My Baby's Birth Story
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 51
Happy New Year, visionaries. As we enter the New Year, I wanted to share the highlight of my year- bringing baby Paul into this world! This episode is simply intended to connect deeper to the women in our incredible, visionary community.
Tune in to hear:
- My newborn baby’s birth story on Thanksgiving Day, 2021
- The prioritize and intentions I had before going into birth
- What I learned from hypnobirthing and why I studied it before giving birth
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Leah Gervais: Hey visionaries. Welcome back to the, your biggest vision show. Thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you have had happy, happy holidays and a happy new year. I am wishing you the warmest and healthiest vibes your way in the new year. And I really think 2022 is going to be a special year, but man, 2021 was incredible part. I know the world is still being rocked, but, uh, if you’re a listener of this podcast, you would know that in 2021, I, um, became a mom, which was obviously the highlight of the year. Uh, but a lot, a lot happened for us in 2021. I stopped drinking in 2021. We got our beautiful puppy Ruby, my husband and I moved back to New York city from Miami and I was pregnant all year basically and gave birth to my son on Thanksgiving day, November 25th. And so today I wanted to take you on a very personal little flashback with me to his birth.
So this is probably the most personal episode I’ve shared to date. Um, maybe I I’ve or some other personal things, but I just wanted to share this because, well, honestly I was inspired and encouraged by my mastermind members who said that even though this is a business podcast, this is an audience primarily of women, um, primarily of young women who also, uh, are moms or want to become moms or will become moms.
So I just to share this story in that way and just kind of from, from a woman to other women, um, to kind of connect in that way. And I also love hearing others birth stories, and I also wanna remember it. So all that’s to say that today, I wanna share with you the story of Eberth of my son, my son, Paul Edward. So, uh, bear with me. And if you don’t enjoy this content, I will take no offense by you going to a different episode and enjoying that instead, he is here with me.
So you might hear some baby COOs throughout this. I’m navigating, working in motherhood and all of the above, which has been a fun journey and I’m doing the best I can. And I love having him here with me as I, as I work. So with that, let me go ahead and dive into the story, which actually starts the day before Thanksgiving. So, um, well before that, let me even back up a little bit further, the way I wanna start this is to share my birth intentions.
So I worked with a doula during my pregnancy to just help me with pregnancy and to help me with birth. And one of the exercises that she had me do was to identify the priorities that I wanted to get out of my birth. Um, for me personally, and this was really helpful for me because there’s so many details about birth and especially when you’re preparing for it for the first time, if you take a labor and delivery class, which we took one, and then I also took a hypnobirthing class. There is so much information about every little moment that happens during birth. And even when you’re learning it all, you just know that there’s no way you can remember it all.
And you also kind of know that when it’s actually all happening, when you’re giving birth, you’re going to be so preoccupied that there’s really no way you’re going to be able to, you know, absorb every little thing that you’re learning everything from how long you should wait until the umbilical cord is cut and how long they should be on your chest for skin to skin until know they get taken away and, and wait. And, and when you should be making decisions, it’s so many details for something that you just know is gonna go by in the blink of an eye. So instead of trying to make decisions on every single detail beforehand, my birth priorities helped me just get clear on what I wanted the birth to be like. And then that helped me make decisions on the day of, so my first priority was to be present.
I read a lot of birth stories and I watched YouTube videos on births, um, to prepare for giving birth, which I don’t really think you can prepare for, but I really felt out of my element. So I did, um, a little bit of research and sometimes I would see women say that they just were so consumed by either pain or they were so just kind of in a different world or in the zone. Um, especially those who did hypnobirthing that when the baby actually came, they just sort of had like an element of shock where they were just sort of like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe that the baby’s here. And there’s obviously nothing wrong with that reaction, but I knew that I didn’t really want that feeling of shock. I didn’t wanna so out of my, out of, so not present, I guess that when the baby came, I just was sort of like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening.
I very much wanted to be like feeling that we were welcoming him, welcoming, welcoming him in and very clear that he was about to be here and then very, very clear that he was here. So that was my biggest priority was to be present out, to do that. I decided to study hypno birthing ahead of time, and I decided to prepare to do birth unmedicated. Now it wasn’t something that I like was super insistent on.
For example, a good friend of mine, her number on birth priority was to do it unmedicated. That was not the priority for me. I thought that an unmedicated birth would help me be more present because there’s a lot of cons that come with an epidural, um, and other types of pain management, which I might talk a little bit more about, but the point is, um, that was in alignment with my birth priority.
