Whew, finally! I’ve been working on writing this since we got home over a week ago, but it was definitely a process to get out!
For the entire duration of my pregnancy, I had a very clear image of what kind of birth I wanted to have: natural but in a hospital. I pictured serenity and power and all of my years of yoga and meditation culminating there to allow me to have a super empowering, zen experience. We hired a doula as well to help make that happen, and if it weren’t for Adrien’s nerves about it, I probably would have opted for a home birth too.
In the end, a home birth wouldn’t have been possible, and almost nothing went according to my original plan. I thought I’d get everything I wanted with all the visualization and meditation I did on it, but the universe had other plans… Theo had other plans! Even so, I had the most awesome, positive birth and have been SOOO excited to share the story with you!
***There’s ZERO fear mongering here, so if you’re prepping for your own birth, rest assured this is a totally positive experience.***
This was one of those things in life that reminded me how overrated control can be. We don’t always get what we imagine, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can be just as great as your original plan if you’re willing to let go and be a passenger rather than holding on to the need to be a stubborn, forceful pilot. That’s a lesson that comes up for me in life over and over, so I guess it’s really no surprise it showed up here too.
Alright, enough suspense! Let’s get to it, shall we? ☺️
On August 3rd at 3am on the dot, I got up to pee after 3 hours of sleep. When I got back in bed, I felt a huge gush of water which continued as I quickly rushed back into the bathroom to clean myself up. I started shaking in disbelief, looked in the mirror & told myself: oh my god, my water broke! I’m having a baby today!
I knew contractions could start immediately or be on a bit of a delay, so I cleaned myself up, woke Adrien, then got back in bed to rest. I knew I’d need the energy because OH MY GOD! I’M HAVING A BABY TODAY! 🤩
We rested and 5am came. 6am came. 9am came. No contractions. I kept checking & my fluid was still clear or pink (both normal) so I wasn’t worried about baby, but I also knew the countdown was on. When your water breaks, you typically have 24 hours to go into active labor, otherwise the hospital will induce you to prevent infection. Once the water breaks, there’s no barrier between baby & the world, so the risk of infection is higher.
August 3rd, 11am:
We’re still at home but it’s crickets on the labor front. We called the hospital to update them & they told me to absolutely come in to be monitored, no negotiation. So we ate breakfast, gathered our things & headed out, excited for the journey ahead because OH MY GOD WE ARE HAVING A BABY TODAY!
We check in & get put in a windowless, very medical, but thankfully temporary room where they hooked me up to the monitor to check on me & baby and eventually came in to see how far dilated I was.
I was 1cm. I was disappointed but not surprised. Part of me was hoping I’d be one of those unicorn moms who felt no pain and magically dilated to like 8 centimeters without even realizing it 🤣 …but NO. 1:30pm:
After some more waiting around in that same room, my anxiety started climbing. Almost 12 hours had passed with no signs of labor starting & I knew what that could potentially mean: induction. And induction was the beginning of everything I didn’t want. I’d planned for & visualized a beautiful natural birth & I was terrified about that experience being threatened. Adrien kept reminding me to let go & let my body work because of course, if I’m super tense & rigid, how is my body supposed to feel safe enough to relax and open? I was trying SO hard to do just that, but man it was hard. I cried on and off most of the afternoon because I was already feeling so discouraged. Luckily Adrien was there to keep the mood light and show me how to use the birth props 😂3pm:
They officially admit us, bring us up to a more permanent room with a GORGEOUS view & start me on a mild antibiotic to prevent infection. My anxiety settled in as the first of many of my preferences was compromised. I did NOT want to be stuck to an IV and now I needed one to get medicine every 6 hours. But at least some contractions finally started so Adrien started keeping track of them. They were irregular but distracting enough to make me pause and breathe through each one and intense enough that I couldn’t sleep through them, making rest difficult. I was hopeful that things would pick up but somewhere inside, I was still afraid that hope was just wishful thinking…
You may or may not know, but once your water breaks, you’re basically a faucet that’s been left on until the baby is born; the amniotic fluid leaks constantly. I was wearing ginormous pads to catch the water that had to be changed about every 2 hours. So I was essentially sitting in what felt like a wet diaper from 3am on the 3rd until baby was finally born. Just a little fun fact I wanted to share 😉
Through the rest of that afternoon on August 3rd & into the evening…
I was having manageable but irregular contractions. They weren’t super painful, but they woke my up in the night every time one hit. I only got about 3 hours of sleep again but was hopeful it would be sufficient rest to allow my body to do what it needed to do. Also, I can’t forget to tell you that another reason I couldn’t sleep that night was because the most stubborn tonsillitis ever was still lingering, so my congestion & cough were both keeping me awake because breathing was tough. That combined with contractions was not the most fun I’d ever had!
