I can sum up all I have to say about Alexander’s birth in one word: epic. This was a birth that began on a Monday evening and ended on Sunday night (yes, SIX days later.) This was an induction that included two rounds of Cervidil, cytotec, pitocin, Foley bulb, a break to go home and regroup for an evening, artificial rupture of membranes, more pitocin, and culminated in FIVE hours of pushing. As Katy’s husband said afterward, she was relentless. She never gave up, she never gave in to negativity, even after nearly a week in the hospital trying to have this baby, she was cracking jokes and staying upbeat. I honestly don’t know how she did it except that what I witnessed in the nearly 14 hours I was there before Alexander was born is that Katy is one of the strongest women I’ve ever seen. She.just.kept.going. When everyone else would have given up, she kept going. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Katy spent 14 years in the Marine Corps, I don’t know, but I know I was in awe. There is a reason why cultures and religions through history have worshipped fertility and the birthing woman – there is something goddess-like, something other-worldly, in the way a woman can dig this deep. It is during births like these that I remember why I do this job – the endless nights on call, the hours and hours on my feet at a birth – it’s because there’s nothing like this anywhere else. The way a woman meets herself in these hours – I want her to always have these photos and film to look back on and remember.
Without further ado….the birth of Alexander Xabi.
Many thanks to the wonderful midwives and nurses at George Washington University Hospital. There are few other hospitals that give this kind of quality care to birthing moms.