What a wonderfully INTENSE, POWERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, and EMPOWERING birth.
Our daughter arrived earth side May 29, 2021 after a long and intense labour.
When I share our birth story a common comment I get is 'that sounds awful!' and yet, for both me and Garret - it was insanely EMPOWERING and would rank the experience as 10/10.
Without a doubt, I know that if I wouldn't have done the healing and work I did during my pregnancy, that I would be viewing our birth story as 'Awful' as well.
And yet, here I am - full of gratitude and feeling more empowered than ever. And let me tell you why...
I not only did the work physically to help my body and baby have the most efficient experience. I also did a lot of work on a subconscious level. We practiced hypnobirthing, and I listened to the Awakened Birth Affirmations every day and the Awakened Birth SIT Audio at least once a week (more often as I got closer to our wee one reaching term). Garret and I were conscious with our fears and concerns, as well as our limiting beliefs and judgments.
For me, trust has always been something I struggled with...
Trusting that my body was capable
Trusting that I could in fact trust my body
Trusting my baby knew what to do
Trusting that my body was made to do this
Trusting that Garret would put the work in in order to support me
Trusting that my medical team would support and respect my birth preferences
-this list could go on and on-
It all came down to TRUST and feeling SAFE.
To be honest with you - and if you asked Garret I know he would agree - it was a ton of work and commitment. And oh my goodness, it was worth every minute, hour, day, tear, breakdown, conversation.
My goal for Hensley's birth was to trust my body and to feel empowered. And without a doubt, that was achieved. I am so fucking proud of my body, of my baby, of myself, and of Garret.
We did the work and it paid off - big time.
Our Birth Story
My water broke at 5:30am on May 28th - before contractions started. I felt ready and at peace. The plan with my doctor was to be induced on the 29th in order to help support my back - and so when I woke up on the 28th I wasn't surprised that my body and Hensley were taking this healing experience of birth into their own hands.
Garret and I headed to the Red Deer Hospital to get checked. When they check amniotic fluid they look at it under the microscope to ensure it is actually amniotic fluid. Luckily it was slow when we got there so I had the opportunity to look at the slide - IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! It was a forest of pink fern leaves letting me know that my sweet body and baby were working in harmony and soon our little Sweet P would be earth side.
Since I wasn't having contractions at this point and my water had broke, and I was considered a high risk pregnancy already, I was admitted to the hospital. The hospital then set us up at the Ronald McDonald House (which was an absolutely amazing experience in itself). So we settled in for a little rest and relaxation.
About 12 hours into my water breaking, contractions started. I listened to my affirmations, meditations, and we watched shows. We laughed and joked as I paced back and forth while Garret timed contractions (which we called surges, cause well it just sounds so much better).
Everything was going as expected.
Then the contractions got intense and close together really quickly. One minute apart and One minute long. We thought 'Awesome! It's go time!!'
We were at the hospital now at this point anyway so we decided to settle in. Contractions continues close together and intensely - I spent what felt like 30 minutes in the tub (which Garret said was actually about 2 hours).
One contraction after the next, the power and intensity of my body was amazing.
I started to vomit.
We all thought I must be close now. Turns out I was only 3cm - that was disheartening that's for sure.
Turns out the reason my contractions were so intense so quickly was because my body was so smart that it knew that Hensley needed to flip from Occipital Posterior to Occipital Anterior - and the only way it could do that was through contractions.
All I remember for the next few hours are Garret's eyes - my safe space. Ensuring I always had contact with him and him holding space for me in the most beautiful and loving way. Every contraction, I would find Garret's eyes and trust that I was safe, that my body was safe, and that our baby was safe.
**A huge shout out to Garret for being the most amazing partner and support person I could have ever asked for. There for me in every capacity to the point where he only peed once the whole time as to not leave my side**
Soon, we reached 24hrs since my water broke and along with that, came being watched and monitored closer. This was something I was worried about. Our nurses and doctors blew us away at how supportive and respectful they were of our birth preferences, doing whatever they could to support us in our goals.
I reached 10cm and my body was ready to push. To my surprise this was the part I enjoyed the most, even though my baby was in a harder position and my body did not feel strong in the birth position I was hoping to be in.
This was my favourite part of the whole experience.
Feeling the intense and raw need to push. So instinctual and back to the basics of what we, as animals, are made to do.
I saw the clock and said 'Baby P will be here by 12pm'.
I am so proud of my body for pushing our sweet 8lb 11oz, occipital posterior(OP) baby girl into the world in an hour. The doctor and nurses shared that they were so excited to be a part of our birth because, being a first time mom listening to and trusting my body with a bigger baby in OP is apparently rare to see.
My experience could very easily have been a traumatic and awful event, if I had not done the work to prepare myself on a subconscious level.
My hope, is that every expectant mama out there knows that an empowered birth is realistic - whatever that looks like.
When I started my journey into motherhood I was fearful of childbirth, I didn't trust my body, I didn't trust that my medical team would respect my birth preferences, I didn't think garret would be up for the task, I dreaded the changes that would happen to my body...
I honestly kinda just hated and dreaded every aspect. I thought that it was inevitable that birth would be traumatic, dramatic, stressful, and uncomfortable.
What I experienced was the exact opposite.
Through conscious healing, individually and as a couple, we were able to both come out of this experience with an overflowing amount of gratitude, love, respect, and empowerment.
The way Hensley entered the world was feeling every aspect of that as well, which to me is the most beautiful and exciting thing.
Even in what could have been the most stressful of time - when a NICU team comes in and sweeps your baby away - our medical team and our healing were able to hold a space for us where we continued to feel supported, heard, respected, and safe.
As I sit here writing out our birth story with Hensley in my arms, I am reminded of the beauty that comes with conscious healing. We chose our healing, and through that we not only crushed our limiting beliefs, we crushed any generational limiting beliefs that could have been passed to this new little human.
I can not say enough good things about this birth experience - on every level.
No, it may not have been the perfect image of what I had hoped for. And Yes, it was wildly empowering and healing in every aspect of the words.