Birth Stories :: A Positive Birth When Nothing Goes As Planned

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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.

Positive Birth

My husband does love to share this topic at parties. (“Hey, did you know Brittany got hit by a car while pregnant?”) But I want to share it here because I think it shows how much power we as mothers have on our experience. When things don’t go to plan, whether it’s your birth plan or anything else in parenthood, we have the opportunity to make it an experience that can serve us in a positive light.

This post is sponsored by Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center. But all of the writer's thoughts and feelings are her own.