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Birth Matters – Baby Isla’s Birth Story

Dear Chonky little smiley baby, 

Hi! It’s me, Mommy. Your birth story is as glorious as the hair on your head. I started my morning off by losing some vision (fun!) Naturally I made your brother lunch and put him down for his nap before both (yes both, bless them) of your Grandmother’s drove me to my eye surgeons office. ‘Mommy has an eye surgeon’ you ask? Yes honey, Mommy is what you call “accident prone” and had major eye surgery in her early twenties. I digress. The good news is my vision was fine, it was probably just an optical migraine (not as cool as it sounds) but after mentioning that I was confusing a few words, my midwife Kathy (Hi Kathy!) sent me to the closest hospital.

We arrived.

My water broke.

I signed myself out.

The Grandmother Express then drove me to the hospital I wanted to have you in. I was cool, calm, collected, large and very much in charge. We waltzed into the hospital only to realize that my speech was delayed and I was saying the wrong words. Eek! Did I talk so much in my lifetime that I used all the words up? Most likely. At this point the Grandma’s are scared, the nurses are too, and quite frankly, so was I. At this point I started feeling my contractions for the first time, just in time for Kathy (cue angel music) to arrive. My head started pounding, the light sensitivity was a big deal and my lunch was gone. (Yes, I filled up a Publix bag of vomit in the car ride over after stopping at CVS for some crackers and coconut water). She very calmly explained that a lot of people would be coming into the room to game plan my birth. She asked me if I was ready and I said “bring it” or at least I thought it. A team of smart people stormed in and agreed that I should have a CT scan to rule out stroke and a bunch of other tests to rule out blood clots. Yikes baby lady, what a whirlwind. But that’s when Daddy and our wonderful doula Bonnie (Hi Bonnie!) came rushing in.

I was safe.

You were safe.

I turned my brain off with the comfort of their presence and got to work on tuning deeper into you (Hi baby!) At this point my headache was front and center so Bonnie tied a scarf around my head with ice and (literally) kept my head from falling off during contractions. Your Daddy thought this was hilarious, mostly because it was and partly because I was also wearing sunglasses but he didn’t tell me this until weeks later. Daddy is smart and we like him. The contractions then gave my headache a run for it’s hilarious money. A talking robot guy arrived (I’m not making this up, they brought in a specialist from God knows where and we FaceTimed him while I was in active labor). I very nicely asked him to stop speaking multiple times (Bonnie was on it and helped me focus again. Also, I wasn’t that nice). I proudly declared that I was done now and wanted an epidural, something that you often hear from Mamas right before they deliver. That is of course when the team came to take me for my CT scan and baby girl would you believe that every single person in that room stopped the rushing and looked at me for the ok to move forward? It was such an empowering moment that is deeply embedded in why I had such a positive birth even though it was far from what I envisioned. That gave me the strength and courage to hop off the bed and jump right into the wheelchair.

We RAN, yes RAN down the hall at full speed stopping a thousand times for Bonnie and Daddy to hold me up and do hip compressions. We made it all the way down to the ER and terrified everyone there. Mommy was in full animal beast mode with the audio to boot. That’s when I started pushing. “Oh, don’t do that” I hear Kathy gently whisper. It was with full amazement that I shook my head no at her because I had no control over it. The gentleman operating the CT scan opened the door to me animal grunting in his doorway and promptly closed it again.

In an instant, a patient with a bunch of bandages on his head was wheeled out without his scan, (Hi sir, yes what you saw was real) and I was laid down on the machine. Daddy was still standing next to me and had to be dragged behind the wall to avoid unnecessary radiation. This is where I stayed completely still during a full blown, top of the line contraction. Bonnie later told me that I was moving my big toes around in a little circle. The scan looked great!

We made it back up to my room by some miracle and that’s when Kathy asked me to get out of the wheelchair and back onto the bed. “No thank you” I heard myself say, I decided I was having you right there. Kathy told me to get on the bed and when I was about to decline the offer, a contraction made me jump up.

I delivered you on all fours. I was so relieved that it was almost over and I made it without any pain meds (I threw up the two Tylenol I had taken for my headache in the car). It was exciting to push and Daddy got to catch you!

Welcome to the world, Isla.

As soon as you were born all of my symptoms disappeared! Poof! All of this happened in less than 6 hours.

You are incredible baby lady and so incredibly loved. Thank you for choosing me as your Mama and for “already giving Mommy a headache before you were even born” according to Daddy and his Dad jokes.

I love you forever, Mommy