My loves, HI!!! I am here, and I am emerging from my blissful motherhood cocoon to share something very special with you today.
Today is extremely dear to my heart because it’s time – it is finally time to write Atticus Story’s birth story. Tomorrow he will be one month old (HOW?!), and I finally feel ready to share the most special day of our lives with you. His birth was so precious and so intimate, nothing like I had imagined but so much more amazing, wilder than I could have ever prepared myself for, and full of lessons & lessons I will be reliving & integrating for as long as I live.
He came into this world at 4:40am on December 21st, 2021 (if you listen to the podcast then you know how special those numbers are to me… 201, can you even?) and life has been a blissful whirlwind of wonderment and joy and newness ever since. Our solstice baby, our angel boy, the sweetest little man there ever was. On the LAST 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, during the high frequency energy portal of the winter solstice. You cannot make this magic up. This little guy came in with a plan so strong, and it could not have been more divine in every single way.
This is hands down the most momentous post I have ever written in my ten years of blogging and one I have been writing in my head over and over again for the last month. I know I will come back to read this for years to come, and cannot wait to read it to Atticus when he gets older. It gives a whole new meaning to having a blog honestly, because the true purpose of blogging is to capture moments. To capture the magical moments in life that we can never get back, but that will live on in our memories & hearts through our stories for the rest of time.
Are you beginning to see a theme here with the word story? It’s who I am in my bones – and I just know my sweet son has a storyteller soul like his mama. Atticus Story. 🙂 But we will get to his name and the meaning of his name later in this post!! I can’t wait to tell you!
You guys ready? Let’s dive in. Oh and buckle up and grab your popcorn, because this is a DETAILED one… would you have it any other way?!?!
My birth plan:
I will start by briefly telling you our original birth plan because this is the main thing I have been getting questions about!! I know a lot of you can imagine me having an unmedicated home birth because of my natural lifestyle, which is something I would have absolutely loved to do if I didn’t have any prior health complications. I still may do try for this in the future now that I know how freaking strong my uterus is despite the previous surgeries and health issues I have had. Years of Lyme disease, surgeries, and living in and out of the hospital prepared me to take the route of having a hospital birth – which I felt very comfortable with because any way we bring a precious soul into this world is incredible.
Early on we chose to stick with the OBGYN who did my fibroid surgery back in 2018, because we had a great experience with him and he is super familiar with my body. His two specialties are fibroids and delivering babies, so he always seemed like a natural fit. And even though he is not a holistic doctor by any means, he has gotten to know me over the last few years & is very aware that I go the all-natural route whenever possible. He got used to me saying no to certain routine procedures all throughout the pregnancy, bringing in my own all-natural glucose test, instilling advice from my doula, talking about manifestation and spirit babies, the whole works. And even though he didn’t agree with some of my decisions he was supportive of all of them.
On top of that, we had an incredible birth doula supporting us throughout the whole birth process. Her name is Patti Quintero for anyone wondering and I HIGHLY recommend her. 🙂 I felt confident that between her, Jonathan and myself we would come up with a birth plan that aligned with my values and that we would be able to advocate for everything we wanted during the labor and delivery process.
Overall the plan was to labor at home for as long as possible, make our home a birthing sanctuary with oils, music, candlelight, etc., get in the bathtub and shower during intense contractions, have Patti come to our house and support us through the depths of it all, and then go to the hospital when my contractions were strong enough. The plan was to get an epidural at the hospital (because I have had a major fibroid surgery on my uterus & the safest route would be to get an epidural because of the small chance of the uterine scars opening up during labor) and then hopefully have a smooth vaginal delivery from there. After that the plan was to do delayed cord clamping, have the special twilight hour with baby boy and Jonathan, and for Jonathan to stick with the baby if he had to go anywhere at all after the birth. AKA we were not going to let our baby angel out of our sight!!
So that was THE PLAN. But things don’t always go according to plan, as we know. Especially during birth!! So let’s head into the birth story and you will hear how it all went down!
The month before going into labor…
Ok so, we should probably set the scene by reminding you all that I was in the very early stages of labor for an entire month. Yep, that truly happened. On November 21st, I woke up feeling extremely off with nausea, dizziness, cramping, and stomach pains that felt a lot like contractions. It went beyond the normal pregnancy discomforts I had grown used to (VERY used to 😂) so after feeling strange for a few hours I called my doula, and she suggested that we go into the doctor’s office to get it checked out.
I called my OB that morning and it turned out he was on call at the hospital, so he suggested that we come into Labor & Delivery to have some testing done. For the record he suspected it was all gastrointestinal but we were just being safe. His exact words were, “at least you will get a tour of the hospital if nothing else!” So Jonathan and I headed there that afternoon where we ended up doing some testing and finding out that I was indeed having minor contractions, and that I was already 1cm dilated – at 35 weeks!