But I put in the very beginning, like from the very, you know, first time that I wrote these priorities that should I start to feel unre or should I start to feel like I’m being to taken away from the moment? I would be happy to, to try, you know, pain medication. That was my first priority. Then my second priority was to feel connected with Adam, my husband during it, so that I felt like it was something that we kind of did together.
I wanted him to really be involved with the process with me, um, which he was amazing. He, you know, took all the classes with me and really helped me learn about giving birth beforehand so that we could kind of feel like we’re doing it together. Even though it’s very much the woman who does all of it. Um, but I just wanted that presence and that connection.
And then my third priority was to feel connected to my body and to feel like I really came out of this, having listened to my body and having kind of done what I needed to do for it, which was another reason that I wanted to try to do birth unmedicated because I felt like the contractions would be more manageable if I was able to stand up and walk around and, um, you know, change positions. And if you have an epidural, you are numb from the waist down, you can’t even feel your legs, let get out of bed. Um, so any sort of pain management, maneuvers and, and movement, I, I wouldn’t be able to do. And I also wanted the final reason that I prepared for birth unmedicated was because I have pretty severe scoliosis. So that means especially my lower back.
So my lower back is very crooked and my spine is twisted. So it twists from side to side and then it also twists front to back. And so from the work I did with my doula and, um, just other research I had done, I learned that epidurals commonly aren’t distributed evenly, uh, in with people that have back issues because they’re, it’s distributed through your spine.
So a lot of times you can feel one leg and not the other, or you just won’t feel it at all. Um, and that, I didn’t want that at all because I didn’t wanna be feeling like, oh my gosh, I’m feeling all this pain. And I can’t even do anything to manage it at this point because I can’t move, but I’m still feeling it in one leg. So all that’s to say, I decided to study hypnobirthing to prepare.
So I took a great class called, uh, I don’t actually, I know what the class is called. I think it’s just called hypno birthing , but it’s through a company called hypno babies. So this was a very, very detailed course, almost too detailed, because like I said, they, I just knew that birth was gonna be such a whirlwind and every little detail that they kind of walk you through was a little bit overwhelming, but it was so comprehensive. And I also really liked how much it felt on the power of your mind and how you can kind of channel the way you think about birth and having positive expectations for birth to have a better birth experience. And if you listen to this podcast, you probably know that I was very sold on this philosophy because that’s the exact same philosophy that has gotten me through my business growth is reprogramming your mind, having different expectations and just wanting different things.
So I loved this hypno breathing class and, um, I, I believe, I mean, everyone’s birth experience and, and desires are so different, but I, I, it makes sense to me, for anyone to prepare for birth unmedicated. That doesn’t mean that you need to do birth unmedicated, but it’s sort of like plan for it to go as naturally and bare bones as possible, just so you know how to handle it. Should anything happen?
Should you go into labor in the middle of the night, should you, you know, need to, um, not be able to get epidural, cuz you’re progressing so quickly. Like just kind of understand what’s happening at a bare bones level, just so you know, what exactly is going on. Then you can always add the epidural is like a nice to have, but it’s not like you’re so totally relying on it. So anyway, those were my birth priorities and that was my philosophy.
And that was my approach. Now let’s go to the actual, uh, day of, so the day before Thanksgiving, November 24th, I was 38 and a half weeks pregnant. And that day I went to my OBGYN for my 38 week check up. And I remember feeling like the baby was so low, but he wasn’t due for another 10 days at that point. And I, it just never crossed my mind that he would come early. It was my first pregnancy and I just figured he would come pretty punctually on time, especially I kept joking that he’d be a punctual one. Like his dad who’s always very much on time. So I thought he’d pretty much come on his due date. And I was even a little bit fearing that he would come late just cuz he felt pretty snug in there and I just didn’t think he’d come early.
So I went to my 38 week checkup and my doctor asked me if I had been having any contractions. And I said, no, you know, I haven’t really felt anything. Um, and he told me that the baby had dropped, which I guess means, you know, there’s something that specifically happens, uh, near the end of your pregnancy where the baby gets lower. It’s actually quite a relief because you, um, don’t, you, you don’t have the pressure of your baby on you on your lungs as much.
So you’re like able to breathe easier, but you can really just feel him kind of in your pelvis. And for me I felt him so much in my tailbone. So in the last like two weeks of my pregnancy, I would say actually month of my pregnancy, I pretty excruciating tailbone pain. I could feel it in the middle of the night when I was sleeping.
