I want to tell you a story.
When I was pregnant with Everly it was the most intense experience of my life. I had HG throughout the pregnancy and struggled daily with the smallest tasks. I lost 40 lbs and worried every second that I was going to fail at my job of protecting my precious baby until she was ready to come earth side. I broke down more than once with cries that I couldn’t do it and I didn’t know how to get through. It was painful and heartbreaking but as always I looked for the silver lining in my life. I am a girl who loves her silver linings.
Even though I was confined to the couch for most of my pregnancy it meant one thing: I could stare at my belly for hours and watch her little kicks. About halfway through my pregnancy and watching my little lady wiggle I started to track her across my belly and I realized that she was breech. It wasn’t anything to be concerned with so early but as the weeks passed us by she stayed put. I started to feel nervous about her position because we were living in Japan on a small military base with a very small hospital as our only option for a birth place. This hospital wouldn’t facilitate a breech birth and we weren’t allowed a home birth because of far too many rules and regulations. A forced cesarean birth was quickly becoming my only option.
From the day, even the moment that I found out I was pregnant I dreamed of my beautiful birth to come. I knew instinctually that a medicated birth was not for us and I was preparing myself for an unmedicated vaginal birth. The news from my care providers that I wouldn’t be “allowed” to have what I wanted was devastating. I tried everything I could think of to coerce my baby into turning head down. Every position, every trick, everything I could find. Nothing worked. Throughout my pregnancy, especially the last few months, I spent time each day meditating with my daughter. I told her my hopes, my dreams, my wishes. I told her how excited I was for labor and how much I looked forward to holding her in my arms. I connected deeply to her. I told her how much I love her. And I told her she HAD to flip over.
During our 37th week my husband and I decided that we were going to have a version scheduled to see if the doctors could help manipulate our daughter into the correct position. It’s a painful procedure for women which can cause fetal distress and sometimes even trigger labor. I knew the risks but I wasn’t willing to give up and schedule a cesarean unless I’d exhausted every possibility.
I have never felt so completely powerless.
The day before the procedure (38 weeks along) I gave up. I gave in to the powerless feeling I’d been drowning in and completely and totally gave up. I cried and cried and cried. And then I had a meditation with my daughter. I connected on our spiritual level and I told her that the next morning we were going to have our last ditch attempt at getting her into the correct position for birth. And then I told her what she needed to hear.
I told my unborn child that it was completely up to her. If she wanted to be born through a cesarean birth I would happily do it for her. I would stop fighting and embrace the birth for the beauty it would offer and the child it would bring me. And if she wanted to have the natural birth experience we’d been preparing for together then she needed to flip over and tell me she was ready. I gave up any illusion of control over the situation and I surrendered.
That night was incredibly painful. She wiggled and kicked and moved more than she ever had before. The next morning I knew. I KNEW she had turned over. It didn’t take an ultrasound or a doctor informing me. I felt her body position inside me and I knew. We went to our scheduled appointment and I told them she’d turned in the night. They didn’t trust my word for it but their ultrasound machine proved me right. She had turned and we were ready.
This experience prepared me for motherhood in a way nothing else could. It showed me that I would not be able to control most of the things that came my way but if I surrendered to the beauty of my life I would be able to enjoy and cherish it always.
Three weeks (to the day) after our daughter turned head down she joined us earth side. Her birth was beautiful, the experience was remarkable, and it gave me so much confidence in myself and my daughter. But our meditation and my surrender to her and our future was where our bond was truly forged. When she was placed in my arms by my amazing husband I looked deep into her eyes and said “I know you. My sweet Everly, I know you.”