December 20th, 2018: I was thirty-seven weeks pregnant with my second child, and attended a full moon gong meditation with a dear friend. I remember laying on my mat in the tranquil yoga studio that night, basking in the heat from the flames in the fireplace, and absorbing the vibrations of the gong that sung sweetly through my soul. Healing chants accompanied by beating drums echoed softly through in the background, and I felt transported to another space and time.
I thought to myself: I’m going to birth my baby to this beautiful music . . .
During the car ride home together afterward, my friend asked me if I would ever consider having a “lotus birth”. I hadn’t heard of such a thing prior to that evening, and her explanation intrigued me. Upon researching it before going to bed that night, I knew it was meant to be.
The very next day, my husband DJ and I discussed the pros and cons of having a lotus birth. We were already prepared for a home birth, and felt that if this birth was anything like our firstborn “Jaxon’s Rainbow Birth”, a lotus birth would be perfectly complementary.
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We found it interesting that we discovered this ancient tradition literally once we hit that thirty-seven-week “safe zone”, and it felt especially fitting for this baby in particular. We were expecting a girl, and her name was Lillee: like a lily-pad, upon which the lotus flower natively grows. Divine-inline, or “divline”, as we like to say.
After discussing our decision with our incredibly supportive midwives, we gathered the items required for a lotus birth. It was a fun and exciting experience, which included purchasing a custom handmade “placenta basket” from a local weaver, which we decorated with several of our favourite crystals and gemstones.
Little did I know, exactly two weeks and two hours from the time of that full moon gong meditation, I would give birth to baby number two: sweet Lillee, under the new moon.
I awoke the morning of January 3, 2019 with period-like cramping . . . only this time it meant: baby is coming! DJ had just returned home from working out of town for several days (thank goodness!), and we had the day off together with our almost two-year-old son Jaxon. It was a cold and snowy winter’s day, and I continued on with my schedule as planned.
I remember grocery shopping with my toddler, pushing the cart ever so slowly, and waddling through what seemed to be sporadic, mild contractions. This must be it! I was on the brink of birthing my second child, and I felt deep within my core that everything would be a-o-k.
Just after dinner that evening, I made the call to our midwives. My contractions were regular, close together, and growing with intensity. I was so excited!! The timing was divine, as our midwives arrived just after we put Jax down for the night, and I could fully focus on the task at hand.
Again I realizedlike during my first labor, the more I leaned into my contractions and breathed with the ebb and flow of the process, the faster and smoother I progressed with delivering.
Since our first babe was born at home in water, I wanted to do as much as possible to re-create that same environment, because it was a most pleasant experience for me. The birthing tub we rented was ready to go in the living room, and we had essential oils diffusing; candles and crystals throughout; and the empowering chanting music on repeat in the background—just as I envisioned on the full moon two weeks prior.
I felt much more confident in my abilities during this birthing, and could hold conversations, laugh, and eat throughout the process. I entered the birthing tub when I felt called to do so, and I remember enjoying an oatmeal cookie in there so vividly—thanking my lucky stars that everything was going so well—and being humbled by the privilege of being in that space to birth freely.
I was so comfortable in the warm, silky well-water, that my contractions actually lessened in intensity, again just like my first labouring experience. Upon discussing this observation with my midwives, I requested some extra help to move things along, and they gently broke my water further for me. I knew this would work, because I experienced it wonderfully while labouring with my son, only this time: it progressed even faster!
Within a matter of moments, my body began to push on its own, and I was in the zone.
Once again, I called upon my spirit guides, guardian angels, passed loved ones (pets included!), and my higher self. I felt like I had an infinite “invisible tribe” surrounding me, and it gave me the courage to proceed with faith and belief that I could do this . . . just like I did before. I knelt forward on my knees, held my husband’s hands over the edge of the tub, and breathed my way through the sensations of my baby girl traveling downward through the birthing canal—as if she were funneling through a divine vortex—and once more, I was elated by the gift that was bestowed upon me.
As I felt the “burning ring of fire”, I knew we were at the finish line. My midwife gasped with surprise as she saw the amniotic sac appear first, in a large bubble shape: “like a beautiful glowing orb”, she exclaimed. It was dim in the room, so the flashlight on her headband sparkled and shined through the water and the sac. Shortly after, little baby Lillee’s head slowly poked through and filled the glowing globe. My husband saw this too and said it was magical—I wish we had taken a picture! Right then I felt the wiggle of my baby girl’s head for the first time on the outside, and with one final contraction, out she came – right up and into my arms.
Lillee Jean Marie officially entered the world at 9:23pm on January 3rd, 2019; weighing 7lbs, 1oz.
A perfect, happy, healthy baby girl—born “en caul”—had made us a millionaire family. En caul is also known as a “veil birth”, which is a rare thing of beauty as it happens in less than 1 in 80,000 births. How divline! I found it extra special considering my water (sac) was deliberately broken, so it seemed highly unlikely to have occurred at all. I knew right then: this girl is determined to do things her way, despite the odds.