They kept us there for several hours to make sure I wasn’t continuing to dilate, which I was not so by that evening they discharged us and we headed home. I had had an intuition since the VERY beginning of my pregnancy that this baby boy was going to come a bit early, so after we found out I was 1cm dilated AND having contractions, I figured he would probably be here by early December. Also for the record I had a strong intuition that he was going to be a Sagittarius even though his due date was Christmas which would make him a Capricorn, and I had a lot of specific days in mind that I thought he might come. Don’t even get me started on all of those dates because none of them ended up being THE day!
After that afternoon in the hospital I continued to have prodromal contractions every single day and night for a month! Some days they were more intense than others and other days they were very mild. I remember countless times in the middle of the night waking up and thinking, “this is it – this is finally it!!” because the pain and cramping were so intense and felt so different than the previous times. I even woke Jonathan up countless times to tell him that I was in so much pain and that I was CERTAIN that this was labor. And still every single morning, I would wake up and not be in active labor at all.
This pattern started to get very frustrating!! At first we were happy because of course with every passing week we knew the little man was getting stronger and stronger in utero, and that he would come when he was ready. I was in full divine trust of the universe. I also could feel his spirit & his playful little soul teaching me so much during this time. He was basically saying, “Get ready mom! I’m coming!! But not quite yet… Maybe today, maybe not!! Hehehe.” I swear this is how it was going. He was almost messing with me in a cute way and the main download I was getting during this time was that he was changing his mind pretty much daily about when he wanted to come through.
He is an OLD soul, as old as they come. and in all of my meditations I would hear, “We have done this before, mom. Just be patient. I am coming on my own timeline and when I do choose to come, it’s going to absolutely surprise you. That’s the way I want it to be!”
So I was in trust, but I was also feeling very impatient because… hello. I was so excited to meet him, and I was so, so, SO over being in so much extreme discomfort. Anyone who has reached 9+ months pregnant knows what I am talking about. Once we passed 37 weeks, then 38, then 39 I was starting to think… what the HECK is going on?! Why am I in so much pain and not going into labor at all?! Even my OBGYN was pretty much shocked. I had dilated to 2cm & my cervix was 50% effaced by 36 weeks and then just stayed there and didn’t budge.
It got to the point where I completely stopped sleeping because the contractions were so all consuming, even though they were still tiny, and we also stopped making plans because every day I anticipated going into labor and was just way, way, way too uncomfortable and deep into the birthing vortex to go anywhere or do anything. For a notoriously impatient person who has always made things happen on her own timeline, this was a very important and necessary lesson before fully becoming a mama – I now see that on a deep level.
I was REALLY trying to manifest him coming before December 18th, because that was when my OB was going on vacation for Christmas and not returning until well into January. I also kept having the feeling he would come before then like I mentioned. On December 17th I had my 38 week appointment with my doctor, and since I was one day away from being 39 weeks pregnant he offered the idea of inducing me. That way he could deliver the baby, I could be put out of my misery of daily painful contractions that were absolutely draining the life out of me, we could avoid a Christmas birthday for Atticus (nothing wrong at all with a Christmas bday!! It’s so special!! But a part of me wanted him to have his own separate day), and of course we could meet our angel who we were getting so beyond ready to meet.
But I never wanted to have an induction for so many reasons – the main reason being I really wanted Atticus to choose when he was going to come. I believe so deeply in the spirit realm, and that these little spirit angel babies know exactly when and how they are supposed to come in… down to every last detail. I knew he would choose his perfect astrology, Human Design, birthday, and the birthing process that would suit him the best for his life mission and how he wanted to enter this world. I was and still am in such deep respect of his magical soul, and I just couldn’t choose that day for him as much as I seriously wanted to.
Secondly, induction can mess with the natural rhythm of our bodies giving birth, and there can be a higher rate of postpartum depression, difficulty with milk coming in, difficulty losing excess fluids and pregnancy weight, etc. (NOTHING against induction at all when it is necessary!! I have a zero judgment policy about all things birth and parenting for that matter — just sharing my feeling about it for our fam.)
So as you’ve probably gathered… I said no to the induction and stayed committed to being patient for him to come through on his own. I have to be honest though that that final weekend of pregnancy was excruciating for me. I was a little confused and sad about why he hadn’t come yet with ALL of those prodromal contractions giving me false hope for so long (!!) and I was growing extremely, extremely emotional and vulnerable after being in what I call the “birth vortex” for so long. I felt like I wasn’t fully in the normal pregnancy stage anymore but I was certainly still very pregnant… like his soul was halfway here and that I needed to be on in every single moment just in case my contractions turned into actual labor… I was sobbing every day, living in the bathtub, and had such bad sciatica pain I literally couldn’t even move. Not to mention peeing what felt like 15 times an hour and just not sleeping at ALL. The hormones were out of control intense and I didn’t feel like myself. It was all starting to get really, really intense.