And anytime I did anything that was uneven, I felt this huge amount of pressure in my tailbone. So anything from like standing on one leg to put pants on or going up and down a stair or even getting in and out of the shower, I felt just like this huge pressure on my tailbone. So I felt that, and I had felt him drop and still, I just thought, I don’t think he’s gonna gonna come early and um, but then my doctor, uh, as you know, he was doing my checkup with me and he, he was measuring my belly and we were listening to the baby’s heartbeat. He put his hand on my stomach and he is like, you are having contractions. And I was like, what? No. And he’s like, do you feel that tightening of your stomach? But to me I just felt like it was, um, like the baby kicking.
I couldn’t really feel that it was a contraction. I couldn’t really feel anything different about it other than the baby moving. And he’s like, does that hurt? And I was like, no, it doesn’t hurt at all. And he’s like, okay, well, in my mind I’m like, oh my gosh, my hypno birthing techniques must be cor like working because um, normally people say contractions hurt and this doesn’t hurt me at all. Like I’m gonna be such a pro at labor. That’s what I thought. So I was having a little bit of contractions, but predom or um, pre pre-labor contractions can go on for days, even weeks. None of this was making me think that he was going to come early, but those were the things that happened beforehand, which I’ll make it very clear now that he was, he was on his way and ready to come.
So that was my 38 week checkup. And um, I walked back to my apartment that was like all the exercise I could get at the time. It was, it’s a good 20, 30 minute walk back from the OB GYN. And I listened every single day. I listened to this track of positive birth affirmation. So I listened to that and I just remember getting emotional because my doula had described how it it’s very courageous of babies to be born. It’s very courageous of them to leave the comfy uterus that they’re in and that they’ve known their whole being and come out through, you know, the birth canal into the world. And I just remember realizing like he, he was starting on his adventure and I just felt so proud of him, which is so silly. Cuz I remember walking through the streets of New York and looking around at all the people around me in the city of Manhattan and being like, okay, every single one of us have all done this.
So it doesn’t make him anything special. But I still just felt this like wave of emotion that he was starting on his journey out into the world. And I just was excited to meet him. So that was the stage for the night before. And then, you know, I came home, wrapped up some work and in my mind I was gonna start maternity leave after Thanksgiving. Like I wasn’t gonna go back to work after Thanksgiving. Um, meaning I wasn’t gonna have any more calls or anything, but I still was kind of gonna do some things behind the scenes. So I came home and like knocked out a little bit of work cause I was technically starting maternity leave you, I thought. Um, and then Adam and I decided to go out to dinner that night and we, I think it was like the third night in a row that we had gone out to dinner and we had started saying, we should go out to dinner every night because we never know when it’s gonna be like the last dinner, just us too little.
Did we know that was the last dinner just us too. So we went to this pizza place and then we went and had a non-alcoholic beer after and now looking back, I’m like, oh, that was probably not the best pre-labor meal pizza and, and a beer, but whatever. I had no idea and it ended up fine. So anyway, fast forward that night and it is midnight and I go to sleep early.
I went to sleep at like nine or 10. I wake up at midnight and I right away. I’m like, I think my water broke and I’m not gonna get into details because of the pot and figures. You probably don’t need to know on the podcast, but uh, right away, I thought that even though I had not heard a pop and there was not nearly like enough water to justify your water breaking, but right through my mind, I was like, oh my God, I think he is gonna come today.
I think I’m gonna give birth today. It was like, I can’t give birth on Thanksgiving. What if he doesn’t want his, um, birthday to be on Thanksgiving? And even my doula the day before had said, try, you know, cuz she was just like, we don’t wanna go into the hospital on Thanksgiving cuz they’re understaffed. Um, and I was like, oh, well that won’t be a problem. He’s not due for another week and a half. He’s not coming soon.
But in the middle of the night I was just thinking, oh my gosh, she’s coming today. I’m gonna miss the parade. I have Thanksgiving food in the fridge. That’s gonna go bad. And I hope my baby doesn’t be upset that his birthday’s on Thanksgiving. This is what I thought at like one or two in the morning. I’m so worked up and finally I’m like, okay, why do you think he, this is happening today, Leah, your water did not break.
And he’s nine, you know, always not due for another nine days. It’s, you’re not even 39 weeks pregnant and it’s just not gonna happen. You’re getting way too in your head. But something in me was just like, this is happening. So finally I’m up for like two hours and I finally kind of calm myself down and convinced myself that he’s not coming today. And I listened to one of my hypno birthing audios, and I’m right about to fall asleep and right as I’m like in that space between asleep and awake, I feel a pop and my eyes just widened open and I just knew my water just broke. So it was baby time.
