Today 8 years ago on November 6, 2006 at around 6am Luna was born. Her birth was a home and water birth. We were living on the North Pacific West Coast of my home country Costa Rica, in the small but developing beach town of Tamarindo in the province of Guanacaste. The nearest hospital in Liberia was an hour away and the roads were bad, there were also no midwifes working in the area, actually the only midwife working in Costa Rica (it seams at the time) was in the capital of San José. So we left our bellowed Magic House which sat on a small hill off a dirt road far away from town with only howler monkeys as neighbors and went to stay at my fathers house in La Guaria, Moravia for a few weeks to await Luna’s arrival. I was a single mother and had been raised my daughter Sol, Luna’s year and seven month older sister, on my own but at the time was renting out the bottom floor of the house to a couple who were also expecting and had a beautiful girl Azul nearly 4 months after Luna’s birth. Azul’s mother Andrea was American and her father Diego from Argentina, we where a family and for the next year grew together under the same roof.
I started labor on a Sunday around midnight, right after watching a movie. Exactly as I had with my first born. With Sol, over a year and a half before, I had also gone into labor on a Sunday night after watching a film, Sol was born on Monday around 6pm, as the sun was setting and the moon rising while Luna was born also on Monday but 12 hours earlier when the sun was rising and the moon setting. This is how close and intricate the life of these two sisters has been. There always seams to be a big difference between the first born and the second, as if ones body has figured things out and because I surrendered more the second time around. When I felt labor begin I ate a bowl of soup which I ended up throwing up a couple hours later. I called my midwife Uva and started passing the hallway of my fathers old house. My father wasn’t there since he lives on the South Caribbean coast in the beach town of Puerto Viejo and was keeping this house to have a place to stay when coming to the city. He inherited this house form his parents and has been in the family since before I was born so the house had a lovely vibe to it. Uva arrived around 2am and sometime after 5am when I began to feel the urge to push I got into the pool. Our maid Rosa, whom I had brought from Guanacaste with us to help me with chores, had woken up. I laid in the pool with Uva on one side and Rosa on the other with Sol sleeping ion the room next door, surrounded by female support I began pushing, it felt so different to be laboring in water. Sol was not a water birth though I labored in a jacuzzi for some time during her birth. Everything felt more natural, more elastic, I felt less pressure and burning sensation while pushing in water. We filmed the birth which I have shared with Diana Paul, founder of Love Delivers a non-profit organization where you will find information and videos about Homebirth, EcoBirth and the Motherbaby International Film Festival. Diana used Luna’s birth in a multi-chaptered DVD compilation titled Five Countries, Six Births, Seven Babies showing homebirths in Guatemala, Costa Rica, France, the USA and Bermuda.
Luna was a very special birth because as rare as it is she was born with her caul intact, I never broke my water, so when she came out she was still inside the amniotic sac. I pushed her out and slowly grabbed her as she floated naturally to the surface, we began slowly to open the sac and take off the slimy transparent membranes, I put her on my chest and began welcoming her into this world. She slowly started breathing on her own and making those little sounds newborns make. After a while when I felt she was breathing well I stood and stepped out of the pool to sit on Uva’s placenta birthing chair. Uva gently massaged by uterus and asked me if I felt any contractions. I felt nothing but still I pushed and there the placenta came all out. What a beautiful piece of human architecture!
As soon as I laid in bed with my precious little Luna Sol woke up and came out to met her, it was such a beautiful and special moment, Sol seamed so wise, I could tell she understood perfectly how baby Luna had emerged from my big belly. Sol held her little sister and kissed her over and over, they had bonded for ever.
Many belief systems hold that being born in the caul is a sign of special destiny and psychic abilities. In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness. Over the course of European history, a popular legend developed suggesting that possession of a baby’s caul would give its bearer good luck and protect that person from death by drowning. Cauls were therefore highly prized by sailors. Medieval women often sold their cauls to sailors for large sums of money; a caul was regarded as a valuable talisman.
We shall see what the future holds for Luna, at her 8 years of age she has definitely shinned as bright as a full moon, her constant smile a symbol of that.