Watching a mom labor is a powerful moment in life to be present for, and not an easy one to describe. It’s been said that women reach to the heavens and come back with a star.
Labor brings you to another world. One that makes you question and doubt. One that strengthens and empowers. We come back changed and redefined, claiming our motherhood.
For this birth story, there is nothing truer.
Like most births, this one through a little bit of a wrench in this family’s initial plans to labor at home when mom’s water broke. She was admitted to St. Peter’s Hospital Labor and Delivery by midday in early labor. I met up with mom and dad later in the evening. We chatted casually during mild contractions about laboring, birth, family, and all of the odds and ends that would change after welcoming their first child. Soon dad was hooking up Netflix to help keep mom distracted as the labor pains became a little more uncomfortable.
A few hours later, after rejoining mom and dad, things were intensifying and become much more painful. I watched as dad was this mom’s coach and motivator, one of the most amazing support systems I’ve had the privilege of watching. Words of encouragement, jokes, reminiscing, spraying lavender scent, anything he could think of to distract her from the pain. And to that, his medical career gave her her own personal nurse. Checking heart rates, tying her hair back, talking to her about the changes of her body and her options and realities if she chose to take a different path for her labor pains. And, to top that, he even moonlighted as our plumber when the birthing pool hose decided to leave a heck of a lot of water on the bathroom floor, giving us a few good laughs.
The pain fully intensified as mom worked herself through a 100% natural labor. She constantly changed positions to try and find relief. When things got bad, in the quiet dark as the nurse and midwife prepared the room for the birth of their little boy, she bounced and breathed through the worst of her contractions on a yoga ball with her husband behind her for support. I watched her reach, each time getting closer and closer to her star.
Early on the morning of the 11th, this mom and dad welcomed their beautiful little Baby S into their arms. Apparently this mama’s reach not only gave them their star, but the most beautiful morning sunrise.
Anyone who has used a pool for their labor/birth knows what this is for…
Such an incredible morning.