So I woke up my husband and told him what was happening. We called my doula at like two, three in the morning. So I had, I, I got up at midnight that night and I was so, so excited and I called my mom and I was FaceTiming with her and it was three in the morning and she didn’t even care that I woke her up.
I bought the movie Elf, which honestly was part of my birth plan is so funny. I just envisioned myself going into labor, watching elf, which is me and my husband’s favorite Christmas Mo movie. And just laying with Ruby, our dog in the couch or on the couch and just like letting these contractions come over me and listening to my Hipp, no birthing audios and you know, letting this kind of all progress. So I kind out in the mood for that, but I was so excited. I couldn’t really sit down and I was just texting my friend, Tanya, um, who is in Ireland. So she ha you know, has the time difference ahead. So she was awake and I was talking to my mom and I was kind of trying to let my husband sleep, cuz I knew he’d have a long day ahead of him, but we were both so excited.
We couldn’t really, you know, I was watching Elf and I was making eggs and I say, I would have about a 45 minute window before the contraction started hitting me hard. There was a very little grace period. And I don’t know why I anticipated them to be a bit more just gradual I think because I didn’t have any contractions at all at all. So that idea and like from a lot of the videos I had watched, you know, they started at 10 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart, sometimes even half an hour apart. Um, once they hit me, they were probably five, five minutes apart. Um, and about 30 seconds long and they hurt right away. And what I did know is that after your water breaks, there’s less cushion, so to speak. So usually they’re more intense and usually they’re more painful. So that was my experience.
So about 45 minutes in, it’s like three, four in the morning and I’m starting to be like, oh, oh boy, this is, this is hard. This is hard. So I spend the morning trying to manage these contractions and right away, like I said, they were about five minutes apart and they were about 30 seconds long. So the hospital’s rule is f ive one, meaning they should be five minutes apart last for a minute and have that happen for one hour. And so the five minutes apart was right away. They lasted right away for the first hour, but they were only 30 seconds long. Whereas the hospital would want them to be an hour long. Now, all that said, if I had called my doctor and told him that my water had broken, he probably would have require me to come in right away. But I chose not to do that because I didn’t wanna labor at the hospital for so long.
I wanted to be able to be in my home. Um, I wanted to be able to, you know, manage the pain here if I could. So the first thing I did was I got in the shower and that helped a lot 10 outta 10 recommend getting in the shower if you are laboring at home. Um, I would’ve loved to have gotten in the bath, but oh little baby COO, but because my water broke, I wasn’t able to do that cause you don’t wanna get an infection. So I just got in the shower and I got in the shower, we have two bathrooms. One is, you know, in our master suite. And I got in there for about probably half an hour and, and my dog just sat with me on the outside and Adam just tried to get our apartment ready. And that was probably the best I felt.
Um, and I was still feeling optimistic and excited, but I was really starting to be like, oh, oh boy, this is, this is painful. So then I had to get outta the shower and see if I can manage it a little bit more on the couch, cuz I was getting kind of cold and I was just sitting in the shower and the couch just hurt. You know, it was just not, not so easy. So I decided to go into the other shower in our other bedroom, in the nursery, um, and just lay in the bathroom there. And that was when things started to get really real. And I was in there for probably an hour. Um, and still the contractions didn’t really get me longer. But at this point our doula came over. Um, she came over at about six in the morning and Adam had just continued to get our apartment ready and just sit with me and tie my contractions and everything.
And man, I just could not have prepared for how painful they were. And I hope that anyone listening to this, I hope I’m not talking you out of a natural birth if that’s what you want. Um, I, the best way I can kind of describe it. I do think that anyone can do it naturally. I do. Um, but the, the, what my experience with contractions were like, and I don’t know how this is for everyone, but I would, it would start sort of, you know, in my pelvis area and then come upward through my uterus to what felt like kind of the top of my stomach, the top of my bump, like bottom of my throat, the, the pelvic pressure was intense right away. And I felt like that was because my baby was so low to begin with. Um, but that was very, a very, very painful part of it.
And then upward as it traveled upward through my tailbone, which as I had mentioned, had been feeling pain for weeks at that point, that was probably the most excruciating part. It felt like my tailbone was being ripped open. And I don’t know if that’s because my baby, I was having back labor. I don’t know if that’s because I have scoliosis. I don’t know if it’s because I had an uneven pelvis or an uneven tailbone throughout my labor or throughout my pregnancy. But for whatever reason that tailbone pushing was like the most painful thing, for sure.
