My BIRTH Story

 My BIRTH Story by Jenni White

This year marks the 16th annual Spirit & Place Festival running from November 4-13th. The theme changes every year, and this year’s theme is “The Body” which fits perfectly with our performance.

My name is Jenni White, and I am the director of the play Birth, written by Karen Brody, made possible by the collaboration between HealthNet, the University of Indianapolis’ Theatre, Nursing, and Midwifery departments.  This is my birth story:

My miracle baby boy was born at 8:11pm on November 24, 2003, at The Women’s Hospital in Newburgh, IN.  He was 9 lbs., 20.5 inches long, a bit jaundiced, but otherwise completely healthy. I call him my miracle baby because it took 2 ½ years of actively trying to conceive for him to come to us. I was on clomid for about six months, and even with that treatment, my ovaries proved to be non-functional. I was deemed infertile and so we shifted our focus to adoption. Over a year later, I was in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues for the first time; and I believe that experience–with over 40 women on stage with me, all that estrogen and vagina power–helped me release a miraculous egg because Zion Jacob was conceived that night – March 8, 2003.  I have been in the show every year since.

His birth? I was induced at 6 a.m. on a Monday morning, four days before my due date. They broke my water to speed things along.  It didn’t. I had an epidural at four centimeters because the nurse upset me so badly I couldn’t focus and get my groove back. After the epidural, I slept most of the day. By 6 p.m., they weren’t happy with my progress and said we may have to do a c-section. I said no. My husband said that we had to do what was best for the baby…and for me. My doctor said she’d give me an hour to make a decision. By 7 p.m., I was pushing with every contraction (well, I was told
when to push based on what the monitor said), and I remember seeing forceps. My doctor said, “Jenni, you are going to deliver this baby, not me. If you want this baby out, you’ve got to push it out. Now.”  And I did.

If I were to do it again? Home birth, in water with candles, music and my circle. It’s all about YOU and your baby. Make the decisions YOU want.

What is your birth story? What advice would you like to share with other women?

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