This birth hit me straight to the heart. In many ways, it reminded me how birth is so much more than meeting your own baby, because you will discover edges and corners of your own mind that you had forgotten existed; or that you didn’t even know were a possible part of you.
Cesarean Birth is Birth.
This family showed up at the hospital like a pack of wolves. Despite being warned that after Covid, many hospitals were still implementing strict rules about the number of people allowed in the labor room, Grandma wanted to be there and no questions were asked.
She was part of the experience naturally and organically. No policies nonsense was brought up (although one of the many the nurses we had, refused to give me an extra chair, just to make clear I knew my place!).
In the time frame of two very full days, this mama squatted, danced, sang, sat on the toilet, tried all the position her Doula (me) and the four nurses who assisted along the journey proposed: side lining, Walcher’s, sitting up right, sitting in the shower, hands and knees and any other position you can think of in an anatomy book.
We also had the tens unit at hand, and the robozo and without going into a full doula training exercise, I can testify that this mother said yes to anything that was proposed to her to do in order to bring her baby earth side in a time manner and safely.
As this family got closer to meet their baby, mom developed a fever, which is usually a late sign for infection, so in the midst of pushing we started covering her with ice and ice packs all over the body. Her baby started to descend and we could see his head appearing and disappearing as babies’ heads often do during the turtle phase of pushing.
We were so close!
And yet baby’s heart rate was not looking optimal and the doctor suggested going to the OR and deliver baby via Cesarean birth.
It’s hard to be reminded that when things go unplanned Cesarean birth is birth, but that is the truth. Especially when a mother gives all of herself to protect her baby from a traumatic birth, the concept of labor becomes even more honorable.
While it is easy to celebrate a birth that unfolds smoothly and according to plan, there is a bittersweet leftover taste of what ifs that often linger over an unplanned Cesarean birth. But we have to remember that in a case like this, birth is not so much about the how, but the why and for this family the why was a sweet and beautiful boy who was born perfect and healthy in any possible way.
There are many questions that may be left unanswered with birth and in this case I can have my opinions, but they don’t necessarily need to be shared here and for the sake of this family, because Cesarean birth is birth no matter what.
What is clear is that in the scariest and most vulnerable moment of her journey, this mom decided that what mattered most was her baby’s well being.
When she couldn’t give anymore, she gave her soul and body and walked straight through fire to meet her baby on this side of the birth realm.
Watch her as they meet for the first time.
Despite the post surgery effects of sedation, she already knows what to do. Without hesitation.
One look at her baby and her love (and milk) are filling the room.
Cesarean Birth is Birth.