I was also going through something I call the death and rebirth cycle. All of it was really beautiful and powerful, & it was VERY necessary, but it was also very hard. I was being shown really intimate and painful truths about myself, my relationships, my career path, my soul’s mission, my passions, my triggers and childhood wounds, things that still needed healing… on a DAILY basis for this entire month. It was such a gift looking back on it, and I tried so hard to soak it all in as my final hoorah of intense self-growth before becoming a mama. I knew how important it was. I also knew on a DEEP & intimate level that Atticus was prepping me for his birth on a soul level. I knew he needed me to learn these things and become aware of them before he arrived.
I got really intentional during this time. I really only wanted to be around a select few people, spent a LOT of time journaling and meditating, went on lots of dates with Jonathan, rested a lot, and really went inward in the deepest way possible. We didn’t even see our families on Thanksgiving or Chanukah because I was already so deep in the vortex, so you can imagine how much DEEPER this got as almost the entire month of December went on and he still hadn’t arrived!! The best part of this time was spending such intimate time with Jonathan and Huddy, knowing that our little family of 3 was about to expand in a big way forever. We really did our best to soak it in — so even amidst the challenges, we had a lot of fun and it’s a time I will look back on fondly forever.
The night I went into labor…
I took this photo the very night I started to go into labor because I could just feel that this was my very final night of being pregnant!!!
Ok now, the scene is finally SET, & you guys understand and see the headspace I was in when Monday, December 20th rolled around. I have to say, I had FINALLY surrendered to the fact that he was going to come when he was ready to come. My feeling that he was coming immenently started turning into a feeling that he may not come until 2022 — seriously. And I was trying my best to be fine with it although you know by now how ready I was to meet him and how much I wanted him here!! I had talked to all of my mediums and intuitive friends, and everyone had told me he was FOR SURE coming early and that he was FOR SURE a Sagittarius… and now as we were approaching the final day of Sag season, I was thinking, Atticus are you just playing tricks on us all?! What is going on?! 😂
I had also tried everything I had heard about for “naturally” inducing labor — from eating dates, to drinking red raspberry leaf tea, going to acupuncture 3x a week, going on long walks (even with the excruciating pain!!), bouncing on my birthing ball, doing squats and lunges, taking evening primrose oil, even trying the famous “labor salad” in Studio City!! I was so committed but it seemed like nothing was really moving the needle for me, even though I could TELL my body was trying so hard to go into labor and it just wasn’t quite there yet.
I had an appointment that morning with a doctor from my OB’s practice (he was out of town by now for Christmas) and I was STILL 2cm dilated, 50% effaced. By that point I was ready to sob hearing that I was still only 2cm dilated. I had been that way for weeks, having such intense contractions day and night that I was just certain were pushing me further along in the process but somehow really weren’t. I left that appointment feeling completely defeated, and texted my doula updating her and saying, “I am thinking of drinking castor oil, I know it has helped a few of my friends go into labor, what do you think?”
You guys know I am a human guinea pig and I was really eager to start trying some of the more *intense* old wives tales for going into labor (beyond the whole dates + red raspberry tea stuff), especially now that I was past 39 weeks. I just had this deep, innate feeling that it was time for him to be here and I could NOT shake that feeling no matter how hard I tried. It was like something beyond me was pulling me to make this labor happen. And you can imagine what (or WHO!) that “something” was. 🙂
Patti called me right away and said that castor oil was no joke – that if I were to drink castor oil I should be fully prepared to go into labor. But at this point to be honest with you guys I didn’t believe that anything would put me into labor!! I was fully surrendered and really felt like Atticus had made his point, he was going to come on HIS timeline and although I could keep gently easing things along, he certainly wasn’t going to come if he wasn’t ready. In the words of one of my best friends, “I think you have finally met your match in terms of who is BOSS & who is more stubborn” — lol and also I am seeing now that this is very true.
So what did I do?! Of course I drank the castor oil. Patti sent me the recipe for a midwives brew, which includes 2 tablespoons of castor oil blended with orange juice. The total amount of castor oil I was recommended to have were 6 tablespoons (yes, it tastes as absolutely disgusting as you can possibly imagine) over the course of a 6 hour period. 2 tablespoons, wait 2 hours, 2 more, wait 2 hours, etc. By the way, I do NOT recommend trying this at home!!! It’s a very intense way to go into labor as I quickly found out, and should never ever be done before 39 weeks because of it’s absolute effectiveness.
So from about 1pm – 7pm that day, I went to town with the castor oil. I went to Patti’s that afternoon for a clary sage massage (another thing that gently helps ease you into labor if you’re meant to be in labor) and she reminded me how important it was to surrender to the process, and that if the castor oil did not work then it simply meant that Atticus was not ready to come. The thing with castor oil is that if your body is not ready to be in labor, it will not put you into labor. Nothing will put you into labor if your body is not ready (aside from actual medications), but if your bod is ready then these natural methods can really help. Keep in mind my due date was Christmas Day, so I was right around my due date but was not yet overdue. However I intuitively FELT overdue and that was a feeling I could not shake no matter how hard I tried.
