Joy Luci Birth Story

{birth video at the end}

It was Oct 30th, a Sunday evening when everything started. We planned to go to the movies to watch “Birth of a Nation” but changed our minds and decided to stay in. Justin had made Shepherd’s Pie and cookies with ice cream for dessert. Janiah and Jalen were in their rooms doing their thing. We relaxed on the couch and started watching “Good Will Hunting”. Braxton Hicks had become consistent but painless, within less than an hour the sensation came on a little stronger. I actually started feeling some pain with it. I looked at Justin and said: Oh Oh. This one hurts. We both laughed and said, “this needs to stop. She can’t come on Halloween.”

You see, I was never a big fan of Halloween and I really didn’t want that day to be her birthday. We went to bed. It was a powerful new moon that day so I wrote down my intentions for the next cycle. All related to the birth, healthy baby and also my birth as a mama. The Braxton Hicks turned into light consistent contractions in a matter of 2 hours. I started timing them and it was already around 7 minutes apart but I was in denial thinking it would go away. Justin was talking to his older son up in NY. He heard me complaining about the pain and asked if Joy Luci was coming that night. We said “no, she can’t come on Halloween.” Justin’s son said: “Oh yeah, we don’t want no Halloween baby!”, We laughed.

Oh how we were wrong. Joy Luci had other plans!! She decided to come on the only day we didn’t want her to come. She wanted to let us know who the boss is! 🙂

So I finally texted my doula at midnight and she advised me to try to sleep, which was impossible. The pain was getting stronger way too fast. I felt a little gush of water coming down and went to the bathroom to put on a pad. I thought it was just some extra secretion, nothing crazy. As soon as I got back in bed I felt a “pop” inside my belly and big gush came out. My water had broken but for some weird reason I only realized it after the birth. I took a picture of the pad full of fluids and sent to my doula. This was at 1:15am. We still thought it was too early for our doula to come but changed our minds after the gradual increase of intensity during contractions. I broke down and asked her to come when the pain would not allow me to stand. Justin quickly started filling up the birth pool. I could no longer deny I was in real active labor. I finally called my parents who were staying at a hotel for the weekend close by and told them it was time.

Justin texted our midwife and she arrived almost at 5am and our friend photographer slightly after.

I tried helping Justin with the pool and also setting up the room – I didn’t want the tv in the living room (for pictures) and I wanted to move my affirmations to a different wall (also for pictures). I wanted to light my candles and make the room cozy but oh my! One contraction knocked me down to the floor so I just gave up and surrendered to labor. Justin cleaned our bathroom tub and filled it up while the birth pool in the living room was still being blown up. I needed water. Justin was a little nervous and kept asking me what time my parents were coming.

My parents soon arrived not knowing what to expect. My father tried to joke with me and a contraction that was the strongest ever, made me bend over the bathroom sink, it paralyzed me. Mom and dad quickly realized that this was the real deal. I got in the bathroom tub and felt immediate relief. It’s true. The water is AMAZING! I could finally manage the surges. Our doula arrived around 4am and it was so good to have her there.

The lights bothered me and I asked for them to be turned off. I asked for them to play my home birth playlist that I had created even before I got pregnant and have been meditating and practicing yoga with. The music helped me lot.

Becky our midwife checked me and I was already 6cm dilated and she realized my water had already released but I only found that out later on. I thought about asking her how far along I was but decided to trust that I was where I supposed to be and stayed quiet.

Our bathroom bathtub is small compared to the birth pool but I felt so comfortable in there. Contractions were coming close together but at that point I was completely into my body. I kept my eyes closed the entire time. I was totally in my zone. A very uncomfortable and painful zone but I was there. All in. No way out. Nothing else mattered. I didn’t want any lights or talking. I was just feeling the water and listening to my music. It was actually beautiful how focused, connected and present I felt. I was already in a parallel universe. The pain was real but it didn’t intimidate me. I felt it on my back and hips and it radiated towards my legs. It was way more intense than I expected. Actually how could I even expect anything? This was my first time giving birth. — I would move my hips around and put pressure on my back with each contraction. I asked that nobody come in the bathroom anymore except my mom and our doula.

