Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by The Birth Center of Baton Rouge but every bit of the story is true, real, raw and beautiful – as birth stories often are.
A Redemptive Birth Story Via The Birth Center of Baton Rouge
This story is about the redemptive birth of our first little girl, Lillian. But I cannot tell her story before I share her brother, Jesse’s, story.
We received the CHD diagnosis at his 20-week ultrasound. The prognosis just continued to get worse through the remainder of the pregnancy. Signs of heart failure, predictions of low quality of life (if he survived), suspected Down Syndrome and DiGeorge Syndrome, countless surgeries, and the possible need for continuous breathing support.
At his birth, our hospital room was filled with teams of medical professionals in an attempt to save his life. They told me I would not be able to hold him when he was born and that I would most likely never nurse my baby.
I remember the pain that first night after he was born. As I lay in the hospital bed with an empty womb and empty arms, hearing the cries of neighboring babies, I wondered if the whole pregnancy was a dream. My heart grieved what I saw him endure over the following months.
Our journey ended up being much more difficult than we could have prepared ourselves for but much better than the experts predicted. It would be another 29 weeks before our son could leave ICU and we would return home as a family.
I did not feel as though I had much of a voice surrounding Jesse’s birth. So when we found out we were expecting again, I was excited to choose a slow, intimate birth in the warm, peaceful environment of the Birth Center of Baton Rouge. The needed interventions of Jesse’s birth did not scare me away from midwifery care. It gave me an appreciation for the hospital setting when there is a true need for one; but it also reinforced my belief that for the low-risk mother seeking natural birth, you cannot beat the atmosphere of the Birth Center.
There is an overwhelming feeling of ease and comfort upon walking into the Birth Center, especially in the early morning hours we got there when the town around us was still asleep. The room I labored in was named Serenity, and that is how I felt. I appreciated the unhurried confidence of those around me and the peace to let things naturally unfold.
My husband and I talked about the labor before us. As always, he encouraged me on what my body was designed for and what I was capable of. I told him my mindset going into labor. I planned to move into each sensation instead of trying to escape them. I wanted to explore each contraction with curiosity and linger with them for as long as possible instead of wishing them away. I wanted to view this experience as a gift and a healing from the pain of Jesse’s diagnosis. The moment of bringing life into the world is like a chance to touch heaven, and I wanted to view the time as worship.
My labor and Lillian’s birth were everything we desired. As they handed Lillian to me, time stood still. I kept saying, “Oh, baby, Mommy loves you!” It felt so good to hold my baby girl. Knowing she was mine and no one was going to take her from me. She nursed instantly. And I cried.
God is a redeeming God. He restores all that is lost. Jesse’s diagnosis turned out to be a blessing in many ways, but it still was a very difficult trial for our family to walk through. Though we gained many things, there was a great deal that was lost during Jesse’s birth and the first year of his life. I am thankful for the beautiful birth of our little girl that brought deep healing to places I did not fully realize were so broken.
The feeling is indescribable to have Lillian in my arms. I knew it went against everything in me as a mother to birth Jesse, hand him off, and leave him. But it is so clear to me now how unnatural that was. To get to birth Lillian, keep her, nurse her, and hold her – my heart is so full.
I am thankful to the birth center for this gift.
Learn More about The Birth Center of Baton Rouge ::
The Birth Center of Baton Rouge is Louisiana’s only accredited free-standing birth center. Cared for exceptionally by our midwives, our clients are low risk expectant mothers seeking an unmedicated birth outside of a hospital setting. Our birthing rooms are designed to be a homelike setting complete with birthing tubs, walk in showers, comfort measures and birth aids. Call us at 225.761.1200 if you would like to schedule a tour.