Violet Anna’s birth story
August 27, 2007. 3:47 AM EST
Full Moon in Pisces (and lunar eclipse), Sun in Virgo
This is the story of your birth.
You were conceived in November when Daddy and I were away for Thanksgiving. We discovered that I was pregnant about 3 weeks later. We were joyously surprised (and a little scared by how real it was)!
I had a healthy and active pregnancy with you. Towards the very end my hands and feet got really swollen and that was pretty uncomfortable.
On the morning of Sunday, August 26, I woke up at exactly 7 AM with very strong cramp-like sensations. I knew that these were contractions, because I had these cramps for a few weeks leading up to your birth. I knew that this was going to be the day that I was in labor with you. Your due date was August 15. Since I had gone beyond our due date, I tried several different natural methods to encourage our labor to begin. So on Sunday, when I woke up with contractions, I knew that I was in labor and that you would be coming very soon. When Daddy and I got up, I explained to him that I was having contractions and that I felt that this was the day. He was excited and very alert.
Your Uncle Bennett, my brother, was staying with us for a few weeks in anticipation of your birth. Karen and Julie were also in town. They came over with Weez for breakfast that day.
I had contractions very regularly all day – about every 30 minutes and getting closer. I spoke with Sandy, my doula, in the afternoon and told her what was happening. Karen, Julie and I went to the market and bought flowers. I had many altars set up around the house for your birth. There were flowers everywhere. Daddy and I knew that your birth was special, and sacred, and so we set up the entire house like a temple.
I spent some time in the afternoon arranging the flowers. I also repaired the birth bracelet, because it broke around 3:00! Daddy got out my jewelry tools and I re-strung it.
Auntie Jahnvi came over in the late afternoon. She had just gotten home from a trip, and was sharing stories with me, and my contractions kept getting stronger and closer together. By 5:00 PM, they were about 10 minutes apart and getting closer. Karen and Julie went home to Pennsylvania in the afternoon. We had dinner outside.
I could barely eat dinner; I did not feel very hungry and the contractions were taking all of my focus. Shortly after dinner I called Sandy, the doula, and Joanne, our midwife, to tell them about the contractions, as they were now 5 minutes apart. This was around 7 PM.
Jahnvi stayed with us and she helped to set up the altars with the flowers, and light candles, and put on music. Jenn was here too, and she helped me to find positions for my contractions, and she rubbed my back and helped me to hang on her. Sandy did these things as well when she arrived later on.
My contractions were getting so intense that I couldn’t have conversations anymore. Time went on, and it felt like time was slowing down to me. I began to shift my consciousness into a somewhat altered state. I basically knew what was happening, but my focus was going to the contractions and all of the sensations I was feeling in my body. We began to dim all of the lights in the house and Jahnvi lit candles. I was extremely sensitive to all of my surroundings.
Uncle Bennett was in the kitchen, cooking food and preparing snacks for my labor.
Sandy arrived at the house sometime between 8 and 9 PM. Joanne called to check on how things were going, and I remember Sandy saying to her over the phone, “She’s still smiling. We have time.” That made me laugh. I remember thinking to myself, “what does that mean? I shouldn’t be smiling?” but later on I learned that my energies went completely into the internal experience of labor. I was so focused on the sensations I was feeling, and I felt kind of like an animal.
My contractions were very close together and felt very intense to me. Sandy and Jenn stayed by my side. Daddy was getting supplies set up for your birth and getting things ready for when Joanne arrived.
I went for walks with Sandy and Jenn. We walked down the street a bit. I held onto them when contractions came. When we were on this walk, I became suddenly overwhelmed with how blessed I was; a flood of celestial energies washed through me. I was blessed to be having you, to be surrounded by such wonderful and supportive family and friends, and Daddy and his love, and the beauty of nature surrounding me, my mom’s energies from the heavens. I felt held by the Divine and precious in every respect. I cried and told Jenn and Sandy how blessed I was, and they agreed. We kept slowly walking and admiring the night sky. At one point, Daddy came running down the street with a flashlight! He was worried and wondering where I went. He kept us company. Meanwhile, Jahnvi was in the house quietly singing and tending to the many birth altars we set up for you. We had altars out on the patio, where you were born, and in the livingroom, where I delivered your placenta, and in the entryway to the house, and in the pink meditation room, and in the bedroom (just in case you arrived in any of these places). We sprinkled rose petals into the tub where you were born, and all over the floor of the patio around the tub.
