Motherhood never goes as planned. Sometimes we find this out once our new one enters the world and we can no longer make it anywhere on time. However, I learned this lesson 2 months early.
My husband, Jason, and I were so excited to find out we were expecting our first child. I’m a natural born planner, so I knew I wanted to have an unmedicated birth, with no to very low medical interventions. After reading blogs, watching documentaries, and devouring books (shout out to Ina May Gaskin!), I decided I wanted to have an out-of hospital birth. I didn’t feel comfortable going the home birth route, so I went the Goldilocks route and chose to receive my prenatal care and deliver at Dar a Luz Birth Center.
My pregnancy was going really well. And I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys being pregnant. I felt really comfortable with the midwives and confident in myself that I could have the birth I had envisioned. My husband and I did the Blissborn Birth Hypnosis class, where we learned self-hypnosis as a way to cope with labor through training your brain to interpret pain in a positive way and to remain calm. I practiced my Blissborn techniques daily and was getting really excited for our baby.
At 32 weeks, I got home from work early. The weather was great outside. So I went for a walk at a nearby park. I was trying to be that healthy, fit pregnant lady. On my way home, I needed to cross a major street using the crosswalk and following the street signals. I was just about to the median when all of a sudden I saw a car in my peripheral vision.
About 3 seconds later, I realized I was face down on the street. I had been hit by a car.
Within seconds, my entire pregnancy, plans, and life changed. If you’ve ever had something traumatic happen, you know that the scenes can be a bit blurry and all run together. On the way to UNMH in an ambulance, I kept thinking I had lost my baby. And while I was probably in shock, I was able to remain pretty calm because I automatically began doing some of the techniques I had learned in birth hypnosis.
It’s pretty obvious, but my plans for a low intervention birth went down the drain. I had a broken shoulder, 2 shattered teeth, and placental abruption (where the placenta tears away from the uterus). I had to have a CT scan, X-rays, a ton of ultrasounds, and stay admitted for 5 days. But our baby did amazingly well all things considered. (I should have realized that meant I was going to have a strong-willed child.)
My pregnancy went from perfectly healthy and normal to being considered higher risk. Dar a Luz transferred my care to Dr. Leeman, their consulting physician.
Even though my original birth plan was no longer an option, I still had the option to have a positive birth.
I worked really closely with Dr. Leeman to discuss what a hospital birth would be like for me. At 40+3, I was induced because there was a worry that the injured placenta would stop working.
Labor and delivery was challenging. But I felt supported by my husband and all the staff at UNMH.
I was able to use the birth hypnosis techniques and other natural labor techniques to fulfill my goal of not getting an epidural. Sure, I had to make some compromises to my plan, such a getting an IV and Pitocin. However, I still felt empowered and really happy with the birth of our daughter.