Having already given birth at a hospital to all my other babies, I got the crazy idea to try something new, something different. A birth center. My previous obstetrician usually deemed me “high-risk” in all my other pregnancies, so I didn’t think a birth center would take me.
But, it was worth a try.
When the mid-wife assured me I’d do fine, I knew it was meant to be.
While relaxing at home watching Due Date, it happened. Sure seemed like a fitting movie to watch the night before my actual due date. Either I was in a silly mood, or the movie really was LOL ROTF funny, but during the coffee maker scene (you’d have to watch it), I had the sudden need to go that had me rushing to the bathroom.
Did I drink a whole gallon of water or did my water just break? I wasn’t sure. With so many Braxton-Hicks false alarms, I didn’t want to call my mid-wife again. I’d be wasting her time. So, I decided to finish the movie and sleep on it.
The morning after the movie, my belly was much tighter. The contractions felt real and regular. I called the mid-wife and she reminded me that I had an appointment that day at 9 AM, so I could come in then. She sounded confident that I’d be fine, so I waited a few hours.
My wise husband took the day off and drove me with my three children. Sure enough, my water had broken, but the contractions were still far apart. We called someone to take the children and followed the mid-wife’s directions on how to get the contractions going.
We walked in the mall and by the riverside. I drank a special contraction-inducing herbal tea. We tried some unmentionable, uncomfortable methods as well, but nothing worked.
“If you don’t have this baby tonight, we’ll have to send you to the hospital,” the mid-wife shared. Turns out, when your water breaks, you’re supposed to give birth that day or within 24 hours. But, the contractions just weren’t getting any closer.
I laid down on the comfy, antique queen-sized bed, dejected. I didn’t want to give birth at a hospital this time, with all the IV’s and epidural (which didn’t work last time). For our last child (we decided four was enough), I wanted the birth experience to be special.
At 11PM, the mid-wife came in and patted my shoulder. “I’m sorry. I think we’re gonna have to make that call.” She got up. “Would you like me to pray for you?”
I nodded, emphatically. I needed all the help I could get. She prayed and then left to help another pregnant momma.
As soon as her feet crossed the threshold of the doorway. Bam! Contractions hit me like a punch in the stomach. The pain was so intense, I couldn’t get out of the bed and to the tub for a water-birth. The baby wanted out. Now.
My husband hurried to find the mid-wife. Turns out there were only two of them and the other one was helping another momma. My mid-wife came in and checked me. This time, she didn’t leave.
Fifteen minutes later, I was pushing out my baby. My mid-wife sent my husband to get the other mid-wife, but she was busy “catching a baby” and couldn’t help.
It was up to my husband to help my mid-wife catch our baby.
But, there was a problem. The baby’s shoulders were too big. No matter how hard I pushed, her shoulders wouldn’t budge. She was stuck. “Keep pushing,” coaxed the midwife.
“I can’t,” I shouted. There was no strength left in me.
I don’t know how my mid-wife did it, but my husband later told me that she worked to wiggle free one shoulder and then our newborn came right out.
As I lay there, holding my sweet baby girl, I was filled with joy and thankfulness. Though it wasn’t easy or perfect, this birth story was definitely meant to be.