The other thing about castor oil is that it is a MASSIVE CLEANSE for your intestines… like more than words can even say. I had some experience with drinking it because of my years of Ayurvedic cleanses and Lyme & mold detoxes I had been on, but holy shit. It quite literally cleans you out from the inside out. So it is NOT for the faint of heart… you have to be prepared to go through an intense “cleanse” of everything in your body WHILE being in labor. You know, the kind of stuff only us warrior women (aka all women) can handle… men would die, lol.
I was COMMITTED to this working for me, you guys!! I was on my birthing ball doing hip circles to salsa music that evening and I showed no signs of slowing down. It’s almost funny looking back, how committed I was, which reminds me to how committed I was to getting pregnant in April because I KNEW that Atticus’s soul was ready to come through. It worked that time, and it certainly worked again this time. I believe I got so impatient at the end of my pregnancy because I was & am wildly in tune with this little boy’s soul, and I knew it was absolutely time to assist him in coming into this world. He picked me as his mama for a reason after all, and I don’t mess around when it comes to timelines.
By around 7:30pm that night I was in active labor. FINALLY! Active! Labor!!!! My contractions were feeling more intense, and my stomach was hardening like a rock and then releasing every few minutes. Some of the contractions were feeling more painful too, and I was truly jumping for joy. Jonathan was excited too — and we were both in somewhat a state of disbelief! I felt like I finally did it, my body was finally ready to go into labor. I was also terrified, I mean literally terrified, that the contractions were going to stop again and that I wasn’t truly in real labor. I guess you could say I had a lot of PTSD from thinking I was in labor every day that month, so the fact that I finally really was wasn’t quite sinking in.
I started timing the contractions through an app on my phone and seeing that they were all really close together, even though they weren’t super intense yet. After timing them for about 45 minutes the app was already telling us to think about going to the hospital… but I was thinking in my mind, “could it really be?! There’s no way it could be moving this fast.” We were also on and off the phone with our doula, updating her and telling her how quickly things were moving and that this finally really was active labor. Jonathan gave me a foot massage with more clary sage and we got to soak in this time together knowing that this was finally IT.
I took this photo just minutes before the REAL active labor started, ahhh!!!
Yet strangely, a big part of me was still very much in denial. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that this was really happening!!! Patti suggested that I take a hot shower to slow down the contractions once they started coming on really strong, but the last thing I wanted to do was slow them down. I was too excited!! I was literally running around the apartment with so much joy and excitement ready for the contractions to get even more intense. And then, let me tell you, THEY FREAKING DID.
Around 10pm I decided it was finally time to take a shower — I knew it would be my last “me time” before going to the hospital and really getting this party started. I had grand plans of taking a nice long, warm shower, washing my hair, blowdrying it, and taking this final time with myself before eventually going into the deeper stages of labor. But oh my god you guys, nothing could have prepared me for what happened when I got in the shower.
The moment I turned the water on, a wave of contractions hit me so hard I was basically knocked to the ground. At this point is when I truly ENTERED THE VORTEX. The waves of pain shooting through my body shocked me to my absolute core. I had no idea how deep into labor I already was at this point, so I was actually SCARED by how much pain I was feeling. It felt like someone was breaking my entire body in half and trying to split me open. I felt Atticus tumbling lower into my pelvis and started thinking there was actually something wrong with how much pain I was feeling. It turns out, that’s just BIRTH, but I was somehow still in this surprising place of denial and still felt like maybe it was just the castor oil making everything extra intense.
I screamed out to Jonathan that he needed to come immediately, and that we needed to call Patti and go to the hospital. He called her right away and she asked a lot of questions trying to gather how far along I was. I said I think we need to go to the hospital, but with no way of knowing how far along I was and the fact that just a couple of hours before I was completely fine, we all decided that we would stick to the plan and she would come to our house first to stay in our little birthing sanctuary & see if we could slow things down a bit.
She lives very close to us but even in those few minutes before she got here, things got even more intense and I was doubled over screaming in pain. I somehow got out of the shower but couldn’t even brush my hair I was so deep in it. In retrospect I would have gone to the hospital in that moment, but I had NO IDEA that our birth was going to move as quickly as it did. I had a lot of stories in my head of women getting to the hospital too early, getting an epidural, and then having contractions slow way down, sometimes leading to interventions I really wanted to avoid like Pitocin, medication cocktails, a C section, etc. — and I didn’t want that to happen. So I stayed committed to our plan and was very much mentally prepared for a really long birth, especially knowing that first births are usually quite long!
