My Birth Story

 

It has taken me some time to sit and write my birth story. There are so many levels and emotions that are involved in birth that I feel it is hard to sum it all up in a page or two. Every time I start to write it out I don’t feel like I can do it justice. Also with this birth I have taken a lot of time to just be with my little family.

The birth of my first son had more medical interventions than I would have liked. Yes, it ended with us welcoming a healthy happy baby boy, but it also gave me insight on the things I didn’t like. I realized I didn’t want to be at a hospital for 2-3 days after birth. I also remember the different pains from Pitocin, Epidurals to having an IV in my arm for days and just being confined to a bed for 4 days. These are all things I wanted to avoid this time around.

What I wanted for this birth was to have this baby as naturally as possible. To birth this baby like God designed my body to. In order to do so I informed myself a lot more and made decisions throughout my pregnancy that I felt most comfortable with. I read books, meditated, prayed, and even took an amazing labor prep class by a doula friend of mine.  It was very important to me to just follow what my body felt. I wanted to know what it felt like to go into labor naturally. Since I was induced 2 weeks early with Elijah this felt like my first rodeo. I had NO IDEA what regular labor felt like.  I never had a I had a contraction before being induced for over 24hrs and they broke my water at the hospital to get things moving.

My official due date was March 1st and pretty much my whole pregnancy I thought I would give birth early. I was so positive I would tell anybody and everybody.  Literally right after cleaning up Elijah’s birthday party and putting away things I remember thinking “OK baby you can come now.” Plus towards the end of my pregnancy I was beyond OVER IT. I was exhausted, uncomfortable and had nested every area of my home over and over again. I was even feeling guilty because I no longer could do the playful things with Elijah that I used to.

A couple of days before I gave birth a new friend of mine made me have a paradigm shift. Her simple text of “ Remember you are blessed to carry your own baby and bring it into the world. Not everyone has that chance”   Little did she know that this is just what I needed to hear.  This really put things into perspective for me. How quickly I had forgotten that I once was afraid I might not be able to have kids; and here I was BLESSED with another chance at motherhood, another chance to carry and birth a baby. So I told myself it was time to enjoy the rest of this journey because this gift is not a small one. I honestly feel that as soon as I let go of the notion that I could control things and was patient that my body started to get ready. Things always seem to happen in life for me this way. As soon as I let go of the idea that I have any control and give whatever it is to God he quickly shows me how amazing He truly is.

The afternoon of February 28th I walked to the park with Bo and Elijah. The last few weeks we would go to the park and the boys would play and I would walk the length of the park up a hill and down 10 to 15 times. This time I brought 10 bible verses that I had been meditating on for my birth. While I walked up and down I said the verses aloud and I spoke them to the baby. Something was very different about this walk. I felt very empowered and knew something was on the horizon.

We got home from the park early evening and soon after I started getting contractions. Only they were not very painful and only about 30 seconds long, but I noticed that they were consistent, so I started timing them on an app on my phone.

During this time I was sitting on my birthing ball and watching TV. About an hour later I went to the bathroom and noticed a slight pink color so I called the midwives and they told me to call when my contractions were longer and closer together.  She also told me to eat a big dinner and go to sleep early, because “This is the beginning.” I remember thinking “ I don’t think I will be able to sleep?! These are going to get more intense.”

I also called my sister in law to let her know that I was most likely going into labor tonight; as she was coming to stay over our place to take care of Elijah and handle transporting my Placenta. (Thanks Auntie Nana!) Bo had made dinner so I continued to sit on my birthing ball and ate dinner. The contractions were starting to get more intense but they weren’t close together so when one would come I would just breathe and stop talking.  My son barely noticed what was happening but I did tell him a couple of times that mommy was getting a contraction and can’t talk right now.