August 4th, 6am:
After little sleep, I got up around 6am frustrated & discouraged. Over 24 hours passed since my water broke, contractions hadn’t increased, I was very tired after only getting 3 hours of sleep a night for 2 nights in a row, I was STILL fighting off the rest of my cold symptoms, & my anxiety was in full swing because now I was REALLY feeling the need to get the show on the road. I was SO upset that morning. I cried when the midwife came to check on me, I cried when the nurse came to check on me, I cried to Adrien about wanting this to just HAPPEN already. He totally got where I was coming from, but was a rock solid pinnacle of calm, as usual, reminding me that there IS an end in sight, but I needed to relax. I tried everything, even some gentle yoga…
All day I was in what felt like early labor. Contractions were irregular but intense enough that they couldn’t be ignored. I was getting tired, both physically and emotionally. Our doula suggested reflexology as it had worked for several of her other moms. Sounded amazing to me, so we called her referral who came directly to the hospital and worked on me for almost TWO HOURS. The most miraculous thing was that literally ALL the swelling in my feet and ankles disappeared, but true active labor still didn’t start.
August 4th, 3pm:
Now it’s been 36 hours since my water broke. We called my doctor to see what he thought would be best, so he came up to check me & was super positive about my progress but still only 2cm. He knew what my wishes were and supported them, so he was fully willing to let me go to 48 hours & give my body a chance to let active labor begin naturally which he thought was likely to happen. He also wasn’t worried because both baby & I were doing great in terms of our vitals.
He did give the option of induction & told me 2 important pieces of information: if I chose induction on the 4th, I could go down to delivery & choose my room because it was a very slow day. All the midwives would be available to help & the vibe down there was generally peaceful & quiet. If I reached that 48 hour mark & HAD to get induced on the 5th, he had 4 scheduled c-sections plus whatever situations came up spontaneously. In that case I wouldn’t know which room I’d get (could have ended up in the room we had when we first checked in to be monitored) & of course everybody will be much busier. He was completely comfortable with me waiting & I felt zero pressure to choose induction, but I was glad he shared that info with me because I knew I needed to call it: take it up to 48 hours and see what happens, or go for the induction now.
This is NOT a choice I wanted to be faced with. I was SO upset at this point and SO disappointed in the fact that my perfect plan was so far away from happening.
August 4th, 3:30pm:
The cervical check must have activated something because at this point my contractions were 6 mins apart & moderate. We thought active labor might be starting naturally soon but I still wanted to fully commit to a decision. Adrien asked me a pivotal question: am I making my decisions from my ego or am I making my decisions according what would make me happiest & most comfortable?
That hadn’t even crossed my mind. But I walked into this birth experience with such a rigid idea of what “needed” to happen that I’d lost track of what I was doing in the first place: I WAS GOING TO HAVE A BABY. I’d been so focused on the kind of birth I wanted that I’d completely detached from the reality of what was I doing here.
So I took a step back & mentally freed myself from the confines of my original plan. If I looked at this from a relaxed perspective where I didn’t NEED to control the “how”, what would I do?