Soon Becky came and told me to move to the birth pool in the living room. I told her to wait as I felt a contraction coming. With a lot of effort I got up and walked to the living room, with my eyes somewhat closed. Before I could get to the pool another contraction came and oh my! Not being in the water was cruel. It took me a while to get comfortable as the birth pool was big compared to the bathtub. As soon as I got into the birth pool I said: I’m nervous to meet her. She will change everything!!

Within minutes I started feeling the urge to push. I went from 6cm to 10cm in less than a hour. Maybe in minutes. I’m glad. I have been meditating and practicing yoga on that spot where the pool was for months. I visualized the birth every day happening in there. I think once I got there my body and mind already knew what needed to happen and I didn’t waste time. I surrendered even more.

The contractions now were different. I felt more in control. The pain was even more intense and the pressure was surreal. It radiated all the way down my legs. It felt like my hips were going to break into pieces. Again, I was not afraid but I wanted it to be over! I wanted to hold my baby girl!

I read the Hypnobirth book and from my experience as a yoga teacher I imagined myself breathing my baby out instead of pushing. I thought I was going to be all zen and namaste, that I was going to be all quiet and use all the breathing techniques I know. Oh I was so wrong. Instead of the zen Bianca, the warrior Bianca came out. I was yelling and making sounds I didn’t even know I could make. It was powerful. I was like a lioness. I didn’t care. I was loud. My throat burned. I knew I had to control myself and my breathing but I just couldn’t so I just gave in to what my body was doing. Somewhere Over The Rainbow started playing and I started singing, that felt so good. I’m sure I didn’t sound good, who cares. I just needed to relax a little. With each contraction I would reach my arms and hands out for someone to reach back and I would squeeze their hands so hard.

At one point my doula suggested giving me honey to give me a little boost of energy. They saw I was getting tired. I said: No, I hate honey. Give me Nutella!! Everyone thought that was funny. I love Nutella so that was awesome!!

I was pushing for a little while, maybe 30 minutes, not sure. I felt the head and thought Joy Luci would come out on the next contraction but nothing. I felt discouraged. I was reaching my max and kept asking Becky to talk to me. Her voice gave me so much comfort and strengthen. She coached me a little and then I asked her to please help me get Joy Luci out!! I needed her in my arms! Then I felt the ring of fire. It does really burn. That got me excited. I knew Joy was about to come out. Becky then started to put pressure and it helped me focus down there a little more. My doula started coaching my breathing to help me push more efficiently.

I felt connected to Joy Luci the entire time. We were doing this together exactly how we were meant to. Becky checked her heart rate with the doppler a few times. It was so strong, so powerful. Hearing her gave me even more strengthen and I was more and more excited to see her face.

Then there was a pause. A brief moment of stillness and calmness and the last contraction came. I pushed quietly this time, holding my breath. Finally my little girl came out!

Joy Luci was born on Oct 31st at 6:38am.

That moment was so surreal but so familiar at the same time. It felt like I knew what I was doing but at the same time I couldn’t believe we had done it!! I looked at Justin and said: We did it babe!!
Joy Luci is so precious. So healthy, so perfect!!! I was surprised to see how big she was.

Holding her felt so good – a true miracle. Her cry was strong. All the pain went away, it was all worth it!


My mom woke Jalen and Janiah up and they came out to meet their little sister. I don’t know how they managed to sleep through all the noise I was making. I wanted Janiah to be there during the labor and birth. I wanted her to witness the power of birth, that was the plan but I was so focused and out of this universe that I didn’t think of it at the time. I do believe everything happened the way was supposed to happen though, so I’m okay with it.

