I recently gave birth to my second baby. I had both births unmedicated with the help of a doula, midwife, essential oils, and meditation. I’m sure at this point most people cue up the drum circle or envision me birthing in an ocean or barn somewhere unconventional but I had my baby in a hospital, just as most people do. Everyone told me that labor and delivery time is cut in half with each subsequent birth and boy were they right. I went to bed the night before my due date and at 1:15am woke up because my water broke. I wasn’t sure if we should try to labor at home but the contractions were coming on strong and frequently so we decided to go straight to the hospital.
Fortunately for us, my sister was close by and rushed over to watch our daughter. At 3 a.m. I was 6 cm dilated at triage and I was immediately sent up to L&D. I planned for a water birth so the attendants were filling up the tub but my labor was progressing quickly and my blood pressure was abnormally high. I was in so much pain I didn’t think I could endure it but before I knew it I was on the hospital bed at 10cm dilated with my husband at my head, my doula on the right side, L&D nurse on the left, and my midwife ready to catch our baby. I felt so supported and encouraged with my birth team telling me I could do it. My husband (first time dad) was unbelievably supportive and comforting throughout the whole birth. He said all the right things and kept telling me how much he loved me and how we would soon be meeting our son. My doula was not only physically supportive through the pain but emotionally supportive.
I remember myself saying, amidst the tears, “I can’t do this anymore” but she assured me that I was already doing it and I was nearly there. My L&D nurse helped coach me through the pain and I felt comforted throughout labor knowing that she was constantly monitoring me and my baby. My midwife was phenomenal. She kept me focused and told me exactly what to do. She wanted to me to channel my energy and use the moans to push the baby out at just the right time, which avoided any tearing. I recall her saying to tuck my pelvis under, curve my back and push from my throat down.
Suddenly I heard my husband through tears say, “I see our son!” At 4:57am we met our sweet baby J, born on 7/10 at 7lbs 10oz.I felt so empowered and so grateful to my body and my whole birth team. I kept saying thank you over and over again to my husband, nurse, doula and midwife because they made me believe in myself and helped me bring our baby into the world. I felt so present during the entire birth and I am still in awe of the way it all happened. I didn’t get the water birth as planned but it turned out just beautifully. Later that morning our daughter arrived and it was love at first sight. I swear I felt my heart double in size.
Ria is a mom of two and works as an educational consultant for Chicago Public Schools. She is originally from LA and lives with her family in Chicago. Follow her family adventures at urbanohana.blog.