I’m staring at an empty bassinet. Then my eyes shift to the infant car seat, the baby swing, the preemie car bed, and the piles of vacuum- packed baby clothes. This is my view from the treadmill about 3 times a week. It sucks!
I should be bringing some of these items to the local consignment shop. But, I just cannot bring myself to do it. I’m not ready.
In May 2012, my husband Brian and I took a babymoon vacation to Sedona, Arizona to escape a heightened amount of work stress and pain. In April, I was rear ended in a hit and run accident. I was about 7 months pregnant. Following the accident, I experienced severe lower back pain which was worsened by being on my feet all day adjusting patients.
Sedona is one of my sacred places (the other is St. John, USVI). Two days before we planned to fly back to Manchester, we took a private Jeep tour of the vortex energy fields. Our guide, Kevin, brought us to a sacred Native American site, called Rachel’s Knoll . Because our guide knew a guy who knew a guy, we were allowed in after public visiting hours.
As soon as I stepped out of the Jeep and my feet touched the earth, my pinky fingers buzzed with electric energy. I am an attuned Reiki Master Teacher and very sensitive to such energies. Brian walked the grounds taking pictures with his SLR camera. I found a beautiful tree at the edge of a cliff, perfect for meditating. As I sat in the middle of this vortex energy field meditating, Kevin played the Native American flute in the distance; and tears of joy rolled down my cheeks.
This is the exact moment I felt my son’s soul enter.
I was so overcome with gratitude and a deep sense of peace. This is the exact moment I felt my son’s soul enter. We didn’t know the sex of the baby. But, at that very moment I had an absolute knowing that I was having a boy, and he was going to be named Jackson Walter Caruso.
I was feeling a bit nauseous as we left Rachel’s Knoll. But, we had one more stop at Cathedral Rock. Once the tour was over we decided to check out a restaurant by the condo that everyone was raving about. As we were driving there, I began having contractions ( I thought they were either gas pains or Braxton Hicks) and even more nausea. The wait for a table was over an hour long and I was very uncomfortable. We decided to order take out and head back to the condo. Once we returned I couldn’t fathom eating. I just crawled into bed and went to sleep.
As I took the first bite of my breakfast burrito I felt as if a water balloon burst in between my legs.
The next morning I woke up starving. We went to a little Mexican restaurant down the street for a late breakfast. This was the last day of our vacation; and we didn’t have anything specific planned- just lounging and packing. As I took the first bite of my breakfast burrito, I felt as if a water balloon burst in between my legs. I excused myself from the table, and headed for the closest restroom. Brian said as I walked away he saw that the back of my dress was soaked. He thought perhaps I peed myself!
I sat on the toilet as water poured out of me. I eventually collected myself; walked calmly over to the table, and told Brian to get our food wrapped up, and to please pay the check. ” I will be waiting outside. My water just broke.”
My husband is incredibly calm and strong in stressful situations. He is my rock.
We went back to the condo at the resort we were staying at and called our midwife. We had a home water birth planned and paid for. Just one day prior, I finished reading my Hypnobirthing book and made my list of meals to make and freeze upon our return to Manchester. Yea, so that didn’t happen.
Our midwife was at the lake with her family when I called her from the toilet. She told me she would drive to her office to obtain my records so she could fax them to the hospital. She asked me and Brian to start calling local home birth and birth center midwives in the area to ask them where they would transfer their patients if they needed to go to a hospital instead. We spoke to some incredibly kind midwives- each of them said, “Get out of Sedona and head to Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff.”
As soon as we hung up the phone with her, my husband looked at me and said, “Are we having a baby today?”
Now folks- Flagstaff is over an hour north of Sedona. We immediately called our midwife to let her know we were advised to go to Flagstaff. She said she got the same answer from the calls she made as well.
As soon as we hung up the phone with her, my husband looked at me and said, “Are we having a baby today?” I answered, “Yes, honey. We are having a baby today.” And then in what seemed like one fell swoop he had the entire room packed, with things hanging out of the sides of the suitcase. But, packed still the same.
I took some trash bags from under the sink to sit on in our rental car. We then pulled up to the lobby of the resort. Brian walked inside, dropped off the key at the front desk and said, “We are checking out today. My wife is having a baby.”
We then went to the gas station to fill up the tank, gets some pads ( which were totally useless), and some Gatorade to stay hydrated in the desert heat. As we drove through the winding mountain roads from Sedona to Flagstaff I made a call to a friend who I knew was planning to fly up from Virginia to attend my baby shower; which was in 3 days. I told her in confidence that I would not be making my shower and to not bother flying up.
Then it was time to focus. I did my deep breathing and visualization techniques quietly; only breaking the silence to occasionally tell my husband that all was well and he was doing such an awesome job driving.
When we arrived at Flagstaff Medical Center the intake nurse said, “Hi! We have been expecting you. Your midwife contacted us and sent over all your paperwork.”
“You seem very calm dear- looks like you have plenty of time before your baby will be here.” I said, “That’s exactly what the Hypnobirthing book said you’d say! I have been practicing the techniques I learned in an effort to remain calm. But, I am pretty sure he is coming very soon.”
They got us into a room straight away. As I was in active labor we called our maternity coverage doctor to let her know what was happening, and see if she could call all of the patients who were scheduled in 2 days, and cancel their appointments. We brought her on in early May to train for my maternity leave that I planned to start at the end of June/beginning of July. Thank God we had her!
We decided that once our baby was born and we had time, we would compose an email newsletter to all patients letting them know what was happening (after we told our family, of course).
We had the most incredible OB nurse. She was totally on board with our plan to have a natural vaginal birth, just like we saw on the documentary, The Business of Being Born.
She hooked me up to a machine to monitor my contractions. This was definitely not the home water birth I had planned. But, at least I had a nurse who was receptive to my back-up birth plan.
A minute later the doctor said, “Your baby is breech.”
She had me lie back so she could perform a pelvic exam. She stood up and said, “I will be right back.” She returned with the doctor and an ultrasound machine. I said, “What is happening?” She said, “I am pretty sure I felt a butt not a nose when checking you. The doctor is going to do an ultrasound to double check the baby’s position.”
A minute later the doctor said, “Your baby is breech.”
Me: “Are you positive?!”
Doc: “Yes, I am positive.”
Me: “Is there anything you can do?!”
Doc: “No, Jessica. I’m sorry. But, we need to get you prepped for the OR right away because you are quite progressed.”
This is when I totally lost my shit and the Fear/Tension/Pain cycle hit me like a ton of bricks. I began writhing in pain.
They threw a set of scrubs to Brian and called down to the OR.
To be continued….
Love, Joy, Truth, Gratitude-