We had planned on a beautiful homebirth with our midwife to bring our daughter, Bodi, peacefully into this world. When I was diagnosed with a relatively uncommon condition called Obstetric Cholestasis of Pregnancy at 27 weeks we were introduced to intervention and were forced to accept an induction at the hospital at 37 weeks.
AT HOME June 18th- 20th
Chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs and a wonderful castor oil / vodka cocktail to assist in the bringing on of labour. We make our way to the Hospital.
Heather is gowned and fettered to a monitor. Bard presents the Azima Family Birth Plan which so beautifully sets out the desires of the parents. It is the beacon of hope for a beautiful gentle birthing.
Oh we are in good spirits and although somewhat uncomfortable, Heather tolerates a brief invasion and the waters are broken.
We arrive here at 1300 hrs. Triage Nurse bids us adieu and places Heather into the care of “Day Nurse” Angela and a student of nursing. We set about making ourselves comfortable and preparing for the IV and Oxytocin.
At 1330 hours Day Nurse starts the drip and it begins to insinuate itself into Heather.
IT BEGINS – 6:30 PM
Heather is feeling some pressure and twinges. At 1930 hour, she is glad that Bard and Mom have had a bite to eat because she does not want us leaving now. Also another changing of the Guard – when we say goodbye to the Day nurses with their promises to come and say hello to Bodi tomorrow morning.
Night Nurse – and what luck. Allison trained in England – we’re so excited… she was a Midwife for 10 years and she “gets it”… I think we will have a good night.
10 PM Oxytocin increased to 20. We have settled into somewhat of a symbiotic relationship. The four of us, Night nurse, Heather, Bard and Mom. Bard and Heather at the forefront, working their magic.
10:20PM – Midwife Lilly arrives, Resident arrives at same moment. The room is suddenly full for a few minutes and an exchange of information between parties takes place.
OKAY …. NOW IT BEGINS
Heather is working hard! There is a HypnoBirthing CD playing in the background and each time it comes to the end – Bard signals me and I put it back to the beginning again.
Heather is having her most intense contraction yet.. she is awesome, unbelievable.
To this point – I have been circulating around the room and leaving Bard and Heather to do their thing… but something inexplicably pulls me towards my daughter…. So I tentatively approach the end of the bed and put my hands on her feet… holding them and somehow hoping that this will ground her…
From this point on, there are three of us and unborn baby Bodi.
Allison moves quietly back and forth – increasing Oxytocin, watching Heather carefully – and unobtrusively timing contractions. She is such a gentle spirit but her support is felt like an invisible hug in the room and we all feel grateful that she is there. Every now and then – and I believe unbeknownst to our Star – Dr. T quietly opens the door with a questioning look – “Need anything?” We all shake our heads to silently indicate that all is well – thank you. Soft words – gentle encouragement and Heather working through her labour… I find myself listening to the CD and
trying to send the energy that she requires from my hands and through her feet. Allison stands at the end of the bed for a time and we watch an amazing women work though contraction after contraction – eyes closed, working with the word of the HypnoBirthing CD…in the background… Allison knows that Heather is doing an incredible job… and she is impressed.
ON OUR OWN
Much to our dismay – Allison announces that she must take her meal break. This, as is the way of the world… is Bodi’s signal to step things up and show Heather just what labour is all about. She is ready for the challenge.
Heather marches on, she works her way around, trying to get comfortable. She finally straddles the bed and we give her the birthing ball to lean on. Halleluiah, this looks like it might work.
She is in the middle of a contraction right now… New nurse Kim decides this is the exact time to readjust the fetal heart monitor on her belly … Bard asks her to wait… she does not…. Bard tells her to wait – she does not… But he maintains the serenity of the birthing room as much a possible by leaving.
Bard has returned. In a moment of chivalry and husbandly duty…. The Prince…. rips the monitor off and re-adjusts it himself. I reaffirm my vow to put a circle of protective light around this company of three and see Bodi arrive as peacefully as possible.
Time passes and yet stands still… Bard and I are “hands” on… holding or touching Heather where it feels right to her… trying to will her the energy she needs to keep going…she’s on her side now and really feels like Bodi is there. We will tell the next person who comes in to “have a look”…. Unfortunately – it’s Kim, but Heather assumes the position – and we are told there’s still a way to go… Heather can’t believe it – she knows Bodi is there… She has another feel…. Oh yes… The soon to be mommy is right…. And Bodi is about to make her appearance….
THE TIME HAS COME
Kim is pressing the call button… she’s not leaving the room now…. Dr. T walks in nonchalantly. She can’t believe that Heather has gone through this labour on her own with no pain medication.
The bed is quickly adjusted and Heather is told to grab her thighs for leverage. She is hearing instructions from all sides…. Who to listen to?….. Push – don’t push ….. now, not now….. Can just one person talk please?…. Lilly leans in and says “Heather… now’s the time to lock your breath”….BINGO…. Bodi on her way out…. Coming slowly, gracefully…. Daddy is at the end of the bed…. I am holding a leg and gripping Heather’s hand until she lets go into bliss… we are all mesmerized….
0221 HOURS – JUNE 21 – 2007 SUMMER SOLSTICE
BODI AZIMA comes into this World in an atmosphere of Peace and Love 6 lbs, 5 oz.
Somehow through it all…. The Azima Family Birth Plan is honoured and Bodi is placed with great care onto Mommy’s tummy for that first lovely contact with the outside world. Mommy and daughter meet for the first time. Daddy joins them and is handed scissors to cut the cord which has been the life link between Mommy and Bodi up to this point. They remain, beautifully connected, for a few brief moments until Bodi is whisked away for a short visit with the pediatrician to ensure she is well after her journey and that she has not been affected by the obvious meconium that is present.
Daddy follows to shade her delicate eyes from the harsh light and to ensure nothing untoward happens to his baby girl… Lilly is in attendance as well.
I remain with my Beautiful Daughter…. as Dr.’s T and S complete their work with her… Placenta delivery… and a few stitches here and there. We are reveling in this wonderful aftermath … this Bliss…. I believe that Dr. T is actually a little bit humbled – it is a beautiful birth… and all in attendance agree…
Darling Bodi….you are well and truly Loved…