Count Down to Dome Birth Print
Birth Stories - Homebirth Birth Stories
Monday, 21 September 2009 15:55

                              Count Down To Dome Birth


Here we go again...another water birth!!! Our third!  Well... it really is about two births;  the birth of our new and oh so beautiful “Water Baby” whose name is “Iam Joy” and the birth of our new and oh so amazing Monolithic Dome Home. 

We first need to go back in time to the year 1990.  Bracken and I were driving in our motor home with our first born Water Baby “ Now Joy, who was about 10 months.  We were traveling north on I-35 between Austin and Dallas, Texas when we glanced off to the right and saw these little white Domes.  They looked like Igloos, but much bigger.  There was even one that looked like a little house with pitched roofs over the windows and a white picket fence around it.  It was a dome house! We both excitedly looked at each other and said at the same time  “we have to go back and see those”!  

It was funny but we had already passed the “Italy exit” where the Domes were and it was about 10 miles to the next one. We wanted to make a U-turn on the freeway but didn’t feel safe so we drove the 10 miles and turned around.  I can still remember our anticipation driving back to the Domes.  Brack and I are very adventurous beings and we’ve always thought very futuristically and if you’ve read our birth story of Now Joy you know just how much!  We knew we were in store for another  “Way Out There Experience”!

When we finally arrived at the "Italy" exit our excitement was at it's peak!  We turned left and saw an old homemade sign that read "DOMES" with an arrow pointing down a very narrow country road.  I'm glad Bracken was driving because we were in our 40 foot Motor home and this road looked like it was made for only 4-wheel drive vehicles.  So we held our breath and slowly headed down the road.  After about a quarter mile of rockin and rollin we pulled in the driveway of  “Monolithic Construction Inc...” without a scratch!  Little did we know then that our life would never be the same!

The people at Monolithic were so friendly and they were happy to answer all of our questions.  We found out that “Monolithic Domes”  are incredibly energy efficient, you can save about 50% of your cooling and heating cost, they actually have the highest insulation rating of any known building.  These domes can withstand disasters such as hurricanes,  tornadoes,  fire and earthquakes.  You can build one for less than a conventional stick frame or concrete block home and they can withstand the time of any other structure known to man, with very little maintenance!  There is a dome that was built in Rome in 128 AD  “the Pantheon” and it is still standing in good condition to this day.

They showed us all around their spacious dome offices and then their “Model Dome Home”  (the one with the white picket fence)     From the outside they do look a little funny but on the inside they look like a dream! Their model was about 30 feet in diameter and didn’t look very big from outside but once we stepped in we were amazed!!!  There is so much more space in a dome than a conventional square house.  You don’t have all the corners where you lose space!  We were so excited!  We saw pictures of Domes that they had built all over the world and they told us of a 60 ft. dome home just a few miles south in Temple and it was for sale!  We phoned the people in Temple and they said we were welcome to come any time.  It had been an amazing day so far and we knew it was about to get better. We thanked everyone and then headed off on another Dome seeking adventure.

When we arrived at the Dome home in Temple, we were awestruck! From the outside it didn't look like it could be 60 feet in diameter but when we stepped inside,  WOW!!!  was it expansive!  It was the most beautiful home we had ever seen!  We wanted to buy it and move in that very day! There is nothing like the feeling of being in a Dome.  

Well... it turned out that we didn't buy the Temple, Texas dome but from that day on we knew that we wanted to live in a Dome and that no conventionally built home would ever due...  We left very excited and started our journey to find the perfect spot to build a Dome.

 Now this is where the story gets really exciting!!!  

Our journey took nearly four years but we had found 80 acres of pristine virgin land in northern Idaho and we were in the process of building our first Dome and in it we were planning a water birth of our 3rd child. 

