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Heaven So Close: Margot's Healing, Joyful, and Fun Unmedicated Birth in the Hospital

This is the story of the birth of our miracle baby, Dominic Joseph. We struggled with infertility after the loss of our first born, Micah Pax, at nine weeks gestation. I finally saw a Napro doctor. After a few months of testing, I was told at an appointment they thought I would not be able to conceive without medication, but at that very appointment I was able to tell my doctor I was already pregnant!

Although the desire of my heart was to give birth at home, we believed it was not financially possible for us to have a birth attended by a midwife. I grieved my idea of homebirth and surrendered to Jesus. I found a midwife that was a part of a hospital system. She was the only midwife in my city who attended birth in a hospital actually, so I went with her. The more I prepared, the more I felt it did not matter as much who else would attend my birth, as long as I had my husband and my doula Rachel. I knew we were a great team.

My first born taught me that to be open to life also means to be open to death, the door through which we enter into eternal life. That was the biggest fear I had to overcome before I was ready to give birth. I spoke out my fear and placed the possibility of leaving with empty arms or not leaving at all into the hands of the Lord.

At 38 weeks gestation, after a week of prodromal labor that started Easter Sunday, I had my first big contraction in Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday. We didn’t know if it was the real deal so we went about our day and went to Lowe’s where I hummed through a few contractions in the flower section. Finally, starting at 11 p.m. Sunday, they became regular contractions. I rode the

waves on my own, deep breathing and humming. I woke my husband at 4 a.m. and we let our doula know how things were going. She had prepared us with a list of positions to labor in so we were just rocking with it and it was nice and peaceful.

By the time she arrived at 7 a.m. I had started growling through contactions. They were getting more intense and I had to just listen to my body. I was so excited and happy that I was getting through each one without pain! Rachel had told me, “Everything else needs to come out before the baby comes out.” She was so right! She prayed for me through contractions and my tears flowed as I grieved a friend for the first time who had passed just days earlier. Then I felt a wave of joy and laughter as I felt heaven so close and I felt the presence of her triumphant soul there with God. The laughter was contagious and it set the tone for the rest of the time we spent laboring at home.

I kept meeting the waves and allowing them to wash over me and I flowed with them. My doula was helping us find positions that kept the contractions working for me and I also just allowed my body to do what I wanted to do. The entire time I was held and supported by my husband and my doula. Then I felt different promptings to pray. One prompting was that my husband and I should ask God forgiveness together, for all the sins we’ve committed against each other throughout our entire relationship. We prayed and it was so healing. I now realize God was

prompting us to repent and make complete space for the Holy Spirit to fully inhabit our bodily temples. The Holy Spirit was so needed and welcomed. More waves came. Through another contraction my husband was holding me so tight and I felt a deep healing in my heart in the wound of my fatherlessness. I felt so much safety and I sobbed. It was so beautiful. There was so much healing being done in my soul and I still felt no pain throughout. I was on a blissful cloud. It all felt so right and so holy.

At 9 a.m. when the contractions were about 3 minutes apart we made our way to the hospital. Once the location changed my rhythm changed as well so before checking in we labored all around the hospital parking lot for a while. I felt complete freedom and it was fun! I walked, stretched, bounced on a ball, labored in the restroom and we all had a fun time together!

At 11 a.m. I went into triage and then we began our dealings with the medical system. I already felt infused with courage to advocate for myself and it was going well. I also believe that God’s favor was just upon us in such a merciful way because we were met with so much respect and awe in our nurses. I was roaring through contractions and I was 6-7 cm dilated when they checked me there in triage. But in between I was just chatting with my husband and waiting for our doula to be allowed in. We were making jokes in between and laughing with each other. So. Much. Joy. There was a one support person rule in triage but my husband snuck my doula in any way. Do what you gotta do!

She helped me do a side lying release and then splash! My water broke at 1:35 p.m., which was the EXACT moment of the totality of the solar eclipse that day that was visible in my city. Then we moved into the delivery room.

I felt so supported and so confident that I could ride the contractions. I felt so much power in my roar. It was like the contractions were a wave, but so was I. I was meeting each wave and devouring and absorbing them into myself. I was enjoying the sensations and I remember thinking, “This is not like the peaceful, quiet births I see online.” But I was having so much fun even so! My birth was like me: joyful, silly, and intense. I felt like the delivery room was a marathon! My doula kept me moving and and that kept my labor progressing. I could feel how hard I was working and it felt amazing. She was keeping me fueled with honey sticks and some pan dulce.

