I’ve always been interested in pregnancy and births. When I was younger I loved watching “A Birth Story” on TLC, and my interest only grew when I became pregnant with my sweet baby boy. While I navigated the nine months of carrying James, I watched so many birthing videos, read article after article about labor, and soaked in everything my midwives, doula and Birth Bootcamp instructor told me. I dreamt about giving birth time and time again. I binge watched every season of Call the Midwife on Netflix. And I found myself looking at random people’s birth photos with tears in my eyes more times that I’d like to admit.
There is something empowering about birth that I can’t begin to describe. Maybe it’s the raw, primal state the mom goes to when she’s on the cusp of delivering her baby. Maybe it’s all the adrenaline, oxytocin and endorphins that are released. Or maybe it’s because you finally cross the “finish line” of your pregnancy when you get to hold your little bundle for the first time.
Whatever it is, it’s so beautiful and breathtaking.
And yesterday I got to witness the beauty of childbirth from a completely new perspective.
This time I wasn’t the mama in labor. Or the stranger watching videos and looking at pictures through a computer screen.
I was there.
In the thick of it.
Remembering the pain of every contraction.
Holding my breath as Trixie pushed.
Gasping as I saw the head crowning.
Crying with the family as the mom held the baby for the first time.
And joining in on the inexplicable joy of new life.
I left the birthing center riding on a high. It was one of the most beautiful and incredible days of my life. Even though the long hours of waiting, being on call and jumping every time my phone rang was hard, it was so worth it.
Best of all?
Not only was this my first birthing center birth, but it was the birthing center’s first birth!!
So just as Trixie welcomed her little baby into the world, Meredith welcomed hers (in a way).
Her business. Her baby. What she had tirelessly worked on for months was finally completed and inaugurated.
On a cold, overcast day, the Birth and Wellness Center of Arlington was christened with its first moans of a laboring mom, the tears of pain and joy, the cries of a brand new baby, and the laughter of family and friends.
It truly was a joyous day.