Well before I even met my spouse I had a fascination with pregnancy and birth. I became a Licensed Massage Therapist in 2008 and a couple years later I took Elaine Stillerman’s MotherMassage course for certification in Prenatal and Postpartum massage.
I remember the whole class snickered at first at the concept that birth could be orgasmic, but I admit my ears perked up. I was already frustrated by how medicalized birth had become in the US but I had been so programmed that birth was painful and dangerous. This was the start of beginning to unlearn, or deprogram from that mindset.
Around 5:30am I got up to walk around and the waves didn’t die down and were becoming more regular so I figured it was time to call my Midwife. We agreed it was too early for her to come and that I should reconnect in a couple hours or if I couldn’t talk through the waves. Momentarily, I began getting bloody show so I decided to wake my husband, Tim, up and give the doula a head’s up that it might be baby’s birthday!
By 7am the waves picked up enough that I had to concentrate and move through them and I could no longer talk. The doula was on her way and the Midwife had me start timing them again. I had Tim time so I could focus. By 8am they were coming every 2-3 minutes and lasting for a minute consistently. The Midwife agreed it was time to head over.
In what felt like only minutes later, my body started gently pushing with the waves. Since it was gentle I didn’t say anything at first, assuming I was still just dilating. But as it continued I mentioned it to the Midwife. To my surprise she said that was fine, that I was doing a great job listening to my body.
The thing I loved the most about my team is how hands-off they were, especially during pushing. They continued to make sure my and the baby’s vitals were good, but it was unobtrusive for the most part. Since my eyes were closed so often, I truly forgot there was anyone in the room other than me and Tim. Occasionally my eyes would open and I would be surprised to see that everyone was still there, watching over me silently. I trusted my body and they trusted my body. It was intense but I felt confident. That said, I still didn’t believe it was happening. Honestly, until her head was out I was in denial that I was having a baby that day.
It took a while for that head to come out, though. I was having involuntary pushes, so I went with that and only beared down a little. I also still didn’t even believe I was fully dilated so soon so I didn’t want to force anything. While squatting on my climbing holds I reached down to feel what was happening and I could feel her water sack inside me, it was really exciting!! A couple more pushes later and it popped, with a big gush onto the chux pads below me. I stood up and more came out. Then I checked myself again and exclaimed that I could feel her head, and it was covered in hair!! This was one of the most exciting times for me and really helped motive me.
The squatting was getting tiring and the team could see that so they suggested alternatives, including the pool which I had completely forgotten about. To be fair, while I knew I wanted the pool to help while I was dilating, I wasn’t sure I wanted to birth in it. But in the moment, it seemed like the best idea ever and when I got in that was confirmed. I now had a bunch of space to move and sway in all sorts of ways and the pressure on my back from all the squatting and hands and knees felt a bit better.
Eight months after Violet’s birth, Tim and I decided to start trying for another baby and we became pregnant immediately. Unfortunately, that baby had chromosomal abnormalities that meant he either would not live until birth or would live a shortened life with ongoing medical issues. It was a heartbreaking time and after a lot of research and thought we made the devastating decision to end the pregnancy at 14 weeks. We felt this was the most humane choice for our family. We took his pain so he could find peace. This was our second loss, as we had a spontaneous miscarriage before Violet. I’m now 33 weeks into a subsequent healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy after loss is complex and can be frightening to navigate. I’ve once again surrounded myself with positive birthing resources such as Orgasmic Birth to remind me that I can bring this boy into the world safely and peacefully. Every birth is unique and I am so excited to welcome my son to the world in a few short weeks!
Thank you to our amazing birth story contributor, Rebecca. We are so grateful that you have shared your incredible birth, strength, loss and love with us. We are wishing you a beautiful, safe, sexy upcoming birth.
If you are reading this and have experienced a pregnancy loss of any kind, we send you our love as well. Below are some resources we recommend for unexpected outcomes.