Eva Marie, born late in the afternoon on May 9 2012

Eva Marie Méndez Gray was born late in the afternoon on May 9 2012.  She was about 20 inches and 7lb (50cm and 3,060grams).  Her entry into the world was anything but what I expected, but what mattered most was bringing her to my arms in the safest way possible medically and emotionally.

In my case, since I had a smooth and healthy pregnancy, I thought labor and delivery would happen without a hitch.  And, of course, that the birth would be natural.  WELL!  In reality my labor and delivery experience reached both ends of the spectrum.  On one hand, I had planned a holistic home birth complete with a wonderful home environment, birthing pool, husband, midwife and doula.  On the other hand, Eva was actually born in a hospital by Cesarean!

It all started when labor got underway on a Monday at 8am.  The moment was really here!  I was excited and nervous at the same time.  The sex of our baby was to be a surprise, which made everything even more exciting.  Then came the next lonnnnggggg 48 long hours.  During this time, the contractions never stopped though some were stronger and some were weaker.  I concentrated hard on exhaling and letting the contractions “do their thing.”  My water broke at dawn on Wednesday, about 44hr after starting labor.  That morning, those around me got everything was set up perfectly for the home birth: the birthing ball was on its third day of full use, the birthing pool was ready, and I felt I was mastering contractions.  My husband Marcos was at my side, the doula Nati was supporting me, the midwife Rebecca was ready to catch a baby, and even my parents and an aunt were there!  I figured, “I’m simply gonna dialate and this baby’s just gonna slide right out!”

This couldn’t be further from the truth.  By the third day of labor, I had not dilated more than 2-3cm.  Also, Eva’s head was not engaging in the pelvis.  Midwife Rebecca could feel that her head was not in the right position to come out, and that it was unlikely we could do anything to help it get into the right position on its own before our situation became more urgent.  My husband and I made the difficult but comfortable decision to go to the hospital.

The Cesarean birth was quick, smooth, and painless.  It took all of a half an hour to complete, and I was awake the whole time.  The medical team was fantastic (Hospital Católica).  The best part, of course, was seeing the birth of our baby with my own eyes and hearing the doctor say, “It’s a girl!”  Bringing a baby into the world is in itself an amazing accomplishment, no matter how he or she is born.  Eva is now the center of our world and we love her more each day!