Somewhere between 8 and 9 centimeters I began to lose strength, began to crumble at the weight of each contraction and I reluctantly relented to an epidural...but it was too late. And, there was Marqui, chanting, praying, showing me my own strength, making me feel capable of doing what I didn't think I could and what the doctors assured I couldn't. I tell her this often. She gave me the gift of natural birth by gifting me her energy along the way. I heard her voice beside my partner, heard her voice on the phone with my mother, heard her voice inside of my heart, detailing every moment that surrounded me.

"I see her head, Shay...you are doing so good...

I'm proud of you...she's coming, she's beautiful...

YOU GOT THIS"!

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