Violet, there were so many flowers adorning the house for your birth! Bouquets of luscious roses in many colors; orange, pink, white, purple! Daisies and wildflowers in red and purple. There were vases with beautiful arrangements of flowers in every single room.
Joanne arrived sometime between 9:30 and 10:30 I think (I lost track of time at this point in the evening and things were progressing sort of quickly). I was between 4 and 5 cm dilated when Joanne arrived.
The more that I moved around and opened up my body, the more it helped smooth the pathways for your arrival. I had contractions while sitting on the red yoga ball, in the bathroom, and while walking up and down the staircase in our house. At one point Jenn went home; and Sandy took me out in the backyard and we walked and looked up at the stars and the moon. Sandy was so calm, and she really helped me to focus on the beauty of the evening. The night that you were born was such a beautiful and perfect night. The sky was clear and the stars were sparkling. The moon was full and luminous.
We went back inside, and here is where things become more blurry in my memory. I think I went into the bathroom to have a couple of contractions. Things transitioned, as I felt the urge to push (this felt like having to go to the bathroom really badly).
Sandy and Daddy helped me upstairs and into the shower. I trembled and shook all over as the water rained down on me and Daddy. When we got out of the shower, Daddy dried me off and we laid down on the bed together for a few minutes. Joanne came in and told me to keep moving. So I got up out of bed. I was having nonstop contractions by then, and I wasn’t comfortable laying down anyway. Once I got up, I had some very strong contractions right away and Sandy told Joanne that if I didn’t get in the tub now, I’d have to give birth in bed. Joanne then measured me and she told us that I was 7 cm dilated.
So they slowly helped me get down the stairs and outside to the birthing tub – each step brought on a powerful contraction. They helped me get into the tub. Sandy and Daddy were nearby and Joanne stayed close without getting in the middle of things. They helped me to find different positions in the tub. By the way, your birth tub was actually a horse trough that you get at a farm store. It was black plastic and sturdy. Many, many babies were born in that tub before you were. The tub had wonderful birth energy.
I think I was in the tub for about 2 hours. My contractions were more intense than ever. With each contraction, I think my breath was taken away and I was pushing, but it wasn’t really ME pushing. It was the energy of the surge or the contraction moving through my body with such strength and force that I could not stop it or make it happen so strongly even if I tried. Susan, Joanne’s assistant, showed up during this time that I was in the tub. Daddy was behind me squatting on the ground behind the tub. I squeezed stones that Joanne got on the Rio Grande back in her early midwifery days, and this was an amazing soother for me.
Sandy, Susan and Joanne sat still and silent during the time that I was in the tub. Nobody pushed me with instructions and there was no urgency. It was so beautiful and natural. We were outside on the patio beneath the canopy that Daddy put together, surrounded by flowers, altars, and candlelight. And one tiny lamp that Daddy put on the table for Joanne. When I was having a contraction, they would quietly say “Beautiful.” “Strong.” “Such power.” And Daddy would quietly say “Remember to breathe.” In between the contractions, everybody maintained absolute silence and did not speak. I listened to the sounds of the night sky: crickets, tree frogs, locusts, chirping and squeaking away. It was beautiful to listen to. I felt alive, and I felt safe, and very connected to the earth.
I screamed sometimes when I had the most powerful pushing contractions. I began to feel pain. Sandy reminded me to make growling sounds and to give all of my energy to you, to move the energy and sound down to where you were, in the birth canal. Joanne told me that you were making your way down the canal in the J curve, and that you would move back and forth in the J for a few contractions. I never felt unsafe even though this experience was unlike any I’ve ever had. Everyone was so calm, so supportive, that I knew that you and I were safe. Joanne listened to your heartbeat a couple of times and said that your heartbeat sounded great the entire time. I always knew that you were safe as you made your way to earth.
Joanne told me that you were crowning and she invited me to reach down to touch your head! It was such a strange sensation to feel your soft hair in the water. It was the softest thing I had ever felt. I was almost scared to reach down and touch you because my yoni felt so sensitive and was hurting, but it did not hurt to touch you. Joanne was saying you looked like a little blond baby as your tiny crown emerged.
The waves where I pushed were so intense that I began to lose stamina. I was so uncomfortable, and felt like I had hit my threshold. I ran out of strength in my arms, so someone held my arms for me. My feet were against the wall of the tub for leverage as I pushed. The last push was the only one that I actively and mentally pushed for – what I mean by this is that all of the pushes I had before that were happening by God force, my body’s natural energies, your energy. A wave of pushing was happening, and I told myself that it HAD to be the one that pushed you out! As I felt that contraction begin to subside I felt that I couldn’t last another minute for another contraction so I put a little bit of my own intentional energy behind it and I felt a POP and immediately heard you cry!
