Amy's Birth Story!
I am really excited to not only be writing again, but to share the amazing story of my son's birth! I want to start by saying that I have had three children and three totally different births. I have a tremendous amount of respect for every woman that has given birth in whatever way their birth took place. I think a healthy baby and mother is the only goal. My desire is to share my birth as it was a magical - totally life changing - never forgetting moment in my life.
Where do I begin?! I think I should start off by saying it's in my nature to give a proper back story in order to paint the full picture!! I feel its important so everyone can fully understand where I was coming from and where I ended up. It's all apart of the birthing story, right?! That said, beware this is a lengthy post! But if you want a full experience with anything in life you cant skim the surface, you have to dive deep to appreciate each adventure life has to offer. So...without further adieu... here it goes!
I had my first two children in my mid-twenties, relatively close to one another. A decade later, I now have my third. My kids are the light of my life, my sun and moon, my entire world. Each birth was unique, special and completely different from one another. When I had my son I was 25 and his birth was very clinical. I had a doctor. I was induced. I had an epidural...episiotomy...the whole nine yards. I had my daughter 18 months later. I was 26 at the time. Her birth was not as clinical. I had a midwife. It was a much more intimate birth and delivery, however I still received pain medication.
Fast forward eight years down the road and I was remarried to the absolute love of my life, Carl. What's funny is that when I met Carl he told me that he never wanted to get married and never wanted to have children. It was perfect because I was also in the same boat. I had been there done that and didn't plan to do it again. At some point while we were dating he told me that he had changed his mind and that he did in fact want to get married. Without hesitation, I knew I wanted to marry him as well. Sometime later he told me that he did want to have a child. At that time I was not in the same place. I told him that he deserved to have a child if that was what he wanted, but I had passed that point in my life. I told him that he should have that even if it wasn't with me. He then told me that he would only want to raise a child with me or not at all. And so...we decided to continue dating but not to have children. Soon after, something shifted in me and I can't tell you what, but I decided that I did in fact want to have a child with him. We started trying to conceive not long after we got engaged and to our surprise we had a very difficult time getting pregnant. Finally, after about eight months, we did get pregnant only to suffer a miscarriage. We continued to try to get pregnant for close to a year and a half with no luck. I was finally ready to move on and give up on getting pregnant. The month we "stopped trying" to get pregnant was the month we conceived.
So there I was, pregnant! For those of you that read my post about my seven year, I found out a week after my birthday that I was pregnant. So that answered the question about what was in store for my eight year! I had a very easy pregnancy without any complications. I knew that I wanted to try for a natural birth. I figured this would be my last pregnancy and I wanted to go for it. I definitely questioned this decision as time went on. I also figured since it was my third baby he would just kind of slide out!! My second baby was a pretty fast, short 'easy' birth...so I assumed number three would be a piece of cake. Boy was I in for a surprise...
I hired a doula (who was beyond incredible, but I will get into that later). A difficult decision was whether or not to have the baby at home or at the hospital. It was a very challenging decision for me, but like I said, the end goal was the health of me and my baby. The birth was an absolute miracle and I have never come close to experiencing anything like it. I am tearing up as I write just thinking about it. It is hard to say I regret anything because I don't, but I will say I might have reconsidered the hospital decision. I hate to admit that part of my decision to give birth in the hospital was fear based. I had a dear friend whom recently had a home birth. I remember watching her get ready for the birth and it was a lot of preparation. We were planning on doing an addition on our house and I was not sure where we would be with construction during the time of birth. That was a source of stress for me. I was working full time and in fact had just started another 200 hour teacher training. The mere thought of a home birth with all that going on overwhelmed me! And truth be told, I thought I would be "safe" in the hospital. I was 37 and felt like the hospital would be a better place just in case something went wrong with me or the baby. And to be more candid, I did consider a birthing center. I chose not to do it there because of insurance reasons and I hate to say this but...I knew if shit really went down I wouldn't be able to get an epidural if I needed/wanted one! Ugh, there I said it! I think that was also a hidden fear about doing it at home. Throughout my pregnancy I definitely wavered between thinking "yes I can do this" and "no I won't be able to".
>> I never understood why women had home births until this pregnancy. I could write an entire post on this alone but I guess I thought women did it for different reasons. Now, I understand. Although my birth was amazing and everyone at the hospital was amazing, if I were to do it again I would do it at home or at the birthing center.
