By midnight, and after my second acupuncture session I told Alan to get some sleep, as it would be a long night. This is when I went within. Meditating, visualizing, saying my birth affirmations, “I am having this beautiful, happy, healthy baby naturally…RIGHT NOW!” over and over. I was only interrupted by the night nurse who ran in and out of the room periodically between the five other births that were going on. I told her at 2:00am that my water broke. She replied that I had probably gone shi-shi in my pants. Given that I was having regular diarrhea due to the herbal concoction of black cohash and Epsom salt. I knew there was no shi-shi left and that I was most likely dehydrated! Soon after, my mucus plug came out but she didn’t seem to believe that was possible either and didn’t check my progress all night. In my own altered birthing state, I focused on my breathing and the birth I wanted, not even realizing that I was in labor!
At 7:30am there was a nurse shift change. New nurses came in and took one look at me while Alan was rubbing my back and I was moaning in pain and clutching the bars on the bed (oh, that’s what they’re for!!). In the most beautiful moment of the dawn after a long night, the nurse who checked me said, “Oh honey, you are 9cm dilated! You are in transition right now! You are about ready to push…We need the doctor here now!” She looked around the room in dismay: there were remnant’s of our dinner from Whole Foods, the Acupuncture supplies, my essential oil diffuser, our yoga mat and said, “We need to get this room cleaned up…NOW!”
The room was a scramble. Things were flying: they were setting up, Alan was breaking our things down, and I heard my cell phone ring (finding out later it was my best shaman friend saying perhaps if I didn’t answer it was because I was in labor!). By the time my amazing Doula, Lani Morris, and the doctor showed, up, I was already pushing. Tears ran down my face as the full awareness came over me: I was having the natural childbirth that I had dreamed of since I was a child. For my baby to have the opportunity to come into this physical plane with a clear head, body and soul were of utmost importance to me. This is exactly what happened at 9:22am when they laid my son Kian in my arms, less than 24 hours after they told me that, “it was not possible” to have him any other way than induction, that I “did not have a choice” and that they had to induce me with drugs!
In my philosophy of life, there is ALWAYS a choice. It is about being informed and educated. To learn what the options are, to be open to the alternative routes that may lead to your dreams, and receiving the guidance and the assistance that is available to us all when we open up to it. While Acupuncture and herbs did in fact induce me, it did so without the side effects to my baby’s body or mine. It was a safe and effective alternative that the Western medical birthing community does not always recognize or value. Both of the doctors that told me there was “NO WAY” I would have a natural childbirth admitted (in their own ways) that they were mis-informed. My delivery doctor said a few minutes after Kian was born “Well, you got what you wanted.” The other, who was on rounds when we checked in and had said to not expect to progress past 1cm (without their intervention), told me it was a good thing that they never realized I was really in labor during the night. They would have most likely intervened with Pitocin and that it was a blessing in disguise for me.
I feel honored to share my experience. Having to face unexpected challenges and make choices that were not immediately in alignment with my vision, I learned that we can’t control what happens during birth. However, we have more influence and ability to participate in shaping our experience than we are often led to believe. Throughout my pregnancy I referred to my Birth Vision instead of Birth Plan. I am grateful that despite the unexpected circumstances, I held onto and manifested my vision as well as a very sweet and perfect baby boy!
Image Credit: Sara Schroepfer