Yes, Amanda…it can be different…

Three weeks ago we welcomed our beautiful 6lb 12 ounce baby girl into the world.  I had prepared, visualized, meditated, planned and kept my thoughts on as positive of a trajectory as I could.  I had managed to make it to week 39 of my pregnancy without bed rest, without medical intervention of any kind and I was determined to make this delivery different than my first two had been.  Here’s what I learned though:

1.  Babies come when they want to come
2.  Just because you ask for it, does not mean it will come in the EXACT way you have planned it

Two days before my “scheduled” cesarean section date, I went into labour on my own.  This, indeed, was a desired part of my plan-my baby was not aware that she would be taking a different route into the world, so I wanted to let it be her initiative to decide when the time was right.  Foolishly, though, I wanted it to be on my terms.  My terms included going into labour during daylight hours, when my other two children were at school, my OB-GYN was either at the hospital (or on call), the roads were bare, and suppers for the next two weeks were prepared and in the freezer.  Just all part of the “control” issue I still had managed to cling on to through this process-old habits die hard as they say.

So at midnight, in the midst of a terrible snowstorm, my water broke and terrible pain immediately followed.  Not contraction pain though.  A different, severe pain that made me question what actually was going on.  Having never really had a true labor with my other daughters, I started questioning myself as to whether or not the labor was far enough advanced to make the trek to the hospital lest I be turned away to go back home “and wait it out a bit longer”.  If it had not been for the snowstorm, I may have stayed home…I decision I would have certainly regretted.  The drive to the hospital was fraught with my barrage of worries…combined with the snow pummelling our car, it was tense to say the least.  Walking up to labor and delivery (still convinced that I probably did not need immediate assistance), I anticipated how soon it would take for them to check me and send me home with a condescending “no dear-go home and wait a little longer”.  Upon arrival, serendipity took over.

Long story short…upon being checked by a resident was informed my water had not broken.  Miraculously, my own doctor was on call and staying at the hospital due to the snow.  In actuality, I was in labor, however was on the verge of a uterine rupture due to two previous cesarean sections.  I was sent to the operating room within a matter of two hours.  My sister was present for the delivery and was the baby’s nurse as she was working the overnight shift in neo-natal.  My cesarean section went off without a hitch, and all of our birth plans were adhered to thanks to our wonderful obstetrician who listened all of those weeks back when presented with our wishes.

In retrospect, the emergent nature of all of these events were a blessing in disguise.  Everything I had hoped and planned for was able to happen-even though it did not appear in the way that I had imagined it.  All things that needed to align did-perfectly.  It looked different than what I had visualized, but what I had visualized was infused with my intense need for control over the situation.  As if my pregnancy was not enough to prove that healing can happen, my birth experience was a total manifestation of all my lessons I have been accumulating over the last 9 months.  What you are desiring may already be there-it just may not look the way you thought it would look.

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