I remember when Patti got here I was SCREAMING in hysterics to Jonathan to not leave me alone even though he had to go downstairs to let her in – but I was holding onto him with a force so strong and sobbing my guts out because I was actually terrified to be left alone. I was very much not on this planet at that time, SO deep into the other realm with our baby, our angels and guides… I just wasn’t here at all. Once they got up here the rest is very much a blur to me. I know that Patti had me on our bed for a while, in child’s pose where she was massaging me and I remember throwing up a lot into a bucket that we brought onto the bed.
I remember screaming to her and Jonathan, “Why are my contractions so close together?! Why don’t I have a break AT ALL because this is scaring me!!!!” Because of the castor oil my contractions were 100% on top of each other, and if I had a break at all it was for about 30 seconds rather than the 5 minutes I knew it usually was for most people!! Hudson was there watching and staying very close to me, even though I know he was terrified and I know the sounds I was making were making him think I was potentially dying. 😭 He was so strong and brave and I could not have done it without his sweet spirit guarding me and protecting.
At that point it was so intense I left this planet even further, and Patti suggested that I get into the bath to slow things down. That’s where I remember being so deep into the vortex that I really could not even fathom anything that was going on. My pain was so intense and severe, and I started feeling like maybe the baby was coming out. But I also didn’t believe that could be possible, because all I could think of was that this birth was going to be long, and that that morning I was only 2cm dilated!! I kept thinking it was just the castor oil causing the pain and that maybe the labor was not even happening? (Clearly I was in massive denial.)
Meanwhile while I was in the bath, Patti noticed that the baby was indeed VERY low & close to coming out, because she saw a specific vein in my lower back that indicated how low he actually was. At that point she said it was time to go to the hospital, and I was both intensely relieved and also really scared. I was terrified of being in the car, the thought of the baby potentially coming out in the car, scared of being in such severe pain outside of the comfort of my home, and especially scared about getting to the hospital and going through the process of answering questions, getting through security, etc. while in SUCH a severe state of pain. But mostly I was really happy because I knew how at that point there would be no more hoops to jump through — that we would finally be in the spot where our baby was coming. That was a huge relief to me, even in the scariest moments.
On the way out I wanted to stop in the bathroom again (remember – I was cleansing from the castor oil ahhh) and Patti said we didn’t have time. That’s when I knew things were urgent, and I started to kind of freak out in a whole new way. I knew it was important for me to stay calm but because of the pain there was just no way for me to stay in my usual calm, zen headspace. We ran down the hallway, and I had a MAJOR contraction in the elevator and another one getting into the car. Thankfully it was 1:15am, so there were no other cars on the road, and Patti told me to just stay on my hands and knees because I would be in way too much pain to sit down.
Jonathan by the way had been a saint through this whole process, but he was scared too!! Neither of us knew what labor & contractions were really like, as much as we had tried to prepare ourselves, so we were both kind of in shock and awe through this whole experience. Neither of us realized how far along I was, so even though he was trying his best to calm me down and make me feel safe, he was a little shell shocked I think at seeing me SO out of sorts and in my true “ayahuasca ceremony mode” where the screaming and emotions were just ten million fold. He wanted me to relax but I wanted to kill him for thinking that relaxing was possible in these moments… and at the same time I didn’t have the energy to even communicate any of this to him at all!!
He was VERY excited and he was trying to keep me in the headspace of, “We get to meet our baby tonight!! Yay!! He is finally coming!! You’re doing it!!” but somehow it wasn’t computing for me. I was not FULLY realizing that I was going to birth our baby boy out of all of this intense pain… I wonder if any other mama’s have felt that way before? Please tell me below if you have!! I just couldn’t even POSSIBLY imagine that this intense feeling as if I was truly physically dying was actually going to result in our precious angel baby coming into our arms. I had moments and waves of that reality hitting me, but I was too far gone in the pain of it all to have any clue really of how close he was to coming!!
It felt, to be honest with you, like a plant medicine ceremony. I always knew it would, and I was excited for it to feel that way, but WOW when I was in it was I unprepared for the DEPTHS that it would take me. I was convinced, CONVINCED that I was dying. I felt like the whole center of my body was being ripped to shreds and that my body would not be able to withstand the process of birth. It was crazy because I had very little fears about birth going into it, and suddenly in the MIDST of the birth process I was more scared than I had ever been in my life. I was mostly scared that the baby was going to come before we got to the hospital, and that it wasn’t going to be safe for him or something was going to happen to him. Thankfully (spoiler alert) none of that happened… but in the moment, I was just certain that something was going to go wrong because I felt so out of control being in the car.
If you saw our VERY VIRAL TikTok video of us in the car on the way to the hospital, you know shit got very real at this point. I was fully gone, Jonathan was scared/not totally sure what to do or say (lol), and I was hysterical about getting to the hospital on time. You are probably thinking at this point, WHY DIDN’T WE GO SOONER !! But we just had no idea, and things moved really, really quickly. Way faster than I had ever imagined!!! The whole ride there I felt so much pressure and the urge to push… I felt like he was LITERALLY poking his head out.