So, we were set to have the baby at the hospital. I did plan to do it in the newer low intervention rooms. I felt like it was the best of both worlds. I could have my natural birth but also have the 'safety net' of the hospital. The low intervention rooms are stocked with birthing balls, a bath tub and other useful tools for natural childbirth. Plus, I had my amazing doula and midwives. Prior to the birth Christi, our doula, gave us some private birthing classes at home. She encouraged me to make an alter for the baby. She gave me lots of books, CDs, DVDs, and so much other great information. Therefore, I felt prepared. I felt supported by my husband, my doula and the midwives.
Remember when I said the bit about expecting the third birth to be a cake walk?? Well, a few weeks before my due date one of the midwives told me that third babies (pregnancies) don't always follow the same pattern as the first two. Um...come again?! What did she say?! What did this mean? The fear definitely crept in and I started asking around about what this meant. I didn't get many answers. I thought it had to do with his timing. Like maybe him coming early or later then his due date.
Our baby was due on March 17, which was a Friday. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the last third of my pregnancy. They never hurt, I could just feel my uterus tightening up and as soon as I would change activities or hydrate they would stop. The few weeks prior to his due date my contractions were definitely turning more into what felt like a period cramp. The week before he was due they were definitely getting stronger. However there was never any consistent pattern.
At my 39 week checkup I declined having a pelvic exam or having them 'check' me to see wether or not I was dilated. My midwife did say they would definitely check me the following week and 'sweep my membranes' if I chose. I really debated on whether or not to have the "membrane sweep". I had this done when I was pregnant with my daughter and it sent me right into labor. They would do this at my next and last scheduled appointment which was on Tuesday, March 13th and the baby was not due until that Friday (the 17th). I talked to my doula and she supported my decision either way. She did want me to understand that she felt strongly that this would most likely send me into labor since that is what happened with my second child. She wanted me to make sure I was "ready". This is where there is a big difference (for me) in having a natural birth verses knowing you can go to the hospital and have an epidural or receive pain meds. Was I ready for natural child birth at this point? No, I wasn't. Would I have done it knowing I could go in and get an epidural...yes I probably would have. I was concerned about going past my due date, mostly because I didn't want to have a huge baby! Also, because (more truth be told) I was attached to him being a Pisces and his due date was cutting it close! I ended up choosing not to have them do the 'membrane sweep'. After talking to my doula I decided to try to allow my body to go into labor on its own. This was a big exercise in trust and letting go. I was induced with my first son. With my daughter I had my membranes separated and drank castor oil. I was curious to see if my body would do what it was supposed to do on its own this time, without me interfering in anyway.
Carl and I went to my last scheduled appointment on Tuesday, March 13th. They did check me, however, they did not do the membrane sweep. I was 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. That night I was having more contractions but there was no pattern, they were just getting stronger. Carl and I played Monopoly with my 10 and 11 year old. The kids were so excited they started timing my contractions and writing them down. They were also feeding me dates in an effort to soften my cervix!! They thought for sure a baby was coming that night. Carl made me pack my bag, which I was annoyed about at the time, but it ended up being a good thing!
I did not get much sleep that night. I slept until about 4am and was woken by the pain of contractions. Again, no pattern but the intensity was there. Around 3pm that afternoon (Wednesday) I lost my mucus plug. I was so excited because to me it meant several things. For starters, my body and my pre-labor were progressing. All of those contractions had made my cervix shift or thin out enough to release the mucus plug! I was also excited because I had never had this happen before! It was really cool to experience my body doing what it was supposed to do and especially on its own!
>> I went on the day and night about the same. We went to dinner with the kids and a friend. I was pretty uncomfortable during dinner because of how strong my contractions were getting. However, they were not any closer together and there was still no pattern (which means no labor yet!) We had to stop by the grocery store on the way home. Carl went inside. I was so uncomfortable because of how tight my pants were in combination with how strong the contractions were. I honestly took my pants off right there in the car in the publix parking lot because I was so uncomfortable.
Since I had not gotten much sleep the night before, Christi suggested I drink a glass of wine and take two Tylenol PM's so that I could get some sleep. Again, no judgment to those that did or do, but I had not had a sip of alcohol or taken anything as far as medications go during my entire pregnancy. So as nice as the sleep sounded I guess I wasn't desperate enough.
