When the pressure started, I remember being so unsure if it was the real thing or some serious Braxton Hicks contractions. I was a first time mom, so I called and texted a few women asking them what their initial contractions felt like and none matched what I was experiencing.
I was 38.5 weeks and so excited at the possibility that I’d be meeting my baby soon, but part of me felt like it wasn’t real… it got real pretty quick!
I labored at home for about 14 hours, and wanted to keep things moving along, so I cooked, cleaned, and did some yoga, but never managed to fit a nap in. I was too excited, and then eventually in too much pain. My water broke around 3am.
We arrived at the birth center around 4am and I was 6 centimeters dilated. Autumn was 2nd on call and helped me into the tub where I labored some more in a dark, calm atmosphere. My mantra had always been “I trust my body and what it can do”. With that mindset and some gentle reminders to loosen the tension in my hands and face, I continued to labor for about 3 more hours with Emily now by my side. I remember so distinctly the moment I knew something was different and asked to be checked. The contractions changed and I felt compelled to push. Sure enough, I was fully dilated.
After 2 1/2 hours of pushing, at least 5 different positions, a shift change, and a tiny episiotomy, Carol S. helped me bring my baby boy into this world with my husband, my mother, and some wonderful nurses by my side. I had never been so exhausted in my life. I had never seen something so beautiful. I was in awe.
Shortly after he was born, it was clear Max wasn’t breathing just right, and I was so afraid. I can’t begin to express how grateful I was to be at LWC in this moment. I was so tired, I gave everything I had during his birth, there was no fight left in me. To be in a space of trust and support in this scary and vulnerable moment was everything. Carol and the nurses worked to get Max’s breathing on track, but the decision was eventually made that he be seen at the hospital.
After a short stay at Bryn Mawr Hospital, with a lot of love and support, we brought Max home. He is now perfectly healthy in every way.
I’m eternally grateful to the staff of LWC and would recommend their care to every pregnant woman who desires to be respected, supported, and treated like the powerful warrior she is.