, me laying belly down on a huge star shaped tube float, Julio, my brothers and sister, and mom and my 2 children, Alani (5) and Justice (2) playing in the water. In the pool about 12:20pm contractions began to make my eyes shut and my mouth say ‘ohhh’. I wanted to go call the Mexican midwife. My mom helped me out of the pool and said she would check dilation. …That never happened. It was a HUGE effort to make it from the pool to my bedroom and I barely managed to dial the Mexican midwife and tell her to come ‘click’ I hung up and the contractions were advancing in intensity TOO quickly.

Julio had to take his friend back into town to get a bus back to Mexico City…the plumber was outside by my bedroom window trying to fix the boiler so I could have hot water for a waterbirth (although he didn’t know that part of it).

“AHHHHHHH Call Julio!” Where’s Julio!!!!”…My sister dialed as I confusedly tried to remember in between contractions the number I’ve dialed 1000 times.

“AHHHHH tell the plumber to go!” my poor sister went to tell the plumber he had to go “because because because…. well because my sister is having a baby!’…. He jumped a bit at that one! At any rate he went and WAITED in front of our gate. Managed to fix the boiler after the birth in about 5 minuted and was very pleased to have been nearly present at a birth!

And speaking of attendance, the cleaning lady was there out on the patio the whole time and I had never mentioned to her that I was having my baby at home. Her sister told me later she was scared because I screamed ‘horribly’, that made me laugh…. poor thing. (She has no children…and probably never will thanks to my roaring!)

Needless to say I was on my hands and knees soon feeling the urge to push. I don’t think I even thought again about the Mexican midwife. Thank goodness my mom had the urge to bring a few gloves and cord clamps and a fetoscope with her from the U.S. (although I had told her not to bring her equipment, because the Mexican midwife had it all).

Ma was shouting off to Kiva to sterilize some scissors in boiling water and I believe I was even alert enough to say we had some metal ones in Julio’s office. Thinking back its always weird the things I managed to say and hear in my births.

We have these HUGE windows by our bed -no curtains, -and in labor HOW I wished they were covered up! I thought about moving to the other room…NOT happening —-body was not interested in my private thoughts! Note to self- REMEMBER enclosed and private is a basic instinct in birth– avoid big beautiful panoramas!

Hands and knees was the only position – I couldn’t move from there. It felt very powerful and right– although it felt quite horrible when all the fluids are squishing out. UCK.

My daughter Alani had just started to turn a bit green from the LION ROARING– (another note to self-avoid rooms with church-like high dome ceilings, the echo is OVERLOAD)—and walked out, and I yelled to Julio to get her- she had been waiting 9 months to see this!

So with my daughter, 2-year-old son, and sister watching, Julio and Ma caught little Tayge. It was soooo fast and intense! He was born at 1:20pm with all of us still wet from being in the pool! The Mexican midwife got there just after 2 PM.

My mom was impressed. “What a thoughtful baby, he waited just till I got here and then was born in the middle of the day so nobody lost any sleep”.

Looking back at the photos (my sister took) its really neat to see the times on them at 1:20 he is born and Julio and Ma are cacthing him and at 1:21 in the photo both of my (teenage) brothers are in the room! That I didnt know…very cool! They have no issue with the blood and nudity of birth!

Also looking back at the photos I saw many of my mom rocking Tayge because he was spitting up ‘gunk’ for a while and wasn’t latching on to nurse and was a bit purple too I think. At the time I was a bit worried and even mentioned we had an old (and Very dirty) nose suction thing that we could try to clean…. but I wasn’t too worried. Now months later looking at the photos I realize it was because my mom was totally calm. I said to Julio If she had thought it was dangerous she wouldn’t have been calm at all…she knew that we were in the middle of nowhere with a decent hospital 45 minutes away in a 3rd world country and that she had NONE of her birth equipment. That is pretty impressive. If she hadn’t been there I would have been panicking —at least in a quiet interior way.

SO there we have it. The baby who knew whose hands to wait for…and a mommy who is very grateful that he waited!

I love you Ma.

Maia Skye

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