After I ate dinner I took a shower since they were getting more painful. I didn’t want things to all of a sudden go from 0 to 100 and I hadn’t showered!! Hey a girl’s gotta be clean for a water birth right?!  After my shower I laid down in my room with the lights off and went through my contractions alone. This actually felt really good. Not the contractions, but having some time alone. All of a sudden mid contraction I felt a trickle. I yelled to Bo that I believe my water broke! He was already loading the car at this point which I had no idea about. I stood up and by the time I got to the bathroom I was gushing everywhere! I sat on the toilet and called my midwife again. At this point my contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart My midwife told me to take a shower and see if they slow down.

My sister in law was playing with Elijah and he still had no clue what was happening.  I jumped in the shower one last time to see if they would slow down a bit. My husband amazingly brought the birthing ball into the shower and I leaned over and just let the water hit my back. I stayed in the shower about 10 mins and realized THEY WERE NOT SLOWING DOWN and were getting more and more intense. At this point  I was getting worried about having this baby at home.  As soon as I got out of the shower I see Bo on the phone with the midwife and vaguely hear them talk about meeting at the birth center. Oddly enough I didn’t want to know when they said they would meet because I was nervous it wasn’t going to be soon enough. I just started getting dressed because I knew it would take me a bit.  This was really difficult since my contractions were so close together. On top of that I was still gushing liquid. Every time a contraction would come I just stopped what I was doing and focused on breathing through them. After soaking through a pair of pants I was FINALLY able to get dressed.  I kissed my Elijah bye bye and I remember speaking to my sister in law about my placenta drop off. I made sure to have one more contraction right before I walked out the door so that I didn’t have one while walking down the stairs to the car. I walked out the door essential oils in hand.

The birthing center is only 7-10 minutes away from my place and I had about 4 contractions on my way there, and one right before walking in.

Once I got inside the birth center my contractions were starting to overlap. It was like my body knew this was the place where everything was about to go down. They checked baby’s heart beat and my vitals as I had contractions leaning over the bed. They told me that they wouldn’t check to see how dilated I was since I was having pretty intense contractions, unless I wanted them to. I just remember thinking that sounded terrible and shaking my head NO. Bo started to rub and push on my back during my contractions.  It was great I didn’t have to tell him because this was just what I needed. I was moving a lot, grabbing pillows, throwing my whole body into the bed, swaying.  I looked over at the tub and I immediately asked them to fill it for me. My playlist was going and my oils were diffusing. Honestly the music I choose for my labor really helped out. I would hear a line of a song and it would help me surrender if only for a second.

Once I got in the tub I felt a wave a peace and relief rush over me. For a minute or two everything stopped. I wasn’t worried about the next contraction just enjoying the moment. Soon after that I leaned over and yelled I HAVE TO POOP! The midwives assured me that they will clean it if I do. Then it hit me…I didn’t have to poop! I had to PUSH!  The midwives told me to just follow my body and that I did. They decided to check me in the tub and told me baby’s head was pretty close. Hearing this was amazing but I already knew this to be true.

This is where everything becomes more blurry. For me this was real pain. The contractions I had before were nothing compared to the feeling of pushing for me.

They told me to lean over the tub. Bo sat on a birthing ball and I grabbed his waist with every push. He rubbed my back and talked me through it. I was yelling “ THIS HURTS SOO BAD!!!” and moaning through every contraction and push. I felt like I wanted to jump out of the tub but I just stayed there and held on to Bo. The midwives asked if I wanted water and I nodded yes and Bo went to get up to get it for me and I quickly said something along the lines of “ NO NOT YOU” or “YOU STAY HERE” I didn’t want him leaving my side, we were in this together.

I just remember dim lights my hands grabbing Bo, while he prayed and calmly told me to surrender, and my midwives encouraging me. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I pushed. Although I do remember sitting in the pain and trying not to push too hard at some point. The song Oceans came on by Hillsong and I remember the midwives saying baby’s head is out and we just need one more push for the rest of the body. I pushed and soon after they said “Baby is out!”  Since I was leaned over backwards I couldn’t see anything and had to flip my leg over the umbilical cord to grab my new baby boy and placed him on my chest. I was elated, overjoyed and couldn’t believe what we had just done together.  I was in love all over again. It was over and my family of three was now a family of four.  It all happened so FAST and I was in shock. We were at the birthing center for less than 45 minutes before he arrived.

