Jasper was born at 2:13am, just 1 hour and 23 mins after we got to the hospital. I dilated 6cm, effaced 50%, and pushed a baby about 6 "stations" in 67 mins. It was hell. My poor baby was just barreling through my body, it was just insane. The kicker was that as soon as we arrived at the hospital, my BP was fine. FINE. Like 100%, completely, fucking normal. We were all bitter about that.
We were received by an amazing hospital staff. They were very respectful of all of us, our wishes, my education, and I really appreciated it. And because everything was moving so very fast, I wasn't messed with at all. There was no time for asking tons of charting questions, no time for an IV, no time for vaginal exams, no time for interventions. Everyone followed my lead. It was the most challenging experience of my life, mentally, physically, and emotionally. This was the hardest, most painful birth I've had.
Its been really hard to see the photos and read the stories of homebirth that normally fill my social media feeds. Posts by my friends having their babies at home, their kiddos surrounding them - pure joy and love plastered all over their faces, my peers at births they've attended, more babies my midwife caught at home. They are beautiful and I love them but it freaking sucks too. One of the hardest parts of my birth experience was that my boys weren't able to be a part of it. They had talked about it for months and months, they were so thrilled to be there. Jax wanted to catch the baby and cut the cord, he and Jace had big plans about their roles at the birth. Just thinking about it now makes me cry. They were SO excited to be a part of this little baby's entrance. I'm glad they were asleep when we left for the hospital. I don't think I could have handled the looks of disappointment on their faces if they had been. And thats it, that was our last chance to have a homebirth. Now its gone forever.
I had a really difficult time looking at our birth photos. They start out with my beautiful birth team, were all sitting in the living room, laughing and quoting Anchorman., We're in the comfort of our own home, my boys observing with caution and excitement.
Then its a stark and dramatic shift to me in a hospital bed. Bright white lights, the pain on my face captured in the photo. Almost every single photo is of me looks the same, lips slightly parted as I whimpered, my brow furrowed, my eyes shut tight, and pain on my face. It was a rude reminder that we once again, didn't get the birth we had dreamed of.
I'm not sure I will ever understand why my BP was so insanely high, at home, or even elevated during pregnancy, and then completely normal the entire time we were in the hospital.
I worked SO incredibly hard throughout my pregnancy to clear and heal my old traumas. To treat my BP naturally, To open my heart and break down the energetic walls I had built up over my lifetime. I did acupuncture, craniosacral theraphy, body work, coaching, regressions, hypnotherapy, took all the supplements. I practiced grounding myself. I practices forgiveness and release. I so desperately wanted a homebirth. To be so close and then have to transfer for a BP that was perfectly normal at the hospital is just fucked up.
We have had a homebirth transfer two times now. We lost our chance to have a homebirth with Jax and now again with Jasper. Why can't I have a homebirth? The midwife with a homebirth practice doesn't get to have her babies at home? Its a rude joke. Its heartbreaking not being able to have the beautiful experience that I help so many other families have.. And I don't want to hear, "Well at least you have a healthy baby." That is a bullshit, insanely insensitive comment to make to a mother who just had a traumatic experience. Obviously having a healthy baby is clearly important, but so is the health of the mother. My health. My mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health is of the utmost importance too. I matter. My feelings matter. My emotional well-being matters. And it is never ok to shame a mom, or try to make her feel guilty for being disappointed in her birth experience.
This experience, like all other challenges in my life, has provided me an opportunity for spiritual growth. To expand my ability to learn, receive, give, surrender, step into my power, love, forgive, and I'm sure others that I can't think of right now. My soul is expanding, I'm stepping into the spiritual aspects of my life. I have a clearer vision of what I want my life to be like. How our family life will be. How I serve and show up for others, the care I wish to give. Its all becoming more clear and I love it. My spiritual gifts are coming to ahead and I'm feeling so divinely guided
And to my partner Colin, I love you so very much. I couldn't have done this without you. Seeing these photos and watching your love for me and our babies, is just beautiful.
I am forever grateful for the amazing birth team we had. I love them all so much. We really had the best of both worlds. I knew throughout my pregnancy, that a hospital birth may need to happen. So we made sure we had the best "plan b" we could have. My Midwife, Dr, and I worked closely together to make sure the baby and I stayed safe and healthy. Don't get me wrong, having to transfer to the hospital for a "complication" that yielded a perfectly healthy birth, healthy baby and mama, is super stupid and I wish it hadn't been that way.
Considering the circumstances, we had the best of both worlds when it came to the care we were given. I was able to labor at home with my team. My boys had a glimpse of how magical birth and midwifery care can be (also what their Mom does all those times I'm away from them for days). Part of my team was able to come to the hospital with us. We were met with amazing staff, who were super supportive and respectful of our wishes and the fact that I was a Midwife. I had a Dr and a Midwife who wholeheartedly trusted and respected me and my judgement, and I'm grateful for them.
I have so been looking forward to seeing the birth video and I haven't stopped crying since last night. It was SUPER important for me to have, no matter what kind of birth we had, I so desired to have it filmed. I don't really have the words to describe what Ali captured for us. She captured it all so perfectly. My boys. The angst, rawness, beauty, and the love. Oh my gosh, the love. My sister said it perfectly, she was able to articulate the words that I couldn't.
"That broke my heart and put it all back together
Meet Rachel, the Author
I'm a Licensed Midwife and busy mom of two extremely active boys. I manage several different businesses, while also trying to maintain a household, my family and my sanity. Some days it works, some days it doesn't!