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  • Writer's picturePadma Dharmata

Fighting the Miracle We Asked For

I am beyond grateful to be alive, and to be holding my happy, healthy baby boy in my arms. That almost didn’t happen and I am working on healing deeply—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—though I am doing great in the process! I am tremendously grateful for Billy who deserves an ENTIRE post of his own, for his immense support, love, and holding my hand through the absolutely scariest experience of my life, and listening to all my fears, anxieties, tears, and gratitude, waiting on me hand and foot throughout recovery—this man has a heart of gold, and I wouldn’t be here without him. How he didn’t break in the process is a testament to how strong and powerful of a partner he truly is. Kendall, my doula, was so wonderful, patient, helped me progress in the early stages of labor, reminded me to breathe, release tension, and encouraged me to make decisions that ended up saving my life and the baby. I’m so very incredibly grateful for the entire labor/delivery/maternity/postpartum staff at Jennie Stuart—a hospital I have been terrified of for most of my life—yet when I gave in to God’s push and grace, I was sent an entire team of what I can only call angels, especially the delivering doctor and one particular nurse. Who saved my life. Who saved my baby’s life. Who listened to me cry, scream, face every single one of my deepest fears all in the span of hours. In my deepest moments of need, begging and bargaining with God, pleading for an answer, a miracle, there was already a miracle there the whole time that I was fighting, seeing it as the thing I was afraid of most.

I planned for 9 months for an “all natural” birth, I wanted to even give birth at home. By the grace of god, I was never granted the finances to secure a midwife, though I was able to find an AMAZING Doula (doulas support the mom and the labor, and the midwife is there for the baby and medical aspect). And I tried. I tried absolutely everything to be able to get a midwife, so many times, and every attempt failed.

Throughout the pregnancy, I was receiving prenatal care through a distant OB group, but it just wasn’t feeling right, and I knew I didn’t want to deliver with them, but also didn’t want to utilize our local hospital due to my own medical trauma from years ago. (Combined with a deep and severe medical anxiety/phobia that I’ve never discussed with anyone until now.) However, my doula encouraged me to meet with a particular doctor at Jennie Stuart and at least give it a chance and feel it out. As stuck as I was on a home birth, what was looking like was going to turn into an unassisted birth because of not being able to find a midwife, we all knew I also needed a backup plan, in the event it was too much to do alone, or in case anything was seeming to not go smoothly. Gratefully so.

It’s a miracle in itself that I even became pregnant—I’ve been unable to successfully conceive since having my daughter 14 years ago. In that, I’ve honored every moment of being pregnant. I did everything “right”. I ate healthy. I exercised, I breathed, I yogaed, I did all the things to support this gift from the Universe. I planned, I researched, I researched even more. I made a birth plan. I made all the “best” choices I could. Ultimately, none of that mattered. The mind feels like it’s in control, while fate is going to unfold one way or another. And when it does, none of those details even matter.

I wasn’t able to get an appointment with the doctor my doula recommended until I was 38 weeks pregnant—Billy and I met with him, and, within minutes of meeting him, he spoke words directly into our hearts that made us feel so great about deciding to not just utilize Jennie Stuart as a backup delivery plan, but to labor at home and intend on delivering with the hospital and the new doctor. However, I wanted to go into labor naturally and my newfound doctor was going to be out of town for awhile around my due date. I tried and prayed so hard to go into labor before then—again, I planned. But there was already a divine course unfolding that I couldn’t see.

