Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you felt that everything was happening at one time and you had no control over any of it? Well that’s exactly how I felt during the time of Liam’s birth. I was trying my best to prepare myself for what would hopefully be a very smooth and complication free natural birth. I wanted to have a natural birth with our daughter Layla, but that did not happen. After having an epidural and feeling like a bystander at my own child’s birth, I was determined to have a different experience with Liam. We met Liam on May 23 at 3:59 am. So many unexpected events happened during the week of his birth. Justin and I had been trying to close on our new home for some time now and received word that we would be closing on May 24th. Of course, we were elated, but nervous because we did not know when Liam was coming. I was in my 38th week and had been having strong Braxton hick’s contractions for two weeks. In that same week, Justin had gotten into a terrible accident in which his car was totaled. For some reason, I felt total peace over that situation. Normally I would have been really upset, but I was just grateful that he walked away from it perfectly fine. Since we knew that we were moving soon, we starting packing up the house, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that Liam was coming. I was allowed to sign the papers for the title of house early since I just knew Liam was going to come that same morning that we close. (You know, mother’s intuition…)
On Wednesday night, we called my mother over to help us pack and watch Layla as well. I had been feeling sort of crampy all day, but nothing to worry myself about after speaking with our doula. Well the sensations continued through out the evening, so we asked my mother to keep Layla just in case tonight was the night. After calling the doula a couple of times, I decided to try and relax and get some sleep. I told Justin that I was fine with him trying to get sleep and I would wake him if I needed him. Well, around midnight the pressure waves began to intensify so I tried some relaxation techniques. They helped tremendously, but the sensations were not letting up. I knew I was in labor. Our doula asked that I try to labor as much as I could at home so that I would not go to the hospital and be turned away. I did just that. I labored for about an hour or two on my own. I walked the halls, I rolled my body on the exercise ball, I bounced on the ball and finally decided to have a nice warm soak. I was not in the water for more than 10 minutes when the most intense pressure waves I have ever felt went through my body. It was out of no where. Justin was still sleeping and I was trying to lift my body out of the tub. Finally after calling for him a few times, he wakes and I say in a very stern, but calm voice “YOU NEED TO GET UP.” He has the look of a deer in highlights. I was hoping he would not start washing dishes or cleaning up like he did when I went into labor with Layla. He immediately packed my cooler and put everything in car while I used every bit of strength I could muster to put my clothes on.
I called the doula and our birth photographer on the way and told them we would be at hospital in about 30 minutes. Justin got us there in 11 minutes. I was admitted into triage, where I was interrogated and annoyed by the nurses (Sorry… its true!). I just knew this baby was coming… and coming fast! I asked to go to the bathroom and when I could not, our doula knew what that meant. She asked the nurse to get me to the room and in the water immediately. Of course, they ignored this request and continued to question me and monitor baby. Justin, politely, asked again and they ignored again. Finally, I said “Can you get me to the room before I have the baby right here?!” They checked me and rushed me to the room when they realized that I was already 6cm. They laid me on the bed to monitor more, but I was insistent on getting in the water. I got off the bed, started taking off my clothes and told them that I was getting in that water NOW! I was helped into the water and felt immediate relief. The water felt so good and my body was weightless. Justin held onto me and gave me strength and encouragement. I was only in the water for about 10 minutes before I felt the surges. This was it! It was time! I had a moment of panic, but the doula brought me back. I released my mind and body to do what it was meant to do. I trusted my body and my baby. I did not know what to do, but they did. I gave up my control and my power to them. Justin entered the water with me just in time. He held my body while our sweet, beautiful son was born into the water. He was put into our arms where he took his first breath. Everything was right with the world.
My body did exactly what I knew it could do. The right to birth our babies how it is meant to be has been taken from us and I had taken it back! I had never felt more proud to be a woman than in that moment. I truly feel that the way that I gave birth to my son has had a profound effect on our relationship, especially with breastfeeding. If there are any more little Lawrence’s to come, we pray that we can be so fortunate as to have them enter the world the same way as Liam did. Maybe next time we will have a home birth… never know J.
(Oh! We closed on the house the day after Liam’s birth and Justin’s family moved us into the new house while I was in hospital.)