Eliana Grace’s Birth Story

Posted on March 1st, 2016 by vapro

Eliana Grace was born in my bedroom on March 26, 2014. This was not the birth I envisioned. My husband and I were very eager to get pregnant, and were later ecstatic to see that positive test.

I began prenatal appointments right away at the military hospital. I was excited for each appointment and obsessed over my weekly baby updates from my phone. I watched every documentary I could get my hands on, and had a library of baby and birthing books on my nightstand. In our studying, my husband and I visited the idea of a homebirth but it just didn’t seem practical, as our caregiver selection is very slim in Hawaii. Instead, we hired a doula hoping it would give us the encouragement for a natural birth within a hospital while making the hospital birth as personal as possible. I was 34 weeks when my doula suggested that I come with her to the capitol to protest some regulations the state was trying to pass that limited women’s rights to make decisions regarding their home births. I called my mother in law, Joyce, from the hearing looking for options. My passion for homebirth was growing by the minute, and I felt determined to have the experience so many women were recounting to our state officials. It was then, at 34 weeks pregnant, that I asked Joyce to fly to Hawaii and deliver her granddaughter.

The preparations began very quickly as we changed our birth setting from hospital to home. We interviewed the local midwives to assist Joyce and sought out a birth pool and many, many towels. 5 weeks passed, and we were prepared and very eager. Joyce arrived in Hawaii a week before my due date. For days, I was having Braxton hicks contractions each night that I hoped would become something more. Three nights after Joyce’s arrival, and four days before my due date, the cramps didn’t go away. I woke my husband, Eric, to say for the hundredth time that week “I think this is it!” Of course, he wasn’t convinced after so many false alarms and he was asleep within seconds. I made my way downstairs and quietly labored until the next morning. At 5 am, Joyce checked me and confirmed that I was in labor, but to expect a long day. We went about the day as if it were any other. Joyce and Eric cooked breakfast and the usual conversation continued until I would sink into the living room and pace for 60 seconds before returning to pick up where we left off. The contractions were difficult but they were not what I had anticipated. I did not want to die. I was not out of control. I was just waiting; waiting for it to get unbearable. Around 8 A.M. I became frustrated. I began to question what I was doing. Joyce saw this in my face and recognized the change in behavior and looked me in the eyes and sobered me with truth: “your mother did this. Your grandmother did this. You can do this.” I begged her to check my progress, though we all knew my chances of progressing from 1 to complete within four hours for a first time mom were not good. She understood that I needed a numerical update, as discouraging as that number may be. We were shocked; I was complete.

The frustration I had was from transition, and I was ready to push. There wasn’t time to fill the tub. My labor was quick, and I was so thankful for that. At 9 A.M. we hastily texted the assisting midwife, who rushed across island to make it to our house in half the expected time. When she arrived we began pushing and my 7lb 1 ounce daughter arrived at 9:46 A.M. Eliana was immediately placed on my chest for bonding as the midwives looked her over. After I calmed down from the adrenaline rush we moved to the bathtub filled with herbs and I held Eliana’s head as she calmly floated in the water. She was so peaceful in that moment. She entered the world in her home, on her time, and she knew that. We spent the evening cuddling our new angel in our own bed as our closest friends dropped by to admire her. The Lord showed me such grace in my labor. He provided me with a midwife who pours of support, love, and invests in each child and mother as if they are her own.

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