Lucy’s Birth Story: A Dream Come True
The odds were against me. I wanted a natural labor for the birth of my second child, with a difficult labor and delivery with my first child, I doubted it was possible. I was told a successful VBAC was totally improbable. The birth of my first baby was like this: First, I was induced/ petocin, after going two weeks past my due date. Second, I was taken off of petocin and went into natural labor for four hours. Third, my labor stalled, I was administered more pitocin.
I became fully dilated and began to push. My baby moved forward into a stage three – he was one stage away from beginning to crown. He then became “stuck” due to my slightly platypelloid (narrow front to back) pelvis which makes it difficult for baby’s head to pass through. In the end, I wound up having a C-section. Because of all these complications, the OB who performed the C-section for my first child’s birth made it clear that a VBAC was unlikely to be successful. He warned that though he was willing to give a VBAC a chance, a woman who had so many issues with her last birth would in all probability - be unable to have a natural, intervention and medication free vaginal birth. I listened closely to his counsel, but was determined, in fact I feel now I was predestined - to do all I could to avoid another painful, debilitating surgery and recovery. I felt I would and deliver my second child naturally, pain free, without intervention or drugs. I wanted to feel the passage of my baby through me. It was the right time in my life. Tami was the fuel for my fire.
I began my birth preparation with Tami Mor’s prenatal yoga class. She offered a unique combination of birthing lectures and yoga lessons that interwove both. Each practice began and ended with movement. Tami seamlessly brought together what she discussed with us vocally with what she showed us how to do with our bodies physically. She brought me in tune with myself, and my baby. She discussed the great gifts that our babies were bringing us. She brought me together in myself with a confluence of movement, harmony and spiritual physicality. She taught us how our bodies, our babies, and movement could synthesized and woven into our birth and our yoga practice. After my first two classes with her a light turned on inside me, hope began to grow that this birth would be different. I asked her to be our doula, and so began my journey to the dream of my daughter, Lucy’s birth.
Tami met with me and my husband at every opportunity. Separately and together, she couched us as parents, supported us as a couple on the threshold of new life. I began by reading several books on natural childbirth, active labor, and VBACs that Tami recommended, and attending her classes weekly. I had the unequivocal support of the team of midwives from Carle hospital as well our meetings with Tami. She recommended teas, oils, loving gestures between me and my husband, a massage therapist for my C-section scar, and meditative moments for me and my new baby. The key to our successful birth experience was in the preparation - cleansing, purifying - gaining spiritual and emotional inner clarity combined with physical preparations - this is what made my labor and birth such a satisfying and joyful event. Tami was our guidepost in all these things.
As my due date came closer, I met with Tami during the afternoon and she led me on a powerful visualization of the approaching birth. During this visualization, as I relaxed I saw and felt myself letting go, trusting God and my body, feeling fully supported by my husband, midwives and Tami, secure in the blessed surrender of control assured that I could to the work of opening up to allow my baby to come into the world. My breathing centered me and I felt a deep calm I never experienced during my previous pregnancy or labor.
That very night I had a powerful dream. In it, I saw myself at the hospital, laboring naturally and joyfully. I was surrounded by my husband, the midwife and Tami. On the floor were yoga mats covered by my favorite big, comfortable blanket. I was on my knees, with my elbows up on a chair, pushing. I felt my baby descending through me and as I looked down between my legs I saw the head emerge and I caught her in my arms, snuggling her up to my chest. When I awoke I was so overcome with emotion I was crying. I told my husband and Tami about the dream, feeling exhilarated but simultaneously cautious, knowing that though this dream represented my ideal experience, God had a plan for me all his own, and that no matter how things transpired I was in his hands and trusted that he knew best how the delivery should go.
I went into labor at 6am May 1. I had been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for a couple weeks, but knew this was different. I felt not only a tightening of my abdominal muscles around my belly, but also a profound pulling and opening deep inside my core. I didn’t feel any pain, but my breath was momentarily taken away I fixed breakfast. All the while I continued strong contractions, but didn’t time them; just let them happen while everyone was waking up. We ate, and afterwards the contractions increased. My mom timed them until they were about 4 minutes apart. While she was timing them she let me be, moving around the upstairs, as Tami had taught me. I put away laundry, I did the exercises that Tami had taught me, did yoga stretches, sat on an exercise ball, and basically kept very active, but in a mellow, focused way. Tami words continued to ring through my head. As the contractions intensified, I remembered all that Tami had taught me and shown me. I felt increasingly focused on the fact that my baby was, indeed, coming. This might me it. I may actually be going into labor, without drugs – naturally - for the first time. I was struck, such a powerful feeling I was feeling so high and powerfully and anticipatory My husband came upstairs, his calming presence enabled me to continue to focus on my breathing and movement. While he readied everything for the hospital, I continued to labor. I got my self into the shower, feeling the waves of sensation wash over me, enjoying and envisioning the opening that was happening inside me. I rang Tami and let her know we were close, and to meet us at the hospital within the hour. By now it was 11:30 or so. The entire time her voice, melodic and pure rang through my head – Open Bridget, your baby is ready and open to receive you!
As we left the house, the contractions continued to increase, and for the first time I felt some pain. I was uncomfortable on the ride to the hospital, but I was very much immersed in breathing and feeling the totally positive intensity of each contraction. I was completely focused and energized. No one and nothing could stand in my way at this point. The world had faded into a background. With each contraction I felt a deep pulling followed by an expansive, almost breathtaking opening – like I was getting closer and closer to a precipice. Check in went smoothly, the midwives were all completely supportive, and I began my labor in the ideal set up.
Just as in my dream, bought about by Tami’s visualization, there was circle around me. Beneath me was a solid, comfortable floor of yoga mats and blankets. A couch provided me with a place to rest my elbows. As my water broke, I literary heard a pop. Instantly my contractions increased and I felt like I was truly working – in labor.
By now it was around 1 pm. Tami was there by then. At this point I felt like I was going crazy – whisked away in a whirlwind an intensely of a higher power. I went into a position - my elbows on the couch in front of me, surrounded by the midwives, Tami, and my husband. I held onto him for dear life as each contraction gained momentum. He reminded me to envision myself on a wave in the ocean, calming, opening, facing he sun. Tami whispered into my ears.