The contractions through my uterus, which from what I understand are, you know, more normal feelings of contractions were definitely painful, but they weren’t unbearable. Uh, the way that the pelvic and tailbone piece were. And then as it got higher up, I would get this wave of nausea pretty much with EV recontract and I to not to gross anyone out, but to be transparent, I threw up, I think like seven times during the morning.
So I just, I know that a lot of women have different experiences with your body. Just sort of like wanting to get rid of everything. um, and that’s, that’s what happened to me is I just kept, I just kept getting nauseous with every contraction and then I frequently I frequently threw up, so it was rough. Okay. So my doula gets here at 6:00 AM and I’m starting to be like, okay, this is real, but my doula had some ways to kind of help me through contraction.
So I got out of the shower and we went into my living room and this was a helpful part, but still the pain just got more intense. And so during this, she would give me counter pressure where I would just kind of lay down in between each contraction, which still I was getting about five minutes between each contraction, which I was like, thinking the Lord for those five minutes and I would just lay down.
And then when the contraction would come, I’d get on all fours. Um, or I’d stand up against the couch. She would push on my back against the pressure of the contraction. And then, and my husband would try to put like a cloth on me and he’d hold my hand so I could kind of squeeze it. Um, and then they’d kind of hum with me or do whatever, you know, noise I could to kind of like alleviate the pressure. And then I would get back down and lay down when the contraction was over. Uh, I do think that this was a helpful time because during the, in between contractions, I was sort of able to doze off a little bit, believe it or not. And then the contraction would come and I’d be like, oh my gosh, here we go again. So we did that for about an hour and then I decided to get in the shower again.
And I was starting to feel like, oh my gosh, I, you know, this is when my mind really started to get the best of me, me to be honest. So I went back into the shower and this is when I just realized I feel so disconnected from this experience. I felt eager for it to be done. I felt like I couldn’t even be excited for it because I was in so much pain and I was so consumed by it. And the hardest part for me was the mental wraparound of the fact that had to get worse before it got better. So that meant that the contractions had to get longer. They had to get closer together and they had to get more intense. And I realized that every time I felt a glimmer of hope, it was because I would get through a contraction.
And I would think that contraction wasn’t as strong. This is good. Maybe they’re not gonna be as strong. And I had to kind of remind myself that that’s actually not the goal. You know, you want them to get stronger. You want them to get longer. You need them to get closer together. And I really, really struggled with that. And as much as I love to feel like I’m the queen of mindset in the moment, it was so consuming. I’m just being honest.
So I decided when I was laying in that shower, that I would, uh, consent to pain management if possible, uh, whether that was an epidural or whatever else someone could give me. But that also meant that I needed to somehow get to the hospital. And at this point I couldn’t even get out of the shower. I was struggling to even get on all fours during the contractions, because I was so exhausted, knew that part of this was my fault because I didn’t go back to sleep after midnight, like I should have, cause I was so excited, but I just did not have the energy to ride these out.
So at that point I decided to get out of the shower and try to just get out the shower. Cause I had been in there for so long and I gotta be honest. I was, I was pretty defeated at this point. I just remember feeling like, I don’t know how I’m gonna do this. I don’t know how I’m gonna get to the hospital. I don’t know how I’m gonna continue on throughout the day. I was struggling to talk at all. I was struggling to see straight. Um, and I just kind of got out of the shower and went onto the floor of the nursery because that was what or the bathroom was.
I couldn’t even really walk. And my doula was just kept saying, you know, you’re doing great. Just keep writing these out. And she’s like, as long as you’re not feeling any rectal pressure. And I was like, I certainly am. I was definitely feeling so much of that in that time in the bath. Wow. And her eyes kind kind of widened and she was just like, oh my gosh, we need to go to the hospital.
So at that point I realized that I actually was probably, you know, closer to giving birth than I thought. And this was when I had the first kind of moment of optimism because I thought either I’m going to have this baby soonish or I’m gonna be able to get some pain relief at the hospital. But I was super intimidated about even getting to the hospital. I was struggling to even stand up. I could not talk, I was struggling to breathe. The contractions were so intense and I was just intimidated by the whole thing. But the only way to get through it is to go through it. and so I kind of just forced myself to, uh, get ready. Now we all get ready to go to the hospital. My husband called my sister who came over to watch our, we let her out and put her back into her crate.
