It was a beautiful Saturday morning in May when my water broke at 8 am. The weather was perfect; not too hot, not too cold. As I got out of bed and noticed what had just happened I announced to my husband. He jumped out of bed in a panicked excitement. We called the midwife at ABC, Leslie. She directed us to go for a walk around the neighborhood or park. We were thrilled to start this journey and welcome our son into the world. My labor lasted just short of 24 hours but Leslie was there making me feel comfortable and confident. We probably walked about 3 miles total that day. I also used the exercise ball and the staircase to move my hips back and forth as Leslie directed. My labor progressed slowly and we didn’t want to have to transfer to the hospital. Leslie was calm and instructed me to take Castor Oil at about 3:30pm if my labor hadn’t changed; that really jump started my active labor. At hour 18 from when my water broke I was instructed to come to the birthing center for an antibiotic to prevent any infection. Finally the next morning, Sunday, at 6:30am I was ready to get into the tub. Leslie and the birthing assistant, Debbie, were great and gave me so much encouragement and built up my confidence. At 7:57am Leslie said the best thing to me, “Reach down and catch your baby.” I felt a wave of relief and excitement.
I was so skeptical of having a natural water birth especially at a birthing center. I had very little support from family and friends but this was my Mount Everest. Yes, it was scary and painful but Leslie was with me and told me (when I was giving up hope and wanting to be transferred) that I was a strong woman who could do this. She was right. I delivered a 9lb 3oz baby boy on May 13, 2012. He was the best Mother’s Day present I could have asked for. He never left my side. We got to go home 2 hours after I delivered which was so nice. I loved that my mom, sister, and husband were allowed to all be in the room and support me through this life changing event. There were no complications and I didn’t even tear (that was a huge fear of mine).
When I tell my birthing story to my friends and neighbors they all envy my experience. One of the first things I get asked is “How painful was it?” And I honestly have to laugh a bit because that was something that scared me during my pregnancy. However, I always answer “It’s not as painful as you think it is.” And the midwives are educated and experienced and will encourage you and (something that was important to me) they honor your birthing plan. I absolutely love my birthing story and appreciate the midwives. I know that if I had delivered at a hospital they would have pushed me into a C-section because my labor took so long. So thank you, Leslie, for being there and making this experience more special.