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My Birth Story. Unexpected yet life-changing in the best way.

Updated: Mar 7


•my birth story, part 1•

doula and client

On July 12th, at 12:05am, I woke up with signs of early labor. Surges followed soon after, but I was able to get *some* sleep. As the day went on, they got closer and closer together. By evening, they had intensified enough that I called my doula, Madison, and asked her to come for support. I was sure we would be meeting our baby girl that night or early the next

morning.

unmedicated birth

Each surge was now at four minutes apart. We tried everything to try to speed things up - I moved, I got in the shower, I labored on the toilet. For the next 10ish hours, my surges stayed at the same intensity and did not get closer together; and by the time the sun came up they had slowed down a little bit. I was frustrated. I had gotten so close. All I needed was them to be three minutes apart; the pattern was 3-1-1 and I would have been off to my birth center. As Madison left to recharge, she urged that I get some rest. That proved harder than expected.

——

•my birth story, part 2•


July 13th

hydrotherapy during labor

Madison had just left and I told myself I would take the rest of the day to sleep so I could regain my energy. With surges that were 8-10 minutes apart, it was near impossible to get the rest I needed to prepare for active labor and childbirth. I had now been in labor for over 24 hours; and despite still being at the point where I could talk through each surge with a nice break in between, my body was starting to feel run down and exhausted. Imagine what it would feel like to exert a muscle for an entire day, using up every bit of energy in your body to function.

partner support during labor

I went to my 41 week appointment at my birth center and broke down crying. I was exhausted. I was upset. My mind just wasn’t 100% there. My midwife did what she could to get labor moving and I saw the acupuncturist, Anita, to stop my surges until the morning. The tears finally went from tears of frustration and exhaustion to tears of happiness and excitement when I was told I had gone from hardly 1cm to somewhere from 3-4cm after such a difficult night. I remember Melissa, our birth assistant, looking at me and saying “you didn’t do all that hard work last night for nothing.” My surges stopped a couple hours later; and for the next few hours, I actually got rest. It was pure bliss. Anita had told me that if what she did worked, I would wake up the next morning and it would be the real deal.

____

•my birth story, part 3•


July 14th

emotional and physical support during labor

Starting at 1am, I was waking up every two hours to a surge. They quickly went from two hours apart, to 30 minutes, to 10, to 8, to 4 and intensifying. By 11am, I knew this was the real thing; I could feel the difference between what I was experiencing then and before. They were lasting over a minute long each and all I could do was lean over, move my body, and breathe in order to cope through the intensity. For the next hour, Madison and Eric helped me through each surge and when things started to get intense, I got in the shower for some pain relief; this brought each surge closer together, now at 2 minutes apart. This was it, we needed to be on our way to Seasons.

unmedicated birth

When we got there, that is when things started to turn to an absolute blur. I was in “labor land” - it was as if I blacked out - remembering main events and decisions but forgetting bits and pieces in between. The intensity of each surge was quickly increasing. I remember laboring with all of the strength and energy I had - unable to talk or think through each surge and letting out primal, guttural moans. I remember not being able to do anything but pass out in between surges - preparing for the next. Each was like a mountain you have no other choice but to climb and they came for you whether you were ready for them or not.

hip squeezes during labor

I remember Madison’s words of encouragement. I remember the amazing hip squeezes from my birth photographer, Lindsey. I remember being in pain, but not what the pain actually felt like. I remember the exhaustion from being in labor for two days. I remember when my mind started to become my enemy, a product of the exhaustion, after being told I had only progressed from 4-5cm. I remember the tears, but don’t remember telling Melissa, “I didn’t think it would be this hard.”

hospital transer

I remember telling my midwife, Valorie, that I had decided I needed to transfer to the hospital for some pain relief so I could rest - My birth team was starting to worry that I would not have the energy to push. I tried my hardest to let myself surrender to the waves of pain, but my body could not take it anymore and was not allowing labor to progress.

——

•my birth story, part 4•


epidural during labor

I remember the ride to the hospital. Each surge was more powerful than the next; harder to get through because I could not move freely. I cried and screamed how much longer. We had left Seasons during rush hour which made a 10 minute drive closer to a 25 minute drive that felt never ending and like torture.

continuous fetal monitoring

When we arrived at the hospital, Valorie was waiting for me outside. Once we got to the room, I remember not feeling as comfortable as I did at the birth center. I was no longer vocalizing during surges. I remember feeling like just another pregnant woman in labor as I was hooked up to monitors that I would stay connected to until Valentina is born. Nurses failed to get an IV started and poked me multiple times, bruising my hand and forearm in the process. Questions that required thought were asked in the middle of surges - I could hardly process what was being asked of me or answer. It felt like total chaos, a complete environment change from Seasons. I was grateful Valorie would still be my provider and my care would not be transferred.

epidural and itching

A good thirty minutes passed before the CRNA made his way to my room for the epidural. The surges were so intense, I couldn’t even feel the poke. Shortly after, the pain just stopped. I knew it was supposed to work this way, but I guess I was in awe of how well it actually did its job. I was able to relax and let my body labor down for the next few hours. With my mind and body relaxed, I progressed beautifully; and at around 10pm, I was ready to push.

——

•my birth story, part 5•

pushing during childbirth

Pushing was not what I expected at all. It was athletic. After being in labor for 70 hours with very little sleep, I am amazed I had the energy. After 2 hours of pushing, the OB on call let Valorie know that she was giving us a time limit or a cesarean would be necessary. I still had enough energy and Valentina’s was cooperating beautifully. I looked at Valorie in the eyes and said, “that’s not happening.”

pushing during childbirth

This is when things got intense and I put all my energy into each push. Until this point, my water had not broken so I asked Valorie to rupture my water bag in an effort to speed things up. I felt hot and cold at the same time, I had the shakes, I was dry heaving. I let out roars and grunts, opening my pelvis so she could pass through. At 2:30am on July 15th after about 4.5 hours of pushing, I felt her whole body eject itself out of mine and Valentina was born. In that moment, it actually felt like my soul left my body and returned once my baby was in my arms.

childbirth

———


It took me a few weeks to process how things played out. I mourned not being able to experience the unmedicated and peaceful birth at Seasons. I’ve heard well you are healthy and baby is healthy, that’s all that matters. Yes, that is incredibly important, but it goes much deeper than that. I had longed to feel every moment of birthing - completely surrendering myself spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I felt like I had failed, like I didn’t even stand a chance from the very beginning because labor started a little over 72 hours before she was born.

As I processed and grieved, I realized that despite not being able to birth at Seasons, I still labored for well over 48 hours with no intervention and that is beautiful and incredibly strong. Throughout all 72 hours of labor, I was pushed to extremes I didn’t know were possible and discovered a strength within me I never knew existed. I was empowered and inspired by being in tune with my body’s needs. I now know how incredible birth is and how powerful women are. This experience was a time of transformation; a part of me died during childbirth and was reborn into motherhood.


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