Photos and video by Shailynn Photo + Film
I went back and forth whether I wanted to share such a private, intimate moment for me and my family, so publicly (I mean, it's a video of me freaking giving birth ahhhh).
But then decided, what the hell... birth is so natural (if not the most natural thing on this plant), beautiful and should be celebrated. Plus, I wanted to share my story, so here goes...
A Bit of Background
I remember my first pregnancy with Allie (now 5), I was terrified the entire pregnancy. Terrified to give birth. How in the hell am I supposed to push a freaking watermelon out of my hoo ha???
I wanted to go unmedicated with the least amount of medical interventions as possible. But here's where I went wrong... I was tough right? I mean, I'm an athlete, I'm a badass and can totally take the pain, no problem. I walked in the hospital thinking I was super woman and could do my dam thing without practicing or preparing at all. HA! if only I could warn the 5 year ago Lindsay.
I felt like everything went wrong. I wanted to labor at home (didn't happen), I wanted to labor in the tub (didn't happen), I wanted labor to progress naturally on it's own NO Pitocin (didn't happen), I did NOT want an epidural (I got one), I wanted to do immediate skin to skin (didn't happen). Not to mention, I was freaking starving!!!! I was in labor for like 20 hours and wasn't allowed to eat a dam thing.
True story: as soon as I had Allie, before even asking to hold my baby, I asked for the box of crackers next to my bed.
Let's just say it wasn't the best experience. And I always had a lot of guilt because of it. So when I found out I was pregnant this time around, I knew it was going to be different.
This time I was ready to educate myself and prepare for the birth I really wanted. So I was super stoked when a friend of mine told me about hypnobirth and some classes she took here in Salt Lake City called The Curtis Method. I signed up and the hubby and I were all in... and I'm SO glad I did!!!!
It was three days after my due date. They say you go earlier with your second +, yeah right! I woke up around 1:30 am with contractions, these ones felt different than the ones I had earlier that week and I don't know how but I just knew this was go time. Heck yassss!!!!
I woke the hubby to let him know "hey, we're having a baby today" lol. He was awesome, he got right up and asked me what I needed and was there to support me if needed.
The plan was to keep myself busy by doing something to help keep my mind off things. So I sat down at my handy dandy sewing machine and worked on orders that needed to go out. My hubby thought I was crazy... "what the heck are you doing? You can't work while you're in labor".
I said, "watch me" lol. It was actually the perfect project. Kept my mind off the contractions and helped pass the time. I finished my open orders, got 'em ready to be shipped and called it a day. Perfect timing because these contractions were starting to get intense.
So around 3:30 am I got in the tub. Heaven freaking sent.... I could barely feel when a contraction was coming, that warm water was magic.
I told the hubby to go get some rest because I'm gunna need him fully energized when things hit the fan. I got out of the tub and laid back down in bed and let the hubby sleep, while I relaxed, for about an hour and a half.
When the contractions started getting harder to get through... I woke the man beast up... "I need ya now babe". So at around 6:30 am I called my mom and Doula and them know today was the day.
My mom was our designated nanny for Allie. I knew I wanted Allie to be there for the birth so my moms job was to keep an eye on her throughout labor and delivery and take her out of the room in case of an emergency.
Side note: I made sure my mom brought me something to eat on her way to the house, I did NOT want to starve again lol.
I labored at home (thanks to my hubby and doula) for the next few hours. At around 11:30 we decided it was time to head to the hospital, it's go time! Once we got there (around noon) we signed in at the front desk... the nurses didn't believe me when I said I'm having a baby soon (they said I was too calm and relaxed) "we're sure it'll be while" they said... HA! Little did they know.
I got a cervical check once we got checked into the hospital... to their surprise I was 6 cm dilated. I hauled in what seemed like a weeks worth of luggage into the room and my doula got everything set up (she was amazing).
I wanted a peaceful, dim lit room that was super quiet so I could focus on ME. So I brought fake candles, an oil diffuser + bath bombs I made with wild orange oils ( I practiced my relaxation tracks with wild orange, so I was sure to bring them) and my gender reveal blankets ready to go (while on family vacation in Amsterdam I bought some awesome fabric, one in pink and one in blue to reveal the sex of the baby in).
