When our pediatrician found out that we ended up with quite a different birth than we had planned, she was genuinely sympathetic. But, until that point almost a week after the birth, I had hardly questioned our experience, except when I flipped back to the birth chapters of a few baby books, or got a birth newsletter in my email with a list of ideal birth practices (lots of which I didn’t experience). While I believe our minds were created with incredible abilities for visualization and even the power to shape our experience, I’m also confident that sometimes God overrides our best laid plans and intentions for a more perfect experience than we could have dreamt. In the case of Evan’s birth, that’s exactly what happened.
The Original Plan
You can read the details of our original plan in this post, but, in summary, we were planning a birth center birth free of any pain medication, as well as minimal fetal monitoring. Through 40 plus weeks of pregnancy, we were clearing all the hurdles to birth at the birth center with flying colors, until, somewhat quickly, we weren’t.
A Long Beginning
Evan hardly ever had the hiccups in utero, most likely because he was saving them all for his entrance into the world.
On March 5, 2017, almost a week before my supposed due date of March 11, I spotted a bit of blood when I went to the bathroom and was ecstatic. I spent my whole pregnancy praying I would never see a drop of blood (I didn’t), and then at 37 weeks, arriving at term, that mindset flipped and I was desperately hoping for any sign of spotting. I took a shower, dried my hair, and let our doula know, hoping and praying that things were about to start happening, and Steve was seized by the reality that there was a baby arriving in our very near future. The car was promptly organized and all our birth bags laid out, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
It seemed the spotting was a cruel fluke, though, as the following days brought zero action except for increasingly sleepless nights and an uncomfortably large belly. The nights I couldn’t sleep, I’d lean over to let Steve know I wasn’t in labor, then head downstairs, pugs in tow, for a snack and another animated children’s movie.
My due date of March 11 finally arrived. A couple days later, we went in to see the midwives for my first post-due date non-stress test (NST), where my belly gets hooked up to a couple monitors that make sure baby’s heart rate isn’t too high or low. I passed with flying colors, but we also had to have an important conversation with the midwife that day.