This is the Gracelynn birth story. Alexia was the birth that I thought was going to be my second, but ended up being my first birth session. Let me just tell you right now, wrap your head around the fact that baby is boss. It’s absolutely true. Just when I think I have it figured out, there’s always the curve ball. There’s something to be said for that special symbiotic relationship with a baby and it’s temporary home, your body.
The feeling was electric. We had actually connected through facebook. We never got to meet for our initial consultation, and I wasn’t even sure if we’d have the opportunity. I had messaged her because I knew the date was coming up, but I forgot when since we hadn’t locked anything down official yet. Funny enough, her due date was in a couple days.
That night her water ended up breaking. How ironic! We had discussed that this was her second baby, and had anticipated things moving quickly. Her first labor was only 3 hours. Yes, you heard me right. I was jealous as well. I had asked her if she wanted me to head to the hospital when they were. The hospital was an hour away for me, and 45 minutes for her. She wanted to make sure that yes, indeed her water had broken.
I was on pins and needles. I was so excited. Finally this was happening. I had just read the most enlightening article on the differences of what we “should do” and what we “must do”. Birth photography was something my whole spiritual journey called to, and it was finally happening. They admitted her, and it was in that time frame I had talked to my friend who is a doula. We all decided it would be best if we waited until she was in active labor.
If your client is a long way away. Just camp in the parking lot. I almost missed it. The only thing that kept me from missing it was that her labor had stalled. I had to get through security gates because it was on an army base hospital. If you have someone delivery at an army hospital, try to have you clearance and visitor’s pass organized in advance.
By the time she was in active labor I had little sleep. I kept thinking she had texted me, and I’d wake up to check my phone. By the time I actually fell asleep she had texted me that it was time. I was torn for a moment. My body wanted to pull the covers over my head, but my whole soul wanted to shoot this birth. It had a temporary argument with itself. Obviously my soul won otherwise this blog wouldn’t exist.
I had gotten through all the red tape, and headed toward her room. It was nice to have the introduction. Her husband was there. We had our hellos, and then things had quickly gotten intense. My client was at a 9 by the time I had gotten there. I’m not sure if it’s cause she moved to greet me, or what. Suddenly a nurse came in and they didn’t like the baby’s heartbeat. They then told her that they were going to introduce a fetal heart monitor that they would put in the baby’s head.
That whole set up caused her to have a need for an oxygen mask. Her husband would gently rub her arm, and give her ice chips. It was crucial that she get back into her head space because her cervix wasn’t dilated all the way around, and she couldn’t yet push. The epidural had mad her immobile so the nurse would have her switch layong on one side to another.
Shortly after we had found out that the baby was OP (sunny side up), and pressing on her spine. This pretty much put her epidural at a nul and void because of the spinal pressure. Again, unfortunately she was immobile, and couldn’t walk the pain out. The nurse had her help the father move her to where she laid on all 4s.
It was then that I saw it. In that moment of intense pain with no epidural her hospital gown slid open some. She had the most beautiful set of angel wings that took up her entire back. I knew that she could do this. She was strong. I shouldn’t doubt her. Women’s bodies were made for this. She was determined, and even more determined to not have a c-section. She would look at the clock and say “I have x amount of time before they try to make me have a c-section. There’s no way I will let that happen.”
I wanted her to be strong. I was rooting for her. I would tell her that she has come so far, and that she was made for this. Though it feels like she’s made no progress she’s almost ready to greet her sweet daughter earth side. Women shouldn’t have to live in fear of a possible c-section. I hated that she even had to worry about that at a moment that her brain needed to believe in her body the most.
Then it came. Her brain overcame all fear. It was time to push.
After the first push, the husband’s army exterior melted, and was replaced with excitement. He got to see the head. He bent down and kissed his wife. That encouragement, I have no doubt, gave her the courage to continue to push. Push through the pain. Push through the fear. She had about 5 major pushes, and her baby was born. May I just say moma got NO LACERATIONS. She earned that.
Her daughter was beautiful. The birth was incredible. Seeing the love between them was wonderful. There was so much learning that I had gained in this first experience. So much to take away from it. I was so glad that she allowed me into her sacred space, and allowed me to learn. For every birth that takes place it just feels like the hope of the world is born. It was hands down an altering, enlightening, and wonderful experience.