The quick roll of her eyes, the dimple in her cheeks, as her lips lift and part are what he searched for.
The moments he remembered from years ago was the way she smiled, and laughed when he said such and such as if her smile could fill the night sky.
He reached for her after years of missing the way she filled the room with hope and compassion hoping one day- this day, would be theirs to hold in constant memory.
A day they changed from being college sweethearts, to distant friends, to reaching past state lines to find one another again, to husband and wife, to create this little babe to hold and love in the everlasting glow of their morning star.
Birth is not a laughing matter but it should be. We should enjoy our birth, be lighthearted and move with our bodies, joke with our partners as a celebration of the day we meet our babies. The most recent birth that I had the honor of attending was just that, silly, fun and a celebration of two very amazing people, Carrie and Brian welcoming their beautiful daughter.
This birth did not start off the way Carrie wanted, with an induction.
***** Inductions are scary, overwhelming, and nerve-wracking because this is giving over control to a medicalized birth with a much higher chance of ending with a cesarean section. Let’s face it most of us during our last weeks of pregnancy are torn between wanting the baby out and needing just one more day. An induction means you can’t avoid birthing without monitors, IV tubes that need to be managed (because they always get tangled and the feeling of an IV tube being pinched or tug in your arm sucks and don’t forget the random beeping of a bag finishing up), the bleeps, beeps, and glowing incandescent lights of so many monitors pulling moms out of the comfort zone plus you are actually in labor while all this is happening. Inductions with all this going on can still be manageable if you have support, patience and a care provider that actually gives a sh%t about your birth plan.******
This birth had just that, it was not easy to see this in the beginning, but as I explained to Brian, Carrie and Janet (Carrie’s awesome mom) that an absent care provider (OB/GYN) can be a blessing in disguise during an induction. I have attended several inductions and adding HypnBirthing to an induction is a secret weapon if you ask me. Most OBs will start an induction at the lowest dose and then periodically increase the dose based on what the monitor says not what the mom is doing and if a mom is “handling” the contractions with ease they think it’s not working. OB’s also expect a minimum of 24 hours with an induction but they can last for days, which always boggles my mind because we induce because the mom is “overdue” but if mom is allowed to be induced for 3 days then why not let her stay in the comfort of her home for those days. Using HypnoBirthing and having support can cut this time in half.
I know you must be going- this is supposed to be about laughter and birth, when is the fun going to start, I just wanted to make sure that people understood that this wasn’t one of those idealize perfect births that people love to hate, but it did become exactly that and you too can have the birth people love to hate. The birth with gentle music playing, a loving husband and supportive non-judgmental mother patiently waiting for the moment of birth.
Ok back to funny stuff- When I met Brian after a long day of work for the first time, he seemed like the quiet type, quickly agreeing to the idea of HypnoBirthing and a doula in one, with the simple line, “I just don’t want to do anything.” At first this made me a bit nervous, but then I realized what that meant- it meant, “I don’t want to screw up and I want to actually enjoy the birth of my daughter.” Sometimes when a guy checks out at a birth it’s because he is overwhelmed physically and emotionally which is why having a doula is important, someone to support both mom and dad no matter what.
Brian and Carrie are really one of those sweet love stories old college sweethearts who reconnected almost 20 years later. Carrie joked about her Geriatric Ovaries and how ridiculous that any doctor would ever say that to a woman- how to make a girl feel sexy- I mean really! Then the day of her induction 5/13 and still no name for the baby- so Brian spent the whole day suggesting famous witch names, Samantha, Sabrina, Herminia and so on- I was pushing for Herminia but it didn’t stick.
Then Brian went on to goof around with every nurse trying on hospital gowns and masks walking the hallways, joking about his parents who came to watch their dog texting randomly about how to use the remote more than once. He did exactly what he was supposed to do- he kept his wife smiling, he kept her distracted from the time, the induction, the hours that were creeping by. He did exactly what a husband should do be the man that she fell in love with, the guy that makes her life better even when she wants to cry, who sees the world as a better place because she is by his side. He didn’t have to worry about the annoying nurse who was obsessed with the monitor (but that annoying nurse’s tireless efforts to monitor a happy baby kept Carrie out of the OR because if she hadn’t the OB would have enough declarations to prove an unnecessary c-section so thank you annoying nurse), or the doctor who had no good advice accept “Yea that sometimes happens” when she woke up stomach sick after not eating. Brian didn’t have to think about the best position to have her in, or if her body mechanics were correct for birthing, whether a peanut ball would help (YES-Yes they do) and when the Rebozo should come out- these were all my jobs to think about.
Brian got to be Brian and Carrie got to be the calm powerful woman I grew to love, because less than 12 hours after Pitocin started, Carrie had her beautiful calm birth that ever surprised me. With HypnoBirthing most doctors or nurses will not see the difference between 6cm dilated and 10 cms and ready to birth your baby, but all I need to hear is that little change in breathing, the guarding of body position, and one or two grunts to make me wonder if it was time. Carrie finally became “uncomfortable” and I asked the doctor to come in, the room shift from silly to serious and Brian shifted his mood too. She gave us one push, and it was the early morning, she was tired and that was ok, she had the right to be tired, if she needed to rest I would be more than will to talk her through it for as long as she needed. This baby had a way of moving away from the monitor every time a nurse thought she had it right so she could leave the room, and she proved it again she was going to mess with the doctor and nurses til the very end. After one push the doctor thought the same thing I did, “we have time” she had another patient next door at 10 cm so she went to check on her but as soon as she left, Carrie showed us what a powerful determined woman she was who was incredibly connected to her body and baby. She later said she knew the first push didn’t feel right, so she let go of all her tight muscles and curled around her baby and allowed her daughter to nudge down. When we hit the call button, we heard the doctor in the hallway shout, “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!” and 10 mins later Danica was born- to an overjoyed father, mother and grandmother.
p.s. Please enjoy this sweet video of this beautiful couple welcoming their morning star- Danica