Sara was my first doula mom client and I was looking forward to the birth of her daughter as soon as we first met! She was working towards a totally different experience than the birth of her first daughter and she handled it with beautiful strength and calmness.
Sara, thank you for sharing your daughter’s birth story!
December 07, 2017
“Aubrey has been my calm in the storm. She is such a “good” baby! When I found out I was pregnant with her, we were over the moon excited. I knew that it was going to be a different pregnancy and birth experience from my first. I was prepared to make changes and nourish my body better. I still had weeks upon weeks of morning sickness that had to be controlled with medication, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult as it had been carrying Clara. Fast forward to 37 weeks along with her, and I had the beginnings of a very long birthing journey. I had Braxton-hicks contractions off and on throughout the day, but something was very different. That night (37 weeks exact according to our estimates) I had difficulty coping with contractions that started out of nowhere, around 10 pm. These contractions were 2-3 minutes apart, lasting 45 seconds to 1 minute, and increasingly painful. I would bounce on my birth ball, walk the house in circles, lean over the bed, take a hot shower; I was sure that something was happening and a baby would make her way into the world soon! However, those contractions that hit me like a freight train every 3 minutes came to a screeching halt around 3 am. Nothing. Absolute silence from my muscles that were practicing to get my sweet girl where she needed to be for her birthing journey. My body was just warming up.
I went on to have the same off-and-on labor for 2 weeks before it was finally birthing day. Every night like clockwork, once Clara was asleep (usually around 10) and I would finally lay down to rest, my body would kick into high gear, very active feeling labor. It was intense. It was confusing. On Tuesday, December 5th I called my midwife, Sharon, and told her that I really wasn’t sure what was going on but I wanted to be checked. So she came to my house and checked me. Much to my disappointment, I was only 2cm dilated and had a lot of effacement left to go. I was so discouraged. Especially after so much prodromal labor that was exhausting me. I know that the cervix is not a crystal ball, so that check pretty much meant nothing (women go from 2-10 in a matter of minutes sometimes), but I really, really, REALLY wanted my baby to make her grand entrance soon – for sanity’s sake.
Another night of prodromal labor on Wednesday and I was emotionally done. I had a midwife appointment the next morning and a chiropractor appointment that evening. I walked the curb, I took some evening primrose oil, I drank so much water I thought surely my bladder is going to burst! That night, just 4 hours after a “put-me-into-labor” adjustment by my wonderful chiropractor, Dr. Cooper, contractions started to pick up again. I cried to my husband, “If this isn’t the real deal, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” I cried some more. Jared went to bed (he had to work in the morning), and I went off to labor on my own for a while.
Sharon arrived around 2 and checked me. I remember her amazing words plain as day, “You’re going to have a baby tonight.” She was so calm when she said it and I nearly jumped off the bed I’ve never been so excited and happy knowing that I’m about to endure some intense labor! We started to get things ready – preparing the bed, blowing up the birth pool, calling into the ship to let them know Jared wouldn’t be at work that morning. Things were finally coming to a close; I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!
I labored some more on the bed, just talking and laughing with Jared and Sharon.
I was getting hot and decided that I wanted to go outside and walk for awhile. It was probably 40 degrees and raining, but I didn’t care. The mist felt so good! (I’m pretty sure the rest of my birth team was very reluctant to go outside.)
We made our way back inside and I labored some more in front of the Christmas tree, laying over my birth ball while Jared and my doula, Amber, massaged my back.
I’m not sure when (maybe 4:30 am?) but my contractions spaced out to 10 minutes or more apart and things were calm again.
I was so disappointed that things had slowed down, but also a little relieved because I was falling asleep in between contractions. I decided that Jared and I needed to take a nap and we would just get up when things picked up again. So we were tucked into bed with some music and pillows to help keep me progressing while I slept, and we were able to sleep for about an hour. At that point, I hadn’t had any more contractions but Sharon suggested another check just to see what was happening.
As soon as I sat up in the bed, my water broke!
At that point, I knew things were about to get very real and very intense. I think I remember Sharon saying I was 7-8cm dilated at that point (now 5:30). I got up to try and clean up after my water broke and went to the toilet where I labored for 2-3 contractions before deciding that I could not sit like that anymore. I went to the corner of the bed. Thankfully our bed sits on the floor with just a box spring, so it was the perfect height for me to sit and straddle the corner. I had Jared kneel in front of me so I had something to lean on and melt into, and it worked so well for me. I didn’t want to move.
One contraction hit me and I remember big crocodile tears appearing out of nowhere: Transition. My transition with Clara was intense. It was screaming, and being stuck, and being medicated, and I hated it. This transition was sweet. It was welcomed, encouraged, and so beautiful. I know that sounds crazy, a beautiful transition, but it was. I was in control this time. I knew what was happening. I knew where I was. I was in a safe place and the people surrounding me were friends and family, people I loved, and who loved me and my baby.
I was encouraged to get into the birth pool around 7 when things started to pick up, and I did. The water was relaxing and helped take a lot of pressure off of my body. I labored on my hands and knees as things got intense.
It was suggested at one point to try and sit back on the little seat that the pool had, but I didn’t even make it through a quarter of a contraction like that and was right back to my hands and knees. I leaned over the edge of the pool so that Sharon could check Aubrey with the doppler and things really started to happen. I could feel her descend and knew that it wouldn’t be long before she made her entrance. I kept saying, “I can’t do this.” I knew that it would be over soon but OY, labor was getting harder and harder.
Sharon got right in my face, forehead to forehead, and prayed. Prayed for Aubrey. Prayed for me. Prayed for peace, strength, endurance, and joy. And that was the most amazing gift anyone could have given me at that moment.
Sharon checked me and told me I had a tiny bit of cervical lip that I needed to get past. She asked, “Do you want me to help you have this baby right now?” and I responded with “uh, YEAH!” Not really, that was what my brain was saying. I’m pretty sure my mouth just said “yes.” She held the lip out of the way and in one push, Aubrey’s head was born. One more push and she was completely out. 7:23 am is the moment our sweet Aubrey entered the world.
She was beautiful. So cheesy! And so calm! She looked like a little Buddha baby – so plump and she held her legs and arms in a way that looked so relaxing.
I didn’t tear. I had such a beautiful experience. I was able to do what I wanted to bring my baby into the world. MY bed was where I would recover.
There were no cars involved, no strange places, no doctors and nurses that I didn’t know. I knew where I was (if you know anything about my first birth, you know why this is such a huge thing for me). It was exactly what I had hoped for and what I had needed. I had support. I had loving care surrounding me. I didn’t have to fight anything or ask for the most basic of accommodations. I had physical support – my doula and husband rubbing my back, applying heat, bringing my food and water, filling the birth pool, etc. Emotional and spiritual support – Sharon’s prayer, kind words, knowledge, and the freedom to choose my worship music without wondering if I’m offending someone (I’m a people pleaser).
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
You can view Aubrey’s full birth story below! Be sure to watch with the volume up and in HD!
If you are interested in capturing your little one’s birth story, I would love to chat!