Mya is a sweet friend of mine and I love how she takes what could have been a fearful, scary situation and is able to give birth without fear!
My first birth was in the hospital and was considered low risk and thankfully there were no complications. Since the first went well, when we got pregnant for the second time and it was also low risk, we planned for a birth center delivery then decided shortly after that to have a home birth. We were so excited and prepared as best we could be. We bought all the supplies we needed, showed baby animals being born to our preschooler to help her understand birth a little more and felt good about it all.
Soon you’ll learn that being prepared is a false sense of security. One can never be completely and fully prepared because life is unpredictable, especially in regards to birth. Now hold on! Don’t let that scare you or put more fear into you! Let it be empowering. First, let go of any anxiety now. Let go of your worries, your ‘what if’s’, let go of your preconceived expectation of others. This will make more room for YOU in your own mind, body and spirit to focus on YOU and your sweet little one. I encourage you to learn more about the amazing power of your body and that you CAN do it no matter what happens at the time of birth! Fear is simply a perception we create from experiences that either we have personally had or that others have had and we indirectly place our perception on it. Fear is completely self-made. It doesn’t actually exist.
This was a HUGE first step for me to learn in order to truly empower myself. By educating myself on natural ways to give birth, how the body works and then incorporating my birth goals and talking to my husband and daughter about it helped give me a peace of mind and pushed out a lot of “fears”.
So let’s fast forward to my due date. Nothin! Yup. The day came and went and I was bummed. My oldest came on her due date, so I was convinced both of my kids would come on their due dates, which I realize is extremely rare, but I can wish can’t I?!? Have I mentioned that things never truly go as expected, so I had to let that go! Okay. So I woke up the next day, the day after my due date and felt fine. I had to take my oldest to preschool and did some work from home. I ate lunch around 2:15pm and noticed that while eating my stomach started hurting. Didn’t connect the dots because it simply felt like cramps you get when you eat something that doesn’t settle well and you need to go to the bathroom afterwards (Sorry, TMI? Oh, just wait!) and I was eating a jalapeno topped pizza, so I excused it to that. I went to the bathroom (ended in bm’s), went and picked up my daughter, still cramping, went to Wal*Mart, still cramping, another bathroom trip, and then finally went home, still cramping. I warmed up a corn bag to lay across my lower pelvic area (under my belly) to relieve some of the discomfort and after an hour decided to text my husband. I told him I was cramping and imagined it would continue progressing into contractions at some point, so to finish up what he needed because I didn’t think he would be going to work the next day. You guys! I was still only cramping, but it was now accompanied by pressure in my lower back. I had been sitting on the couch this whole time while my preschooler was asking me to play with her. She was entertaining herself for the most part, but still asked me to play. I explained to her how I was feeling, why I couldn’t get up and play at the time.
Within an hour or so of calling my husband walked and thank goodness! In my mind, I was glad he didn’t stay very long at work. I asked him to rub my lower back while I got on all fours. Only after a few minutes I realized I needed to get up to go to the bathroom to release my bowels. AGAIN! Remember, the TMI thing? Sorry. I’m an open book. I wasn’t feeling anxious or worried, but knew this was going to help relieve some discomfort. I truly went with my body the best I could. I was in the moment, breathing through the cramps, relaxing my muscles with each breath I took. I walked to the bathroom, sat on the toilet and went for the third time that afternoon. Still breathing with my hands on my knees as I sat, I felt a gush come out into the toilet. Not sure what it was at first (I had not experienced my water breaking with my oldest because the hospital broke it-which was completely unnecessary, but that’s another story), so I didn’t realize what was happening. Still hands on knees, feeling like this is hurting more now, but still not worried or anxious. Simply trying my best to relax with each breath during the discomfort from cramping. Until. Until! Not thirty seconds after that gush came a big, very tight contraction. That’s when it got real! I tensed up so much because it caught me completely off guard. I was almost forced to hunch over while sitting on the toilet because it came so fast and was so intense. I knew at that moment that it was a contraction and IT was happening. I called for my husband who was in the kitchen and I could barely catch my breath as the contractions were coming closer and closer together. I still attempted to breath through these intense contractions by relaxing my shoulder and neck muscles as best I could while breathing as natural as I could.
