More Marvel (Family in the Delivery Room)

Even before we started our new family, my husband and I knew we would need the support of our existing family.

Our plan was easily facilitated by the fact that both of our parents were divorced and our families had grown by extension. More bodies equaled more love and support.

By the time I was nine months pregnant with my first daughter, I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know that I wanted to share the experience with our moms and sisters.

How often in life do we get to experience miracles? I wanted to be generous with our wonder. I also wanted to birth my daughter in a room filled with overwhelming love.

When it (finally!) came time to push, I also pushed the dads out of the room, with the exception of my husband. My mom, step-mom, mother-in-law, and sister took a seat on the couch. It was a Tuesday morning in January.

A snow storm had filled our neighborhood with crisp, white snow and grey clouds. The morning light poured in through the window and the rays were bright with the reflection of the freshly fallen snow. Like theatergoers, they sat quietly, but anxiously. They respected imaginary boundaries and extended their support from the couch. The energy was gentle, but powerful.

The midwife was tranquil and serene. She gently called her instructions to push like a guided meditation leader.

When Charlotte finally arrived, everyone swooned.

More Marvel (Family in the Delivery Room) | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo credit: Anna Ligocki Photography}

My birth plan was much shorter and decisive for my second daughter. I wanted an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter and an epidural, ASAP.

Again, I invited our moms and our sisters to be there. This time, my sister-in-law also joined us. It was a Friday evening, and everyone joined us after work, like happy hour.

My midwife had a hard conflict and had to leave 30 minutes before I started pushing. A doctor arrived and tagged-in. The energy was much different this time; it was electric. The room felt packed with bodies and restless.

This time, the moms were off the couch, standing right behind the doctor on the balls of their feet, staying agile as if they expected to catch an errant baby football. Just before the baby arrived, the excitement was too much for my step-mom. She got in the game and held my right leg back.

The doctor was like a personal-trainer, “push, push, you can do it, harder, longer, keep going, puuuuuuuush.”

When Camille arrived, everyone cheered.

More Marvel (Family in the Delivery Room) | Twin Cities Moms Blog

{Photo credit: Anna Ligocki Photography}

Inviting people into the delivery room is a personal decision, and everyone feels differently.

But for us, when our moms and sisters assumed their roles, either passively or actively, they added to the marvel that became our girls’ birth stories. In sharing our miracles with them, they contributed to the magic.

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