Written by Jasmine Denos
August 21st, 2018 was not only the day my third baby in less than 3 years was born, but it was the day I got redemption for the traumatic experiences I had during the births of my first two babies.
My First 2 Birth Experiences
When I gave birth to my first and second babies, everything felt so new and unknown. I was robbed of the pivotal first moments of motherhood with my first baby girl. I didn’t get to hold her on my chest as soon as she was born. I didn’t get to savor that “Golden Hour” right after her birth. I didn’t get a chance to request delay cord clamping so that she could receive all of those important last nutrients and stem cells her body needed. And, I didn’t get to experience unmedicated, intervention-free labor & delivery as I wanted. I didn’t get to birth my way.
My second experience was similar since my first two children are only 11 months apart. I didn’t have the time or emotional capacity to find my voice by the time my beautiful boy was ready to be born.
Finding My Voice
When my son was 6 months old, I found out I was pregnant once again! Within those 6 months, I had found a community of women who helped me work through some of the trauma I had been through. Having their support helped me through those important few months postpartum with my second child. I felt emotionally stronger than I had with my first two pregnancies. I decided I wanted this time to be different. I chose to pursue Home Birth with baby #3.
I still had some serious mindset work to do to prepare for this because I believed my body didn’t know what to do to deliver my babies without interventions & medication. I was told with both hospital births that I was stuck at 4cm dilated and my body was unable to progress any further on its own. My husband was also a new dad and he had no idea how birth or the woman’s body is supposed to function while in labor. This next pregnancy and birth were going to be different for both of us.
Whenever I shared that I wanted unmedicated births with my first two babies, I had so many people tell me, “What’s the point of having an unmedicated birth? You don’t get a special award at the end of it.” So, I didn’t share with many people that we were planning a home birth with this baby. I was afraid I wouldn’t get encouragement or support. Anytime I opened up and mentioned it, I’d hear, “That’s so dangerous! Something could happen to you or the baby.”, “What if you can’t handle the pain?”, “Aren’t you scared?”.
This time felt so much different though. I knew in my heart, my body was made to birth my baby naturally.
And guess what? DELIVERING CAMILA WAS THE MOST EMPOWERING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.
The Story of Camila’s Home Birth
The morning of Camila’s birth I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. It was a slow morning of snuggling in bed with our first two babies, Sienna & Weston. I started having contractions around 10 AM and decided to start cleaning to distract myself from getting too excited!
I had been practicing hypnobirthing techniques where I focused on breathing and keeping my body loose and relaxed through each contraction. I love the calming benefits of essential oils and I made a blend that I called my Courage roll-on. I applied it behind my ears and across my shoulders every few minutes.
Around 12 PM, I noticed the contractions getting a little stronger and about 3 minutes apart. So I stopped cleaning and got in the shower because I wanted to feel clean and more relaxed. My husband made lunch for our family. I tried to have a few bites in between contractions and then went into our room because I got this crazy idea that I might be able to sleep a little!
OUR MIDWIFE ARRIVES
At about 1 PM, our midwife came over. She wanted to check me to see how I was progressing because of the way I was talking and acting. At around 1:30 PM, she told me I was 7cm dilated! I was so happy because, according to the nurses at the hospital both times, “I was stuck at a 4 and should get an epidural.” Throughout my entire pregnancy, that was a huge fear I had, but kept reassuring myself this time was different and I wouldn’t get stuck! Little did I know, after she checked me she went into the other room and told my husband I was really at 9cm!
They started filling the pool, called everyone who needed to be there and I kept up with my breathing & affirmations to keep my body as loose and relaxed as possible! I got into the pool around 2 PM. I waited as long as I could before getting into the pool (it was my “epidural”) and you wouldn’t even know that in that picture of me smiling in the pool, I was 9cm dilated! Your mind is extremely powerful!
At 2:45 PM things really started getting intense and I felt my control slipping away a little, and that’s when my husband got in the pool with me. I felt a whole new sense of calm and strength because of him. Our 2-year-old Sienna had been in the room during this whole process. She was so sweet and loving to me. She would rub my arm during contractions and say, “It’s ok mommy.” She still talks about this day like it was the most magical day of her life. Even toddlers can have a beautiful experience in these moments.
Camila made her appearance at 3:12 PM, in water, after only 3 pushes! My husband had always wanted to help deliver our babies and he finally got to do it! He felt her head crowning, he coached me through pushes and I felt so strong!
All I needed was for my family to believe in me and my baby. I’m so thankful for them and for my midwife, who always reassured me that I CAN birth my baby, my way.
I changed that day- I believe in myself more than ever now! My body knew exactly what it was supposed to do, Camila knew exactly what she was supposed to do and together we did something amazing! THAT was my “special award” – that showed me we are more capable than we are given credit for! Her little hand on my chest reaching up, completely melted me. My husband couldn’t stop kissing me and staring at our perfect baby girl. He also got a ton of that natural oxytocin in that moment. This was the redemption our whole family needed. This is how we healed from traumatic birth experiences.
Homebirth isn’t for everyone but if you are preparing for your first home or birth center birth, believe in yourself and your ability to do amazing things!
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