Pia Rose (A Birth Story)
A stampede of feet come running down the hall. First my midwife, then my sister and mother-in-law. Aaron swings open the garage door, his heart panicking after hearing me yell his name from the shower. The plans we had for the birth of our third baby were taking a different shape. Tuesday morning I hugged Aaron goodbye before he left for work. But I couldn't let go, I needed to bury my head into his shoulder and have a good cry. "I like being pregnant but it's getting hard. I can't pick anything up. And look at all the ants on the counter!" I immediately felt better after having a quick sob session about how uncomfortable my big belly was getting and how annoyed I was by our ant issues. Little did I know I would go into labor that night.
11:45 pm, I begin to shake from hormones and I have my first contraction. "This is for real Aaron, here we go!" The shaking continues, then I have two more contractions that are ten minutes a part. I wait for a fourth contraction but I fall asleep. Forty-five minutes later, I have one more. I begin to wonder if I will labor all night. Thirty minutes later I have one more. I hurry to the bathroom before an other contraction and then get back into bed. It's 2:00 am... Snap! My water breaks. "Aaron! My water broke, call everyone, but first call Brenna, she has to travel the furthest. This baby is coming fast!" I begin shaking more, I can't move and I begin to focus and breathe slowly through each contraction while letting my body do what it was made to do. I can see Aaron in the corner of my eye, he is sending a text message to all our family that would join us in celebrating our baby's arrival.
I hear the hum of the birthing tub being inflated. My mother-in-law comes to my side and lets me know she made it. Aaron is trying to get the hose attached to the sink, it's the wrong attachment. I hear my mother-in-law pacing the hall leaving messages on my mom and sister's phone. "Aaron, this is happening fast, help me to the bathroom." Hunched over my hard, contracting belly, I move my weak legs towards the bathroom while holding tight around Aaron's neck. After I used the bathroom my contractions hit hard and fast. Aaron is trying to figure out how to get water in the tub. I crawl out of the bathroom and have a few more contractions on the rug outside the shower. "I don't want the tub, forget it!" I decide to get in the shower. I ask Aaron for help up, and close the curtain. The warmth of the water hitting against my back dulls the pain of my next contraction. Then to my surprise I think to myself, This is it! I grab hold of the bar in the shower with one hand and the handle with the other. Aaron isn't with me, my poor husband was still trying to set everything up for the birth tub just how I wanted it. I begin to bare down with my first and last pushing contraction, "Aaron!"...
I feel the intense motion of a little life moving through me to greet us. Fast and slippery, and then a cry. I'm in shock. At 3:09 I bring my long awaited gift close to my fast-beating heart. My sister fumbles for her phone to capture video. Aaron rushes to my side and begins to laugh in disbelief. I hold my baby close, and I weep, overwhelmed with the joy and fastness of it all. The little one I carried for nine months is nuzzled under my chin. Someone asks, "Is it a girl or a boy?" I forgot to look, I was still in shock at how fast everything happened. "Go get Vitali, I want him to be here." Papa rushes to get Vitali. I look up and see my firstborn with his three-in-the-morning bedhead smiling down at me and the baby. I look down and begin to tilt my baby away from my chest. Everyone is peering, straining their eyes to see. The umbilical cord is laying perfectly in-between the legs, like wrapping paper hiding the surprise. I begin to move it aside. I stare. I can't believe it. It's a girl! A new celebration begins. We have our first girl.
Pia's birth was different than what I imagined and planned. I didn't have a water birth—I had a shower birth instead! I didn't have my husband and all my loved ones surrounding me when Pia first arrived. But I had a moment by myself and with my little girl that is inexpressible. It was something I didn't plan, but I am grateful for. As I sat on the shower floor and wept over the beauty of my little girl, I was reminded of how sweet the unexpected and unplanned moments are in life, something that is so dear to me. Something I know well.
I sat in my bed as the early sun lit up the sky of my little girl's birthday and soaked up the fragrance of her newborn hair. I watched Vitali experience new love. I was overwhelmed seeing Elias as a big brother. And I fell hard in love with Aaron as I watched him become a daddy to a girl.
My birth experience with Pia was unexpected, unplanned, and so beautiful. Her birth was a perfect beginning to a new adventure for our family.