Um, we finalized our hospital bags. Basically. They were all doing this while I was just getting dressed. Every contraction just would bring me to my knees and then I’d kind of get back up and try to do something more to get ready. And as we leave our apartment, now we live on, we live no central park. We live right on central park, actually in New York. And you have to imagine we walk right out into the Thanksgiving day parade. right into all the balloons, right into all the crowd of people. Luckily it’s a pretty beautiful day, but I am literally in labor walking through the New York city Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. And there’s no cabs to be had. There’s so many closed down streets. My husband is trying to navigate. He’s talking to the doormen of our building. They’re trying to help him. He’s you know, trying to get through these crowds of people and my doulas, just like holding my hand, trying to push on my back with every contraction.
I can’t even say anything. All I wanna do is find a cab and get to the hospital. So we are looming over are, you know, these huge balloons looming over us and we’re finding a cab and I like am able to kind of take in that moment just because I knew what an incredible story, this would be one day looking back. And I certainly am excited to embarrass my son and tell him for the rest of his life about this. And we finally get a cab and we’re on our way to the hospital, which is no easy for feet because everything is shut down. And you know that we had to go through parts of the park. And anyway, we finally get to Lennox hill and I just, you know, wanna get there so bad. And the cab is trying to get me to the front door, but there’s traffic and I’m like, I’ll walk.
I just need to get in there. And at this point I am like, oh my gosh, I will take an epidural on a freaking silver platter if they will give it to me. And I’m trying to listen to my hypno audios, but it’s just not really cutting it the way that I want it to. And I had, I had, I guess I forgot to kinda share. I had tried to come up with some mantras during other spurts of contractions earlier on in the day, like one that did help me through it is saying, this is normal and this is natural and this is normal. And this is natural because to be honest, contractions did not feel natural to me. And one of the things I was kind of banking on with labor is I knew it’d be painful. I did not think that I would be Pain free, but I figured that it would be a different type of pain than like breaking your leg for which is not natural and something is wrong.
Pregnancy is, is the most natural thing in the world. Giving birth is what we’re our bodies are designed to do. So I felt like even though it would be very painful, something about it would feel not alarming, not like something’s wrong. That was not my experience. Specifically the tailbone pressure. It felt like my tailbone was being broken open and that it was trying to twist open. Um, which I think now looking back, I think is just, you know, was just my pelvis opening for my baby as well as I do think I had additional pain for my scoliosis, the contractions in the uterus did feel natural. They were painful, but they were natural. So I would try to say that to myself, you know, this is normal, this is natural and helped, but it still just was not gonna get me through it.
Um, so anyway, we get to Lennox hill, we preregistered 10 outta 10, recommend doing that to wherever your hospital is. And, um, this is, this is probably the hardest part of the whole day for me. Other than that moment in the shower, when I really hit rock bottom, I have to go into triage, check in and I have to go by myself because of COVID regulations, neither my husband, nor my doula could come with me. And so I go in there and I can’t even get on the bed. Like I’m on, I’m just on the, on my knees, on the floor. I can barely talk. And, um, you know, they basically have to check me in and, and make sure that I’m ready to be there. Finally, a glimmer of hope came to me when, after they checked me, they told me that I was six centimeters dilated.
So this is when I started feeling really proud of myself, which frankly, I wish I would’ve felt more proud of myself the whole morning, because no matter how much you’re dilated or anything like that, just labor is so hard and so intense and so consuming. And I just wish I would’ve given myself more credit for the fact that I was going through it. Um, so when I realized I was so dilated, I was just really proud of myself for even getting that far.
I finally felt hope. I felt like this is, this is happening. This baby’s gonna come soon. It was about 11:00 AM at this point. And I tell them, I, I please, you know, I need an epidural as quickly as possible. Please gimme an epidural basically. So, you know, they tell me, they’ll do it as quick as possible, but even then they’re like, it’ll be about half an hour, which felt like an eternity at that point, because I had been experiencing these contractions for six hours and every single one, every few at this point, they’re like four minutes apart, three minutes apart, every single one is so intense.
And just the idea of how many and more I’d have to go through was really daunting. But I had no choice and I did feel this hope because I had gotten so far on my own. And so then I have to take a COVID test. You know, they have to hook me up to an IV. There’s a lot that goes into having an epidural, which is kind of why I didn’t want one, but when I was in it, I reassessed my birth priorities. So just to kind of pause here, if you remember, I really wanted to be present. No part of me felt present at all. I wasn’t even excited about the fact that I was giving birth to be totally honest because I was so the pain was so intense. I, um, couldn’t talk to my husband, to my doula, to the doctors, to my mom.
