Something changed in me at my 39 week appointment. My doctor informed me that he'd be on vacation the following week. The week I was due. I realized then that this birth was out of my hands and that she would come when she was ready. I was prepared to wait.
Because both of my other babies were eight days late, I assumed that Ingrid would be overdue. There were signs that she was coming, but I was still doubtful. When we got to the hospital, I left our bags in the car in case they sent me home. I did not want to be sent home.
The night before she was born, we took a walk. Nate pulled the kids in the wagon and I waddled. We walked a couple of miles. We stayed up late watching 30 Rock and talking. By midnight, I was in labor but because both of my other labors had been so long, I assumed I had another day or 2 before I would meet my baby. I tried showering to get the labor to stop. At 3 in the morning, I called my doula to tell her I thought I'd be going to the hospital in the morning. I also called my mom but told her to take her time. Thankfully, my mom didn't listen to me.
We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 AM. I was dilated to an 8. They didn't send me home. Even then, I still thought it would be hours before Ingrid would be born. With Everett, I arrived at the birth center at an 8 and he was born 12 hours later. My doula thought the baby was slightly posterior, so she employed the most non-invasive tool possible. She used a rebozo. The rebozo is a large Mexican shawl. Basically, the laboring woman lays on top of the rebozo hammock-style. Judy and a nurse vigorously shook me and then things got interesting. My body + rebozo= best birth ever.
I felt Ingrid move down into position. I felt my water break. I knew I was really going to have a baby. And less than 10 minutes later, I did. I assumed I'd be pushing and pushing and pushing. I asked for a mirror so that I could see her, but there wasn't time for mirrors.
People want to hear a horror story when you tell them that you had a 10 pound 7 ounce baby, but this was the best birth I could imagine. My doctor wiped the goo off of her and placed her on my chest. Ingrid is the only one of my babies that I got to hold right away. It is a moment that I'll never forget.
I am still in shock that everything went so well. My only expectation was that she would come out of me. Instead, I feel like the other two births were redeemed. Her birth changed me. It doesn't make sense that it could be so simple and easy, but it was. And after a c-section and a vacuum-assisted birth, I will take it. To quote St. Therese of Lisieux, "EVERYTHING is grace."
I am grateful.