The Birth of Jasper Hendrix
By Rachel Flores
There is so much I want to say, and I'm not quite sure where to start. At the beginning would be the obvious choice, but depending on how much of the story and what version I'm sharing, there are multiple starting points. I could write it from five different perspectives, each of them my own.
I do know I need to give you a few caveats. In my HypnoBirthing class, I teach that “pain” is the f-word of HypnoBirthing. I curse a lot, and this is a raw and vulnerable story.
We were planning a home birth, and because of my history of preeclampsia, we started co-care with an OB right away. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my blood pressure (BP) began to creep up and we all decided it would be best to start natural induction methods (which only work if your body and baby are ready) just after I hit 37 weeks. I did acupuncture a few times, and on the third attempt, I started contracting regularly for eight hours, went to bed and woke up – not in labor. Then, we tried herbs and the breast pump, and I contracted a few hours before it all stopped. Next, we used homeopathy and a membrane sweep. This seemed to be the most effective. I contracted about nine hours and it all stopped. The next morning, we did another sweep and a foley bulb, I contracted for hours, but it all stopped…again.
We came to a point where my BP was climbing (still within normal limits and controlled with meds but it was getting higher) and feeling like, if I didn’t have a baby within a couple days, we would need to head to the hospital for a medical induction. Being that we had been planning for a home birth, everyone on the birth team wanted to avoid that if we could.
It’s important for me to say that I never wanted a home birth “at any cost”…and the health of myself and my baby would never be put at risk just to have an out-of-hospital birth. Midwives do NORMAL birth, and when the health of mama or baby fall into the realm of abnormal, we go to the hospital. That’s it. Safety above anything else.
After discussing all scenarios with both our midwife and doctor, we agreed that if the baby wasn’t here by the end of the week, we would go into the hospital for an induction. The doctor swept my membranes once more, and I went home to take the “last ditch effort” natural induction remedy…castor oil. Let me tell you, that shit is fucking awful and I wouldn’t ever do that again. Never. Never, ever. But it worked. I was in labor, real labor, this time. No more Braxton Hicks, no more practice labor. It was legit. It took me a long time to call my midwife and doula because I really didn’t think it was REAL labor.
When my doula arrived, her words were magic, "You certainly look like a mama in labor!" I had finally made it. I was contracting about every five minutes. My whole team showed up. My husband was getting things set up and our birth photographer started taking pictures. After an hour or so of everyone arriving, our two older boys woke up. They sat in the living room with us, hugging and loving on me and "our" baby belly.
The energy of the room had shifted. It was just a bit too noisy and I was distracted by the boys. My contractions stopped. I decided to lay down in my room and my friend and acupuncturist came in to do a treatment on me. It had been about two hours since my contractions stopped when my midwife came in to take my blood pressure, 180/110. We retook it a few times hoping it was a fluke, but it wasn't budging.
Rachel Flores - Rachel Flores is mom to three boys, a midwife and hypnobirth instructor. She offers home birth, placenta services and childbirth and safer beauty education through her business A Mothers Nature Birth, www.AMothersNatureBirth.com. She lives in Oceanside, California. IG: @amothersnaturebirth