Under the full moon on a warm August night, a baby boy was born. The wispy clouds provided a glow as they reflected the bright light. It was quiet and peaceful. His birth came as no surprise to me nor his parents, Brittany and Ricky, even though his due date wasn't for another week. What we weren't so sure about was how it was all going to end.
We'd been here before. I was with them when their first baby boy was born in 2019 in Goshen, Indiana. Brittany has always impressed me with how well she treats her body. She eats well, she exercises regularly, she tries to make the safest decisions for herself and the life growing within her. That being said, having a baby at a birthing center made a lot of sense. Their first baby boy has his own story for another blog post, but the long story short is that it ended at the hospital with a cesarean. Not an uncommon tale. A third of all women in the United States will likely have a c-section this year. I, myself, have had 3. This time around, the hope for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) was in the air - and palpable.
I loved the way Brittany prepared for this wee one. When I walked into the house, I could smell essential oils. The lights were dimmed. The pool was blown up and ready in the living room. The sound of a quiet, soothing voice was coming from the room where Brittany was laboring. I believe it was a Christian hypno recording. There were cards strung up along the wall that held incredibly encouraging affirmations. Things like, 'God has me and my baby in His hand' & 'my body knows what to do'. There were twinkle lights on the curtains. Her doula arrived, shortly followed by her midwife & midwife's assistant. Everything spoken was filled with encouragement. At the most intense moments, when any possible doubt was expressed, it was met with "You can do this", "You are doing this", and reminders that every wave brings her closer to having her baby in her arms.
Three minutes before midnight, the baby began to crown. By 12:08 am on Tuesday, August 2, Loxley Ricardo was born. She did it. Brittany did it. When it got hard, she refocused, told herself she could do it and she didn't give up. There were hours in there when she easily could have given up. She was tired. You could see it in her eyes. One stretch of time that I will never forget was when Brittany was in the tub in her living room. Her husband, Ricky, had a strong scarf around his back and through his arms so that she could grab onto either end of the scarf and pull with all of her might, using him as an anchor. This was that specific moment when you could see the exhaustion in her eyes. During a moment of calm and collecting her energy, she sat back and looked at her affirmation cards with heavy eyes. The twinkle lights dancing on her face. As the next wave was about to come, she prepared herself by tightening her grip on the scarf and she said quietly to herself, "I've got this". Everything inside of me was cheering her on, believing that she really did.
When asked about why she chose to have a homebirth, Brittany shared,
"I loved my homebirth experience and recommend it to all women with low-risk healthy pregnancies! I chose a homebirth ultimately because I felt drawn to the experience. Not only do you feel more comfortable in your own space, but there’s no rush, no unnecessary interventions, you can have anyone you want present, and ultimately, it’s such a beautiful and empowering experience! That is something I wanted to give myself and my baby."
It truly was a beautiful experience.
You've just read part one of Loxley's birth. You'll find part two by clicking here.
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