I am so excited to be sharing my birth stories with you today. Each birth has a different story and helped lead be to become a birth doula serving families.
In Feb of 2010, I gave birth to our first baby boy. I was fearful about birth and knew that I absolutely wanted to have an epidural. To be honest I didn’t even want to feel one contraction! I went to the OB that my Mom and aunts went to and he even delivered me! I trusted in him and in the staff at the hospital that they would take care of us. We took a class at the hospital to prepare for birth. I made it to 40 weeks with flying colors with no sign of labor happening. I was sent for the “stress test or non-stress test” and my amniotic fluid was looking low. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with this pregnancy, so with those two things together they told me they wanted to induce and sent me to L&D. I was actually excited because I was so done being pregnant, just like any woman at 40 weeks and 2 days right!? The pitocin was started and after I felt the first three contractions I was ready for my epidural. After getting the epidural I soon realized that it was not working on the left side of my uterus! I had no idea this was something that could happen! My legs were completely numb along with the right side of my belly but I could still feel everything on the left. They rolled me to my left side to try to get the meds to flow to that side of my body and even talked about taking it out to replace it again but we never did because I just kept thinking the baby would be born soon. I was in that position for most of the 18 hours of labor. Our baby was born vaginally after an episiotomy. There was a lack of communication of what was happening with him after birth. They took him to the NICU and my husband went with him while I was being stitched up. I felt worried, so worried about my baby and wondering what just happened to me! I wasn’t able to see him for quite some time because I couldn’t walk and he had to stay in the NICU. Eventually, my husband came back for me and wheeled me to NICU to see our baby. It seemed like a lifetime until I could walk again after the epidural. I had this scary feeling of wondering if I would ever be able to walk again! Once all the feeling came back I had an intense sore aching feeling on my left hip(due to laying on it the whole labor) that didn’t subside for months after birth. With this, my episiotomy, and trying to navigate how to keep this little person alive and happy, I wondered how and why people would ever want to go through this multiple times! My recovery took longer than normal but not having anything other experiences to compare it to I was sure I would never do this again!
In 2013 I got pregnant again. With this baby, I knew I needed to explore some other options. Knowing that the epidural did not work for me the last time and the fact that I did not like how it made me feel, I started looking into childbirth classes that could help me through labor without the epidural. My husband and I took a Hypnobirthing class together and this made all the difference for both of us! He learned skills and techniques to help me during labor and also helped him to feel more a part of the birth and have a more involved role. He will tell you today that I drug him to the class but he is so glad that he did it! For this birth, I wanted to let labor start on its own and at 40 weeks and 5 days it did! After 4.5 hours our second baby boy was born unmedicated! The first thing I noticed about him was how alert and wide-eyed he was! I labored in a big birthing tub with him but had to get out for the delivery. My husband and sister (not yet a trained doula, but would be the next year) were with me during this birth and I was so grateful for their support. The birth high I felt after this baby was born is something I will never forget. I wanted to scream to the whole world “I just did that!!!” Everything about this experience was so different from the first. My recovery was such a night and day difference it was astonishing! With the birth class, additional research and education it made all the difference.
My last birth was full of emotion for me. I knew this would be my last baby. At this point In time I had completed the Birth doula training through DONA international and had finished the training and certification to teach Hypnobabies childbirth classes while I was 20 weeks pregnant. My husband and I chose to give birth in a birth center this time. As this was something new and different for us, it was not a decision that was taken lightly and had a lot of thought, conversation, education, and prayer that went into it. I found a CNM(certified nurse midwife) that ran her own birthing center and did extensive research and interviewing to choose a care provider. This birth was the fastest with no tearing at all! I credit that to the midwife who coached me through the last three contractions so I didn’t tear. That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically in my life but was totally worth all the effort! It was such a great and amazing experience for all of us. Our midwife even made us breakfast that morning before we went home!