I honestly didn’t think I had it in me to go another sleepless night of moderate contractions with very slow or no progress to show for it. I didn’t think I had it in me to wake up & need to be scheduled for an induction even after feeling like my body was working (contractions). And I really didn’t think I had it in me to do that in an environment that was busy & chaotic.
August 4th, 4pm:
With all that in mind, I decided to be induced that evening rather than waiting another 11 hours & hoping something would change. As quickly as I decided, we were ready to go! They walked us down to delivery, stopping along the way to pause for contractions which were still manageable. I was able to have the most beautiful delivery room with 180* of sea views, lots of space and props, too. As soon as we got down there, I started stalling a little because I wanted to be checked again before actually starting the Syntocin (European version of Pitocin). I was checked again & there was no change so onward we went. We started with the lowest dose & waited for it to kick in…
Things ramped up almost immediately. Contractions increased in frequency and intensity but I was managing them well with breath and movement. My favorite place to be for most of the time I labored was on the birth ball with my arms hanging on these fabric swings from the ceiling.Side note:
Let’s actually talk about what contractions feel like for a second. Energetically, contractions feel like a true wave. You feel one coming on, it builds slowly, peaks, & then tapers off. It’s a gradual rise of pressure & tightening that begins in the lower front part of your pelvis/pubic area, slowly crawls up your belly, & wraps around your back. As they get more intense, they come on quicker, stronger, & feel like you’re getting sucked into a tornado. But the beauty and intelligence of labor is that between each contraction which lasts about 1-2 minutes, you get a break. That break is NORMAL. Silent. Zero sensation except relief. Those breaks start off nice & big, like 5-10 minutes, but they gradually get shorter, like 1-2 minutes, and that’s one way you know things are moving forward.
Things I kept telling myself that WORKED to stay calm and present:
– Ride the wave. Don’t fight it.
– I welcome each contraction instead of resisting it.
– I’m excited for each one because each one is progress.
– Each one is one down & I never have to do again.
– Be a rag doll.
– Each contraction is a wave of power, not pain.
As the intensity picked up, I managed to stay relaxed, open, & fully calm. I felt like all of these mantras were helping me get through it. After a couple hours of more intense contractions, they came in to check me again.
WHAT. THE. F*CK.
They told me the intensity of my contractions should indicate more progress, but my cervix was just moving a slowly. I could choose to sit here at this level of Syntocin & potentially labor for hours longer, OR I could increase my dose to hopefully push things along a bit quicker.
I looked at Adrien who told me he supported whatever I wanted to do. I looked at my doula who said it was totally up to me. They told me they’d double my dose but that didn’t necessarily mean the pain would double, so I accepted, still excited to keep this ball rolling.
August 4th, ~7pm:
Here’s where time gets fuzzy…
We doubled my dose & I powered on.
From here I can honestly say that the intensity, frequency, and yes, power, most definitely doubled if not tripled. I was still staying connected to my breath, welcoming each one, & most importantly feeling the sensation of my contractions change.
Now it felt like all of what I described above but with an added detail: the “peak” of each one brought with it the feeling that a bowling ball was being forced down against my tailbone from the inside. The pressure was enormous, & now I was feeling more pain in my back than anywhere else. Despite the back labor, my doula kept reminding me that the feeling in my tailbone was exactly what we wanted; it meant baby was descending well & putting the necessary pressure on my cervix to open.
That little explanation helped keep me calm because I felt like my body was doing exactly what it needed to do. Knowing that made ALL the difference in the world because it meant the pain was PURPOSEFUL. I could live with that.
So I kept visualizing that exact process. Welcoming it, not resisting, and allowing my body to do what it knew how to do. Throughout all of this, Adrien was amazing, by the way. He was encouraging me, keeping me hydrated, fanning me with a little handheld fan because I was so hot, & handing me tissues every 2 minutes because YES, I was still sick & coughing & blowing my insanely congested nose the whole time. I’ll tell you what, laboring with a blocked nose makes things a little tougher 😆 I only knew after the fact how stressed he was watching me go through this process. I could have guessed he would be, but was blind to it during because he was such a rock.