We went to sleep that night and I woke up at 11pm with much more intense contractions. To the point where I wasn't able to sleep through them anymore. I got up and went downstairs. I tried to clean the house a little. I bounced on my birthing ball...went to the bathroom...the contractions didn't stop. I finally woke Carl up after about an hour. And this is what we did for the next 5 hours or so. I would try to lay down in between contractions and then I would have to jump up and get on all fours to breathe through the next one. Carl would rub my back. Rock with me. We would slow dance. Whatever it took. Finally, at about 6am my contractions were coming closer and stronger and they seemed to have a pattern. So we called our doula and headed to the hospital.
Despite my instinct to cut to the chase, I think it's necessary to tell this part of the story. Mostly because it was so darn funny! As we drove up to the hospital, Carl pulled down one of the aisles to park. I was wondering why he chose this aisle considering there were about five aisles closer to where we were trying to go. However, I kept my mouth shut. We drove down the aisle, all the way to the end and Carl proceeded to take a right (keep in mind that this aisle is at the opppisite end as the emergency room entrance which was where we were going and you have a woman in labor in the car) not realizing Flagler had put a median there. I was annoyed but did not say anything. So he proceeded to reverse down the entire aisle, that we had just come down, and then turned the car around (still heading the wrong direction). I thought he had seen the light and was going to turn to head towards the emergency room. No, he turns the opposite way and started to head out the same way we had just come in. As in pulling out of or leaving the hospital. I had kept my mouth shut until this point and finally said, "Where are you going?" He said he was going to the emergency room. I pointed behind us (across the parking lot) and said, "Do you not see that huge f**king sign back there that says emergency?!" So he put the car in reverse again, backed up again and started to head towards the emergency entrance. I was thinking, finally....here we go.
Our instructions were to meet our doula in the parking lot by the emergency entrance. We cruised that way and Carl proceeded to pass all of the parking spaces. I was just looking at him and looking at the parking spaces we were passing trying to make sense of what was happening, scratching my head and wondering if this was really happening or if I was just delirious. He kept driving (passing all of the parking spaces by this time) and started to pull up into the emergency 'drop off lane'. I was really trying to be calm and patient but I couldn't help saying something to the degree of, "wtf are you doing, where the f*ck are you going? we park back there!" So sure enough he reversed again and we eventually found a parking space. We then saw Christi standing in disbelief witnessing Carl doing circles around the parking lot in the dark. Christi made her way up to our car window and I am sure was wondering what the heck was going on. We were both dying laughing at this point. I don't think we looked like a couple in labor. However, we were almost in tears laughing so hard at Carl's trip around the parking lot. *This would have been a good reason for the hospital tour...which we did not do. *
I feel that I need to mention this was the first time in March that I can remember where we had 40 degree weather! As fun as the parking lot was, it was time to head in. Christi, Carl and I head into the hospital. In all the laughing and transitioning to the car/hospital I had failed to notice that my contractions had slowed in intensity and were not as close together. I was able to walk and talk and pretty much breathe through them somewhat effortlessly. This was not the case when we left the house. We made our way up to triage and waited for them to check me. I was only 3 1/2cm?! That was a big moment of discouragement for me. They will not let you into the low intervention room unless you are at least 6 or 7cm. The midwife said I could either walk the hospital for an hour or go home. We chose to go home. The nurse that checked me said, "You are definitely in active labor, we will see you this afternoon."
We went home to try to get some sleep and of course to continue laboring. I was sure we would be back that afternoon. Once we were home we did take a short nap. I was woken again due to the pain of the contractions. The pattern had stopped, but the intensity had not. The contractions were coming every 5-10 minutes. That would vary. Sometimes 5 minutes sometimes 6-8-10. Carl helped me breathe through them. We went for a walk. We had sex. We walked again. We slow danced. We couldn't walk for too long because it was seriously 40 degrees out. I was starting to get annoyed because I couldn't do anything. We couldn't go anywhere because every 10 minutes or so I would have to get on all fours or some other odd position to breathe through a contraction. I couldn't sleep. It was like I was stuck in this in between place and I was in pain. Yes, okay, I was miserable. I either wanted the labor to stop all together or progress. Even though I was afraid for it to progress because I was already in enough pain as it was. But at that point I would have taken anything other then being stuck in this...whatever it was. Well that is when Christi told me that she thought that I might be in prodromal labor. She said it could last for days. I really don't even know the words to describe how I was feeling. I didn't know what prodromal labor was, but I didn't like the sound of it. I found out after the fact that this is common in third pregnancies. Again, now they tell me this?! When I am 18 hours in!!?! They say prodromal labor acts like real labor and in many ways is real labor except it doesn't result in the birth of your baby. WTF right? They say the contractions will get stronger then fizzle. Mine never really fizzled, but they never went longer then 10 minutes apart. They would get closer and stronger but then they would go back to 10 minutes. So they did not 'fizzle' they just didn't progress.
