March 26, 2014
It wasn’t long before we were all there in the hospital room together. Shontelle’s contractions were almost back to back as we were all settling into the room. At one point I started to turn on my relaxation songs for her and quickly realized we were way past using this as a comfort measure! I abandon the phone and started massaging and applying counter pressure to her lower back as she swayed in circles sitting on the birthing ball.
The midwife made her first appearance. And though it was a lovely greeting, the first thing that came to Shontelle’s mind was, “What is she 12?!” It’s true I was even a little shocked at how young the midwife looked but her demeanor was that of confidence and love.
We all took turns quietly assuring Shontelle that she was doing perfectly as she took in long deep breaths during her contractions. Just as things started out fast the pace kept picking up! Contractions got more and more intense. Shontelle and baby were doing great! Bryce was giving her sips of water and catering to her every whim with pleasure and a bounce in his step as I began to run a warm bath for her.
As soon as the midwife had finished checking Shontelle and baby, we rushed her up and into the tub trying to hit the water before the next contraction came on. I knew things were getting close by the way Shontelle became beautifully and completely comfortable with her brilliant birthing body! She confidently slid that shirt off to relax in the tub. When a laboring woman is fully supported something comes over her that allows her to love herself fully, making no judgments about herself. This allows her to do whatever comes natural.
Allowing herself to do what came natural ultimately helped the baby progress nicely and easily without interference. Nothing could have been more natural than a hot bath, cool towels on her head, sinking deeper into your contractions as the water flows over her taking the edge off. She allowed herself to relax, embracing the power and beauty of the process, all with a birth team gently supporting her every move.
Pushing. The intensity was almost at it’s peak during contractions and it was all Shontelle could do but to surrender. I continued massaging her, applying counter pressure, and reminding her of how wonderful she was doing. Shontelle was so in tune and just a simple reminder would relax her jaw, relax her face, open her mouth and steady her breath.
I moved aside as her sweet husband Bryce stepped in multiple times to stroke her hair and tell her she was doing so well! It was touching to see Bryce so comfortable and connected to the whole process! When he looked at Shontelle it was as if he was completely in love with her and stunned by her strength. He kissed her forehead, held her hand, and watched her in total admiration.
We got the squatting bar set up so that Shontelle could lean over it and use gravity to help move the baby down as well as help Shontelle feel more comfortable and in control. As each surge of the body came on Shontel closed her eyes and went inward.
Without making much sound she would moan as she pushed. Each push was beautifully strong and directed. No one needed to say a word. The energy was fierce and strong in the room. This woman was in tune with her body and it was obvious for everyone to see. She wasn’t fighting her body and the sensations but working with them to bring her baby down.
At one point Shontelle burst up and stood straight up on top of the bed fully invigorated like a blast of energy had shot through her causing her to stand and be tall! At this moment for just a second we all looked up at her and it was as if everyone in the room was hushed in reverence to the power we could feel flowing through her. “Yes” I exclaimed! “I love that energy and how you are standing right up! Own it!” To me she was totally vibrant and embodied this divine birthing goddess I had mentioned she was in the text earlier that day.
After she had come back down to the squatting bar and been through another contraction the midwife suggested she try side lying position to give her legs a rest. At this point getting comfortable was not easy. All she wanted to do was push. Never did she utter the words “I want this to stop,” or “give me the epidural”. However she did declare, quite surly, “I don’t care what position, I want to push him out!”Contractions slowed down for just a minute. Her body was giving her a quiet break before the final work was to be done. Holding sacred space for this moment of rest, no one spoke and Shontelle laid still. In the side lying position Shontelle began to push and the baby began to crown! We all assured her that he was almost here! She reached down to feel her babies head as it emerged.
I made sure Bryce was in the perfect position to catch his son. As Shontelle gave it all her might her sweet baby’s head had been born. Bryce standing there with his hands reached out was one of the first embraces his son would ever feel as he lifted the back of the baby up as he was making his entrance into the world. An incredible bond had begun between father and son.
Baby Parker let out a cry and was gently laid right on his mothers bare chest, skin to skin, hearing the comfort of the same heartbeat he had been listening to in the womb. It was as if he knew his mothers touch already and as she spoke softly to him baby Parker quieted down, listening and lying like an angel in his mother’s loving arms. Truly a sacred and graceful birth.
Thank you Shontelle and Bryce for including me in this beautiful experience! I was so touched and honored to witness your connection as a couple and the determination you both had to gift your baby with a beautiful, peaceful birth.