Anyway, around this stage I started getting emotional. I’m not even sure why! It was such an intense experience it made it impossible to be anything other than hyper-present. It was all SO real & I couldn’t believe I was doing this… I couldn’t believe I was about to become a mom. I couldn’t believe this huge moment was right there & barreling towards me. It felt unbelievable and unstoppable. After each contraction I felt like I needed to cry. Not because of pain or discomfort, just the sheer intensity of this whole experience and what it all meant.
Things continued to progress because there was definitely no slowing things down now.
All my breathing, letting go, & welcoming each contraction felt like they were paying off. The intensity steadily increased BIG TIME & at one point it felt like things really fired up a notch. Suddenly it was like each peak now came with this uncontrollable need to bear down. Yes, “bear down” like when you have to go to the bathroom. It was like I wasn’t even in control of my body anymore. It was doing its own thing. *I* wasn’t bearing down, my body was just DOING it. I heard my doula tell Adrien it sounded like I was getting close to the end. Contractions were LONG, like 2+ minutes & extremely close together, like 30-seconds apart. I wasn’t getting long enough breaks given the intensity of what I was experiencing, so we knew things were approaching the grand finale…
Someone came to check my progress which took forever because they couldn’t catch a break between my contractions. I heard someone say, “these are really long…” at least 5 different times throughout the later hours of the night.
Finally the nurse was able to check me (though it was during a contraction— the WORST) & apparently looked at our doula with a little concern.
“4cm, maybe 5,” she said.
Everybody was confused because my contractions were so intense the machine wasn’t even registering their strength anymore. All signs were pointing towards the end but my body just wasn’t dilating.
They suggested increasing my dose again and I accepted. Without it, they told me I could be laboring at this intensity for hours more. With an increase, it might get more intense but it would probably be less time. Not an enviable choice, but I chose the faster option…
Again, time is fuzzy, but this is where the intensity & power became totally unmanageable for me mentally & physically. Contractions went from feeling like what I understood as contractions to something that felt more like an attack. Remember how I said contractions come in waves? Even the intense ones do. But what followed that increase of Syntocin felt like an assault on my body every 30 seconds. There was no build up, no slow down, no rest. Each contraction came on like a sucker punch at full intensity. My entire body felt like it was bearing down. Every single one barreled through me like a freight train and each time my body expelled literally everything inside of it. Yes, everything. If you had told me how many times I’d pee uncontrollably in front of so many people I wouldn’t have believed you 😂 Literally every single contraction. And I was still losing amniotic fluid, so suffice it to say, this was a very messy process! I think at one point I apologized to someone (not even sure who) who was behind me cleaning up.
After laboring at this level for another couple hours (according to Adrien), I’d had enough. I cracked. My mind spun out. I needed to know I was making progress because I couldn’t do this for much longer. Someone rushed in to check me again.
“5, maybe 6cm…”
I sobbed, apologized (again, not even sure to who!) and begged for an epidural. My mind couldn’t handle it anymore. The progress was too slow, I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to make it to the end without some assistance. I still needed some strength to push this baby out & I was getting nervous I wouldn’t have enough on reserve.
Thank God it was so slow because the anesthesiologist got down there in minutes. The only problem was that at this point it was SO difficult to administer because my contractions weren’t breaking. The 15-30 seconds I had “between” was pure back labor. So that means I’d have a contraction at full intensity, and then that “bowling ball” of pressure in my back and tailbone would just sit there in the “in between” moments. I had no breaks. I couldn’t help but cry and scream basically through this entire phase.
There was a mantra I heard about contractions very early on in my preparation that I liked a lot: “my contractions can’t be bigger than me because they come from me.” In my case, I felt like all of mine were artificial because of the amount of Syntocin I was on. They WERE more powerful than me because they were being brought on by something external. It wasn’t my body’s natural rhythm, and I just couldn’t sync them up with my breath anymore. I’d fully lost control and was ready for this to end.