I couldn’t, you know, call her or whatever. I couldn’t even connect with anyone around me. The people that were so excited for this to happen, I felt no connection with my baby because I just couldn’t even imagine what he was experienced because I was so consumed with what I was experiencing. And it just was really not how I wanted this to happen. So because of that, I felt like if the epidural will give me any sense of relief, then I want to do it because I want to be more present.
The other thing is I had wanted to be really in tune with my body and I had wanted to be able to move around, to manage the pain. I was so exhausted, uh, physically, emotionally, mentally, so, so tired that I couldn’t even move during the contractions to mitigate pain. The idea of even getting up was overwhelming, let alone getting in a shower at the hospital, walking around, anything like that.
It was just an absolute, no, and I’m sure that those positions would have helped manage the pain somewhat, but I was just too tired to get in them. So knowing that I didn’t really wanna move anyway, I kind of just needed to lay there and gather my energy, especially cause I was gonna have to push this baby out, which is the most energy consuming thing of the whole portion. And knowing that I didn’t really feel present. It was a no-brainer to me at that to get the epidural. Cause I just wanted to lay there and try to talk to like my husband. So long story short, I get out of triage and go to the labor and delivery room where, um, about 20 minutes later, they’re able to come give me the epidural now pretty quickly. I would say about five minutes after I got it.
I definitely felt some relief. I was able to talk. I was, I stopped shaking so intensely, which was helpful. Um, and I was just able to be a little bit more calm. So I was very grateful, very early on and I told everyone I wanted to watch the Thanksgiving day parade and I had a good half hour window where I called my mom and I was just a little bit more calm. I was still, I have to say in a lot of pain. And as it turns out, basically what I was afraid of happening did happen. Um, I felt it in one leg and not the other, uh, because of my scoliosis, the epidural didn’t fully distribute. And I also think that because my tailbone had gone through so much convulsing, conv convulsing all morning that the epidural wasn’t strong enough to like numb that because I just still felt it with every contraction, but it was, it was better.
And, you know, I would take really anything that I could get at that point. So I had about a peaceful half hour where I decided I wanted to kind of try to lay down, maybe close my eyes. I called my mom. I just kind of talk to Adam. And I was sad that I was still feeling so much pain. Um, and they had warned me that the epidural could slow down labor, but I just said, I don’t care because I’d rather this happen a little later. Um, and me feel more present than it happened sooner, but me not really be able to comprehend it. And so that’s kind of what I was a expecting, but about half an hour after I got it, the doctors came in and they said, you are still contracting up a storm. You’re now nine centimeters dilated. Do you wanna try to push?
And I was like, oh my gosh, but I just thought I might as well try because you know, the sooner I do the sooner I can meet my baby. So I pushed for about an hour and the pushing was exhausting and it was really hard and it was just not really progressing. I still wasn’t 10 centimeters dilated and it was just taking so much outta me. So I decided to take a break. I decided to stop pushing and I just wanted these contractions to be done. Cause I was still feeling them so much, but it just wasn’t working as quickly as I wanted it to. So I decided if I pushing for about an hour, maybe the baby can drop a little bit lower and I can rest a little bit or try to, and I can then be able to push. And that was one of the best decisions I made throughout that whole day.
So for about an hour, I just laid there. I listened to some calming music. My doula massaged my feet. My husband just held my hand and fed me ice cubes because it’s all you can have after you have an epidural. I was so thirsty and I really tried to surrender and I think this was mentally the most beautiful part of the whole process because I was really able to just say, this has gotta happen. I can do this. This is what’s happening. And I was able to ride each contraction a little bit more. So they were still painful. But with each one I would just say, I surrender. I allow, I receive, I let this happen. And I just hope that with each contraction in each mantra, my baby dropped lower and lower and lower. And I think that that was the most energetically peaceful part of the whole day.
I, so at about two 30 after about an hour of surrendering contracting and just allowing, I decided I was ready to push again and long story short, I pushed for about an hour. And one thing I wanna share just in case you are listening to this pregnant, or you wanna get pregnant soon and you wanna give birth is just, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.
So the pushing was really hard for me. It did not feel natural. I kind of hoped that I would be able to just, you know, feel him push out. I do have to say it was less painful than contractions because you kind of use the contractions to push and you’re just distracted. You can’t really feel the contraction anymore. So that was kind of a relief, but it was still really painful, especially cuz you had to crunch up on my tailbone, which had, was just throbbing at this point.