We spent some time in the water amazed at Joy latching on my breast and waiting for the birth of the placenta. The placenta was uncomfortable but not as bad as feeling her come out. Not at all. But at that point I was so exhausted. Happy, relieved, proud of us but yes, exhausted!

After the delivery of the placenta we gave Joy Luci to Justin so I could go to bed and get cleaned up and so they would get skin to skin contact. Joy pooped and peed on Justin right away 🙂 They bonded while Becky took care of me.

Janiah (big sister) cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. Becky did the newborn exam and we found out she was born 7.14oz and 19.5 inches. Then Janiah put her first diaper on and dressed her. It was beautiful.

I needed to eat so my mom warmed up Shepherd’s pie and our amazing doula baked pão-de-queijo (brazilian cheese balls). I ate so much!

After a quick shower we got breastfeeding started. It wasn’t easy but I was prepared. I will share our breastfeeding experience (which is going very well thank God!) in another post.

Now I’m having a hard time remembering what happened next. It was so intense. I was in such a high from the birth.

I think Joy Luci slept for a good 4-5 hours. Justin’s mom, sister and niece came over to see her and Janiah and Jalen got to hold her for a while. Then after she woke up all she wanted to do was nurse. I loved it.

Our first night was amazing. She slept with us in bed and I nursed her every hour as she asked. No crying or anything, she would just gravitate towards me and make cute little noises.

Our home birth was a dream come true. I meditated everyday on it. I visualized all the details. Everything happened as we dreamed and prayed for. Except that I hoped for it to happen during the day because of lighting (photos) but it doesn’t matter now, we got amazing photos anyways as you can see. I’m a photographer and a big sucker for great light so I can’t help it.

Joy made Oct 31st the most beautiful day and I love it! As of Halloween we might or might not participate, let’s see how it goes. I’m not concerned about that right now. We will go with the flow.

If you have been reading my blog, you know how everything started. How much we prayed for Joy Luci to come and how blessed we have been. Her home birth and health was the ultimate blessing. It went so fast (only 5.5 hours of active labor and not even 4 hours of pre-labor or early labor). I’m so grateful for everything. For all the little details. God is so good to us and I thank Him for a healthy baby girl and for giving me the strengthen to give birth naturally and at home. Also for helping me trust my body and trust that everything would be perfectly fine! I didn’t doubt myself for a minute, I was made for this!

I need to give thanks to my amazing husband for being so supportive since day one. For not doubting me and for always being there for me. For going to every prenatal appointment, for giving me strength, for being excited, for loving me unconditionally and for all the powerful words during birth. Baby, you were AMAZING! I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m so happy I married you!!

Thank you also to my parents for being there and so hands on as well. For flying all the way from CT to be here for me. Thank you for your selfless love and dedication. For believing in me and being open minded. You guys are the most amazing parents I could ask for!!!

A HUGE thanks to my amazing birth team! My awesome midwife and doula! Oh how much I love those two!! Becky, I’m so glad you were our midwife. Since the first day I met I knew you were the perfect match for us. You rock. For real! Thank you for empowering me and letting me be me. Thank you for your tough love and for giving your time and energy to us. Thank you for introducing Ty to us! Ty, you are something else! I won the lottery by having you as our doula. Your energy, your blessed hands, your availably, your sense of humor, your homemade cookies and pão-de-queijos… I could go on and on. You are a blessing! Thank you so much for everything! I’m going to miss the two of you so much!!

Lastly but not least, thank you Hannah for being there as a friend and photographer! You are amazing and your calm energy is so special. Thank you for the maternity photos, for your friendship, for letting me be part of your home birth and for being such an inspiration for me. We absolutely love the photos and we will cherish them forever! Seriously, I can’t thank you enough!

Oct 31st, 2016 was the day our life changed forever!!!
Thank you Joy Luci for choosing us to be your parents.
Thank You God for giving me the most precious gift! Thank you for a healthy pregnancy, a beautiful home birth and a perfectly healthy baby girl.

Thank you for letting our dreams come true!

Let motherhood begin!!!

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