Azelie Marie's Grand Entrance
I desired for a birth just like Noah’s: planned and painless in the hospital birthing room. I prayed for that, I even worked for it. And in a style true to His nature, God gave me the exact opposite of what I wanted.
I woke up at 4 a.m., unable to sleep due to the contractions. They were tolerable, even though they were spaced 10 minutes apart, so I decided to wait it out. After half an hour, I found myself going to the bathroom more and even saw my mucus plug in the toilet. I woke Raffy up to tell him about it but still, we felt no urgency to go to the hospital. The main reason was that no one would look after Noah — it was just the three of us in our apartment.
Past 6 a.m., the contractions transitioned from tolerable to painful. When each wave of contraction came, I would do any of the following: hold onto the towel rack, curse silently, stay on my fours, offer a prayer, remember that this is my body given up for you, my baby. For those who don’t know, a contraction feels like someone twisting your insides to the highest degree of pain possible. I messaged my OB-GYN requesting to have the anaesthesiologist be there as soon as I arrive in the hospital; I needed the drugs to silence the pain. Raffy and I decided to dress up and leave as our household help and driver finally arrived. Then it all happened in what felt like a split-second:
I was on the way out the door when I stopped in the living room to endure one more contraction. I breathed in, breathed out. After that, I ran to the guest bathroom because I felt like expelling something from my body. I made it to the toilet right when my water broke. I panicked and whispered to her, ‘Zelie, please wait till we get to the hospital.’ Then suddenly I found myself shout AAAAHHHH in this raw, powerful, primal way. I didn’t even think of shouting like that, it was just instinctual. I looked down and saw the head of my baby girl.
The next thing I knew I was sitting down on the bathroom floor and Azelie was on the bathroom carpet, crying sounds of life. I remember every sensation so vividly except for that one, as if angels took over. And then it was just a flurry of activity happening all around me: Noah staring at his new sibling, Raffy holding Azelie, blood everywhere, my helper gathering towels, my OB on the phone, the nurses cutting the cord, being placed on a stretcher, and finally, going to the hospital in an ambulance... hours after I should have gone.
In those moments on the bathroom floor, when I was immobile, bloody, and exhausted, all I could do was worry about the baby. Is she okay? Were we supposed to cut the cord? How could I even do skin-to-skin contact? My husband tells me he was panicking, too, seeing his wife and his newborn child on the floor. Helplessness rushed through him. And somehow through all of that, the baby and I were found both safe and healthy. No infections, no severe blood loss, no complications.
Ever since that day, Raffy and I have talked about that event countless of times in commentaries of disbelief, awe, and endless gratitude. So many things could have gone wrong. Yet every single thing fell into place for us to deliver Azelie safely in our own home. Even Noah got to witness the raw birth of his baby sister.
There was absolutely no human intervention, my husband keeps saying. Mama Mary was my midwife as she walked with me through each contraction. My guardian angel probably laid me down as Azelie slipped out of me (Raffy and I really have no recollection of this exact moment when I fell to the ground). And God orchestrated it all, willing the safety of our family. Each and every moment was a divine act. The birth of Azelie was nothing less than a miracle, in the purest sense of the word. After all, it happened on the Queenship of Mary. A day I now dedicate to the strength and power and beauty of women, of mothers.
On August 22, 2019, our little family of four was a witness to the great goodness and grand love of God. He allowed our baby girl to see the light of day, even in the unlikeliest of circumstances. Indeed, miracles still happen in our everyday life. We just have to surrender ourselves to the most glorious One of all. Thank You for giving me the privilege of experiencing the grandest miracle in this beautiful vocation that I have laid my life upon. Thank You. And thank you to my first daughter Azelie for your grit and determination. Our first collaboration in this world and we already showcased the strength of a woman.