The anesthesiologist & nurse who assisted were absolute ANGELS. They were so patient with me & encouraging & FAST. This was difficult because to get an epidural & NOT risk paralysis, you need to be completely still while they administer it. You can imagine how hard that was at this point!
I don’t want this to scare anyone about to give birth who wants an epidural. Typically you’d get it well before you reached this point of intensity so it would be MUCH easier to administer and it’s no big deal. The pain from the epidural is also no big deal. It pinched but was over super fast and they use a local anesthesia to numb the area before the needle actually goes in. And of course you don’t see anything. The whole procedure probably took all of 10 minutes, so the discomfort from that is hardly even worth mentioning– I promise.
But back to my dumbass decision to wait so long 😜… I’m sobbing & screaming through each contraction while trying to find the strength to stay still. I wasn’t very successful but the doctor DID manage to administer the epidural anyway. He started me on a half dose per my request to see if that would ease things enough to give me relief, but after 30 minutes it didn’t even touch the intensity. As I’m writing this, I genuinely wonder how many people heard me laboring in the halls 😅 I HOPE the department was as slow as they said because I probably would have scared the entire floor of laboring moms half to death with my dramatics 😂
The anesthesiologist came back to increase the dose which finally worked & I felt sweet relief. I could still feel the pressure of each contraction & I could move my legs, they were just heavy feeling. But I was beyond happy to be able to breathe comfortably while still feeling my lower half. One big reason why I didn’t want an epidural was because it freaked me out to be essentially paralyzed. Luckily it didn’t feel like that! It just dulled the pain, but I could still feel when a contraction came, if that makes sense. I thought I’d be super disappointed in myself for getting one, but I honestly wasn’t. I felt proud of what I’d done on my own up until that point, and I knew this was the right choice for me because I’d still need my strength and energy to push which I was running out of FAST.
Around midnight, August 5th:
Within minutes of the epidural kicking in, I fell asleep for about an hour which felt amazing. After I woke up, the nurse came in to check my progress and I was at 10 cm and ready to push! FINALLY. I couldn’t believe it. I’d heard that a lot of times an epidural can speed things up because your body and mind can relax which makes things progress much more quickly. I was excited, but also super nervous! I couldn’t believe it was time to push and meet my baby… finally! After almost 48 hours!
They prepped me and prepped the room and by the time we were all ready, the people in the room were just my doctor, nurse, doula, and Adrien. They kept the room dark except for one essential light to keep an eye on baby. Despite this being a very traditional “medical” environment, I was amazed at how peaceful and relaxed it felt. My doctor is the epitome of calm and should totally teach all doctors about bedside manner. He’s extremely warm and friendly but still authoritative enough that you feel like you’re in good hands.
Nobody yelled at me to push, nobody rushed the process, and I was allowed to move in sync with the rhythm of each contraction.
Here’s where it got a little intense again but I actually had no idea until after the fact…
August 5th, ~12:40am:
The first couple times I pushed, the doctor said I pushed really well, but the baby didn’t move. So we waited for the next contraction which took FIVE MINUTES to come on, regrouped and tried again. This time he moved down 3 centimeters. Not much. I pushed with all my might a few more times and he moved down a bit further, but the doctor told me he was actually stuck. Super calmly he suggested using the ventouse (kind of like a small plunger) to help bring him down. He assured me it was gentle and while he knew I preferred no interventions, he suggested this. I could feel the INSANELY uncomfortable pressure of baby sitting super low, so I was ready to accept the “help” haha 😉
Even with an epidural (in my experience), I still felt a large part of the sensation of baby coming down the birth canal and crowning. I felt the insane stretching, the pressure, the everything. It was definitely not comfortable, but it wasn’t painful either. Honestly, “intense” is the best word for it. It felt like exactly what it was: a human head is emerging from your vagina, lol! I mean, it’s stretching your body to the MAX but to me, it didn’t feel like my body couldn’t do it, it just felt like something it had never done before. I’ll say it 5,000 more times I’m sure, but it’s just amazing what our bodies can do.