Thankfully it took only 7 minutes to get to the hospital, and when we got there Patti ran me up to the L&D floor and it was truly like out of a movie with me SCREAMING in the hallways to GIVE ME AN EPIDURAL and that I FELT LIKE I WAS DYING and I just remember being in such severe pain I didn’t think I would ever be able to recover. I was officially one of those women who the hospital staff is afraid is going to give birth in the lobby!! And it sure freaking felt like I was going to!! They rushed us into a room (and luckily we bypassed the whole question process that I was terrified of because of the sheer state I was in) & they checked my cervix — where I was 8cm dilated and 100% effaced!!! ALL AT HOME, totally natural!! I was so proud of myself and looked over to Patti and Jonathan who were equally shocked and excited.
This was the first time it felt real, that our baby was finally coming. Before that I had been in shock and denial and I had been nervous that somehow we would get there and they would tell me I was barely dilated or effaced. But being 100% effaced means that my entire cervix had thinned out, and I was nearly at 10cm and ready to push!! No wonder I had been in so much pain! This all felt very validating and suddenly I was a lot less scared because I knew this was all the process of birth, that Atticus was ready to come, and that everything had worked out just as it was supposed to
I think the original fear I had in the car was stemming from this belief that I somehow wasn’t in actual labor and that I genuinely thought I dying… this was a reaction I never anticipated whatsoever, but it very much symbolizes the “death process” I went through emotionally before giving birth. This was one final major universal test for me, and getting to the hospital and learning that I had labored that far naturally brought me the biggest sense of pride and joy I had ever known.
Somehow by the grace of God I was still able to get an epidural. This pain was honestly too much for me. I have immense, major respect for women who have fully unmedicated births. I feel like 90% of my birthing process was unmedicated, because it was! And I really got a taste of what that pain really is, and WOW. WOMEN!!! Are amazing. Just beyond anything I had ever even been able to comprehend before. I think if I had not gotten the epidural, Atticus would have been born right then and there, around 2:15am. (Probably 2:01 who are we kidding!!). But I somehow begged the anesthesiologist to bypass his routine question process to just give it to me before it was too late, and I really truly believe had we been 5 minutes later to the hospital it would not have been possible for me to get the epidural. I have hear da lot of women are unable to get it at 8cm so I was very lucky.
I have to say, the epidural felt like a gift from the GODS !!! I was so, so, so fatigued mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually from being in early labor for a month, and intense active labor for 7-ish hours… that without that incredible relief flowing through my system I just think the birth would have been an all around different and less pleasant experience. With the epidural, it was the exact experience I needed it to be. I finally got my relief, and I got to enjoy the last two and a half hours before my precious son came into this world. The nurses & doctors were like, “OH… you are a different person now, literally!!!” Once they got to see me calm and in my flow, truly excited to birth my baby boy, and back on this planet for a little while… they didn’t even recognize the screaming, panicked person I was when I came in. It just felt right, the way it was supposed to be. It ALL felt right and exactly as it was meant to be.
We took this at 3:58am, just a few minutes before I started to push!!
Time to push!!
At that time we went over our birth plan with our nurse (who was a saint and such an angel, truly), and Jonathan and I got to really soak in these final moments together knowing that it was time for our baby boy to come!! Around 3:45am our nurse said we should all get some rest and to tell her when I felt pressure because that would mean it was time to push. I swear not even 10 minutes passed before I felt the pressure, and we called her back in. She checked and I was 10cm dilated, 100% effaced, and ready to push!!! My water had broken about an hour before that, but I didn’t feel it because of the epidural! So wild.
Our nurse and Patti both reminded me that pushing can last a very long time, and to be prepared to potentially push for many hours. So again I geared up for a long process. By now it was around 4:15am. I had a feeling in the back of my mind that Atticus would be born at 4:44am, because I had gotten SO many signs that entire month with the numbers 444. I knew, if nothing else, that his little soul would be here and on my chest by 4:44. In that moment I had zero doubt. And by now I knew he was going to be born on the winter solstice, such an intense energetic portal, and everything fell into place. Now I knew why he didn’t come on the full moon, or any other day I had anticipated, and it was because he was waiting for this exact magical portal of energy to dive into this world!
I called on all of my angels, and visualized them surrounding me in the hospital room. I started to visually see each and every one of them. All of my grandparents, Jonathan’s grandparents, my sweet teacher Ms. LaMay, and a handful of loved ones who have passed on who’s souls I feel incredibly close to. I visualized my grandmother, and saw her handing me my baby boy, showing me that I was finally, finally ready to be his mama earth side. It was the SAME vision I saw the night before I took my positive pregnancy test, but this time it felt so much more immediate. I knew he was about to be here. The pushing process went incredibly quickly for us, which felt like the biggest gift!! I had Patti on one side holding up my leg, and Jonathan on the other side with the nurse down below. I felt so supported & so in awe.