After a few minutes in the tub we moved to the bed with baby. The midwives helped me deliver my placenta and checked our vitals. For the next few hours daddy, baby and I just relaxed in the bed. The midwives would come in and check on us but they gave us a lot of privacy to just enjoy each other.  After a while they came in and weighed baby and took his measurements. They also checked to see if I tore. I did so they stitched me up while we listened to my fire playlist. LOL. Let’s just say Love and Happiness by Al Greene will never sound the same to me. After they made sure baby and I were ok we stayed at the birthing center for 4 hours before heading home. I was so ready to go home and sleep.

Our new addition was born February 28th at 11:18pm less than an hour before my official due date. He was right on time because it was God’s perfect timing.  One thing that I loved most about this birth was that I just got to trust my body and God so purely. I never had any idea throughout this pregnancy how dilated I was, which I feel put me more at ease. Without knowing medically how fast my body was working I knew that it was working at a perfect pace. I wasn’t even paying attention to time until we got in the car.

Thankfully I had the birth that I so badly longed for. I know that many people say that “ My birth didn’t go as planned” but I can honestly say that this birth was the birth I wanted. I even feel a little guilty saying that. Our society makes women feel guilty for wanting a natural labor. Saying things that “What do you have to prove?” “ Are you sure it’s safe?”  There is so much fear surrounding birth. But why should I feel guilty that I wanted to bring my baby into this world with no medication? I wanted to leave feeling empowered and knowing that all decisions that were made were I was not coerced into.  I am not afraid to say that now. I am so beyond blessed and grateful that I was given this experience. It really was an outer body experience which is why it’s probably been hard for me to put it into words. I knew giving birth would be painful. I knew it would not be all butterflies and roses, but I did know that there would be a RAINBOW at the end!

A huge thanks to my husband for being my silent support when needed and knowing just when to step in and help. So elated that we experienced this miracle yet again. It’s honestly a blessing that we have experienced two completely different birth’s together and I loved having you as my rock for both. Let the creepiness of me taking pics while you sleep continue.

A special thank you to the midwives and staff at Del Mar Birth Center. I am so happy at 28 weeks that I decided to finish my pregnancy off with you. You guys helped me to have the birth that I wanted and gave me such calm and helpful support. It is great feeling respected in all the decisions that we made for our family.

I still can’t believe I have two wonderful boys now. Elijah actually called it. We wanted to be surprised with the sex of the baby and Elijah had always said we were having a boy. Also at my last appointment Elijah said there will be no more appointments. ( Want to pick some lotto numbers Elijah?)

If you are interested in having a natural labor. I suggest that you get informed, read everything you can. Some books I recommend are Birthing from Within & Ina May Gaskins Guide to Childbirth. Also prepare. It’s great to read but when it comes to labor it’s even more important to practice what you read. Meditate, pray, do breathing exercises in your everyday life so that when labor comes it will be easy to remember everything you learned. I also highly recommend taking a labor prep class. Here’s a link to the labor prep class I took. Micole offers full doula services as well as placenta encapsulation. If you are in the Socal hit her up!  Have a support team that feels right for you. I only had my husband and it was perfect for me but you may want a doula as well as other family members. Just make sure everyone involved is there to support you and your birth. Lastly make sure you have a care provider that you trust and that supports you as well. Whatever you decide hospital, home birth, natural or not this is so important. After switching to Del Mar I see the importance of having a provider who supports YOUR decisions and doesn’t force their beliefs on you. A doctor or midwife who listens to you makes a world of difference in how you will approach labor

Thanks so much for reading! Now let me get back to enjoying my little boys.

 

Birthing Center Checklist

 

               Bag’s packed and I’m ready to go!!!

