There’s no question that every pregnancy is different and so is every birth. With my first baby I planned on having a natural delivery. I took hypnobirthing classes, read books on preparing for birth, and practiced breathing and positions to help with an easier delivery. When it came time to delivery my body just wasn’t doing what it should and I felt I needed assistance, so I put all my natural delivery preparations to the side in order to get our baby here in comfort. With my second baby I decided to forgo the ‘leaving it up to mother nature’ and planned to be induced a few days after my due date. Then, my surprise baby happened. She was unplanned, a complete surprise, and as much as I felt totally unprepared to have another little one I knew that this time around I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to let things just happen and wait for my body to do what it was meant to do.
With every doctor I explained my plan and each one I saw was on board with all my requests. I wanted to labor as much as possible at home. I wanted to delay cord clamping, to delay bathing the baby, and I wanted to encapsulate my placenta. As much as the doctors wanted to oblige with my requests I had just one issue throughout my pregnancy and that was a low lying placenta. After two uncomplicated vaginal deliveries I was a bit devastated to find out that unless my placenta was carried away from my cervix there was a possibility of a C-section. I came back week after week to have ultrasound after ultrasound to check to see if my placenta was in a good position and FINALLY was told I was in the clear. What a relief! The plan to let things happen was in motion and so the waiting game began.
Five days before my due date I jumped out of bed at midnight to my water breaking. A sensation I had never experienced and felt so unfamiliar with. I remember sitting on the toilet holding my phone and google-ing what a healthy broken water should look like. It seemed like ages of waiting for contractions when about a half hour later they started. One after another, stronger and stronger, and with each squeeze of my belly the time passes. I don’t remember being in any pain. In fact all my thoughts were on getting back to the toilet with each contraction as to not make a mess of my water on the floor. After 2 and a half hours of pacing the bathroom floor I awoke my husband. Bless his heart, he woke peacefully and patiently and got our things together. We woke our other girls and took them to their cousins to sleep for the rest of the night.
At 3:30 AM we arrived at the hospital to quiet halls and calm nurses. To our surprise we were the only ones on Labor and Delivery and the doctor was called in. We were taken right into our room and I undressed to my hospital gown and was checked. To my surprise, the nurse informed me that I was dilated to an 8! She asked if I wanted any medication and I declined feeling as though I wasn’t in much discomfort. For 2 and a half hours I had labored in my bathroom alone and felt confident with the help of those around me I could have this baby the way I had always wanted to, without medication. The contractions to follow were intense and I began to feel more pressure in my back and hips. Dr. Broberg arrived quickly after he was called in and we shook hands to introduce ourselves. I had only seen his face in photos at the office but I knew at first meeting him we were in good hands. He got in his gear and set up the table of instruments next to him and again I was checked for dilation. I was almost at a ten. The pressure was increasing and I requested to stand. Dr. Broberg scooted back on his stool and gave me the space I needed to get comfortable. I rocked back and forth and side to side. I hummed and moaned in discomfort with a few more contractions when the feeling of needing to push came over me. I laid back on the bed and followed the instructions of the Doctor and nurses. After each push I was encouraged by those in the room. “You’re doing great” and “just one more push” were the words echoing in my ears. And just like that, one good solid push and there was my little girl. Crying and kicking and as beautiful as ever. She was placed on my chest as we waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing.
After I delivered the placenta I began to hemorrhage. The nurses quickly gave me IV fluid, gave me the care I needed, and stood by my side for support during the whole ordeal while Dr. Broberg stopped the bleeding. He looked at me with and smile and said, “I am so proud of you.” There I was, exposed, bleeding, and pale and felt like I had nothing to worry about. I had never met this man in my life and he was proud of what I had just done. I remember feeling such peace.
There’s a stillness that is felt within a delivery room. Even with all the nurses and machines, and the doctor staring at places no one should see, peace comes over the room. A tiny little piece of yourself was just placed in your arms. Your heart grew instantly to love that tiny baby and all the heartburn you experienced, all the stretchmarks, all the millions of times you woke during the night to pee was all worth it. All worth it for that little baby you grew within you.