Pregnancy for me was such a blessing. My husband and I tried for a while to get pregnant, but after some time, we decided to go see a specialist. Having polycystic ovary syndrome, I knew that I would need a little assistance with getting pregnant. We visited with a specialist on February 5th, 2019. By April 5th, 2019, I received the exciting phone call that we were pregnant! Feelings of joy, excitement, and relief flooded my body, and I was so ready for this next chapter. I could not have asked for an easier pregnancy. Sure, there were moments of restlessness, heartburn, and feeling huge at times, but I really tried to embrace pregnancy, and actually enjoyed it.
With pregnancy comes cravings, and one day I was craving Mexican food. While enjoying our delicious lunch, we made conversation with a couple sitting next to us. The lady was quite lovely and extremely friendly. She had her hands full with her little girl and was expecting another child as well. She asked me when I was due, and if I had a doula. I had no idea what a doula was and was very intrigued to hear more about this. She told me that she does not think she could have gotten through labor without her extraordinary doula, Bonnie. She gave me her information, as well as Bonnie’s on the back of her lunch receipt. I was so grateful to have met her that day.
The decision on where I was going to labor was in the back of my mind, and I was trying to decide if I wanted to do a hospital birth. Having a natural background, I knew I wanted the least intervention possible. I met with one office while making my decision, and after leaving the office that day, I knew that I did not want to go that route. I spoke with my husband and we decided to meet with Bonnie. This was one of the best decisions we ever made. Bonnie came to our house for an interview and was so warm and personable. I knew right then and there that I wanted to do a homebirth, and she would be perfect with helping me on my special day.
I attended all of the birthing classes throughout pregnancy and went to Bonnie with any questions that I had. We even did a private class at our house over the course of two nights, and it was extremely insightful. Things were starting to get real, and I had a sense of calm mixed in with the nervousness, knowing that Bonnie was going to be there with me. One of the most important takeaways during this class in my opinion, was the idea of resting and ignoring the early labor pains.
During the pregnancy process, a question was asked.. “ What does your birth plan look like?” my mind started racing, and I quickly thought of this day. I knew that I was going to have a homebirth, and with that, I would have specific needs. Since I would be giving birth during the Holidays, I wanted the house decorated, twinkle lights, and my favorite Christmas album playing in the background. I also knew that I wanted to bake cookies during the labor process to distract myself from the laboring itself.
When the big day arrived, I woke up at midnight with cramps, but tried going back to bed. By 4:45 AM, I was texting Bonnie and letting her know that the cramps were gradually feeling a tad stronger, and I wanted to keep her posted of the situation. She literally texted me back within the minute! She was communicating with me all morning, and it was such a relief. Throughout the morning, I tried ignoring the cramps, staying busy, and giving my body time to rest. By 11:30 AM, I decided it was cookie time. I started mixing the ingredients and found myself on the kitchen floor during the contractions. Once a contraction passed, I went back to mixing. I continued this process of sitting on the kitchen floor and making the cookies until the cookies were out of the oven.
As the day passed, the contractions were getting stronger, but I knew that I had a long day ahead of me and I needed to manage the contractions by ignoring them. It was about 6:30 PM, and I figured that I better call Bonnie and my midwife. My midwife suggested that I download a contraction counter app on my phone. I sent her the notification from the app which said” Okay, it’s time to grab your bag and go to the hospital.” In hindsight, I probably should have given Bonnie and my midwife a little more notice.. oops!
When Bonnie arrived, I was on the living room floor trying to breathe through the contractions. As soon as I felt her presence and heard her voice, I knew that I needed to just breathe and remain calm. After all, I had a long night ahead of me…so I thought. My midwife arrived shortly after and asked if she could check my dilation. This was around 8 PM. Once she finished, she advised Bonnie and I to go back to what we were doing. My husband and Bonnie asked how far along I was, and when Bonnie came back to sit with me, I anxiously asked” Okay, so how dilated am I?!” She told me I was 8 centimeters dilated, and I was absolutely shocked! I felt such an incredible sense of empowerment, knowing that I was handling this and that I could do exactly what I put my mind to.
The team quickly put together the birthing pool, which was decorated with Christmas lights.. another request of mine. By the time the pool was ready, so was I. I had spent the last hour and a half laboring on the toilet, so I was ready to change positions.
Once in the pool, the intensity skyrocketed. I found my pitch to be on the higher end, but Bonnie gently encouraged me to try aiming for a lower pitch. When she said that, something clicked in my mind, and I was able to make progress with pushing. With each push, I had to allow my body to open and push the baby down. During the transition process, I felt an extreme burning sensation, and it felt like I was ripping apart but I kept telling myself that with each push, I was one step closer to meeting my child.
At 11:04 PM, under the Christmas tree with my husband by my side my beautiful baby girl arrived, and my life changed forever in the most perfect and empowering way.