Had I written out a birth plan, it would have mirrored what I had always hoped for. My dream delivery was to have a water birth at the Birth Centre with a midwife. The lights would have been dim and there would have been meditation music playing in the background as my doula guided me through each contraction with hands on techniques. There would be intensity and passion but no chaos. The atmosphere would be quiet and intimate. No medications or interventions would be needed. When my daughter’s time to join earth side was undeniable, I would reach down with both hands and gently guide her delicate body onto my bare chest. We would wait for her umbilical cord to stop pulsing with ripe life before my husband had the honour of cutting it. We would wait for my placenta to deliver naturally while admiring and appreciating our newest addition to the family.
But I didn’t write out my birth plan. I knew not to. Instead, I chose to “hope” for this birth story. And as wonderful it is to have hopes and dreams it’s a reality that they don’t always come true. I didn’t put my dream birth in writing and it wasn’t because I was being fearful or negative. I was being realistic and open minded. I knew what both my husband and I wished for and that’s all we could pray for. We knew very well that there was a chance of a hospital transfer, medical interventions, and even a C-section as there was with any birth. I wanted to go into labour already accepting the fate of my unknown journey. I didn’t want the pressure of disappointment hanging over my head should things not go my way. I assumed life as a new mother would be hard enough.
My realistic mindset was put to the test the moment my water broke. There was meconium present in my amniotic fluid. This complication called for a hospital transfer. I quickly accepted the change of plans and without guilt or shame. After labouring at home for 55 hours and after 6 hours of pushing at the centre I was nothing but frustrated that my journey just wasn’t over. I had no energy left to continue yet I had to move forward. Once my water broke, the labour intensified dramatically but my efforts were presenting without progress. At the hospital it was determined that my baby’s chin was tucked and she was stuck on my pubic bone. After hours of different positions and techniques to get her to inch over my pubic bone, no changes were being made. I decided to proceed with an obstetrical consult which soon resulted in a transfer of care.
My birth story ended in a surgical room. My daughter was vacuumed out and an episiotomy was performed. She needed to be suctioned so there was no immediate skin to skin bonding. There was no delayed cord clamping and my husband wasn’t the one to do the honours. My placenta was forced out and I didn’t even have a chance to see it.
And you know what? It didn’t matter. None of it mattered. I was beyond exhausted and had nothing to give long before I had to give it my all. And yet somehow, I did it. I gave birth to a healthy baby and the moment I heard her precious cry-my day was deemed perfect no matter how many turns it took.
What used to be my dream birth still sounds magical but it’s nothing compared to my real birth story. My experience taught me that I’m so much stronger than I ever knew. It taught me that I could trust my body in ways I never thought I could. Sure, a shorter labour would have been nice and so would have been minutes of pushing compared to the hours upon hours that I put in…But I rocked that delivery. MY story gave me MY daughter and I look back on it with nothing but pride and gratefulness.
I am one badass warrior and that’s just how every mother should see herself after childbirth-no matter how the story goes.
*Read my whole, never ending birth story here.
CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”