It was August 26th at 3:30am that I awoke to waves of rushes. I was so thrilled as my due date had come and gone, I was 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant. The doctors wanted me to be induced and I declined as I wanted her to decide when she was ready to enter the world. It didn’t feel right to rush that.
I was so excited to be in early labor that I couldn’t sleep. I went outside, watched the stars and breathed through the waves. It was a beautiful night… The moon was setting over the ocean, it was all as I imagined. I started to get tired and reminded myself that I should get some rest and went to sleep. Suddenly I woke up to much stronger surges. At that point I decided to get Dillon, my husband up to walk around with me. I bounced on my birthing ball, ate some Greek yogurt, danced a little to music…being active helped a lot. The day went by. Before I knew it, it was night time again. I tried to sleep during the night but I couldn’t with the surges getting stronger and stronger. Finally one hit me so hard I had to lean against the wall and called for my husband to press on my back. And I knew in that moment… it was back labor, she was sunny side up. This was when we decided to go to the hospital. However, when the nurse checked me I was dilated only 1cm My heart dropped and I couldn’t believe it. We were sent home.
I was in tears. Leaving the hospital without my baby. But, I knew I wanted to be home and relax enough to let my body open. I took a lavender bath, meditated and surprisingly got some sleep! As the sun rose the next morning the contractions woke me up. Hitting me hard at 3 minutes apart again. Not wanting to jump the gun I did stretches before we went back to the hospital. This time I was making deep om sounds upon check in and didn’t care who was watching. They checked me again and I was so nervous… I held my husband’s hand and then the nurse sighed, “1 cm.” I took a deep breath and asked what our options were. After talking with my husband we decided on a membrane sweep. After that it took 7-10 hours of back labor to get to 3 cm. I was in such a daze at this point I was in and out of awareness. I walked to the bathroom and suddenly there was a gush of water and blood everywhere. I was so excited/scared. I looked to my husband with a smile of sorts and he looked like he’d seen a ghost. We called the nurse, “My water broke!”
We were having this baby!!! But I knew what this meant – a 12 hour time limit. I tried to relax. But it was difficult as my back felt as if it were going to snap in half. It was getting difficult to breath and although I was sure that I was going to have a natural birth, the doctor reassured me that the Epidural will help open me up. I took it.
After that I can honestly say that I was at ease. I could breathe, my heart rate was normal again. I knew I was going to have my baby. I felt that she was calmer too. It was what was best for this birth and I was also grateful for my sleep . After 2 days of labor I was exhausted, delusional and weak. I woke up and looked at the clock… It had been 13 hours since my water broke. Shortly after the doctor came in to check me again. I was at 7cm. She said she would give me 2 more hours and then we need to discuss more options. I kept saying out loud, “ I can do this, I am opening, I can do this, I am opening” I closed my eyes and visualized lotus flowers opening.
But I intuitively got a message from my baby at this time. She would be born via cesarean birth and it would be okay. Despite this message I still kept chanting. My sister joined in. I felt better and peace. The doctor explained that my baby’s head was stuck in posterior position, that my contractions were adequate but I was not opening and that she needed to be born via c section.
The one thing I could manage to say was, “Can I please have skin to skin after the surgery?” She said,“No.” I completely broke down in tears. I couldn’t breath very well. I just lost it. This was the last way I imagined my birth happening. We all took some time to just cry and try to find peace. Which we did. We had done everything we could, it had been a long 3 days and we were going to meet our baby. Before I knew it I was being wheeled into OR. The doctor let me bring in my meditation music, which helped so much. Dillon came in and he came forehead to forehead with me. I stared in his eyes and got lost in them. There is no other person on earth that could hold me in that place but him.
I must have dozed off because all I remember is waking up with blurry vision and hearing the most beautiful sound… crying. Her crying. Dillon’s face was so full of joy. And all I could hear was everyone around saying, “She’s beautiful, she’s beautiful.” Our moment had arrived. My heart ached as I longed to see her when suddenly she was placed on my chest. It was so beautiful and I was so grateful. I just kept kissing her. It’s all I could do.
To this day I send love and gratitude to whoever the nurse was or doctor who gave my baby skin to skin. It should be hospital policy. She was my angel. And although my birth was nothing like I imagined it, or hoped for. I honor my daughter’s journey no matter how it took shape. Her presence in this world is so bright and beautiful, I would do it a million times again.
Image Credit: Courtney Campbell