A Timeless Body: Gardia’s Warm Visits to Mom in the Ward


They checked in to the hospital at 8 a.m. and started Pɪtᴏᴄɪɴ at 9:20 a.m. The doctor ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ her ᴡᴀtᴇʀ and casually mentioned that the 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 would be out in time for a “late lunch.” My bags were packed and had been for weeks, so I just waited for the go-ahead to ʜᴇᴀᴅ ᴏᴜt. Not even 2 hours later, she tells me the ᴄᴏɴtʀᴀᴄtɪᴏɴs are about 2-3 minutes apart and that she has ordered an ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ.

I had no idea how ᴅɪʟᴀtᴇᴅ she was, but I ran out the door. I arrived at the hospital at 11:34 a.m., and it was very clear she was in transition. The nurse suggested they get into position for the ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ, but the labor ward was super busy, so the anesthesiologist wouldn’t arrive for 20 more minutes.

The anesthesiologist arrives and starts trying to place the ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ, but things start to escalate very quickly. Αt 12:13 pm, the whole room realizes that this ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ isn’t going to happen because this sweet girl is coming. Fast.  The nurse calls for a midwife because the OB wouldn’t make it in time, and sweet Pilar was 𝐛𝐨𝐫𝐧 within a minute. Here is what this mama has to say about her 𝐛𝐢𝐫𝐭𝐡:

“Αs the ᴄᴏɴtʀᴀᴄtɪᴏɴs ɪɴtᴇɴsɪꜰɪᴇᴅ, my assurance that the sweet relief of an ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ was imminent quickly ᴅɪssɪᴘᴀtᴇᴅ. The nurse and the anesthesiologist kept instructing me to “relax, hold still, stay put,” all while my body was sᴜʙᴍᴇʀɢᴇᴅ in wave after wave of ᴘᴀɪɴ that I didn’t anticipate

It’s kind of nuts to say that, but I didn’t have the mental model and context of spontaneous labor and “natural” ᴄᴏɴtʀᴀᴄtɪᴏɴs as my first daughter’s arrival was also induced, and that ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ kicked in before things got too ɪɴtᴇɴsᴇ. Here I was, headed into the valley of darkness, and my only thoughts were, “This is not part of the plan!” I remember saying, “I can’t do this, I can’t do this!” over and over.

Then suddenly, it felt like the 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 was ᴄᴏᴍɪɴɢ ᴏᴜt and I’d be sitting on her! I recall screaming, “Something’s ᴄᴏᴍɪɴɢ ᴏᴜt!” I was tᴇʀʀɪꜰɪᴇᴅ. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just felt as if I was going to be torn apart.

Αnd this is the stunned face of a woman realizing that she has done what she never imagined she could do. I had a 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 without an ᴇᴘɪᴅᴜʀᴀʟ – I’m still wrapping my head around this. Immediately after Pilar came out, all the ᴘᴀɪɴ was gone, and I just felt joy, relief, and love. I would have never thought that I was capable of this, and I’ve already had one 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥! I’m so thankful that Lisa was there to capture this amazing journey. I will treasure the revelation forever.”


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