So at one point I said, I wanna get on my knees. I wanna stand on my knees. I think that that is gonna help. I don’t really understand why in this you day and age, we still push on our backs, which is like biologically the worst way to do it. And they were very nervous for me because of the epidural. They thought maybe I would collapse. I don’t really know. No one had offered this to me, but I insisted. And they all helped me get on all fours. And that was one of the best decisions I could have made because within 20 minutes, uh, they turned me around because he was, he was, he was here. He was born. So at 3:40 PM after having been in labor. Well, I was up for 15 hours. My water had broken about 13 hours before. Uh, he came outta me.
My little baby was born. He was born at 3:40 and I, it was very, very painful that final push when he fully came out. But when they put him on my stomach, I just completely wailed. My head just kind of looked back at the ceiling and I just burst it out into tears. I’m getting emotional now, even sharing it and seeing Adam’s eyes teared up was so just and moving and just looking at him, looking at us and he held my hand right away and it was just everything I could have hoped for for that moment.
So all of my birth preparation, all of my priorities, my work with my doula, the morning, um, getting the epidural, it all was worth it because of the moment that he was born and the way that we felt when he was born. That’s what I most wanted was to feel present and to feel like I really was soaking up our first few minutes as a family. And I definitely did. It was the most overwhelming, incredible, beautiful moment of my life. And I know that that’s cliche, but it was true for me and our lives changed forever. And I already can’t imagine life without him. I’m looking at his sweet little body right now. He’s just our angel.
So that is the story of how our son, Paul Edward was born. And Paul, for those of you that know, I lost my dad three years ago, my dad’s name was Paul. His dad’s name was Paul. So my son is the third Paul and I thought that he would arrive on his due date because I thought he’d be punctual like his dad’s side of the family.
But I actually think he specifically arrived on Thanksgiving because my dad was known to have a gratitude practice from the time he was pretty young. And that’s what everyone spoke about at his funeral. So it’s no surprise to me now that he came on the day of gratitude and I don’t, I think his namesake might have nudged him a little out of my womb from heaven into the world so that he could be born on Thanksgiving day.
The rest of the day was pure magic. Being able to hold him, being able to be with Adam, being able to talk, being able to be out of so much pain, having my first meal after not having any meals and having thrown up so much throughout the day. Um, getting to talk to different OBGYN getting to learn how to breastfeed. I mean, it was such an incredible experience. FaceTiming our family. It’s so funny because all our family knew that, you know, I was in labor, Adam had kind of kept them up to date, uh, you know, virtually and everyone was together for Thanksgiving. So we heard from multiple sides of our family, extended family and our immediate family that everyone was just so glued to the phone. My mom said she was like waiting for news on. It was like waiting for, um, breaking news, you know, every few minutes for what was happening.
And then he was born right in the middle of everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner. Uh, so it was just the best day I could have imagined. I’m struggling to find the words to, I mean, how do you put into words the day that you meet your child and day that your family gets to have this new addition? It really is as magical as they say, and even so I don’t think anything could have prepared me for it. So that is his birth story and looking back, I don’t really think I’d change anything. Um, I remember being in it and being like, if I could do this over again, I’d get the epidural right away. But I think it all happened for a reason. I feel like I had a relatively quick labor because, because I let myself progress naturally for so long, I’m proud of myself for trying.
And then I’m proud of myself for advocating for myself and not feeling guilty when I did decide to get the epidural. In fact, I think the epidural helped smooth things along, cuz it really calmed me and calm my nervous system ’em and stop me from shaking and things like that. But everyone’s birth is different. I have so much respect for literally every mother out there in every way that you deliver a baby. It should be something we get to put on our resumes because it is so hard it is so intense.
Pregnancy’s intense, birth’s intense. And postpartum has been a whole different conversation, which reach out to me if you want an episode on that. But, but that is his beautiful birth story. That is the day that I met my child. And I feel like I just felt like I was meant to be his mom and I wasn’t really prepared to feel that clear of a bond right away.
You know, I know as much as I think everyone wants to feel this clear bond with their baby right away at the end of the day, it’s a stranger. And, and I think that sometimes it can take time and there’s nothing wrong with that. Um, but in my experience, something clicked in me that this was just what I was born to do. I felt almost reborn in when he was born. So enough with my corniness. I hope that you guys enjoyed this episode. Thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you for listening through this. Let me know if you listened and let me know if you liked it, feel free to DM me or email us. And uh, I hope you have the happiest new year and welcoming all the miracles into your life as well. Thank you guys again. And here is to your biggest vision, all.
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