How did you know you were ready to become a parent?
Desirea did not want children—until the moment she held her first baby in her arms.
When she and her husband got married, she told him that she did not want children. He did not want children any time soon, but he did state that he always had seen himself as a dad. They decided they would wait 5 years and reevaluate.
5 years came quickly! She was still not ready.
Years down the road, Desirea’s husband came to her and said, “I’m not trying to pressure, but I wouldn’t be upset if we became pregnant.”
This sent Desirea into a tailspin because she was still not ready.
She considered her life and realized that when she visualized herself in the future, she saw herself as a mother… to college age children. (She would joke that if she could give birth to college-age kids, she would.)
She and her husband decided to stop using protection and she immediately became pregnant. She was so shocked, she initially thought the test must be wrong!
She was scared, but when she told her husband, he said, “I know you’re scared, but I’m really happy.” She no longer felt alone, even with the fear.
Desirea contacted two birth centers: one attached to a local hospital, and one other. The hospital-based birth center was cold and unkind on the phone, while the freestanding birth center midwife was welcoming and loving.
During the pregnancy, Desirea was confronted with a terribly difficult decision: The birth center was closing. She would now have to choose between having a homebirth or a hospital birth.
Desirea and her husband decided to give birth at home. She felt good, but nervous. Several weeks later, she went back and found out that her midwife had decided not to renew her license—and she would not be available at Desirea’s birth. The other female midwife was full, so she would now need to choose between a male midwife and a hospital birth.
Desirea decided to use the male midwife and have her former midwife as her emotional support.
She told herself, “your part-time job is to eradicate fear.”
At 40 weeks and 6 days, Desirea went into labor. She was careful to stay completely hydrated to prevent exhaustion.
At one point, she wanted to be on hands and knees with her bum in the air. She wondered if it was counter-intuitive, but she later figured out it was exactly what her body needed to reposition her baby.
After getting in the birth pool, a wave came and her body suddenly pushed.
At one point, the midwives could not find her baby’s heartbeat. At that point, the midwives encouraged her to push as hard as she could. She got the baby out quickly, but she did tear.
Desirea greeted her baby- first with wonder, and then wonder turned to deep love. When she realized it was a daughter, after thinking it was a daughter throughout her pregnancy, she was overcome: “I knew you, she said.”
After her first daughter, Desirea had a heartbreaking miscarriage.
Two months later, she became pregnant again. She had an anterior placenta, which gave her anxiety—the difficulty finding a heartbeat and the inability to feel movements.
Her second birth was much shorter. Her midwife had a feeling that it was going to be a short labor, so she got in the car before Desirea even asked her to come.
Her doula arrived 45 minutes before the birth, and her midwife 20 minutes before.
Suddenly she felt she needed to poop, so her midwife rushed to get everything ready.
While the midwife was rushing to grab everything, Desirea pushed her baby out!
- The journey to parenthood is different for everyone. Some people know from a young age they’ll want many children… for others, like Desirea, perhaps the desire sneaks up and surprises you. I love hearing the many variations that we experience as mothers, and how the love we have for our children comes in so many different forms.
- Desirea’s discussion of fear-clearing throughout her pregnancy was such a wonderful reminder. With negative attitudes surrounding birth being the norm, it can take quite a bit of work to overcome fear. Treating it as homework, or a part-time job, showed the commitment Desirea had to eradicating any negative feelings or anxieties she had about her upcoming birth.
- What a gorgeous story. I hope this touched your heart as it did mine. That’s all I have for you today, friends. I look forward to seeing you back here next week.