This time around Bo and I decided to birth this baby at a birthing center instead of a hospital.  We choose this route for a number of reasons.  The main reason being that we wanted a more controlled birth experience. My first birth experience wasn’t ideal but we can talk about that later. After some prayer and research we decided to take the plunge.

As I start nesting I realized that packing for a hospital and birthing center are a little different. At a birth center you have more options in terms of what you can do during your stay. The birthing center is super cozy and I definitely want to bring a few things so that my little family and I feel like we are at home.  All the things on my list are just simple things that will keep baby and myself comfortable. You also don’t stay at the birthing center for very long after giving birth  so no need for excess.

Here’s what’s in my bag!

 

Outfits for baby! This goes without saying. I am going to pack a couple of long sleeve onesies and one super cozy outfit to take baby home in. This brand  Love’dbaby has amazing organic cotton onesies. We want to be surprised with the gender of our baby so we are going to go with some neutral colors. I personally prefer more neutral colors anyway so this worked out perfect.

 

Receiving/Swaddling Blankets Baby will need at least 2 to 3 blankets to be swaddled in.  I plan on bringing the same ones that were used for Elijah for right when baby comes out and a couple of really soft ones to swaddle baby in. I just realized I have to relearn how to do that!  I love Little Unicorn and how soft these ones are. Their Deluxe Muslin feels amazing!

 

Sports Bra and Nursing Bra for possible water birth. The room we will most likely give birth in has a tub for water birthing. I am not sure whether in the moment I will want the sports bra or not but making sure I have something comfortable is important just in case. I got mine from Target. I just wanted something dark and simple.

 

 

Clothing  I won’t be staying at the birthing center for more than 6 hours after birth but in the mean time I will be able to bond with my new bundle of joy, breastfeed, eat and get a little rest. A nightgown, some comfy socks, a nursing bra and undies should suffice. There is also shower in the room. I plan on bringing travel size toiletries just in case I want to rinse off before I head home.

 

Coconut Water/Snacks  One of the things that’s great about a birthing center is I can eat during labor! Trust me I like to eat. Also since we are aiming for a natural birth it’s important to keep my energy up.  Some snacks I plan on bringing are nuts, string cheese, honey sticks and a few of these Perfect Foods Bars. They are my absolute favorite! Also it’s really important to stay hydrated and have electrolytes during labor so making sure I pack Coconut water is key. Our birthing center has a fantastic kitchen but there will be no cafeteria/vending machine like a hospital for Bo to go run and get snacks from. These two have been my go to snacks for this labor. Coconut water was my life saver with heartburn at 2am and the Perfect Foods Bar helped me curb nausea between breakfast and lunch.

 

Diffuser Oils/Rice Pack I LOVE my essential oils and I definitely plan on incorporating them in my labor.  I’ve even made a little list for myself and Bo just so we don’t forget. Here are some great oils for labor. Lavender, Frankincense, Clary Sage & Peppermint. Young Living has a few blends like Panaway ( for back pain) and Gentle Baby (which I can diffuse after I give birth for baby and myself)  Also I planned on making a rice heating pack for some back labor discomfort but Bo’s grandma actually had some that she had made on hand. I love the idea that she can kind of be a apart of our birth. Make sure with oils that you are using therapeutic grade oils. I personally use Young Living and DoTerra

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 Technology  We definitely will want lots of pics of the baby and a few of the birth so a camera and cell phone are important. Also I made a labor playlist of my favorite calming tunes. All the rooms have speakers so I just need my phone.  Who knows I may not want any noise at all besides the sound of myself screaming baby out but it’s always better to be prepared right?! Check out my labor playlist below!

That is pretty much all I put in my bag, just some essentials for baby and me.  What did you pack for your labor? Also if you have any labor playlist suggestions drop me a line below~

Here are some behind the scenes photos. Elijah insisted that I take pics of him

What did you pack for your labor? Also if you have any labor playlist suggestions drop them below!