Friday, April 22, 2011


I read a lot of birthy things. Lots of birth stories, lots of books, lots of articles. I love Ina May. I love Jennifer Block. Peggy Vincent. Marsden Wagner. My facebook news feed is always full of mom and baby related articles. Rixa Freeze and Barbara Herrera feel like old friends sometimes because I read everything they write. And my own personal and professional experiences with pregnancy and birth have shaped me into quite the natural childbirth advocate and attachment parent.

I used Hypnobabies and loved it. I had my "Bubble of Peace" around me and truly believed that birth is beautiful, healthy, safe. I still do believe it is inherently safe for most women. I've already decided that if we have any more kiddos, I'm definitely birthing at home.

However.... every now and then... something happens to keep you grounded.

A mom comes to the hospital at 10 cm dilated, ready to deliver. She wanted a natural and unmedicated birth, and had labored at home all day. When she finally arrived- fully and bulging- she was in so much pain that she could hardly move. Bag of waters breaks- clear fluid- and head began to crown. Baby's head born. Baby is white. Neonatology paged STAT. Baby born... gush of blood. Blood. More blood. Baby is limp. PPV on the warmer. Neo comes and intubates. No time to put ID bands on or give baby meds or do footprints. Baby is immediately transported to NICU where baby is transfused. It takes 7 people to stabilize this full term newborn.

It's scary situations like these that make you go home and hug your kids close and say to yourself: "I am SO SO SO lucky."

There was really not much warning for this abruption. Sometimes things happen in birth... and I'm just so glad for the quick thinking of the staff that night. It could have been much worse. :(

Of course, for 99% of the population, laboring at home would be a good idea. I stayed home with my VBAC baby until I was 9.5 cm. It's a fantastic way to reduce unnecessary intervention. As much as I believe in birth and in its "normalcy," it is still a complex and not completely understood physiological process and there is no way to control or predict how things will turn out.

It's because of stories like these that I always say a little prayer on the way to every birth I attend. "Jesus, PLEASE help this baby come out safely and transition smoothly! Protect and preserve this little life."


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