This is my birth story. This is the story of my daughter's birth.
"You had a due date. Because that's what doctors and midwives give you. Your due date was March 9th 2016. It would have been your grandmother's date of birth, my own mother. This year will mark 20 years of her passing and while having her birthday as your due date came with a mix feeling of "wow-that's-pretty-special" and "wow-that's-a-bit-intense", I was hoping you would pick your very own date to come.
A few weeks before your birth, we had decided to have a midwife be our doula. We talked over the phone on Sunday February 28th and I told her I could feel my body getting ready. The following Friday your dad, your brother and I went on a beautiful beach walk. I felt like a fat white whale trying to walk on a sandy beach, but I loved every minute of it - the three of us in the expectation of your arrival. I went for a swim, it felt pretty darn good, and ran into a few friends all wishing me good luck for the [hopefully] soon-to-come-birth.
My first contraction kicked-in that night at 11:30pm. The boys were sleeping. Your brother's warm little body close to mine. I stayed in bed waiting to see if there would be more contractions to come. They came. One after the other ten minutes apart, lasting a good one minute each time. I was in labor. I loved that moment. Being the only one awake. The only one knowing what was about to happen, watching your papa and your brother sleep unaware of my contractions, everything being so quiet. I took advantage of the stillness of the night to focus on you and me. I talked to you, told you we were going to do this together and that we would be just fine.
Around 3:30am your papa needed to use the bathroom and found me in the shower. He asked if "it" was happening and I most likely rolled my eyes at him. Actually no, I think I said, "yes, this is it," with a smile. I was in a very happy space. I stayed in the shower for 45 minutes then texted our midwife. That's pretty much when the contractions changed to every 2 minutes lasting 30 seconds. Your dad was helping by holding me as I rested my back against his chest with every new contraction. It felt good. Our midwife arrived. We were a team. She listened to your heart and it was one of the best sounds in the world. I was "only" 3 centimeters dilated then but she soon suggested that we'd make our way to the hospital.
We were excited although my thoughts kept navigating towards your brother, left with our neighbor. In a way I was glad he was awake when we left. He knew what was happening and I was able to tell him how much I loved him. I went through quite a few contractions on our way to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 6:00am. The nurse announced that I was 5cm dilated. Letting me think that I was going to be here for a few hours before meeting you. Soon after, the contractions became very strong and all I could do was to hold on to the bed while making all kind of scary slash painful faces for your dad to photograph. Our midwife was an amazing coach while the nurse left us on our own devices. She kept on rubbing my back and my feet while I could hear your dad snap more photos. We were left alone for a moment and this is when my water bag broke as a new contraction came. It took me a second to realize what it was . From there it all happened very fast.
I felt like i wasn't much in control anymore. My entire body started shaking. I looked at my midwife and she told me I was probably in transition. She came by my side and looked right into my eyes telling me it was all good. This is when I knew everything was okay. She had assisted hundreds of women before and gave me the extra strength and confidence to go through the next few contractions, helping me adjust my breathing.
At 7:00am I started feeling a lot of pressure down in my bottom. I knew it meant you were making your way out and soon after I became that woman screaming "I gotta push NOW". The nurse looked at me and said in disbelief "control yourself", thinking I was still around 5cm. But my midwife whispered to my ear that I should let my body do whatever it needed at this point. This is when the nurse decided to check again and realized that yo were about to make your grand arrival. She rushed out to find the doctor.
My doctor walked-in as I was trying to get on my back and truly this seemed to be the hardest thing for me to do. I think everything had happened so fast, going from 5cm to being ready to punch within 45minutes, that my body had a very hard time responding to my brain's commands, lost in the roller-coaster of emotions and pain. It took each and everyone's encouragement to get me on my back and to open up and let you out. Your papa cheering me up as much as he could. I was having the drug-free birth that I dreamt of. Two or three pushes were enough for me to get you out and up against my chest. I was in disbelief. We, you and I, had made it through the whole nine months, through the most intense hour of labor, and here I was, holding 7lbs 3 oz of unconditional love. I looked down and the words came out "it's a girl!!". Your papa and I were in awe of your perfection, Marlowe, my girl, you were born on Saturday March 5th of 2016 at 7:22am, on the beautiful island of Maui.