I’m just going to come out and say it, birth is a beautiful experience, FOR THOSE WATCHING IT. For those experiencing it, it’s awful and painful, and then finally it’s beautiful after the baby is born. But for those who get to experience birth as a bystander, I believe it is an entirely different experience. And I say all this having never seen a live birth myself (only video births) but you don’t have to take my word for it! I know two ladies who have seen a birth (mine) and they say (despite my screaming and crying) it was a wonderful experience. 🙂
Because of my open personality and my somewhat hippie belief system I decided to extend the offer of watching my birth to The Sister and The BFF. I told them they were more than welcome to stay in the room if they wanted to but no pressure either way. The funny thing was neither of them had any desire to watch it in the months and weeks leading up to his birth.
The Sister didn’t want to listen to my whining. Umm, only a sister can get away with saying that! #brat Her original plan was to enter the room immediately after I had given birth to take photos of The Wee One. And The BFF was not interested in watching for no particular reason other than it’d be a bit weird and/or gross.
Imagine my surprise when everything was being set up for pushing and neither of them left the room! The coolest part? They both really enjoyed it. They both cried when he was born. They both said the time flew by (wish I could say the same!). They both said it was so much better than they could have imagined. And they’re both happy they got to see him being born. Of course it was special to them because of their relationship to me, but most of the time you’re only going to watch a birth of someone you care a lot about.
I’m hoping that someday I get to witness the miracle of birth as well but in case you end up in a similar situation soon, here’s a few tips to follow I learned from those two:
1. Be invisible. The girls stayed out of the way of the nurses and doctor and I could barely see where they were seated against the wall. They didn’t move around or walk in and out, but kept to themselves. I think the hospital staff appreciated that.
2. Be enthusiastic. The girls exuded so much positive energy and even vocalized near the end. I believe I mentioned this before but it felt like I had my own cheering section and I’m not exaggerating. It was awesome to hear their voices and listen to their positive affirmations. Between their votes of confidence and The Scottish’s counting, it was just what I needed at the end when I thought I had nothing left in me to give.
3. Be patient. The Sister and The BFF had been at the hospital all day (with the rest of my family), waiting on our little boy to be born. But even as pushing dragged on, they remained present and calm.
During the entire 2.5 hours, The Sister kept everyone in the waiting room up to date with text messages of how things were going in the delivery room. The Mother transcribed the messages for me and I loved reading through them. What a gift to have this step by step account of things! I thought you all would enjoying reading them as well.
July 22, 2014
12:39 am She is at 10 cm! They are prepping for labor (delivery)!
12:56 am Nurse said that she can start pushing within the next 10 minutes.
1:12 am She is pushing!
1:36 am Not much progress- still learning how to push. Harder with drugs. She doesn’t feel much.
1:47 am She is getting something for the heartburn. It is distracting from the pushing.
1:52 am Baby is moving down a bit but still no sight of him.
2:08 am Doctor T has been here for a while- and she is starting to feel more pain.
2:11 am The more that she feels the better she pushes!
2:16 am We have hit one hour of pushing!
2:21 am He is still making progress but no sight.
2:24 am I saw his head! But still not out.
2:36 am She has had enough pain but still has a bit to go.
2:37 am Does it look like he can be pushed out?
2:36 am She is pushing great!
2:39 am As far as I know- yes!
2:40 am There has been no talk about a c-section.
2:43 am The doc left but we are still pushing.
2:48 am The doc is back and the head is right there- just come out!
2:49 am It is (in my opinion) so close!
2:51 am Doc guesses we will have a baby within the half hour. 🙂
2:54 am She is hanging in there but she now is feeling everything and is struggling a bit to keep going. She is doing it.
3:01 am She pushes and he comes out and then goes back in a bit when she relaxes.
3:10 am Doc left and mentioned she thinks the baby will be pretty big because she is having to work so hard. (NOT THE CASE. In the end, it was his arm!)
3:31 am Doc is back and the baby boy is just not coming out but he is still right there.
3:33 am They are getting things set up for delivery!
3:37 am She is pretty swollen at the bottom of her “stuff” because she has been pushing so long.
3:39 am So sorry for her. We love her! Tell her to hang in there.
3:40 am So close!
3:44 am We have a face!
3:45 am He is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (she literally had 19 exclamation points after that)
Would you ever (or have you ever) watched someone else give birth?