En Caul Water Birth at the Birth Center of Denver
We can call it an ‘estimate’ or a ‘guess’ date, but no matter how hard we try, it can be pretty challenging to not allow that date to carry weight. So much about the entire pregnancy is about counting down toward that particular day (counting the weeks, the appointments based on gestation, marking developmental milestones). The day comes and…for most….it is much like any other day (besides the squished organs, swollen feet, and frequent bathroom trips). It can feel surreal…or all of a sudden make things feel VERY real. And then that day is gone. Now you find yourself counting in the opposite direction and the clock starts ticking. See, in the US, most hospitals and birth centers ‘will not allow’ a mother to go beyond 42 weeks gestation. Yes, there is evidence based information showing that after 42 weeks there are increased risks, but the fact is that we are using an antiquated formula to determine this magical “Guess Date”. It is based on the first day of the last menstrual cycle before pregnancy, assuming that all women have a 28 day cycle and ovulate on day 14. So, for those of us who like to live outside of the box, that makes our “EDD” completely arbitrary and at that stage of the game, +/- 1 or 2 days means the world.
So at 41 weeks and 5 days, Brooke’s family was now all in Denver, and she decided to help her body get labor started by consuming a castor oil cocktail. It was a gorgeous spring afternoon and she was taking every opportunity to spend one on one time with her oldest daughter, Sawyer, so off they went to the neighborhood park. We were texting - wondering in jest if she should put on some Depends NOW in preparation for the anticipated diarrhea that is synonymous with castor oil. About 20 minutes later the next text was that she was having super intense contractions about 5 minutes apart. Instantly, I picked up the phone to hear her voice. My trained ear told me that she was in active labor (so fast!) and I started packing my bags into my car. She said that she “felt it was too early”, but knowing I was approaching rush hour and hearing her work through a contraction, I knew that I had to be close to the birth center. I politely told her to check in with me in 30 minutes and declined to share that I was already in my car. About 10 minutes later she texted to tell me that they were on their way to the birth center and would like me to join!
She arrived at the Birth Center of Denver during transition and powered through her contractions like the fierce rockstar she is. The midwives instantly started the birthing tub (why do they take so long to fill?!) and Brooke got in as soon as it was at safe height. Her daughter, Sawyer, was the absolute best ‘doula in training’, saying things like, “It’s OK, Mom. I am right by your side”. Surrounded by some of her favorite people in the world, Brooke started sounding ‘pushy’ and her midwives encouraged her to calmly listen to her body. Her sweet baby was born in the water, en caul (which means that the amniotic sac was still intact) and together with her husband, they gently and confidently lifted her to the surface, expertly and intuitively removing the caul from her face. Baby Ryan was born into the arms of a family that will accept her for everything that she is and will nurture her as she becomes anything she desires.
Birth will never cease to amaze me. To be witness to the love that exists in the birth space, that grows and swirls with each breath. To look directly into a woman’s eyes and to feel her soul - her soul having tapped into this primal open space of strength, power and all-knowing. To watch a family grow and hearts expand. To be one of the first people to meet this new soul who is still so close to the source. There is a beauty in birth that cannot be defined by words.
IT WOULD BE AN HONOR TO DOCUMENT YOUR BIRTH STORY.
Hi Friends! My name is Lindsey Eden. I am a Birth Photographer & Videographer and a Birth & Postpartum Doula serving Denver, Colorado and surrounding areas.
I am social, love connecting with new people, talking birth, laughter and will probably have my camera in hand (or close by) if we meet in person.
This work is my calling. This is my bliss. I would be honored to connect with you and support you along this journey.