Shortly before becoming pregnant, I was inspired to have a gentle drug-free birth after watching the documentary The Business of Being Born.
After researching more on the topic, I learned having the least amount of medical intervention was safest
for a low-risk mother and child, and I began to see birth as a right of passage. I knew it
was important to go through the experience of childbirth as women have
done for thousands of years. I had faith that my body and my child would
know what to do.
when I became pregnant, I figured it would just come naturally to me. I thought I would "just say no". I am a product of the 80's after all! I thought little about "preparing" myself mentally or physically for such an event. As I got
farther along, I began to seek out more information. I
was still with my OB-GYN. She seemed to be on board with
no medication, but other interventions were going to be hard to
avoid. At our hospital tour the nurses made it very clear that there were
rules and they were not willing to stray from them. I knew that
I would have to choose my battles, and I did not want the birth of my son to be full of stress and compromise on my part. I left discouraged and uncertain.
A few days later I decided to attend a Le Leche League meeting for information and
guidance on breastfeeding. I was also hoping to network with women who had similar beliefs in childbirth. One of the mothers handed my a card and encouraged me to take a childbirth class.
I made an appointment with the instructor the next day, since I was already in my sixth month of pregnancy. My husband and I immediately
knew that these classes would give us the tools we needed. At our
second class I expressed my concerns about being in a hospital and my
desire to have a water birth. My teacher told us about Holy Family
Birth Center in Weslaco, Texas and suggested we tour the facility. We went directly over there to check it
out. It was perfect fit! The next week I informed my doctor that I would be transferring my care to the certified nurse midwives at the birth center.
Henry Kennedy was born on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 1:07 p.m.. He was 8
pounds 6 ounces, 20 1/2 inches long, and six days past his estimated due
date. My labor went very smoothly. It lasted fourteen hours,
starting at 11:00 p.m. the night before. In early labor my contraction
were forty-five minutes apart, so I slept through the
first few hours. When they sped up to every thirty minutes I woke my
husband to tell him this was it. He comforted me through the rest of the
morning from 2:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. It was around 9:00 a.m. when I had a
contraction that lasted, what felt like several minutes! After that, my
contractions went from eight minutes apart to three minutes apart. My
husband and I decided it was finally time to go to the birth center.
After the not so comfortable car ride, we arrived and my midwife asked to do a vaginal exam. I was six centimeters dilated! We made our way to the birthing bunlagow and once I was able to get into the
birthing-tub and float in the water I went into deep relaxation. So much so
that I slept in-between one of my contractions. My husband was in the
tub behind me and talked me through each rush. It took me less than an
hour to dilate to ten centimeters and I was finally ready to push. I
pushed for about forty-five minutes; it only felt like five to me. The
next thing I knew Jack was in my arms. The umbilical cord was wrapped
around his neck, but I knew not
to worry. When I heard him cry it was stunningly beautiful. After having our moments in the tub, my husband took him so that I
could move to the bed and deliver his placenta. Once my midwife delivered the placenta, my husband joined me in bed with Jack in his
arms. I had my little family snuggled close for the first time. I
would give anything to live that moment again. As we laid starring at
our precious son, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I had never felt so
empowered in my life. I accomplished my goal of giving birth in a
gentle and compassionate way. I did not have any medication. I did not have unnecessary interventions. My body and baby birthed on our own terms and own time. Four hours later we bundled up our son and went home. I was the
most fortunate person in the world that day.