After telling us that she wouldn’t be calling the doctor in until she could see the baby’s head, it was only a matter of minutes before our nurse was on the phone with the doctor telling her to come in!!! That was around 4:30am, and by then we could see his little head poking out! The pushing felt natural for me and I could feel that his little body was going to come out easily, I just knew that it would be a matter of minutes before he was on my chest. Also, thanks to the epidural, I could feel literally nothing except for pressure which was SUCH A PLEASURE after the pain and agony I had been in earlier.
The nurses said I could reach down and touch his head, which was the COOLEST THING EVER!! It made it feel so much more real and tangible, and made those final minutes of pushing even easier, knowing how soon he would be in my arms. I requested a mirror so that I could see the progress I was making while pushing. I continued to feel surrounded by my angels and guides, and could feel his spirit growing nearer and nearer to me. The room was surrounded by so much LOVE, such an intense bubble of light and such a deep spiritual energy it was palpable.
I kept thinking of Patti telling me that birth was all about going into the other realm to get my baby, and that’s exactly what I kept envisioning doing. I could feel his little spirit getting closer, and closer and closer.
And then, at 4:40 in the morning, right in the middle of the golden Sadhana hour (the spiritual hour known in kundalini as the moments when the veil to the next realm is the thinnest), in the midst of a huge burst of amniotic fluid Atticus came FLYING out!! I looked down and was truly shocked to see him on my stomach! I was still so deep into the birth portal, dipping into the other realms and still feeling the presence of my grandmother among all of our other beautiful angels- but the moment I laid eyes on him I burst into tears. After saying “Oh my gosh, MY BABY!!!” a few times (I know this because it’s all on a very intimate video), the first thing I said to him when they put him on my chest was, “You came home to me.” 😭😭😭
I looked right into his little eyes, he was already SO alert, and felt the deepest connection I had ever known. To say we have known each other for many lifetimes is a true understatement. I knew the connection would be deep, but this was even deeper than I could have ever fathomed. I remember him crying his loud healthy little cry & being so relieved knowing that he was healthy and strong!! His little umbilical cord was already completely white when he came out, meaning that the delayed cord clamping was hardly even necessary! He was also wearing it around his neck like a necklace (not wrapped around his neck in a scary way) — an image I will remember forever. Jonathan cut the cord after we checked to make sure it was no longer pulsing, and at that moment they placed him high up on my stomach where he did the little army crawl to my chest and had his first latch to my breast. He latched right on! It was AMAZING to see and just beautiful to witness this incredible primal instinct that all babies have to latch right onto their mamas.
The first thing Jonathan said when Atticus came out was, “Is it him?! Is it Atticus?!” because for ALLLLLL of these months I had been saying that I needed to see his face first before I could be 150% sure that his name was Atticus. We have another boy’s name and I wanted to make sure that name wasn’t more suited for him, and the moment I saw him I was completely confident that he was NOT the other name, and completely our Atticus man. Strong, wise, stoic, mighty, DEEP, fiery, free, old soul energy, peaceful and grand, beautifully fierce. Our sweet son.
I have had the name Atticus picked out since I was in middle school. I had a very special teacher named Ms. LaMay (you may remember me talking about her on the podcast) who quite literally changed the course of my life. She read us To Kill a Mockingbird aloud that year, and she had incredible, theatrical voices for every character. I will NEVER forget her voice for Atticus Finch, or what an impact that book made on my life. Ms. LaMay told me that I was a writer, that the world needed my writing, and that it would be a disservice to not pursue this passion and bring my storytelling to the world. She tragically and suddenly passed away in mid 2017 and I have felt her spirit and her presence ever since… she guides me with all of my writing, and the story goes even deeper from there but we can save that for another day. 🙂
So ATTICUS has a very deep meaning to me, and is an ode to her as well as to the literary world. STORY is for storytelling, writing, the passion for words that runs through my veins. The “S” is for Sol – both Jonathan’s grandpa’s name and my brother-in-law’s grandpa’s name (I was very close to him as if he was my own grandfather!!). Atticus Story. It just fits. We have had this name picked out for many years.
I could not believe how perfectly aware he was, how big and strong he was, how this whole entire human grew in my body and was now here with us earth side. It was all too much to handle, in the best and most beautiful way. I instantly felt a magnetic connection to his soul, and I was overcome with this intense feeling that EVERYTHING happened the way it was supposed to. His conception, his birth, my healing journey, the long and then extremely rapid and beautiful labor and birth portal, the death cycles I had been through, every last bit of it. I flashed back to the spring when I was told not to try to conceive until I was “healthier,” and I felt like I was testing fate by waiting, so we stopped waiting and this perfect boy came. It was ALL meant to be.
In those moments he stared into my soul in the deepest way I have ever seen a human stare, and I knew instantly — this is my freaking SON!! He is a little piece of me!!! I thought he looked a lot like Jonathan’s dad at first glance, and Jonathan thought he looked just like my dad. That was so amazingly special, finally getting to see his little face and body.
