Our Birth Story
You can plan all you want and vision your perfect birth, but you truly never know how your journey is going to go. I always envisioned myself having a natural water birth and having my baby in my arms filled with love and empowerment. I did end up with my healthy beautiful baby filled with love and I definitely felt empowered by my birth; however, there were a lot of things that were very unexpected and caused a lot of life changing decisions.
It was Wednesday, August 6 around 3:00pm when I started to notice strong contractions about 5-7 minutes apart. I had been having contractions the week before, but nothing quite compared to this. I knew this was it…. we were going to meet our little girl soon.
I was alone at my house, Chester was at work. I began to fill up my bath and light candles to relax and help me breathe through these contractions. The contractions instantly began to weaken and I felt more in control. I had texted Chester to start driving home around 4pm and started to write in my journal that I had been writing in throughout the whole pregnancy, but quickly realized that I needed to focus on my breathing in order to get through these contractions. Chester finally came home and helped ease my back pain I was having by massaging me during each contraction. I kept telling myself, “Each contraction is bringing us closer to our baby.” I labored about 5 hours at home before we decided it was time to start driving to the hospital. We called our doula and told her to meet us there. We ate a small dinner then headed out the door by 8pm. I quickly said good-bye to our sweet dogs and told them that we will be back with their sister.
On our way to the hospital, we saw the beautiful sunset. It was truly a beautiful gift from God. As we get to the hospital, I tell Chester to park in the parking deck and that I could walk in with him instead of having him drop me off. As we near the main door to the hospital, another women in labor was dropped off at the entrance by her husband. She looked like she was further along so I decided to help her out and wait for her to come to our elevator. Unfortunately, we did not know this woman was about to take the LAST room available in the hospital. Yes, you heard me right…there were no more rooms available in the hospital… not even the triage was available. Apparently the Full Moon makes more women go into labor. We were sent to the waiting room without knowing when they were going to have a room for us. Our wonderful doula, Maegan, met us there and helped me calm down by all the chaos going on.
Two hours later of laboring hard in the waiting room and bathroom, we finally get called by our midwife and takes us back to the recovery room for C-sections so she can at least see how dilated I am. By the look on her face I could tell that I was very far along. “You are 8cm dilated!” she stated. I was feeling so proud and grateful that I was pretty calm by this point…especially after all that had happened. My water hadn’t broke yet, however. All of us instantly thought I was going to have this baby in the next two hours or so. It was about 10:15pm by now. She quickly pulled some kind of magic and found us a room. As we were walking into the room, another woman was being pulled out with her baby. They quickly put the monitor around me to check the baby’s heart rate for about 30 minutes. Everything was looking great! The midwife asked if I wanted her to break my water. She thought by doing this that the baby would easily come out. Maegan and Chester both reminded me how much I wanted to delivery my baby in the water. We kindly asked her to meet my vision and bring on the bath. The instant my body hit that water, my whole body relaxed and eased my mind. I was completely happy and relaxed.
After about an hour of being in the tub and pushing, there was no progress at all. We decided to get out of the tub and break my water to see if it would help speed things along. And thats where things started to go downhill…the baby’s heart rate started to go all over the place and put her in distress. Two hours later of switching positions and pushing, the midwife thought it was best to get an epidural to see if my body’s muscles would relax and allow my contractions to push the baby out. I knew everything I had dreamed for our birth was now out the window. It was all about getting our little girl to the world healthy and safe. And I was ok with that. Now I am not the biggest fan of drugs or interventions, but that epidural felt amazing once it kicked in and allowed me to rest. The midwife told me to rest for an hour and see where things go…things did not go …they stayed the same. It had been four hard hours of pushing. I could tell the midwife and doctor were now getting worried. They let Chester and I know that C-section was our last resort and had to be done now. They got me ready for surgery and starting pulling me to the operating room. I saw my mom in the hallway and my heart instantly sunk a little bit.
The wonderful thing about our doctor was that she performs what she calls a “Family Centered C-section”, meaning my husband could be in the operating room and that our baby would immediately be placed on my chest for that important skin-to-skin contact and bonding of mother and baby. It was now around 4:45am and there I was on the table, arms strapped down, body shaking uncontrollably, and fearful about the unknown. I told Chester to just look into my eyes and to talk to me. I felt so out of place, so scared, and just wanted to be in that tub birthing my baby naturally. Five minutes later, we heard the most beautiful cry I have ever heard…the sound of our baby in this world. I see my husband look over the curtain and starts to tear up. I instantly see one of the nurses come over with our sweet Daniela and is placed on my chest. Her eyes open and aware. I have never experienced such emotions in my entire life... Our daughter…. We are parents to this beautiful little girl. She is perfect, she is healthy, she is more than I ever could have asked for. The greatest gift I have ever received. We instantly fell in love with her and never felt so blessed.
Daniela Cristina Thomas entered the world on August 7, 2014 at 5:09am, weighing exactly 8 lbs and measuring 20.5 inches long.
Chester and I stop and just stare into her eyes and thank God for this miracle.
We love you sweet, Daniela… More than you can ever imagine. You are our everything.
All the photographs were shot by our wonderful doula, Maegan Hall. We are so grateful for her tender spirit and her amazing talent. I don't have enough words to express how thankful I am for you.