I started out my pregnancy seeing an OB-Gyn at a different hospital. While the care was adequate, I did not feel they were as supportive of natural birthing as I would have liked. We did our homework to investigate our options and learned that births attended by midwives have a significantly lower Caesarean section rate. Ultimately, we selected the OHSU nurse midwife group because their philosophy of care was more closely aligned with ours and they also provided the comfort of giving birth in a hospital in the case of any emergency.
As with most women who choose to go with a midwife, I wanted to give birth intervention free. I took a hypnosis course and listened to hypnosis CDs during my pregnancy, which I believe made a big difference. During my entire pregnancy, I felt relaxed and confident that my body was completely capable to undertake this wonderful and natural process.
Around 38 weeks, while lying partially awake at 3 a.m., my water broke with a “pop”. As I nudged my husband awake, I felt calm and confident, and remained so throughout the day. We left for the hospital at 7 a.m. when my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. I had no preconceived notion about how the delivery would proceed and remained open to trying different options for labor, including using the birthing tub. The nurses set up the tub and my husband helped me into it around 1 p.m. Although I had not planned on giving birth in the tub, my labor progressed quickly after getting in. I felt warm and comfortable while immersed in the water. Our baby was born in the water about one hour later. Avery’s birth was attended by our OHSU midwife – whose gentle, calm guidance and coaching made us feel completely safe in those vulnerable moments.
Giving birth was the most peaceful, beautiful and exhilarating experience of my life. When I close my eyes and revisit the vivid memories of childbirth, I am filled with a sense of calm and joy and am grateful to have had such an empowering experience. Our daughter's birth was the most beautiful way to start the amazing journey of parenthood.