A Star Is Born!
Marc and I arrived at the center in labor at 10:45 p.m. on March 8. It was a soothing, welcome sight; soft lighting and music filled its rooms, and we were able to choose the room in which we wanted to give birth. All of them were beautiful, adorned in muted earth colors, with queen-size beds, and luxurious sheets and pillows, as well as whirlpool tubs.
Aszani checked me and confirmed that I was indeed in labor. Then she tucked us into bed. Twenty minutes later, my water broke and my contractions intensified. But I was relaxed; everyone around me believed in my body's ability to give birth without medication or medical interventions.
I found I was able to concentrate on one contraction at a time. Aszani monitored the baby's heartbeat with a handheld Doppler. She and Mary, another midwife, murmured words of support, and I surrendered to the forces flowing through me.
When the contractions got really intense, I entered the tub. Then I felt the baby coming down. "Go ahead and push," Aszani said. "Just go with your body." I was momentarily confused. I was used to hospital births, where a doctor declares you effaced and dilated and instructs you to push. But I felt my baby, and my body was telling me that it was time. (Since this was my third child, the last stage of labor progressed pretty quickly.) Minutes later, my son was born. Aszani caught him and brought him up onto my chest.
I felt incredibly empowered! By relying on my body's wisdom, I'd brought my baby into the world. Our son, Adam, was healthy, alert, and breastfeeding like a pro. We all rested in bed throughout the night, monitored frequently by staff. And just 10 hours later, we headed for home.