When I look back on my labor and birth experience, I remember feeling a flood of different things. I went through more intense moments of readiness, excitement, determination, confusion, uncertainty, hopelessness, anxiety and relief in those 38 hours than I've ever experienced in my life. However, the one thing I don't recall feeling is alone.
I received a lot of questions throughout my pregnancy regarding my decision to birth naturally. Daniel, though, was asked the same question over and over, "Are you going to watch?" I don't know what I would have done if his answer had been no.
I labored with my husband at my side in bed, standing against me with his arms around my hips, rubbing my back in the tub, and holding me up on the toilet (there's really no pretty way to say that).
I labored with the words, "You're doing great, babe" in my ear, hour after miserable hour as day turned to night turned to day turned to night again.
He didn't give up on me when I said I was done, instead he forced a straw into my mouth and told me to drink. He didn't complain about being exhausted when he hadn't eaten or slept, either. And when by the grace of God our baby girl finally pushed past my bones and unveiled the top of her head, he jumped up in excitement and carried my tired soul to the finish line with him.
My husband caught our daughter. Her daddy held her first--not a doctor or midwife or nurse. In a lot of ways I feel like I got to physically push my heart outside of my body and into the arms of the man I promised it to, and I will never forget turning around to have him hand our child to me. I don't have a word for it, but I can tell you I felt the exact opposite of alone.
For Edie's birth story, go HERE.