Needless to say I was incredibly defeated at this point. Carl and I were trying to watch a movie on the couch. I would jump up every 5-6-7-8-10 minutes to breathe through a contraction. Christi sent us some exercises to help get the baby to shift positions. We tried the exercises...no luck. Finally, I needed to be alone so I went upstairs and took a bath. I lit candles, I listened to birth affirmations, I read sweet letters from my friends that came to my Blessing Way, I rocked in the bath, I meditated...you name it. I was in there for an hour or two and it felt great. Well, I wouldn't say great but it was a manageable way for me to deal with the indescribable pain. But after an hour or two I had had enough. I went and laid down on my bed and I started to cry. I was out of things to do. Ways to breathe. Walking felt good but it was too cold outside. By this time we had made our way into early evening on Thursday night I called Christi because again I was incredibly discouraged. Worry and fear definitely started to set in. I started to worry that something was wrong I started to worry that not only would I not have my natural childbirth but that I might end up with a C-section. I started to worry that something was wrong and I started to have anxiety and wanted someone to check on the baby. It was at this point that Christi suggested the glass of wine and Tylenol PMs again. This time I took her up on the offer. I am not proud to admit that, but you have to understand at this point I would have agreed to a C-section if it was offered to me. I just wanted it to end.
We went to the grocery store (I couldn't go in) and Carl bought a bottle of red wine and some Tylenol PM. I never drink red wine but I was trying to think of what would knock me out! So we came home, I poured a nice glass of red wine and took my two Tylenol PM's. I will be honest...it tasted so good! However, I would still have to hop up off the couch to breathe through contractions as they came. And then I would go back and sit on the couch and enjoy my wine. We went to bed and I was once again woken up two hours later by my contractions. This time I was pissed. I was not sad, there was no crying...I was mad.
I text Christi and was basically waiving my white flag. I was done. I will say it was more of a mental challenge than anything else at this point. I seriously couldn't take anymore of this. I just wanted to go to the hospital and have somebody cut the baby out of me. This was when Christi came over to my house. It was definitely a game changer when she arrived. Christie got on the bed with me and literally started to rub my feet with essential oils. She sent Carl to my older sons room so that he could get a break and get some sleep. Christie sat with me all night long. As soon as I felt her start massaging my feet my entire energy and mood shifted. It went from thinking that I couldn't do this to thinking that I could. Her presence was so calming and so comforting, but also empowering. We went on like this through the night. We would get up to breathe through a contraction together, and then I would lay back down to try to get some sleep. She would rub my feet...massage my back...my belly, whatever needed it. I was pretty out of it by this point I had lost the ability to communicate for the most part. We just continued through the night breathing through the contractions. Christie was timing the contractions, thank God, because I had lost all sense of time and all sense of everything really. I had gone so deep within just to be able to breathe through each contraction as they came, trying to take them one contraction a time, and trying to get as much rest as I could in between. I guess we made our way into pretty active labor because finally Christi told me it was time to go to the hospital.
She woke Carl up and started to prepare for round two of heading to the hospital. Christi kept asking me questions like did I want to bring a dress to wear instead of a gown for coverage, or did I want underwear with full coverage instead of a thong...at that point I didn't care. I didn't care about any of it that. I didn't even take the time to put my contacts in. I was wearing my thick, coke bottle glasses that I would typically never leave the house in. I didn't care. I couldn't manage putting my contacts in. I had not seen Carl in a couple hours since he had been getting some rest while Christi stayed up with me. I got dressed to go to the hospital and finally made it downstairs where I saw Carl. I burst into tears. So many emotions! I am madly in love with my husband and although it only been a few hours, I missed him. Plus it was so real!! We were going to the hospital and I was pretty sure this time we were actually going to have a baby. Getting into the car was definitely different this time. I was on my knees facing backwards and had pillows in between myself and the seat. I had my arms wrapped around the front seat. We made our way to the hospital and this time Carl went right where he was supposed to go. I guess the trial run from 24 hours earlier had served it's purpose! We started to make our way up to the labor and delivery floor. It seemed like it took a year to get there, but after asking Christi she said it actually only took around 10 minutes. It probably felt so long because we had to stop pretty often so that I could breathe through a contraction!
