This mother expresses the pure, raw emotion she felt when she had prepared and hoped for a peaceful, intervention-free birth at a birth center, and in an instant, had to surrender her heart’s desire when her baby and body had different plans…
The Birth of Crawford Jeremiah
By Sarah Quinones
I had been babysitting/nannying since I was 13. Seriously, kids are my passion and I love the way they have so much joy for life. Since I was little all I wanted to do was have a million babies and stay home with them, watch them grow into the tiny humans they were supposed to be and teach them about how much God loved them. Adrian and I got married in May of 2014. We both wanted to have babies right away but then we found out that he would be deploying the coming September so our dream of starting our own family was put to a pause. Before he left for the deployment I told him that I would be writing down all my favorite baby names to share with him because I knew it would take months to come up with one we both agreed on. I am from the South and he is from the West Coast so our ideas of “good” baby names were completely different. By the time he came back in late March we had come up with one girl name and one boy name. We decided to try to start our family but knew that whatever happened it was going to be in God’s timing. We went on a vacation to Hawaii when he came back and on the very last day I said, “Let’s take a pregnancy test. It would be so cool to say that we found out in Hawaii.” So we walked to the CVS that was down the road from our hotel, came back, I went to the bathroom and left it sitting on the counter while we packed all of our things so everything was ready to fly out that night. Once everything was packed away we both walked into the bathroom and we were pregnant! Holy crap! Neither of us had expected it to happen that quickly! I think we were in shock for 2 days. We were having a baby!
Even before I knew I was pregnant I absolutely knew that I wanted to have a drug free birth. It was a passion of mine after reading so many books, articles and stories of birth. We found a birth center that was about 40 minutes from where we lived. Being at a birth center was really important to me. I wanted to be surrounded by midwives that have been doing this for years and that could support me in every way possible. Yes, my husband would be there to support me but this was new to him and quit frankly he has never given birth before. As soon as I walked into the birth center for a tour I knew that this is where I wanted to have our baby. It was so peaceful and quiet. I immediately saw myself in one of those rooms. The pregnancy flew by. Every month I had an appointment with the midwives. They check the baby, chatted with me and made sure that we were all on the same page with how I wanted things to go. They were seriously amazing.
On week 39, I went in for what I thought was just a regular appointment. For the weeks leading up to this point I had a history of high blood pressure. I think it might have started around week 33 but I honestly can’t remember. When I arrived at the birth center they immediately took my blood pressure, as they always do when I get there. It was high, really high. They thought maybe I was stressed so they said they would take it again before I left. We chatted for a few and then I lay down on the table for her to check me and listen to the baby. Come to find out that I was 3cm dilated already. I was in shock. I hadn’t felt much contractions or Braxton Hicks at all. She told me that I would likely have a baby by the weekend. Crazy. I was so excited but at the same time I was so nervous. It was really happening. Before I left, they checked my blood pressure again. It was still really high. They suggested that I go to the hospital that was nearby to be monitored in case something was wrong. At this point I was holding back tears. I knew what that ultimately meant. I called my husband who was over an hour away and told him what was going on. I told him not to come yet because I was still hoping that I was going to be sent home. I checked into the hospital around 11am on December 16th. They immediately hooked me up to monitor baby, gave me an IV and took my blood pressure every 15 minutes. The monitor showed that I was starting to have contractions. They called my back up doctor to let her know what was going on. The nurse walked into the room and told me that I was going to be admitted.
I busted out in tears. I was so angry. This is NOT how I wanted to have this baby. I called my husband and he flew home, grabbed the hospital bag and sped over from work. When he got there we were both really upset; he knew that this is not what I wanted and it showed all over my face. For those of you that know, the hospital has a very strict “no eating” rule. Well, there was no way I was going to push a baby out with no food so my lovely husband brought me food and I munch on it for the remaining of the night. For about 6 or more hours, it barely felt a thing. We walked the halls endlessly to try and speed this up but it seemed like we were getting nowhere. The Doctor came in that nigh, checked me and told me that she would see me tomorrow. There was no rush, she knew that were wanted to have very little interference with this birth. So thankful for that! She just let me do my thing and said she would be there when we needed her. Around 11/12pm that’s when things really started to get going. I was bouncing on the ball, walking around, bracing myself on my husband but those things are hard to do when you are strapped to a bunch of equipment. I was about 5cm when I decided to jump in the shower. I was really starting to feel them at this point; I thought maybe the warm water would help relieve some of the pain. This is where the tub at the birth center would have been AMAZING! I was in the shower for probably an hour. I got out, dried off and my water broke.
That is when things took off so quick. I labored for about 4 hours after that. I was in a lot of pain. I was at the point of pure exhaustion. I knew I was in transition. The contractions were coming one after the other and some without even a few seconds to breathe before the next one came. I asked my husband to go get the nurse. I wanted to be check because I wasn’t sure how much longer I would be able to do this. The nurse checked me and I was 8 ½ cm. I was more than excited to hear that. I told myself that I could do this and my husband was so encouraging! An hour went by and I looked at him and told him I couldn’t do this anymore. They were so intense. I knew in my mind that had I been at the birth center I would have been able to do this. But I was completely thrown off and it absolutely affected me. My husband tried to talk me out of it because he knew that this is exactly what I didn’t want and he knew I would beat myself up for it later. I got the epidural around 3:30am.
It was hard to not feel like a failure. I felt like I was weak. I felt like I hadn’t given it my all and that I should have just kept going. But I decided to rest my eyes for a little while and maybe gain some energy so that I would be able to push. About 2 hours later I felt a lot of pressure so I asked the nurse to check me. I was 10cm and the baby was right there. She called the doctor and we started pushing. I pushed for 30 minutes and then that beautiful baby boy was put right on my chest. He was beautiful. I forgot almost immediately about how bad I was feeling about myself. He was perfect. I tore almost 3rd degree and the Doctor had a hard time stitching me back up but after about 40 minutes she was done and our sweet boy latched so easily.
The whole day and the day after that I couldn’t help but go back to the moment where I gave up. I was so disappointed in myself. Was he healthy? Yes. Was I healthy? Yes. But there was still this part of me that was grieving the birth that I really wanted, the birth that I had been thinking about for 9 months. It didn’t go anything like how we planned or envisioned. It took me a while to be okay with what happened. To this day, I am still a bit uneasy about it but I looked at my amazing son and know that everything happens for a reason. His name is Crawford Jeremiah and he is perfection. Being a Mom is my jam and I can’t wait to expand our family further one day.