It has been such a beautiful first 6 weeks (tomorrow!) with our newest addition, Sebastián Rio Yildiz. He was born in the water in the exact same room in our home as his big brother Julius Azul 🙂 As a matter of fact, we conceived him in that room as well last December, and today that cycle of life was brought full circle as my midwives came over for our final 6 week appointment. They poured me a scalding hot bath of herbs, flower petals and essential oils, after which they swaddled my entire body and led me through some sacred mama energy magic.

They performed a sweet, ceremonial ritual to close my energies emotionally and physically after pregnancy and birth. During pregnancy and especially child birth, our chakra energy portals become very open and vulnerable to the world. Similarly, our physical bodies have become loose – our hips, our internal organs, our bellies. They wrapped my naked, steaming body like a mummy very tightly, starting at the head and all the way to the feet, holding each wrapped chakra area tightly for a few minutes. I could feel my heart pounding in each squeezed location, a simultaneous sensation of tightening and letting go down my body. It took me right back to the birth as it paralleled the ebb and flow of contractions surging through my body, the momentary intensity followed by moments of soft bliss.

After some pressure point work at my head and feet, they unwrapped me and I opened my eyes to the light and love pouring out of their eyes, hearts and smiles. I was overcome with emotion! These two midwife goddesses have held my hand, and my families, through two birth journeys now. The process of growing a human being, birthing it into this world, and learning how to mother it, has proven to be the most sacred, amazing, profound and rewarding experience of my life. I will always be grateful for Gingi and Kristen, and the fact that I was able to birth both boys in the comforting, sacred environment of our home.

I have been soaking in all the love contained in the universe these past 6 weeks. The time around the birth of a baby truly is the most special in life. The support from our community has been overwhelming, from the flowers that filled our home in the weeks afterwards, to the delicious meals delivered, the sweet cards and gifts and visits. It’s a time of gratitude and giving thanks for all the love and of course a healthy baby.

Our little Bazzy star (our nickname for Sebastian is Baz and since Yildiz means ‘star’ in Turkish, we thought Bazzy Star was a good one too) was born on September 5th, 2015 at 7:29am weighing 9lbs and measuring 22.75″ long. His Dutch nickname is Basje (pronounced bahs-yah with soft vowels). So far he’s a mellow little love, a double Virgo with Gemini rising. His spirit animal is a bear. He definitely has a roar when he cries!

The story with his name: I was attached to Joaquin Jesse or Damian Skye, but Erol wanted Rafael or Sebastian. I have always loved the name Sebastian but I prefer more unique names (Sebastian seems to be a bit popular right now, at least in Berkeley). But after the birth, my whole family was here and everyone voted on their top names from our list; surprisingly everyone voted for Sebastian. Then Erol researched it and uncovered that the name’s roots lie in an ancient Turkish city, Sebastia. Erol’s Turkish and Dutch roots are such an important part of him as his father is 100% Turkish and his mother 100% Dutch, both with thick accents, and he’s spent a good part of his life in those countries. Further, both in Turkey and Holland they have unique spellings and pronunciations for Sebastian: Sebastiyan and Sebastiaan, respectively. In addition we both love the water (Baz spent half of his life in the womb swimming laps with mama), especially rivers, so Rio is his middle name.

He looks very much like a Sebastián Rio. He looks a lot like Jules did at his age, but much more like Erol (Jules has so much Schaeffer in him it’s unbelievable, he’s a spitting image of me when I was two). He has Erol’s nose, hair and eyelashes, and probably more, we will see as he unfolds! I am rooting for blue eyes but I already see specks of brown in the center! He was born with the same slate gray blue as Jules,’ who turned green around a few months and then eventually brown by 6 months. The little guy is off the charts big like Jules, but even more so. He was already 12 lbs at 3 weeks and he’s bigger than my friend’s 3 month old. Living with three boys over 6 ft is going to be fun, good thing I like cooking!

Here are a few photos of the days before and after Sebastián was born, including some recent ones of sweet Jules!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The second birth was much faster and for some reason, more challenging. The contractions felt more painful probably because my cervix was dilating faster than the first time. Contractions started mildly around 6pm and by 9pm they were really picking up. By 12 midnight I called the midwives and asked Tutu to stay the night with Jules. We filled the tub up around 1am and I was in it by 3am. I spent the next 4 or so hours in the tub laboring. Krishna Das and the various sweet melodies, essential oils and cold wash cloths really helped ground me. All night I kept my crystal in my hand (the same one that traveled the world with me and kept me safe), helping support me as I passed the pain through it’s powerful energy. Pushing him out slowly was the most painful experience ever, but you wouldn’t have known watching the beautiful birth video! Suzan arrived just in time to film the birth, and it is so special to watch.  Thankfully there were no complications, I didn’t have to go to the hospital or get stitches, and I didn’t hemorrhage this time 🙂

Being a mama of two definitely takes more patience and juggling acts, but as long as I expect everything to take forever and to be challenging, when things go smoothly I’m always pleasantly surprised. Keeping my expectations low and positivity high. And it’s so amazing how we women survive on such little sleep! 10pm to 6am roughly, waking every 2 hours, and somehow I feel pretty stoked 90% of the time. This will likely be the best years of my life so I may as well enjoy them! I am so so lucky to have a husband who works so hard to support our family, as well as so loving and playful with the boys.

Words that describe this time: delicious, blissful, special, magic, innocence, dirty dishes, yellow poops. I love taking baths with both boys, playing/walking outside with them in the crisp fall sunshine and really any time we can do anything as a family of 4.