Pretty amazing, attending a birth. And laboring through the night with someone else. I’m going to resist telling my version of Jen’s birth story, since you know, it’s her’s to tell if she chooses. But a few bits of story to make sense of the photos…
The poor dear had to be induced on Thursday night after her non-stress test revealed that she had very seriously low amniotic fluid. She was 6 days overdue anyway, but induction means machines and monitors and lots of pitocin, which wasn’t the birth she was hoping for. But do you know what? She was a rockstar anyway. The woman had contractions that were one minute apart from 7pm until her baby was born at 9 the next morning. That’s a whole different kind of resilience, as those of you who have given birth know.
But it was a beautiful birth anyway, as they always are.
Awww, such a happy ending. Our friend Laura was there too and she’s a midwife, which was awesome. She’s the lady laboring with Jen in most of the photos. A pro is always nice to have on hand. By the time Jen had reached her limit and the anesthesiologist was giving her an epidural, she was 10 cm and ready to push (we found out after the fact). She dilated 5 cm in 1 hour. It was wild, but she did it. And her baby boy is perfect and all is right in the world.
I tell you, in the middle of the night, watching her contractions come one after the other, I had a long period where I was really kind of dreading going into labor again. It’s long, and slow, and unknown. But then once things picked up and she was really working, really laboring, and Laura and I were helping her through each wave, I realized that I CAN do it again. She completely inspired me. It’s amazing the kind of energy a birth brings. And the part I really can’t get over is that all night we were just watching a belly, and then in one second the belly turns into a baby. A baby! Who has been in there all this time! Words can’t really describe that transition.
I also realized that um, if you think you might want to have a natural birth, it’s pretty vital that you hire a doula or have some kind of labor support with you. You will probably reach a point when you are quite literally crawling the walls, and if you’ve never been there before it’s hard to understand that what you’re feeling is right and good.
Now I can’t wait to get down to their house to visit the new family at home. That’s where the magic really happens.