We got into triage at about 6:45am. They came to check me and I was 6 1/2 to 7 cm. This was great news because I could go into the low intervention room. However, it was also crazy to think that in 24 hours I had only dilated 3 to 3 1/2 cm. The midwife that came in was named Amy, too! Oddly enough, she was one of the midwives that I was not as close to during my pregnancy, but I was too deep into labor land to care at the time. Never the less, I will say she ended up being absolutely amazing. She was so hands off. She came in and saw that Christi, Carl and I had our own thing going on and she basically just left us alone. She got us into the low intervention room and I heard her asking Christie what oils I wanted in the room. She was definitely trying to make me feel as comfortable as possible. Needless to say, we made our way into the birthing room around 7:30am. The birthing room and the staff were great and everyone was so accommodating and doing whatever they could to make me comfortable (although this was obviously not possible!)
I continued to labor for a few hours. I would switch between laying down and sitting up. The birthing ball did not feel good. Sitting did not really feel good. Laying down felt great until I would have a contraction and then I would have to sit up. I would slow dance with Carl as we had the pervious two nights. I finally found my way into a seated position where I sat for what I am pretty sure was a few hours. I went deep! I was in this completely meditative state. I was past the point of being able to communicate. After the fact my husband mentioned that he was surprised I did not cuss more. Those that know me know that I tend to have a little bit of a potty mouth. I was past the point of cussing. I was past the point of communicating. I was past the point of being able to do anything other than just go in and go deep. I don't really have any other words to describe it. I guess there are some things that we experience that we really can't describe. This was one of them for me. I was just breathing in and breathing out. That was it. Nothing else in the world existed other then that. Breathing out felt good and I would imagine my baby dropping further towards the birth canal. Breathing in hurt like hell but I knew I had to do it in order for my body to open up.
When Christi gave us our birthing classes she taught me about tonal noises. I learned that your cervix is connected to your throat. And in order for your cervix to open up you have to relax the throat. Deep sounds like O's and M's kind of like an 'OM' are what helps the cervix to open up. If you get high pitched and tense up then that is when you tighten up and the cervix does not want to open. When Christi told me this I thought there is no way I would ever be able to make those noises in front of other people. Well, at that point in labor I didn't care at all! You want to talk about zero fucks?! I was making every kind of noise you can imagine...deep tonal OM's, and moans and groans and grunts...whatever it took. I was in the zone and that's where I stayed. That was my home.
The midwife came in and suggested that I get up to use the bathroom. I said, "Nope. No thanks, I'm good. I'm just gonna sit right where I am, thank you very much." Any kind of movement...standing up or sitting down...changing positions that's when the pain intensified so there is no way I was going anywhere. I was staying right where I was...breathing in and breathing out. They left me there for another idk maybe 20-30 mins? Could have been hours, who knows!?! But the midwife came back and this time insisted that I get up and go to the bathroom. So I got up to attempt to walk to the bathroom. Carl was helping me. About half way to the bathroom I had a major contraction that I had to stop to breathe through...and then my water broke! I had never had this happen before either! Funny enough I had lost my coke bottle glasses somewhere along the way so I couldn't really see but I heard two loud splashes and then Christi's excited voice saying, "Your water broke!" The next voice was someone telling me that I still needed to finish the walk to the bathroom. I was thinking someone has got to be kidding me. There were people putting big hospital pads underneath me in between my legs to soak up the water that was on the hospital floor. Was I really going to walk all the way to the bathroom and deal with sitting down and standing up?! No way...I am just going to pee right there where I was. And so I did. Right there in the middle of the low intervention birthing room on the hospital floor. Again, zero fucks which is not like me! Not to mention my entire ass was hanging out the back of my gown. I didn't care. I didn't care about any of it.
hristi warned me that my next contraction would be stronger now that my water broke. OH MY GOD, she was not kidding. All I can think of is the combination between a jackhammer and Big Ben. The force was as strong as a jackhammer pressing down into my cervix and the sound from inside was as loud as the worlds largest bell ringing inside my body! It felt like my knees were going to give out because the force was so strong like someone was pushing me from above as hard as they could. This was my body?! Isn't that wild!? Your contractions are as strong as your body. This was my body doing what it was supposed to do to get this baby out. Is that wild or what?! The first contraction that came after my water broke I screamed. I couldn't help it. I was trying to stay low and stay calm...not get high pitched and tense up. It was basically impossible. The pain was surreal. Like nothing I can even begin to explain (other then my jackhammer/Big Ben attempt) and I was screaming completely involuntarily. It was like my body had a mind of its own. I couldn't control it. It was doing its own thing and my mind was elsewhere, but somehow I was focused and observing everything that was happening.
