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A Birth Story of My Own...

I had my first & second babies in a hospital, with an OBGYN. Though I absolutely loved (& still love) my OB, my hospital experiences were less than pleasant. As I reflect on those two pregnancy experiences as a whole, I was so unprepared. There was not the slightest clue of what to expect. I googled my way through symptom relief, took cues from my doctor, and pieced together expectations based off what I had heard about childbirth from others. I had no clue what I was in for!

When I got pregnant with my 3rd & last baby, Indiana has a new free-standing birth center that had opened up. I did not hesitate to check it out! At the time, I was familiar with the role of doula, but had never used one. After deciding to give birth at Sacred Roots, the local birthing center, I knew that it was imperative that I seek a birth doula. While I wasn't originally set on having an unmedicated, out of hospital, natural approach to childbirth, I knew that I didn't want to experience the "off" feeling that I had with my first two births.

Hiring a doula was a total game changer for me. From day one, she was extremely thorough, supportive, and made me feel confident in my ability to have the peaceful delivery that I desired. I couldn't have done it without her!

When I was in labor, I called my doula and within an hour, she was ringing my doorbell. We took a walk around my neighborhood, & I can't help but wonder how crazy I looked mid-contraction! Surely my neighbors saw my big round belly and knew that I was just trying to walk my baby out. That's exactly what we did. After a couple of rounds around the neighborhood, we got back inside and the contractions were coming in STRONGGGG!!! She knew better than I did, that it was time! This was it, the real deal! Listen! I don't curse...ever. But I may or may not have slipped out a curse word on my way to the birthing center!!! 😳

All the while, my doula remained so calm & relaxed. She talked me through contractions, she assured me that I was safe...that I was doing well! For the next couple of hours, I labored in various settings...the bed, the shower, & ended up in the birthing tub. I punched walls, I screamed, I cringed, & I felt all the intense feelings that are to be expected during childbirth. Still, my doula was there, bringing a sense of peace and calmness to the room. She offered massages, counter pressure, and things alike. I declined them all because I just didn't want to be touched. Having her energy in the room was everything to me though! I felt safe.

I would occasionally look over at my husband, who was sitting in a chair next to the birthing tub, and he would give me the biggest grin. Internally, I knew that was his "Good job! You've got this! I'm proud of you!" grin. He wasn't allowed to touch me either at this point, but his presence and that grin meant the world to me.

After a few hours of labor, I roared like a lion while pushing my sweet baby out in the birthing tub. What an experience that was!!!! The care of my midwives, the environment of the birth center, my doula's support, & the simple grins from my husband made this birth experience so different than the other much better. Aside from those reasons, I also felt 100x's more prepared for this birth. I attended the childbirth classes, I consulted with my doula about my desires, I followed up on resources she shared, and I made decisions out of confidence, not pressure.

I didn't document my birth story with videos and only have 1-2 pictures, but I do have it sketched into my memory so well!

Do you have a birth story to share? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

In a labor of love,

-Natalie CD (DONA)

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