Updated: Jul 8, 2020
On the eve of Sunday, March 22, I had already experienced two false alarms at this point. Thinking that Braxton hicks and a little cervical pressure would be the start of the birth of my children. Truth is I had been experiencing Braxton hick contractions weeks before I even knew. Carrying twins was not for the faint of heart or lungs and I was just about to enter the chapter in my reality and witness that. Through my pregnancy, I found myself even more passionate about my work as a birth worker. I would catch myself daydreaming, wondering how much of what I was experiencing, especially spiritually, was spoken of amongst women or shared amongst birth workers. It was safe to say that during this journey no matter how many friends or family or co-workers I had rooting for me, I felt very alone physically but not spiritually.
The weeks and days leading to the birth of my son Yasiin Maleek now seem hazy. I remember each week I had a prenatal appointment with my midwives. I also kept sharing the updates on Instagram of who lost the bet of the date they thought my babies would be born on. Every other day became harder and harder to walk because my belly had grown beyond heavy. My sciatica nerve was extremely painful on my left side halfway through pregnancy but stretching often helped. Lunges here and there, butterfly stretches, pigeon poses on my bed, and even a good ole frog pose with pillows offering me space between my poke belly and my bed. But in the last weeks of pregnancy, the left sciatica pain subsided while my right sciatica started to debilitate me. Now it was “muscle, joint, and shyt! my hip hurts.” But living in a two-story house required me to go upstairs for my bedroom and bathroom so whatever happened later was clearly inevitable.
Over the weekend I began to think about what my good friend Maritday said about counting my moon cycle after conception to see if my baby's birthday will land on the 10th full moon after I had conceived them. Since I knew the exact date and time I conceived them I figured why not see if this is when they will be born. I realized though that counting ten moons after their conception would have placed me at almost 42 weeks’ gestation and there was no way I was going to carry these twins to 42 weeks. Somehow my body and mind said, heck nah! So, I decided what about counting the new moons. Perhaps I conceived them closer to a date of a new moon and sure enough 10moons later I was possibly going to birth new moon babies.
That weekend came and my prenatal appointment with my midwives went great. A+ like every other appointment babies' heart rate was once again consistent. Each baby was steadily still rocking to their own beat since month 4. Labs were excellent. No swelling of any part of my body, not even my ankles, and during the abdominal palpitations both my midwives and myself felt babies' heads were still down below towards my pelvis racing to see who will come first. Baby yin who we now know was as I suspected the boy, Yasiin always laid closest to my vagina. And baby yang who we now know was the girl, Dessaline, my hyperactive baby who laid a bit higher up on my left side and often poked my fundus, the upper part of my abdomen with what felt like the back of her heel all the time. I was excited, I knew I was just days away from meeting my youngs. And while everyone was betting on their favorite days I had a secret. I felt my babies would be born or begin their transition into the earth on this new moon coming up on that Tuesday.
As the weekend flew by I quietly prepared for this marathon I knew my body would soon endure. I began to make sure my room was in order. My birth supplies were organized and I was drinking all the water, wheatgrass shots, and nettle teas. There was no question in my mind that I was ready for the birth of my children. Monday came and shyt was calm but then Tuesday evening crept in and I finally saw some cervical mucus come out and I began to feel pressure down under. I started my labor of love.
I felt excited after I realized that my body was beginning the birthing process. I started to review in my head my list of things I wanted to do to stay calm and encouraged during labor. The first thing I did was go downstairs sideways, (heard somewhere that it helps to open up the hips.) I updated my sister and brother in law,
“I am not trying to be the false alarm kid but I know this is the real deal. I am finally feeling contractions down there not just at the top of my belly and I finally saw a bit of my mucus plug release.”
The anxiety and excitement were like getting ready to go on a really scary rollercoaster.
My sister and brother in law got excited. Everyone seemed to be chill but they secretly organized their thoughts and the house. During my very purposeful evening snack, I decided to press play on Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary on Netflix. I said Early on in my pregnancy that this would definitely give me the energy and motivation I needed to begin to experience the longest marathon my body has had to endure. There I was 7 something pm. Enjoying some ice cream and dancing to Beyoncé from my exercise ball while texting my doula and my midwives’ updates about my cervical mucus. But I knew this was only the beginning of the first stage of labor so I chilled and timed my contractions. I used one of those fancy apps, only to ensure I knew exactly how far apart contractions were and when to expect things to get real.
The night settled and I was gradually progressing and my brother in law, sister and I said our goodnights and went to bed. I went with my trustee app timing my contractions throughout the night. By the time the afternoon came and I began to wake up for the day around noon or so, I updated the midwives and told them my contractions had gone from 12mins apart back to 20mins to half-hour apart. One of my midwives said,