The Birth of Valentine Jane
The Birth of Valentine Jane-
When I met Sarah, I had an immediate bright feeling about her birth and how we would navigate it together. She was quiet with some definite hidden fire, and a modern style that I fell in love with right away.
Sarah was planning to have a natural birth at a local birthing center and was beyond prepared through reading, searching through videos and having more than enough organized notebooks full of questions and concerns which I LOVED. She and her husband William decided to keep the gender a surprise, and the name something they held close to their hearts until the babe was here. Time went on and her “due date” came and went, she was feeling confident still and had a beautifully calm mindset throughout. She tried acupuncture, chiropractic work, essential oils, and as a last resort suggested by her midwives, took some castor oil. Yet at 41 weeks and 6 days, this baby was quite pleased staying close to her Mama and didn’t want to budge. She was scheduled for an induction at Hanneman's hospital for the day she hit 42 weeks, as the birth center could no longer have her at their practice past that point. Sarah and Will took the chance that day to really have a good last date as “two”. They took a long walk and decided on getting some Chinese together before heading into the hospital.
They arrived at the hospital around 10 that night, and I got a phone call at 12. Things sounded a little hectic, but Will did a great job at keeping his cool to be sure that he wouldn’t worry his wife. Sarah's blood pressure had spiked once she got to the hospital (before anything was administered) and was diagnosed with preeclampsia. They decided on getting magnesium sulfate to bring the blood pressure down since she has had a past with seizures, this medication is known for feeling…not so great. Mag sulfate is famous for flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and most generally a “must stay in bed” rule to come along with it. At this point, you could say things weren’t exactly going as planned, as birth likes to do. Though Sarah stayed positive, and carried this energy that just infected the room with calm and confidence. She was trusting her body and her innate ability to birth.
The love between her and Will was hard to miss, at one point during contractions the song that they danced to as their first dance when they got married began to play, Will started to sing it to help ground her, and then they began singing it together. This is when I knew I was in for a long haul of tears.
Sarah took each surge with grace, breathing through them and keeping her body loose and relaxed. She fell into the ebb and flow of labor. A ritual began to form, of which she had to hold hands with either Will or I. Being sure it was held the same way during each contraction, and that we were sitting on the correct side of her, helped keep her steady in labor land.
When she initially was given the magnesium she was told that she wouldn’t be able to leave the bed, soon she realized that her body was NOT down to stay still. The first step was getting to the bathroom, her nurses were so supportive and could tell that her ability to move around hadn’t been hindered by the magnesium. With a bit of trust in place, and steady slow movements we got her out of bed, to the bathroom, and finally onto the birth ball to get her hips swaying. This seemed to bring her energy up a bit and really got the ball rolling, she had a cervical check around 7am that measured her at 5cm dilated.
The room settled, high energy fell into a steady flow of working together as a birth team. Her mother arrived and could feel to keep the atmosphere gentle, settled in and began to rub her daughters back. Ever since having my son, my emotions have been sky high sensitive and every single time I see a parent with their child about to give birth, I cannot help but choke back a few tears. Without fail. At one point her mom stopped to say “I know you don’t feel it at this moment, but you are so amazing. You’re putting me to shame right now” Couldn’t bare but to have a wet face.
Music filled the room, All is full of love by Bjork began to play. I could see in Wills' eyes that he was witnessing the strength and power of his love, and realizing how this day was going to end. Soon he would have a baby in his arms. Tears in everyone's eyes, emotions were definitely high. I think everyone could sense how close we were getting even though the amount of time that had passed was so short.
At around 10:30am she was due for another check to see where babies head was laying. I popped out for a minute to go to the bathroom, only to come back to a room in literal amazement and excitement. 9 AND A HALF centimeters! When I say the mama was calm throughout her labor, I mean she could’ve been mistaken for meditating. I was amazed she had gotten through transition with barely a peep. With a few position changes, and just under an hour more of time she was feeling the urge to push and went to her hands and knees. This mama is STRONG and her baby out within a mere 20 minutes.
Will went to look and choked back crying as he announced their new baby was a little girl, and Sarah screamed “Its Valentine! She’s Valentine!”
She quickly went to lay on her back to hold Valentine in her arms. Both Williams mother and Sarah's mother filled to the brim and overcome by joy, the entire room was sobbing.
This birth was so peaceful yet so powerful, it left me speechless and in awe of the strength of this mother.
Though there's always a point in the beginning with fear of what's to come, but somewhere along the line, there’s a visceral feeling of knowing that this is what you’re made for. Your body is so capable. Witnessing the look of empowerment and accomplishment once they’re holding their babies in their arms is something that's completely unmatched in my book.