Is there anything a group of moms loves chatting about more than their birth stories? It’s a bond many of us moms share- we love to sit around talking about c sections, water breaking and baby sizes. Comparing notes on how we knew we were in labor. How frazzled was your spouse? Were you cleaning everything in sight?
I often think that instead of having those 13.1 or 26.2 mile stickers on our cars, we need ones that designate the number of hours we labored. 5.2, 18.6 and, oh lord, 56.5 (my first was stubborn). Or maybe we should think about a “honk if you had an epidural” bumper sticker? Let’s get this Etsy site going!
I don’t consider my birth story to be anything extraordinary, however it was super special to me. But let’s back up a bit! Back through the hugs from family, the wheelchair ride down the hallway and the nurse’s congratulations, through the door of the delivery room, my arms holding my warm little package, through the breathing and pushing and into the moment we entered the hospital, full of anticipation and nervous excitement.
We were ready! Thanks to our birth prep classes, my husband and I came into the St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites feeling about as confident as any new mom and dad-to-be could. And when the nurses came and asked about our birth plan, we felt even more at ease.
We weren’t naive enough to believe that everything would go as planned in our birth, but that’s exactly why we created our plan. To have that conversation ahead of time as a couple- to decide what we would love to happen, how we were going to pivot if and when we needed to, and how my husband could advocate for me if need be.
Whenever our nurses switched shifts, they would reiterate the birth plan to us. No epidural until you ask for it? Okay. You want to birth as naturally as possible? Deal! They filled the jacuzzi tub for me, showed me the ball I could use to bounce, asked me if I wanted to walk the hallways, and aided whenever I wanted to try something new to alleviate the pain. My husband and I loved all of the low intervention opportunities available to us at SSM St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites.
When the time did come for me to ask SO calmly for the epidural (I will always refer to that nice, nice man as the Santa Claus of St. Mary’s), they explained the whole process to me so that I would feel confident with my decision. I loved being in a location where I felt I could birth as I wanted to, but had the medical aid available to us if the need arose.
Ladies, I don’t know if many of you will agree with me when I say one of the best parts about my birth was the pushing. When those elusive 10 centimeters finally came to be, I expected to be surrounded by medical staff, much like in the movies. Me, all sweaty and screaming and them rushing around with scissors and clamps and scary utensils in hand. I expected an entourage of hospital staff swarming around, in a way that felt scary and not intimate. However, this was not the case; The pushing process was so different from this. There was a small group of people in the room who were very calm and stayed out of the way unless needed. It was quiet, and the staff was at ease. My husband loved that he got to be such an integral part of the process by helping me push- he still talks about it to this day.
And finally, when my little babe took her first breath, she was promptly placed on my chest and left there for a long while. I loved that the St. Mary’s staff believed whole heartedly in skin to skin contact. They let us be, as a family, for a long while.
There are so many ways to bring Baby into the world. There are gadgets and gizmos a plenty, and there are the low intervention ways as well. I’m so glad I got to have such a great experience because of St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites. I hope yours was just as amazing!
Next time I’m on the beltline, and I see your car with a 17.6 on it, I will honk. Solidarity sister!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SSM Health St. Mary’s. The opinions and text are all mine.