Birth advocates like to talk about how you should trust your body, give in, let it do what it needs to do, and especially tell people who are trying to make you go against your instincts to kindly STFU. Medical science really does show that the less the process is interfered with (unless there are issues that need intervention), the better off both Mom and the baby are.
Becky Powers was 28 weeks along in her pregnancy when the H1N1 virus she contracted landed her in the hospital, in really, really bad condition. She was put on an ECHMO (heart and lung) machine and dialysis, and in a medically-induced coma with less than 25 percent of her lung capacity. She'd been given a 10 percent chance of surviving.
In this state, without being an active participant, she gave birth to her first child. Vaginally.
Due to her fragile condition and the blood thinners, a c-section was totally out of the question, but with Becky in natural, premature labor, the decision had to be made soon to increase the chance that she and her baby would both survive.
While still on the ventilator, Becky was brought slightly out of her coma, just enough to help aid her body in the natural processes of vaginal birth. Fortunately, her son Chase came out alert and healthy, though he needed some time in the NICU.
Could you imagine waking up from a coma to discover you'd already given birth to your baby? That your body had delivered without your help?
Becky was still really in danger of losing her own life, but after around four weeks, she finally was able to be conscious. There was also a scare that, as with some coma patients, she wouldn't remember who her husband was or even that she'd been pregnant.
Her husband asked her one day if she remembered being pregnant. Looking at him like he was a little nuts, she answered a hesitant, "Yeah?" He replied, "Well, he's doing great."
The awesome hospital hooked up a webcam between her room and the NICU room where her son was so she could see him.
How surreal it must have been to be sick one day and a mother to a 1-month-old you gave birth to and can't even remember having the next. And how awesome that Becky's body was able to deliver her son, even without her mind being an active participant. After hearing many birth stories where women discuss just letting their body do its thing, and not worrying about the "Should I be doing something?" aspects, I think this story shows how beautifully our bodies work.
What do you think about Becky's birth story? Did you let your body do all the work?
Image via hans s/Flickr