Still living in our motor home and parked on the land our dream dome was well on it’s way! Construction started in May and I was in my fifth month of pregnancy.  All was going wonderfully. We had met a very skilled and experienced Spiritual Midwife; Cathy Weston, who was a perfect match to our thinking.  She had been practicing midwifery for many years and was very comfortable with water birth.  She had had all of her children (4 of them) at home naturally.  Cathy also owned an Organic Bakery in town so I was bound to be well fed! She was a perfect match! 

Thank God Domes go up fast... we only had 4 months!  We so much wanted to have the baby in the dome but it was starting to feel like it wasn’t going to be finished in time... we needed to have a back up plan just in case.  We were all having lots of fun in the forest and  playing in the nearby Coeur d’ Alene River.  We knew we could have the baby in the motor home bath tub but I remember missing one of my favorite places in the whole world, Hawaii, where we had lived and birthed Now Joy, where I had swam with hundreds of spinner dolphins and where we could have our new little one that was soon to come!  We could have the baby in Hawaii!!!  I had two successful water births behind me and I was confident this one would be wonderful too, no matter where we were!  And if our Dome wasn’t going to be ready, I wanted to get settled in Hawaii as soon as possible.  Cathy was so supportive and knew all would work out for us and was also willing to fly over if we wanted her to. The ocean is always warm and inviting in Hawaii and I could rejoin with all of my dolphin friends.  We also knew Merrily our first Midwife was still practicing and available... so just like that... we were off to the big deep blue ocean of Hawaii.  

Hawaii was wonderful!  The Big Island was where we had spent countless hours swimming with friends, Spinner dolphins and Humpback whales.  I felt strong and healthy and never tired when I was in the waters around them.  I was in my final months of pregnancy and we had been about a month on the Islands. We were having lots of dolphin encounters and everything was going great and we had many friends willing to have us but in the back of my mind there was still a strong desire to have the baby in the mountains and in our Dome.  Deep down we all wanted her to be born in Idaho in the water and in the Dome.  I also had many dreams where I would be speaking with Iam Joy and we were always in a Dome!  As much as I didn’t want to leave Hawaii I had to trust that inner voice and go back to Idaho.

In the meantime the construction of the dome had been continuing nicely. Gaylord Allen our good friend and Building Contractor spoke with us before we left Hawaii and said it would be close but if we really, really wanted to have the baby in the dome he would do everything he could to have at least the water running and a bed on the floor.  We’d been in what looked like impossible situations before and all would magically work out. This was one of those big desires... to have the first Water Dome Birth ever!  We knew it was possible and we knew we had to hold tight to our faith and to our vision and the Universal forces would knock themselves out to orchestrate everything for the highest and best outcome! 

The trip back from Hawaii was very tiring for me, I was really feeling heavy with the baby and she was due in less than two weeks! I was so glad to be back to the forest amongst all the giant pine trees! When we finally drove up the long driveway and saw our dome we were all screaming with excitement! The Dome looked about the same on the out side but when we went inside a lot had been accomplished and we were pleased to see the bath tub was in place. The faucets still hadn’t arrived but were due any day. Gaylord and Butch were still working on the drywall in the bathroom, Bill our electrician was setting the lights and the glass block shower wall was beautiful but only half done. If you’ve ever witnessed the building of your own home you know everything doesn’t always go smoothly. From picking out just the right fixtures to choosing where you want your walls placed. There are always delays and I don't have to tell you, it can be pretty stressful and on top of that I was nine months pregnant!!!

I did know about meditation and yogic breathing and practicing this for many years had gotten me through times of crazy stressful situations... so to keep from going out of my mind I would make this a daily ritual and do deep and relaxed breathing to help quiet my mind. I needed to visualize the dome being ready and a perfect birth!  The outer didn’t really matter at this point only the inner peace and Joy. I was also so blessed to have my Mother to help with our girls while Brack was focussing on the completion of the dome. 

Looking back at those last few days before she came I know there was a power that was guiding me and nourishing my spirit! There was so much busy-ness around me but there was a profound calm within me.  It’s beyond words but I can tell you and I know this to the core of my being... the spirit and the essence of our baby Iam Joy was growing more powerful within me and all around me and that awesome power of LOVE was beyond AMAZING and it seemed that time stood still!