I finally managed to say, "What's the best position to start pushing"? Everyone has always said it feels good to start pushing. Well that's not true, but I was going for it. I had no clue how dilated I was. I had no clue if I was supposed to start pushing, but I didn't care. I was going to start pushing because I needed this to be over. I would like to say it was because I was so ready to meet my baby, but I wasn't even thinking about that at this point. There was definitely a disconnect and all I was thinking was that I just needed this to be over. I made my way onto the bed. I was on my knees and they moved the bed into an upright position so I was able to hang my arms over the top of the bed. Here comes another contraction...and another scream. Oh my god. Again no words. It was more intense than the last. I tried to push and I could feel there was literally no way this baby was coming out. I would push and I could literally feel the baby and I could feel my pelvis and I could feel things not moving because he just wouldn't fit. It felt like trying to push a brick wall. I screamed again and bucked up like a horse or a rhinoceros. I realize rhinoceros don't buck but that's the image that came into my head. I went to push again and I said, "I can't do this." I was seriously worried that I was going to end up with a C section. That my baby was stuck. I was happy they checked him in between contractions. They put the monitor on and I heard the baby's heart beat loud and clear. He was okay. He was strong. And so I pushed again. I think I pushed 3 times. It's hard to remember exactly, but I did confirm with Christi and she said I pushed for 15-20 mins because the contractions slowed down to 5 mins apart so that makes sense that I pushed three times. And so I pushed again and what's weird is the contraction would start and I would push and nothing would happen. And then as the pain dissipated I would stop pushing and then I would feel my body push without me and I could feel him move and travel further down the birth canal. The next thing I new the midwife said, "Reach down and grab your baby." I said, "What?!" She said again, "Reach down and grab your baby." I still didn't understand. I think maybe Carl and Christi both said, "Reach down!" and so I did. I reached down in between my legs and there he was. My baby. I grabbed him and pulled him up to my chest. I flipped over so I could sit down and look at him. There he was. My baby. He was perfect. He was beautiful.
So much of those 36 hours are blurry and unclear. I had to confirm times and days with Carl and Christi to write this story. But one thing I will never ever forget is seeing my baby for the first time. I involuntarily burst into tears and was literally sobbing tears of joy. My baby had arrived. At 10:45am, after 36 hours of labor, all 8 pounds of my baby arrived!! And he was perfect and I was perfect. My birth was perfect.
>> I will never be able to express my gratitude to Christi and to my husband, Carl. Christi was beyond amazing. She was everything I needed her to be. She never gave up. She never doubted me or the process. She was a saint. The woman laid with me all night and massaged my feet for petes sake! I cannot say enough about this woman and my gratitude for her. There is no doubt that she truly loves what she does. I think it is her passion that makes her so incredible. Carl was my rock. He never left my side. He reminded me to breathe. He reminded me to stay low. He would make the sounds and I would just copy him. I have always known how lucky I am to have him, yet somehow I was even surprised by how well he showed up for this birth. I would never doubt him, but I was amazed at how awesome he was during those 36 hours. He took the best care of me. He was with me every single step of the way. He never gave up. He wasn't grumpy. He never complained (even after confessing the following day that when my water broke, it was all over his feet...not to mention the urine.) He was everything that I needed him to be and more. I could not have done it without the two of them. We were a team. The best team. Amy and the staff at the hospital were amazing as well. I am thrilled to be able to say that I had the birth I was hoping to have.
What I learned is this: The day he was born one of my friends asked me if it was as painful as I thought it would be. The answer was that is was so much worse then anything I could have imagined. But I did it. It is doable. What I learned is that women's bodies are made to birth babies and the birth process and all of it is fascinating and amazing! I witnessed my body doing everything it was supposed to do. I didn't interfere in anyway and it did it on its own. Our bodies are made with every single hormone and tool that we need to have a natural birth. Oxytocin is a hormone that our bodies produce. It is known as the love hormone! It is the same hormone that is released when we breast-feed, when we make love, when we kiss and when we give birth. Oxytocin is what makes contractions happen. It makes you feel good and it causes your brain to release morphine like endorphins. If you can stay calm and stay happy during childbirth the oxytocin will continue to flow. If you start to tense up and fear starts to set in, your body will start to release adrenaline. If your body starts to produce adrenaline it stops the production and/or release of oxytocin.
Our bodies can do it, if we allow it too. Our bodies were made to do it. It's a matter of staying calm in the storm...which is really just yoga. Right?