I sat with Lil for a moment in the tub. Her newborn skin caressed mine in the most surreal of moments, and we later moved to our ready-made daybed for the placenta birthing. Since we were doing a lotus birth, we kept the umbilical cord fully intact, which meant babe had to be super close to me until her placenta was born.
Oddly enough, as I was adjusting my position on the bed to sit up a tad, my placenta literally gushed right out on its own, without me having to do a thing. Hallelujah! Cue the “that was easy” button, we laughed. Our midwives brought Lillee and placenta into the light for an examination, and my husband and I took a breather to be together and soak in the moment’s magic. It was blissful.
After a quick measuring, weighing, and check over, they brought baby Lillee and placenta back to me, and she rested on my chest to begin her first nursing session. My hubby brought over a plate of snacks, and I ate like I was in some “Competitive Eating Championship”. Birthing leaves me extremely hungry, and after learning that by default the first time, we set up a smorgasbord like never before!
Then came time for the remainder of Lillee’s lotus birth . . .
After we had thanked our wonderful midwives profusely, and they gave us the good-to-go, they tidied up and then left for the evening. There we were: our daughter in arms, our son sleeping soundly in our room down the hall, and we revelled in the moment of this unique birth as new mama and dada, once again.
Together we cleaned, dried, and prepared Lil’s placenta in her beautiful new basket. We coated it in an organic curing mixture of sea salt, lavender, and rosemary; then swaddled it in cotton clothes. It looked and smelled lovely, and we were quite pleased overall. We also preserved her amniotic sac in the same fashion, as it was still intact from her veil-birth.
There are so many wonderful benefits that occur with delayed cord clamping, and a lotus birth takes it one step further, when done correctly. Not only does it increase the blood and nourishment from the placenta to the baby on its own time (without unnatural intervention), it also improves circulation, increases red blood cell volume, raises hemoglobin levels, and lowers the risk of infection since there’s no injury to the umbilical cord or belly button.
Lotus births are a more gentle and less invasive transition for a baby from “womb-to-world”, and it is also a highly sacred honour to the shared-life between baby and its former “home”: the placenta.
I’ve honestly never met a more chill baby before I met Lillee—so much so, she adopted the name “Chill-Lill” in her first few days of life. Everywhere she went (which was mostly from arms to crib, and vice versa), there she was: with her beautiful placenta basket in tow! It was a bit of extra work to maintain in comparison to non-lotus births, and it was totally worth it.
We routinely cleaned and changed Lillee’s placenta and basket twice a day. On day four, her umbilical cord fell off seamlessly during a diaper change, at the exact same time as her first birth: 9:23pm. Perfectly divine, yet again . . . and oh, what a joy that was!! We placed her placenta in the freezer to preserve for a future project, and stored her umbilical cord as a keepsake too.
When I finally got to hold my baby girl—no strings attached—it actually felt as though that day was her actual birth-day. She did it in her own time, on her own schedule, when she was good and ready. Only then did she fully and naturally transition into the world, like a brand new baby, ready to go!
Almost everyone thought we were coo-coo for doing a lotus birth, as it’s not so commonly practiced, I suppose. Still, we stuck with the plan—and we’re so very glad we did!
The first few days of a baby’s life are so delicate and precious, and can be quite traumatic and from the perspective of a newborn. By keeping Lillee intact with her former home, it gave her a little extra comfort and space to observe the world at a slower pace. It also lessened the “passing off” from person to person, as we quickly discovered most people aren’t too keen on holding a baby that’s “still attached”. Ha!
Lillee has proven to be a powerful force, long before she ever came to be. She chose her own name nearly thirteen years prior to her arrival (I’ll save that tale for another time); she chose the music she wanted to accompany her upon entry into the world (as revealed to me just two weeks before); and, Lillee chose a last-minute lotus birth (while under that full moon too).
Those are just some of the special events that lead up until her fourth day on the outside: January 7, 2019 at 9:23pm—which we’ve officially dubbed as: Lillee’s lotus birthday.
Each of our four family members had a special part in making this magic happen, and our Lil’ girl is loved and adored infinitely by mama, dada, and big brother too.
And for mama’s greatest takeaway: I’m just glad I listened to my intuition.
In love and light, may birth blessings be yours,
– Krysta Lee xox
Krysta Lee Biography:
Krysta Lee is a singer/songwriter, actor, coach, and author (Mama’s Gotta Work!, and Women Let’s Rise; Golden Brick Road Publishing). She is the proud mama of two beautiful babes: Jaxon and Lillee; and wife to her twin flame “DJ”. Her family (and faminals) live a modern-day-hippie lifestyle in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada. She’s an optimist, a goal-getter, and a big-dreamer who’s had a passion for creative writing since her childhood years. Empowering others is important to her because she believes we each have an obligation to make a positive impact on the world. She understands that our future is a direct result of the actions we take today, and hopes to inspire as many people as possible with her life’s work.