That whole morning was so extremely special. We got to have the twilight hour just the three of us, bonding and cuddling and being in complete awe of each other. Later the nurses came back in to weigh him, and he weighed in at 6 lbs, 10 oz and was 19.5 inches long!!! He was exactly the size I thought he would be… right around 6 and a half pounds, just a little bigger than I was when I was born. Those few hours were a beautiful, blissful blur before we were taken to the postpartum recovery unit around 7am.
He came so quick we didn’t even have time to let most of our friends and family know he was on the way, so it was extra special to make those calls and FaceTimes in the wee hours of the morning and completely surprise our loved ones!!! I will NEVER forget FaceTiming my best friends Katie and Danielle and showing them his face — they were SHOCKED! They were two of the only people I sent a message to right before my labor got super intense, and they really thought I would still be in labor by the early morning! And FaceTiming my sister and brother in law was so extremely special, who didn’t even know I was in labor just a few hours before!
That morning the epidural wore off and I could then feel the pain (OH THE PAINNN) that I had missed during birth, and even though I had only two very small tears the pain was still very intense. And the hemorrhoids, MY GOD. I will talk more about this in the birth story podcast that J & I will record soon. But that was a really tough recovery for me, as I know it is for many women.
About an hour after Atticus was born with our beautiful doula Patti!
We spent the day in the recovery room in complete and total awe of our sweet boy, and I somehow waited until the very late morning to look up his astrology and Human Design!!! The WILD thing is that Atticus is indeed a Sagittarius just like we thought he would be, but if he had been born just 3 hours and 20 minutes later, he would have been a Capricorn!!! On 12.21.21 the sun sign switched to Capricorn at 8:01am, how crazy is that?!?! I AM NEVER OVER THIS! He wanted to be a fire sun, my sweet Sag boy, which is part of why this labor happened so quickly I am convinced. He is a Cancer Moon just like his mama, and a Scorpio rising. Fire, double water. And he is a 2/4 Manifesting Generator in HD, so he is going to give his mama a run for her money I just know it!!
My mom got to meet him that day while Jonathan went home to spend some time with Huddy, which was so incredibly special. Then, LONG story, we ended up being in the hospital for several days because his bilirubin levels were extremely elevated which caused severe jaundice in his little body. That time tested us like no other, and even though we got to go home on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas Day at home… we ended up back in the ER and then the hospital for another week because his levels spiked way up again. He was a little warrior, and those days were full of a lot of fear and uncertainty because no one knew why his levels were so high.
And though many people say jaundice is SO common (because it is!!), his levels were not common and that was raising some concerns. He got tons of blood tests during this time, and we had to make a lot of decisions that we were not prepared for (especially with zero sleep), basically being thrown right into the deep end of parenthood. Hence why the initiation period of it all at the end of my pregnancy was so extremely important!! I will talk WAY more about this soon, but just wanted to share a bit of it here because it was very much a big part of the way he came into this world.
The day we finally got to go home for good was the most blissful, blessed day I could ever imagine. We knew we were leaving those bleary eyed, tear stained, sleep deprived and uncertain hospital days behind us and we were so, so, so lucky and happy to go home. That time in the hospital gave us so much compassion for NICU babies and families, because oh my goodness no baby in the WORLD deserves to come into the world that way. And as a recovering mama right after giving birth, to not even be able to sleep in our bed, have my clothes, take a proper shower, have access to any of my comforts, sleep even one wink, etc. was very hard. But we were just grateful for our healthy boy and to get good news after all of his blood tests came back normal and his levels started to finally go down!
& since then, has just been a MAGICAL, OTHERWORLDLY whirlwind!!!! We are soaking in every moment. This is the longest by far that I have been on a computer or even a device since he was born. I am trying my best to honor the first 40 days, and I am so grateful to have a lot of support from family, friends, my postpartum doula, Jonathan of course (HE IS THE MOST HANDS ON DAD!!!) & beyond.
I will do lots of followup posts about motherhood, breastfeeding, Atticus’s soul and spirit, and then some, and keep an eye out for our birth story podcast episode. This is almost 10,000 words already so I will put a pin in it here.
& Atticus Story, if you are reading this in the future, I love you so much. Thank you for changing my life, for rocking my world, for awakening my soul, for bringing me your old wise soul and showing me the meaning of life. I am rethinking everything now, and I have no idea what I will go back to in terms of my work & career — I have so many new things I want to do now, and I have a feeling that ALL of the best is yet to come. 🙂
I LOVE YOU ALL, thank you for reading and supporting our growing family. It is both vulnerable and exciting to share such intimate moments with you guys, and I felt like it was finally time to share snippets of this wild and magical night + solstice morning with you guys. I am never over it, I am fully in awe and reverence. The birth process IS magic. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts, please share them below, and leave any followup questions you have!!
XO forever, Jordan, Jonathan, Atticus & Hudson