Baby Nina was born in the water at Del Mar Birth Center in Pasadena. Here is the story of her entry into this world from her momma...
So it all began to unfold in the late morning of June 23rd, 2014. Suddenly, my body was taken over by an incredible force that caused me to have to stand still, focus, and breathe. I mean, they try and explain to you in your birth classes the feeling that you should get when a contraction comes on but of course, words cannot truly describe the sensation. In a desperate plea to help ease the ever growing pain of each contraction, I decided to turn on some good ole' reggae music sung by none other than Mr. Bobby Marley. It was the perfect remedy. As each contraction came and went I would dance and sway to the rhythmic sounds. But unfortunately, this lovely melodic experience was only short lived, as the contractions continued to grow closer together and become what I thought was unbearably strong. Now the time was about 1:30pm in the afternoon, and I with what I was feeling, I was certain that I was close to meeting our little bundle of joy. So, I frantically picked up the phone and called my husband who was at work and told him that it was GO time and that he needed to get home as soon as possible. And within about 30 minutes of my call he was home. The "early" stages of labor continued to progress throughout the afternoon and by night fall I had begun the second leg of this incredible journey. At around 11pm, as I lay in bed, tossing and turning and trying to ride out each contraction, my water broke. Immediately, my husband called our midwife Margo Kennedy and let her know what had happened. I was pleading from the bed to go to the birth center, as I was beginning to feel the urge to push. With that, Margo gave us the green light and so at about 11:30pm we were on our way to Del Mar Birth Center. Once we got there they promptly checked my cervix to see how dilated I was and to our surprise, I was only 4cm. Talk about a buzz kill!! I was sure that I was far more dilated than that. Margo told us we could stay at the birth center, though it was still very early, or return home and continue laboring for a few more hours before returning. We decided to head back home. As we got back into the car, all I could think of is when this all would come to an end. I felt as though my body could no longer take the pain and started to second guess myself. Was I sure I could do this, an all natural water birth? Should I go to the hospital? Once we arrived home, I continued laboring, moving to and from the bath tub to the bed in hopes of finding a sense of calm within my body. But unfortunately, it became unbearable and by 4am we were en route,for the second time, to the birth center. Once we arrived, I immediately jumped into the gorgeous, larger than life spa tub. That's the only place I wanted to be......immersed in water.
For me, water has always been something that has brought me a sense of peace. And for that reason, I chose to birth in water. I wanted our daughter to come into this world surrounded by the calmness and tranquility of this beautiful element. As I sat in the water, I closed my eyes and focused on breathing slowly and deeply. My husband, the nurses, midwives, and doula all watched me as I fell into what almost seemed like a hypnotic trance. As the contractions came, one after the other, I began to vocalize the energy with powerful moans. I could feel her descending into place, ready to enter the world. Her head began to crown and with all my force and all my might, I began to push harder than ever. She's coming, she's coming!, I screamed. And in one final push she was out. In what seemed like a surreal dream, I pulled her tender body up from beneath the water and onto my chest. As our eyes met for the first time, my entire world suddenly had meaning and purpose. My husband grasped me tightly from behind and we began to shed tears of joy as we sat staring in awe of the little life that rested upon my chest.
Nina Ynez Zapata was welcomed into the world on June 24th, 2014 at 7:32am. She weighed, a healthy, 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. We are beyond in love with her.
I am forever grateful for the amazing team at Del Mar Birth Center who gave me the strength, courage, and love to trust in my instincts to birth naturally. It was beyond an incredible experience and I look forward to bringing our next child into the world the same way.
Also, thank you to the ever talented Brianna, of Shoots and Giggles, for capturing such moving images of the entire birth. We now have precious memories to keep forever.