Seriously, having a doula was amazing! Even though my husband was my #1 supporter, we wanted a doula there to help take care of things so that Pete could be by my side 100%, and take over for him if he ever needed a break (he totally rocked it though).
And my mom pulled out the snacks... HA yes, I totally had food there. I gave my mom a list of food I thought I'd want while in labor. Now I know they tell you you can't eat once you get to the hospital. But seriously, labor's like running a marathon. How in the world do they expect you to deliver a baby without any fuel? It's the most physically challenging thing you'll ever do, you need energy to finish the job homie.
Now I'm not saying go eat a hamburger or bean burrito. My mom brought sacks that were easy to digest: yogurt, fruit, nuts, etc. those sorts of things. Food that was enough to keep me going, yet not heavy enough to stay in my tummy for days lol.
When we checked in I specifically asked for a room with a tub. I knew I wanted to labor as long as I could in there, again, it was magical.
This is when I really zoned out. I dimmed the lights, turned on the candles, used my bath bombs with my oils, put on my headphones, turned on my relaxation tracks and zoned out.
When things would start to get intense, I'd open my eyes and see my hubby and daughter. At one point I looked over and Allie stroked my face and said, "you're doing amazing mama", my heart sank (<---insert ugly cry here) and I got my second wind to keep going.
Although, things weren't so bad. I mean, I was completely relaxed... even smiling and laughing between contractions. I was truly amazed. This was nothing like what I had seen in the movies with women screaming in terror. I was in control.
I'd been on the search for some wireless headphones that would help drown out the outside noise so I could focus. So I was super excited to find THESE headphones from Sudio Sweden just in time. Oh man, these headphones were KEY. Wireless, amazing sound quality (while drowning out the noise) AND they were cute... just an added bonus :)
At this point I was dilated at 8 cm.
I labored in the tub until I felt ready to push. Our hospital isn't licensed for water births, so you can labor in the tub... but when it comes time to push that baby out, you have to move locations. BOO!
Well I was at an 8 or 9 when I felt time to push. The plan was to move into the room and deliver there. Yeah, we didn't quite make it lol.
Contractions were pretty major at this point and I couldn't quite walk through them. So my doula and hubby helped get me out of the tub and I sat on the edge of the tub to help pass another contraction.
My midwife didn't think I could quite make it to the room yet so she suggested I move to the toilet for the next contraction (slowly moving closer to the room).
Well... I never made it to the room, I was sitting on the toilet and it was time to push. A contraction was coming and I started to push. I could feel tons of pressure and burning... so I knew I needed to slow everything down or I was going to tear (it didn't feel right).
My midwife confirmed it. She told me to slow down, wait for the next contraction and we'd slowly do little pushes to help get this baby out slowly with the next contraction. I just remember opening my eyes at this point and seeing Allie with the biggest smile on her face, too precious.
So with the next contraction, my doula lifted my leg, the hubby helped keep me up and we slowly pushed this little babe out. This was the MOST beautiful thing I had ever experienced.
Holding this little babe, looking into his eyes and feeling like a million bucks. It was a BOY and I was incredibly in love!!! I felt like super woman.
I moved to the bed, held my little babe for the next 2 hours, uninterrupted skin to skin and told the hospital staff they could wait to do any checks (that couldn't be done while he was on my chest) until after my 2 hours of snuggles.
Allie was SO excited to meet her little brother and our family now felt complete.
We had the most magical, beautiful, life changing birth. It went exactly how I pictured it would go. I'm SO glad I did it different this time. That I educated myself this go round. That I practiced and prepared my mind and body in order to do the one thing my body was made to do, give birth. Welcome to the world Koda Daniel White.
I can't thank my husband Pete, doula Mari, midwife Lindsay + HypnoBirth teacher LauraLynn enough for making this one of the most incredible moments of my life. And Shailynn for capturing this moment.
HypnoBirth is amazing!!!!!!