Joanne put you up on my chest and I held you and you made your first sounds and I told you that you were safe, and you were so beautiful, the most beautiful sight I had ever laid my eyes on. Truly. I don’t even think I saw you with my eyes so much as with my soul. I told you that you were safe, over and over again, and Joanne reminded me and Daddy to rub your back, so we did. He did and so did I. They put towels over you to keep you warm, and Daddy asked me to feel and whether you were a boy or a girl because we didn’t know. I felt down and thought that I felt that you were a girl, but I felt the umbilical cord in the way and wasn’t sure! But I was pretty sure that you were a girl. We got out of the tub after a few minutes and they helped me into the livingroom from the patio and onto the sofa where I sat down with you and Daddy sat next to me. We exclaimed that you were a girl, and that your name was Violet Anna and you made the most beautiful sounds, first crying, then cooing. You looked all around. You were so awake Daddy said, and he said you were so alert. I was exhausted and I had a lot of adrenaline moving through me. Joanne told me that when I felt contractions to give a little push and the placenta would come out, and she told me “don’t worry, it won’t hurt.” But I didn’t quite believe her because I didn’t want to have anything else come out of my yoni just then! She was right though, and I kind of wanted to get it over with so I felt a contraction and gave a tiny push and it came out, all warm and soft and squishy. It was really a cool sensation, actually. The placenta was fascinating. Nice and red and healthy and juicy. Susan froze it for us. When you were 4 weeks old, Daddy planted the peach tree that Gemma and G-Pa got for you and we buried the placenta beneath the tree. It’s your tree and it is in our front yard.
I was holding you and I was so caught up in you that I couldn’t imagine anything other than those moments we were all experiencing. Daddy and I were so elated by your arrival. Uncle Bennett sent food in from the kitchen – food has rarely tasted that amazing to me. After Joanne decided that the bleeding had slowed down enough, everyone slowly helped me get upstairs. We got into bed, and Joanne taught Daddy how to swaddle you. I tried to breastfeed you but you were very tired after birth, so we decided to try again later. After our post-birth nap, you got right on and learned how to breastfeed. We learned together over the following few weeks; getting acclimated to our nursing relationship wasn’t as simple as I had expected, but you were a natural, and once we got into our groove, you became a bona-fide enthusiast.
As we got into bed, Susan got a diaper for you and they wrapped you all up nice and snuggly, and put you into the bed in between me and Daddy, and they leaned over, congratulated us, kissed you and kissed us, and they left. Joanne went into the guest room and went to sleep for an hour or two, then she came inside to our bedroom, checked in on us, and then she went home. She came back later that day to check you and me out and make sure we were doing OK.
As it turns out, you were born with a full head of red hair (not blond) and you are the most beautiful sight that your Daddy and I have ever seen. We keep deepening our love affair with you. Your eyes are soulful and deep blue, and brimming with love and light.
We are ever grateful to you for choosing us to be your parents. Daddy and I love every bit of you and we look forward to every single day of our lives together. We are excited to share every experience with you, we are delighted to teach you, and to guide you. And to love you with all of our hearts.
About Marnie McKnight-Favell:
I am a multidimensional energy healer and a priestess in service to the Divine. I have been interested in hands-on healing my entire life and have self-studied and explored healing touch since I was in primary school. In 1997 I was attuned in Reiki levels I and II, and in 2002 and 2003 I was attuned and trained in Integrated Energy Therapy®, or IET®. I am an IET Master-Instructor and in addition to doing hands-on work with clients, I teach and attune students in IET as well. I completed 7 years of training in classical homeopathy, having completed programs in homeopathic theory, professional training, and clinical study. I am a nationally certified yoga instructor and RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, teaching yoga to babies, adults, and expectant mothers. Additionally, I am a legally ordained interfaith minister and I offer my services as a legal officiant for weddings and other sacred rites.
In 2004, I founded Dragonfly Holistic, a holistic therapeutic practice that assists people in making breakthroughs in their self-exploration process. Through my work at Dragonfly Holistic, I have assisted people in shifting energy, habits and belief patterns, as well as helping people to find an expanded sense of peace, joy, and love in their lives, for both self and others.