I went into labor early in the morning on Friday February 10 (with my doctor still out of town) at almost 41 weeks pregnant, and lightly progressed throughout the day. My water broke at home around 2pm and my doula soon came to help us progress further. All was going beautifully and “according to plan”. We decided to go to the hospital around 10pm, and honestly just in time, as things got very intense, very quickly. It wasn’t long before I started feeling like something was wrong… I’ve given birth before, mostly unmedicated, so I knew what it should feel like, but this was different. This was unbearable. This was too much, but I convinced myself that it was all in my mind. I reminded myself that so many women every day give birth just like this, and it’s not too much. I kept going. And I kept going. And I kept going. Soon, all I knew was pain and agony, my body was at war with itself, and while everything in my body was trying to eject the baby, as it should, baby wasn’t moving down, I stopped dilating, and the pain of my body conflicting with itself was unbearable, and I began to feel very out of my mind. It wasn’t long before I began begging and pleading with god for a miracle, to let things progress, as I knew I couldn’t bear whatever I was feeling. This wasn’t just labor—it felt like labor x1000. After hours and hours and hours of my body feeling like it was fighting itself, and not much progress between each check, I just continuously broke. In the early hours of the next morning, I begged for some relief. Something wasn’t right and I couldn’t do it. I was provided with an IV medication, and the doctor checked me again, this time to understand baby’s position. Sanji was stuck at an angle, and the on-call angel of a doctor, who was so patient and talked me through all of my fears and anxieties (because, at this point, I was completely broken), tried to manually rotate the baby’s head, then had me lay in the hospital bed with a peanut ball in a certain position to try to encourage the baby to rotate more fully on his own. This should help me dilate further (I had been stuck at 8 cm for hours) and to help him move down. They kept me and baby on a monitor while waiting. The labor pains, despite the pain medication, continued to be completely unbearable and had me begging god for relief—meanwhile my mind was disappearing into another world between contractions, as I intensely prayed. In my moments of awareness, I could see a flurry of concerned staff in and out of the room, concern for me and baby. My blood pressure was dropping lower and lower. During contractions, baby’s heart rate was dropping to almost nothing. I watched the monitor with every contraction, in terror, crying, on oxygen, begging God to save us. Save the baby. Eventually feeling abandoned by god as the pain got worse and the fear became greater, despite my intense prayer. Yet between contractions, I continued to slip into a space of consciousness, where I reconnected to every dream I’ve ever had. It’s indescribable. Every person who walked into the room, I knew them. I’d dreamed of them. I reconnected with flashes of memories and dreams, dreams of the future, dreams of Sanji’s life, though I didn’t know it was Sanji throughout my life as I dreamed these dreams. Some of them maybe not even my dreams—though it felt that way. It was a connection with cosmic connection, all-knowing, all-seeing, infinite existence. Yet with every contraction I was snapped back into the misery of “reality”, feeling helpless, hopeless, scared, crying out to god and praying endlessly. This couldn’t just be IT. Why was such a miracle created, only to come this far and to have to lose everything?

Now my entire left leg was completely numb from hip to toe, I had no feeling. Yet the pain was only continuing to increase as I screamed and begged god for mercy and relief—and despite my deepest fears of all things medical, I cried and begged for an epidural, and bless the anesthesiologist’s sweet soul. I know he came as quickly as he could, as I cried and screamed moment by moment in agony and heartbreak and so much pain. Even after getting it set, it still took about another 30 minutes of agony and two doses before it took full effect. Finally. Some relief—at least from the physical.

I continued to drift in and out of consciousness. My mind fracturing at the sheer terror of thinking I could lose our baby—or even myself. Or both of us. In waves of consciousness, I floated in and out, looking up to see the baby’s heart rate drop down to almost nothing with every contraction, lower and lower. My blood pressure stayed terrifyingly low. With every check, I still wasn’t dilating, and the baby kept moving back into the stuck position. A dose of pitocin was given to try and amplify the labor to move him, but it only made things worse. The angel nurse mentioned the baby’s umbilical cord was being compressed with each contraction, which meant he was losing blood flow. He was losing oxygen with each compression.

With every wave of being out of consciousness, I was in the dream state. The two worlds continued to overlap. When we dream or sleep, we are in the god-state. Connected to everything. No longer remembering the façade of this life, but fully remembering our true nature. Not even remembering—we ARE our true nature in that state. There’s a lot of this particular experience I can’t quite put into words—but to put it very simply, I saw God. But not the concept of god—I experienced the full BEINGNESS of god. Cosmic consciousness. A full experience of connecting to every life, source, memory—past, present, and future, all in one instant. I was shown Sanji’s life, in flashes, each time I drifted into this state. I could see the lives of those around me in the room. But most importantly, I was sho