I started out like most women who are expecting their first baby. Happy. Excited. Loving the journey of pregnancy: Save the constant nausea. My mind was filled with all the birth stories I have heard throughout my life. Most were truly lovely, but some were dowrright frightening.
The stories about my own birth were troubling. It wasn’t easy on my mom. Hours and hours of labor followed by an unplanned cesarean section. My sister had a similar story. Hours of labor followed by an uplanned emergency cesarean section.
Their stories started me wondering about how I could avoid having the scary birth experience that they had had. I started questioning the standard of care that my Doctor and other doctors were offering. But I unfortunately lacked the knowing and the words for how to ask and find something different.
I started to wonder how I could avoid having the scary and unpredictable types of birth and outcomes that I was hearing about. I started watching every birth documentary I could and researching and learning about everything birth. I shared what I was learning with my husband and together we started interviewing different types of providers based on their c-section rates and asking what their standard of care was so that I could find someone that reflected more of what I was comfortable with.
This journey led us to meet wonderful care providers. It opened the door to see that there were more options than I first thought of! We met wonderful midwives that could help us both in the hospital or at a local birth center. Because my husband and I were determined to do something different to have an outcome that we wanted, we chose to have a midwife attend our birth and have out baby at a birth center.
The care I received was wonderful! All the research and learning I did and shared with my husband had paid off. The biggest difference was the birth center required us to take a birth class. We researched again about different childbirth education classes and signed up for the most comprehensive birth class we could find. One of the most important lessons was how to work as a team during labor and also the importance of having a birth team.
Our birth experience was beautiful. The hard work that labor is we were prepared for, supported and we became closer as partners. Together we found ways to make it bearable.
My daughter was born at 2:30 a.m. on a Monday morning. I birthed on a birth stool supported by the arms of my amazing husband. I did it. We did it together. It was powerful.