ANYWAY, he used the ventouse twice and announced that baby had a lot of brown hair! I got SO excited I pushed even harder for the remaining pushes and before I knew it, his head was out! I was honestly having a great time pushing 😆 I felt good, strong, capable, and like I was being well taken care of. His shoulders were a challenge too but once those were out, the doctor told me to “reach down!” and take him, which I did. I’ll never forget how warm Theo’s tiny little body was against mine… it was hands-down the very coolest thing I’ve ever experienced.
What did I think when I saw him for the first time?
Lots of women have described the feeling of instant overwhelming love. Like they’d die for this person. I didn’t feel that. I felt in absolute AWE that I just birthed a human (he looked SO BIG yet so tiny at the same time), but it was a slow, gradual connection for me. Not that slow, I guess, but it took the next few days to feel connected to him, I think. And it’s still evolving and growing! The instant thought was just “WOW! THAT WAS AMAZING! LOOK WHAT WE DID!”
I only pushed for about 30 minutes which ended up being a really good thing.
What I didn’t know was happening during this whole pushing phase was actually a bit more dramatic. When they told me he hadn’t moved down after those initial pushes, it was because he was stuck. And the way he was stuck compressed his chest or face so that he couldn’t breathe. So Theo’s heart rate plummeted in seconds from a normal, healthy rate of 130-160 to 66!
Adrien told me it fell FAST, like within a few seconds, and the doctor and nurse looked at each other with concern, but kept it to themselves to keep the space (and me!) calm. And with such long breaks between contractions, it was a little extra stressful because I couldn’t push without one. Once he got un-stuck from that point, he got stuck again. This is when the ventouse were suggested, and this time Theo’s heart rate spiked to beyond 180 because he was getting stressed. They needed to get him out fast, but never once made me feel stressed or scared. Like I said, I actually had no idea any of this was happening.
Had we not been able to get him unstuck, I definitely would have ended up with an emergency c-section, so I am eternally grateful for the skill and patience of my doctor.
Adrien, on the other hand, told me later how terrified he was. His exact words were that he wasn’t sure whether he needed to cry or throw up!
One surprising thing about the whole experience was how calm and present I felt. I’d heard so many horror stories of hospital births feeling so negative and “medical” that women felt totally disconnected from the experience itself. In some of the books I read, I also heard the epidural or any medicine would make me feel kind of out of it. This was 1,000% NOT the case. I felt fully “there,” fully present, and immersed in the experience. The memory of the pain have already faded somewhat, but the birth itself will be forever engrained in my mind and heart. It was not only the COOLEST thing I’ve ever experienced, but also the most beautiful, magical, powerful, empowering one too.
And all of these things I read also said that the epidural can make baby seem “out of it” too. SO NOT TRUE. Theo came out with his eyes wide open, looking around, and FULLY alert. He took a breath super soon after and cried his big ol’ cry until he warmed up.
Even at the most intense moments of labor and pushing, I never felt afraid or like I was unsafe. I felt exhausted, but never afraid.
Once he was born we had about 2 hours of skin-to-skin. No tests, no interaction with baby from anyone else, just a bit of care for mom. I had two small, internal superficial tears so that was first up. And NO, I didn’t feel them happen either! The doctor said I didn’t technically need stitches, and a midwife at a home birth probably wouldn’t do them, but it would burn when I peed if I went without. So he was going to do them to minimize my discomfort. No problem for me. They removed the epidural drip, antibiotics, and everything else. Once that was over, they had Adrien bring Theo away to do the initial tests and vitamin K while they finished cleaning me up.
The epidural wore off quickly, so I definitely noticed the “work” going on down there, but it wasn’t painful at all. Just something I was aware of and curious about which is probably why I was aware of it at all in the first place, haha.
They brought us back up to our recovery room a bit later and left us to it as a family of 3… Adrien took this picture and about a billion others! Very grateful for a skilled husband and a good tripod!