My husband ran upstairs to grab a few of our home-birth supplies. One thing I will tell you is that I didn’t want to tear. I did with my first and that was THE one thing I wanted to avoid. I knew it was possible and that may have caused some very small amount of worry. So I turned that small worry into focus. It kept me focused on breathing and relaxing. My husband had come back downstairs and began to massage me down there as we had previously discussed and he mentioned I needed to get off the toilet because he was massaging her head (we were having another girl). I knew and he knew I wanted to give birth in a squat if possible, so it truly worked out perfectly. Mind you, this was a mere 10 minutes after I had my first contraction. I stood up and stepped out to the right of the toilet, so I could lean on the lid with my left arm and went down straight into a squat. I went down and her head immediately popped out! My preschooler said, “There’s Makayla”! I am literally in birthing mode and talking to my preschooler about birth and how she’s (the baby) coming while I lean against the toilet. No other thoughts running through my head, except we’re having a baby. My husband moves the cord (he still can’t tell me why he did, he doesn’t know) and my body contracted one last time that made her literally slide out and into my arms. There she was. Just like that. My thoughts were on me and baby. Not if I tore or how bummed I was that I couldn’t use the birthing tub. None of that bothered me. Are you kidding me? We just had a baby together as a family. She came so fast that there was literally no time to be worried, scared or anxious! It was WONDERFUL!!!
So many times we let the anticipation get into our heads and work us up, but if we stay in the moment and focus on our muscles and breathing then the timeline doesn’t matter anymore. Yes, my birth was fast, but I believe that even in the stages before contracting, I could have started worrying and playing scenarios in my head of ‘what if’s’, but I didn’t. I went with it and did what I had been practicing during my pregnancy, so that when the time came, I didn’t feel lost. My mindset was right and my body was already being prepared in a variety of ways prior to this day. Stretches, healthy foods, water, supplements, and personal birth education, everything together helped me feel empowered and ABLE! You’ve probably realized by now that we had our baby in the bathroom with no professional there with us. Well. You’re right. It was just us. And it was AMAZING!!!
After the baby came, my husband went to get his phone and called the midwife. I was sitting on the floor with the baby and asked my husband to take some pictures, after thought ya know, so it could be somewhat documented, haha. And there we sat waiting for our midwife. I had the baby on my stomach doing skin to skin with shirt pulled up because I was clothed still (minus my shorts) and we bonded. Although this birth was nothing that I expected or anticipated, I would do it all over again. It was beautiful to have a child at home with my family. Just us. We didn’t plan to have an unassisted home birth, but now I wonder why people don’t do it! It was an experience that’s often too hard to truly explain. Taking care of my mind, my body and being open to what life throws at me, I believe is what made this such a wonderful experience. So I encourage you. Focus on YOU, because darling, you are more capable than you even know!
Hi there! I hope you enjoyed my story! It’s always so much fun to tell. I wanted to mention a little more about who I am. I currently live and have lived in Utah since 2012 with my husband and two girls, but grew up in Southern California. By trade, I am a special education teacher, but have been home ever since having our youngest, our home baby. Now my passion is for my current job working from home. I share health, hope and happiness with a company called Plexus. It has been a blessing to have these products during my pregnancy and afterwards. It made a world of difference in many ways. I also enjoy learning, teaching, Disneyland, snow on Christmas day, and meeting new people. If you’re curious about the products that made my second pregnancy and recovery so much better or maybe you have questions about something else in my story then please reach out. I’d love to help and share whatever I can.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Autumn Alyssa, CHD is a Birth and Postpartum Doula serving women and families from Bountiful to Provo in Davis, Salt Lake & Utah Counties