During each contraction my husband was encouraging me beautifully and giving me counter pressure when needed. After each one would end he offered me something to drink and in between he would rub my back and give me kisses. I felt the oxytocin flowing! All I could think was, “Wow, I’m so in love with this man!” I really felt like it was our second wedding day. It

was just so fun and so romantic. Once when we were laboring in the bathroom, we even snuck in some kissing! It was just ridiculously fun for so long. I felt so beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully made.

We did have to be vigilant and I did advocate for myself between contractions when I did not want to be checked or monitored. I simply said, “No thank you, I’m going to keep laboring him down. You can ask again in a few contractions.” And it was as easy as that. We were in charge of the birth room and I believe the nurses responded well to the energy and assertiveness we brought to the party. I was respected and my birth plan was honored in every way.

It began to pick up in intensity around 3 p.m. and then I began closing my eyes and keeping silent through the rest of the labor. I went inward and I was speaking to God, allowing complete oneness in my soul with Him. I needed Him so much, that I allowed myself to be swallowed up in His spirit. Each contraction was my fiat. I just focused on saying yes and walking through the door set in front of me in that moment. Each moment of exhaustion, discouragement, or fear, a Bible verse came into my heart or a little song of praise, and I would say or sing all of them out

loud. I felt complete freedom in prayer.

When we were nearing the end around 9 p.m., the intensity was astounding, but I was still not feeling physical pain. My husband began asking me who I would like to offer each contraction for and so I kept these people in my heart as I labored. I had been using a TENS unit with each contraction but at one point I asked God what I should do next and I heard in my heart, “feel it all” and I felt a prompting to turn off the unit. I turned it off and it honestly felt the same! I had just been using it as a crutch but I needed nothing between me and the sensations happening in my body.

At around 9:30 p.m. I felt the urge to push and I began to push in an upright position. I tried for about an hour or so but it felt like minutes to me. I tried so many different positions but baby wasn't coming down. Finally my midwife said, “ I know you don’t want to do this, but would you

consider trying to push on your back?” She could see where my baby was getting stuck under my pubic bone and could see I was nearing exhaustion. I decided to try and told Jesus that this was His child and His birth and I just wanted to meet my baby. I still felt I could not get the leverage I needed in that position. That is when Rachel suggested using the rebozo scarf to do

“tug of war”. That is where I found all the power! I love that I was able to use the rebozo scarf because I’m Mexican, and it is such a traditionally Mexican way to give birth! She told me, “When you feel that intensity that makes you want to run away, go towards it, that’s your baby.” And so I pushed and pushed and in between I prayed little prayers asking God, “Ok is this the one?” It felt like I would climb a mountain only to see another one. I thought my baby was so far but in reality he was just about an inch away!

Finally I made a Spiritual Communion. I felt a contraction coming, and I told Jesus, “I have nothing left, nothing. Everything has to come from you”. I tugged on that rebozo and roared, and my baby’s giant head came out! Then the rest of him followed right after! At 11:57 p.m., on the Solemnity of the Annunciation and the day of the total eclipse, our son was born.

My husband and I burst out in laughter! It was the best! We were truly ecstatic! He had his cord wrapped around his neck twice but it was not an issue. My body knew just what to do and brought him down nice and slow. God’s design is truly perfect.

Although I grieved not being able to afford a homebirth midwife, I felt that all the staff in the hospital needed to witness a joyful birth and a woman doing what she was made to do. I am still on a high six weeks later! Many women in my life shared their difficult births stories and I could see easily see how they were sabotaged by the system, the culture, and even themselves. Whenever someone would share something negative with me while pregnant , in my mind I would say, “I’m built different.” I truly proved this to myself through the mercy of God! I am fearfully and wonderfully made to give birth. For my husband and me, this birth felt like the greatest form of our marriage vows in action. My husband is truly my hero and he absolutely rocked this birth with me.

I felt so infused with courage and the truth of my creation afterwards. I also felt deeply saddened by what industrialized birth has taken from women and the sins it has brought into the world. I realized abortion is so intertwined in the philosophies of the medicalized birth system. So many women are told they need to give birth, drugged and powerless, told it is an easy thing to do to bring life into the world and in turn also told it is easy to dispose of that same life inside them. Women are stripped of their power in the name of convenience and liberation. We are consistently infantilized by the system, not being trusted with our own fertility and told we couldn’t possibly birth a child following our design and intuition. Some are even told they cannot care for a child and it would be better that it be killed. I no longer want to participate in a system like this after realizing all these things. For my next birth we will save up to have a midwife attend at home. We look forward to dealing less and less with the medical system as time goes on.

Michael and Margot H. are from Texas and have a deep love for each other and for their Catholic faith. They love being parents to their babies Micah and Dominic, one in heaven and one on earth and want to be saints. Michael is a middle school teacher and an amazing coach. After five years of being a nanny, Margot is now a stay at home mom.


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