You lose about 500ml of blood in a normal vaginal birth. So in the hours and first day after, I looked SUPER pale. Like my lips were gray I was so pale! I felt totally fine, just tired, but it was definitely noticeable! Can you tell here?!
August 5th, 5am:
We only managed to get a couple hours of sleep because we were both just completely caught up in conversation, re-living the experience from each of our perspectives. We may have gone to sleep around 5am, if I remember correctly… but before that is when I learned about everything that happened when Theo got stuck and heard how Adrien perceived the whole birth. It was so crazy to hear how differently we each experienced the whole thing! He was so worried and stressed seeing me in pain and not being able to do anything about it. Compounding that was how worried he was about Theo at the end there, too.
That was the first page of this new chapter and even though it took Adrien a while to come down from the trauma of witnessing it, we’ve been settling into this new routine every day since. Well, we’ve been *trying* to settle into a routine 😉 Newborns aren’t great at routine, in case you didn’t know!
Even though my birth deviated entirely from my original plan, as you can tell, I still have NOTHING but AMAZING things to say about it. It will forever remain one of the most awesome things I’ll ever do. I think if we can be fluid with our intentions, everything becomes more enjoyable. In retrospect I realized that even if I had a home birth, they would have sent me to the hospital anyway 48 hours after my water broke, if not sooner. Theo probably still would have been stuck & that would have required some intervention. So thank GOD all of this happened the way it did! This is one of those times I can honestly say that everything happened for a reason and I’m beyond happy about all of it.
From here, I’ll be documenting this 4th trimester as well. There’s SO much to share and talk about, but I wanted to get this birth story “on paper.” I wanted it for myself to always look back on, but I also know how much I enjoy reading other people’s birth stories so I thought I’d share with you all too.
Some questions you had!
1. Did you poop?!
I have no idea! I may have but no one told me and I didn’t ask, haha! But it’s true what they say– that will be the LAST thing on your mind in the moment!
2. What were the best/worst things your midwife/doula did?
Best was just having her there because I don’t think I would have made it as far as I did without her. Plus, she was a huge comfort for Adrien whose stress probably would have been out of control even more had it not been for her. She was super reassuring and helped me quickly change positions to ones that were more helpful in pain management and conducive to a better delivery. I hesitate to say this was “least” helpful because it didn’t bother me, it just also didn’t matter. She told Adrien to stay quiet rather than talk to me so I could focus. I enjoy his presence so him talking to me didn’t bother me, but it also didn’t bother me that he was quiet.
3. Did you notice the work going on down there after delivery?
Yes, but it wasn’t painful. And to be honest I only noticed because I was HYPER aware of everything even though I had Theo on me. I was in awe of him but also still curious what the doctor was doing! So my attention went in and out between being solely on Theo and also curiously checking out what was going on with me, haha.
4. Do you think the pain of labor is manageable?
I’d be VERY curious to experience birth again without Syntocin/Pitocin just to compare labor pains. I’ve heard women say it’s way worse with, but I’ve also heard some say that wasn’t the case for them. It truly varies woman to woman and we’d all respond differently to that medication, so what’s true for me may differ for you. I’m making the assumption that labor is labor; it’s going to be difficult no matter how you come to it. But my doula told me after the fact that only about 15% of women who are induced end up delivering naturally because usually it becomes too intense with the medication they have to use. So take that for whatever it’s worth! Maybe natural IS more manageable (???) though that certainly won’t mean it’s “easy.”
TO CONCLUDE (FINALLY 😜)
Even though none of the details of my birth happened the way I’d hoped, the FEELING I wanted to capture was 100% there. I felt present and connected and taken care of and respected. And we were ALL healthy and well which is always the ultimate goal, right? All of this combined I think is why I still feel so insanely positive about how it all happened.
Over to you! Thank you so much for sticking around and reading! <3 Feel free to drop questions in the comments & I’ll come back to answer 🙂