Marissa’s birth is close to my heart. There were similarities to my very first birth, that I couldn’t help but remembering through out the day as I was with her. First baby, a sweet little boy. A hard attempt at a natural labor, that ended in a belly birth. It all took me back, and I felt close to her in those moments. With that being said, here is her story:
I got a text around 11am that it was baby day! Marissa was admitted to the hospital, and 3cm dilated. Her contractions were 5 minutes apart, but it was still early so I gave her and her husband Nate space as I planned for childcare that day. Around 3:15pm she let me know her water was broken, and asked me to join them in their birth space. I dropped the kids off and headed to the hospital. When I arrived, it was quiet. The lights were off, and soft sunlight was pouring in through the window. Marissa was bouncing on her birth ball, breathing through contractions. She labored in the tub for a while before I arrived, and for most of her active labor she was on that ball, laboring like a goddess! A few hours passed before she decided to climb into the bed and rest. I watched her drift in and out of sleep between each surge, allowing her mind to go to that “other place” we all seem to go when labor gets this intense. As the pain got more intense, she moved to her hands and knees on the bed, rocking with each wave, listening to her body as she worked through this process. Around 6pm I remember hearing her say “I can’t do this” and it took me back to my first birth again. I remember that moment. The moment when you feel like you’ve lost control and you can’t keep going. It’s truly the hardest part of labor, and sometimes (but not always) means you’re transitioning. For Marissa, it wasn’t the case. She seemed to stall around 6cm, so I gave them some more space and sat in the waiting room to edit. She got some pain relief through her IV shortly after, and it allowed her to rest some. But quickly her contractions picked back up in intensity, with still very little progress. The sun left us, and 10pm arrived, when Marissa, Nate, and her birth team decided on a C-Section. I requested to join them, and after some debate I was allowed into the OR. It was 11pm by the time we walked in, and Marissa was in much better spirits. She received her spinal, and was being prepped for surgery. I could see the anticipation in her and her husbands eyes, as the realization that their baby would be here any moment set it. At 11:14pm, baby Holden entered the world. He was quickly cleaned up and handed to his daddy, where he stayed until it was mama’s turn to hold him. The joy in her face when that boy was placed in her arms, that is the moment this all led up to. That is the moment that makes it all worth it. The night quieted down as they were taken back to recovery. Marissa nursed Holden, and her and Nate reconnected and laughed with each other as the calmness took them over. It had been a very long day for them, and they finally had their baby in their arms. I stayed to capture a few more moments with them, and quietly left them to rest. I think this birth will always be special to me, because I remember being in that story 5 years ago. Having an c-section after trying so hard for a natural labor can make you feel a lot of things. To this day I can still feel regrets. But it’s my story, and it’s what made me a mama. And that is the case for Marissa as well. Her story is beautiful, and it’s only just begun.