The baby was due any day now and our bathtub fixtures hadn’t arrived. It looked like we might have to birth in the motor home bathtub, which was plenty big enough, but it wasn’t my first choice.  

It was a Tuesday and they had finished the glass block wall separating the bathroom from the bedroom.  I didn't mention this before but our Master bedroom and bath Dome is 40 feet in diameter and 20 feet high with a 6 foot skylight on the top.  I was due to have the baby the following week but you never really know just when a baby will decide to come... so everyone seemed to be walking on eggshells around me. On Thursday the fixtures for the birthing tub finally had arrived and Bob the Plumber was diligently installing them. The beautiful blue ocean carpet went in on Friday, we had ordered an 8 foot round bed and the owner of the Mattress Company and his wife specially delivered it on Saturday, we picked up the sheets for the bed on Monday and I went into labor on Tuesday afternoon at 4:00 and our new little Water baby girl took her first breath at 8:00 PM just four hours later.  She was born joyously and painlessly in warm water in our 6 foot oval jacuzzi bathtub!!!  Our midwife Cathy said she came spinning out of me like a baby spinner dolphin!!!  It was the most awesome birth experience yet!!!

There are many moments that I remember during that short 4 hours of labor and birth.  I remember feeling so blessed!  I remember with each contraction/expansion it felt so good to be free to walk and squat or dance and frolic in the warm water.  I remember the peace I felt knowing that my body was made to have babies. I remember being surrounded by my loving family and friends. I remember my beautiful and oh so supportive and allowing mate Bracken.  I remember our 2 other water babies, Now Joy and Star Joy laughing and playing and dancing and watching Disney’s Little Mermaid and anxiously waiting to see their new sister or brother.  I remember my dear mother “Joy” who was always there for me no matter what and who brought warm towels for the baby!  I mostly remember that there was a calm within me and that there was no fear and no pain in bringing our new little Goddess into this world!  I remember it was easy to breath and visualize and commune with the spirit of her and that my mind was so connected with the mind of our baby’s and I remember that there was no separation from my body and my spirit and the love and the power of our Source. I also remember in those final moments of pushing and feeling again for the 3rd time the burning ring of fire as her head squeezed out, I actually experienced an orgasm, an orgasm more intense than words can convey.  I’m sure you've heard the saying “3 times a charm”  well... that is so true! Weighing in at 8 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long our perfect little baby girl was not so small after all!

Since that day in September and because we feel so strongly that  Domes definitely improve the quality of life for those who live and work in them now and well into the future, we have started our own Dome building company called “Future Homes Now”.  We have nearly finished the Master bedroom and are well underway on construction of the kitchen, which is also a 40 foot diameter Dome. 

I want to thank everyone who did inhumane feats to finish our Dome!  Special thanks to you Cathy, our most awesome and allowing of all Midwives! It just wouldn’t have been as magical without you there!  Thanks go out to everyone at Monolithic Construction Inc. for all your help and encouragement, to Gaylord Allen for his unending love to build Domes.  To Butch Rothe the Forman, Marshall Crigger the helper, Bill Cropper and Pete Cropper of Cropper Electric, Bob DuBois of Sally Ann Mechanical, Michael Engelby Excavating, Steve Garitone and Carl Cochran, Tod Cochran of C & G Construction, Wally Burnham of Burnham Construction, Central Premix P & B Concrete, CDA Glass, Pella Windows, Tapley Cabinets, Vermax, Zanetti Brothers Concrete, The Rose Lake Community my Mother Joy my Mate Bracken and my daughters Now and Star, and a Special Thanks to Poppy Clarence, we couldn’t have done it without you and especially to baby “Iam Joy”  for hanging in there... until the job was done!!!


Story written by: Nina Joy



Last Updated on Monday, 21 September 2009 16:01