Birth Story for Breann

Ohana Born birth story Breann Addy

I knew the day would come when I’d share this story but I didn’t know months later it would still feel like yesterday. All the emotions and all the feels and most of all I had no idea how the story would continue to unravel.

You see I’m an only parent and it wasn’t the plan when I got pregnant. I feel like it rarely is, but sometimes life finds you in places you didn’t expect. But here I was, recently left an abusive spouse, caught in a custody battle, with restraining order against the very man who was supposed to be my support, my safe space, my protector, and most of all the one who was supposed to welcome this little one into the world with me.

See I wasn’t supposed to be alone, but I was. The story was broken but somehow I knew I had to still bring this little girl into this crazy world and teach her to be brave and love deeply and believe in the good in the world, when there were days that those things seemed impossible to see.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in birth with my two kids it’s this: it’s personal. In fact it’s probably the most personal thing you’ll ever do. This wasn’t my first, I have a 2 year old son who, I also birthed naturally. And when I thought of how I wanted this birth to look, well there were things I wanted to change and things I wanted to keep.

But my life was in unplanned chaos. The midwife we had planned to use was in a different state, because my life wasn’t supposed to enter into a downward spiral while I was 10 weeks pregnant with little Addie girl. And I wasn’t supposed to have to pack up and leave my home with no notice because of domestic violence. And I wasn’t supposed to be finding a new midwife and a new hospital and rewriting my birth plan…..none of this was supposed to happen. But it did. And as a mom you know that regardless how you find yourself in some situations when the safety of your kids is on the line you do anything to keep them safe.

So here I was, safe, super raw, pregnant with a 2 year old and attempting to still write the birth story I imagined. Because to me, Addie girl was worth it, it wasn’t her fault the world around her exploded but as her mom I was going to do my very best to still make her entrance the one she deserved.

I didn’t find Ohana midwifery until I was in my third trimester, I was 36 weeks pregnant. I had attempted to settle in at a hospital with their midwife there and well it was not successful, nothing about what they said and did looked like birth I wanted to have. So in desperation I literally googled midwives and came across Misty.

I still remember my first phone call with her. I the first 5 minutes, I knew she was the one I needed to help me create this experience, this entrance, the birth I imagined. She was so friendly and genuine. She was real and raw. She was honest and transparent. She understood me and where I was at. She was the strength I needed.

Through the next four weeks she worked with me at every level. She was there for weekly checkins to hear Addie girls heart and then to listen to the things weighing on mine. She would check in on legal proceedings and remind me to keep going. She would encourage me to stay safe and that I was doing the right thing. For those in situations that become relationally unstable you know how important these words are. What most other people don’t realize is that she was stewarding the heart that would bring this baby into the world in exactly the ways I needed it. She knew this birth wasn’t about having a child but about bringing a little girl into a world that just turned upside down and inside out, Misty knew it was about creating space for this tiny little lady to feel safe, loved, valued and protected.

…And that started with reminding me I was safe. This birth was so different than when I had my son. I wanted to try to have the calmest birth possible, I wanted peace, I wanted it to feel cozy and of course safe. I had learned about the importance of mindset prior to going into labor, I read a lot on hypnobirthing and the importance of deep breathing. After discussion with Misty we decided on a home water birth, her and Jackie offered to have me give birth at Jackie’s home since I didn’t have a space to offer to give birth. I opted to have just me and Addie there, I had friends and family offer but honestly nothing felt right. The one who was supposed to be my safe space in this time was our greatest threat and somehow I knew Addie and I had it covered. After all, she had felt all the emotion from my heart of the past 10 months from the inside.

I still remember the day, it was 3 pm. I was 40 weeks and 5 days overdue. Not exactly surprising since my son also came late. I was sitting in the mall parking lot and noticed heavy contractions starting. I figured I’d give it more time before reaching out to Misty or Jackie and make sure they were within the timing window I was told. So I did, and they came so fast. I still tried to play it off and not believe it was real, I had already thought I was in labor a few times throughout the week. I decided to text Jackie and she said to come when I felt it was right. Within 45 minutes of contractions starting I was headed over to Jackie’s. I didn’t technically wait long enough but it felt right to at least be with Jackie and in the space I planned to give birth so I had my dad drive me there.

When I arrived Jackie commented on how calm I was, she told me later she thought I was maybe 3-4 cm based on my behavior. Truth was, calm was my goal. That’s how I wanted Addie to enter the world calm and safe.

Jackie measured me right away and found out I was actually 8 cm dilated and fully effaced. She hurried to heat up the tub. I got in as soon as the water was warm enough. With every contraction Jackie would rub my lower back and I would count, trying to remember what I had learned from all my reading. Deep breathing, staying calm.

I remember telling Jackie that I felt like I should push and she said “go for it”. She was so calm the whole time and right there but still let and Addie and I do it our way. She was amazing. I started pushing on my knees and after about three pushes felt like I needed to speed my right leg so I did and two pushes later Addie came……all at once there she was.

Jackie caught her and gave her to me. I remember asking Jackie “is she okay?”, “is she okay?”….I still had this fear that something wouldn’t be okay, something would go wrong, trauma at its finest. Jackie reassured me, “she’s fine, she’s beautiful.”

And she was, she was so peaceful. She didn’t even cry. But me, well I just held her and cried. She was finally here, the littlest addition to my family. My family of us three. We were okay. We were safe. We were going to make it.

I was in labor 3 hours and 30 minutes. I pushed for maybe 10 minutes.

Misty did all of Addie’s checks and made sure I was okay. The biggest concern was that Addie was hardly crying, she needed the fluid to get out of her lungs but she wouldn’t cry. It took about 15 minutes and a decent amount of gentle effort to get little Addie all settled. She was so calm. And so petite. 7 lbs 1 oz.

We settled in, all cozy in the bed and I just sat with her. I wasn’t ready to share her with family and friends. We stayed cuddled together, I let her peace flood my heart. It would be okay. We would be okay.

Misty came in to check in and finalize her name.

“What’s her middle name she asked?”

“Breann.” “Addilyn Breann.”

After all we had been through, nothing seemed more right.

Here we are 8 months later. Our little family of three. She is the happiest baby and the most social girl. I received sole legal and sole physical custody and we are finally beginning to rebuild life. Her birth was the best experience in the darkest season of my life. It was more than I expected and everything I wanted. By the grace of God she still hasn’t had to meet her dad, she’s safe, she’s the biggest joy and she is my little. My Little Addie girl. There isn’t a part of her entrance to this world I’d change. It was a broken story that became beautifully rewritten.

Thank you to Misty and Jackie, always for their part in that healing. ~ Addy

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