If I had to describe my unhindered, unassisted homebirth in one word, it would be trust.
Being only 23 years old, there wasn’t a lot that I trusted in at the time. I was born and raised in an extremely religious home that taught me to feel guilty and ashamed of my body and didn’t celebrate my womanhood in any way.
In fact, I didn’t even have words for my parts until I read about them in a science textbook when I was 16.
Immediately after high school, I left my family and life, as I had known it since I was born and moved 1,300 miles away to find myself.
Eventually, I entered college to become an OB/GYN. As a pre-med student, I had been paired with an anesthesiologist who showed me enough cesarean births to make me realize that if I ever had a kid, I wouldn’t want the birth to go anything like that.
Then, I got pregnant and everything changed.
I read every book I could get my hands on. I signed up to take Bradley Method childbirth classes because that was all that was offered at the time to prepare for a natural birth.
2 classes into the 12-week series, I decided that there was no reason to have my baby at a hospital at all and that I was going to do what I needed to have a homebirth.
By the time 37 weeks rolled around and I found out that my baby was indeed in a vertex position, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that having him at home unhindered was the way he was meant to get here.
Through my preparations for childbirth, I had gained complete trust in my body’s ability to birth a baby unhindered. Tweet that
Having gained a good bit of weight, by the time I reached 39 weeks I was getting extremely uncomfortable in my own skin and having a hard time sleeping or doing anything.
In fact, at 9:00pm the night before his due date, I said to my partner at the time that I wasn’t sure what I would do if the baby didn’t come within the next day or two because of how uncomfortable I was.
Fortunately, at 12:00am on his due date, I awoke to pool of water gushing out underneath me.
Awakening to my water breaking sent me into I’m-so-scared-of-what’s-about-to-happen-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself mode.
The entire pregnancy, I had felt no Braxton hick’s contractions or any contractions at all. I had never felt menstrual cramps before so I had no idea what contractions would feel like or how I would react to them.
Although I was scared to death, I had complete trust in the process and knew that all would be ok.
Thankfully, the universe graced me with time to prepare. For two hours I felt like I had bad gas cramps…so I took a hot bath and relaxed a while to see what would happen.
About 2:00 in the morning, I started to feel the first few contractions. And surprisingly, they weren’t mild or moderate like I thought they would be. They were intense, strong, and knocked me out from the start.
Within 15 minutes, I had gone from feeling ‘uneasy’ to ‘labor-land’. I crawled out of the bathtub, had my partner set up a chux pad on the living room floor and tried a few positions to see what felt best in the moment.
I lay naked on the floor on my right side with a pillow between my legs and my arm moving rhythmically with each contraction – pushing the energy away from my body and back into the Earth.
About an hour later, I told my partner it was probably the real thing and that he needed to call someone to come help me – I didn’t want to be touched by him, but I wanted another woman with me that didn’t need me to direct her in what was ok to do and not to do.
So he called our Bradley teacher to come help out. She arrived within an hour around 4:00am. When she arrived, I was so lost in labor land that I hardly recognized she had even arrived.
She took my hands, squeezed them as hard as she could during the contractions to counter the intensity as I moved onto my hands and knees. By 4:15, it had appeared to my teacher-turned-doula that my body was pushing my baby out even though I couldn’t tell if I was pushing or not.
At 4:20, my partner could see our baby’s head and knew it was time to get ready to catch him.
By 4:30, his head was out and we only needed one more contraction to get the job done. Those 3.5 minutes were the longest minutes of our lives…
During that time, my partner told me about how his head was turning on its own and that my body was doing exactly what it needed to and that I had nothing to worry about.
With the next contraction at 4:34, his body slid out of me and into my partners’ hands. Immediately, I turned over from my hands and knees to sit down and see him.
My little boy with stark white hair was placed in my arms and all was well. Warm blankets and sheets were placed over the 2 of us as I sat there in awe and amazement that we had done it.
About 30 minutes later, my placenta hadn’t come out yet so I passed the baby to my partner, got up and walked to the bathtub. There, I pushed out my placenta within about 15 minutes and cleaned up.
By 5:30am, I was ready to get in bed and get some sleep with my baby on top of my belly instead of inside. And that’s exactly what I did after feeding him for a little while.
At 8:30am, I informed my family that I had birthed my baby a few hours ago and that they could come see him.
Having Vincent was such an amazing experience that it didn’t take me long to realize how invaluable having my teacher-turned-doula come to help was.
From then on, I realized that when the time was right, I was going to dedicate my life to helping other women in the capacity of a doula as well. And she realized that when the time was right, she was going to dedicate her life to serving mothers as a midwife.
It was a win-win for everyone involved: my son was born in utter peace and joy, I, for the first time in my adult life, was forced to connect to my body and start reconnecting to myself and learning to love myself, my partner got to catch him and cut his cord, and my teacher-turned-doula became a midwife 2 years later.
After the birth of my second baby, when Vincent was about 3 years old, I decided that it was finally time to take the steps to realize my dream of becoming a doula or possibly even a midwife at some point.
Starting in a local birth center, I took on about 30 doula clients within my first year of practice and soon realized that I had a bigger message to share that I wanted to take online.
I got super interested in all things postpartum care and saw a true deficiency in how we care for and treat postpartum women so I signed up for Marie Forleo’s B-school to help take my message online and get in front of more women.
Since completing B-school, my business has morphed from serving strictly pregnant women as a doula and childbirth educator to serving them all the way through menopause and in such a greater capacity.
Since taking my business online, I’ve been inspired to become a postpartum sex, love, and relationship coach, and to start selling jade eggs and teaching women how to use them to help support them in their postpartum healing and care.
It’s truly been a journey that I wouldn’t have ever taken had it not been for B-school and realizing that my message and services weren’t limited to the town that I live in – that both could go world-wide and serve so many more women.
I’m so thankful that Debra introduced me to B-school and showed me the opportunities that lie ahead simply by saying, “YES”!