What they say about pregnancy and birth is true. No two women, babies, pregnancies or births are the same and that is precisely why I love birth. Each time I attend a birth, I am witnessing something unique in so many ways. It fascinates me to see how differently women cope with the intensity of labor and how each baby participates in and affects their own birth. Plus, it means that I get to tell such different stories each time.
At 3am last Saturday, a 41-week pregnant Sara and her husband headed to The Birthing Inn, Tacoma’s freestanding birth center. When I met her there, she was still talking and moving around between contractions with grace. Very shortly after she got into the birthing tub, contractions picked up again and her body was telling her to push. Sara was a rock. Having done this twice before with her husband, there was little talking. He knew what she needed and when she needed it.
Some women are quiet during labor and some are not. Sara’s vocalizations matched perfectly the stage of labor she was working through. I’ve read about the deep, primal sounds women sometimes make during pushing but this was the first time I heard them for myself. It was AMAZING. I could hear her strength. The whole room filled with her intensity.
Just after 5am, with one last push, baby Hugo emerged from the water at a whopping 12 pounds, 5 ounces and 23 inches long. Did I mention that this was all accomplished naturally? Never underestimate the power of good support, warm water and trusting that your body can deliver your baby.
Congratulations and welcome Hugo, the baby who was too big for the swaddling blankets at The Birthing Inn!