I had my final postpartum visit last week. My last postpartum visit EVER. Bittersweet, yes. I feel a mixture of grief and motivation. Part of me wants to apologize (to whom, I do not know) for being melodramatic. The rest of me knows no apology is needed — postpartum time deserves far more attention and care than it typically receives.
This is the story of my second child’s birth. My first son MaiTai was born three and a half years ago in a hospital. (I’ll share details of that tale in a future post).
***BEFORE YOU READ: Again, this is a birth story. If you’re not accustomed to reading real birth stories, are uncomfortable with images of birth-related nudity, or have a very particular definition of what’s TMI, you might consider skipping this post.***
*BEFORE YOU READ: This is a post about human placentas. It includes photos. If you’re not accustomed to seeing a real placenta or don’t wish to see one, you might consider skipping this post.*
*All uncaptioned photos below are credited to Stephanie Shirley Photography*
Instead of cutting Julep’s umbilical cord we held a sacred severance ceremony, an ancient ritual that involves using flame to slowly burn the cord.
It was a beautiful and peaceful few minutes dedicated to Julep’s final step in the separation from his uterine life.
**All photos in this post credited to Stephanie Shirley Photography.**
Julep latched for the first time twenty-four minutes after he was born on April 28th. I remember the feeling was… beautiful. It felt right.
Memories of MaiTai’s first latch attempts in the hospital three and a half years ago came flooding back. Was I really doing this again? How lucky am I! And what work we have ahead of us…
Other details of the moment are all a blur now. I nursed this bright-eyed, alert baby on and off during my time on the bed right after birthing him in a pool several feet away.
*All photos credited to Stephanie Shirley Photography.*
Our second-born son is finally in our arms!
Baby Julep (as usual, not his real name) was born into water at home on April 28th, at 7 lb, 6.5 oz. He was eagerly welcomed earthside by his big brother MaiTai with a special cord burning ceremony.