This experience healed me from the negative experience I had with my first birth. It was everything I wanted it to be. Absolutely perfect. I had the incredible blessing of getting absolutely every single thing I wanted to happen perfectly, just the way I wanted.
Redeeming Birth: Joseph's Birth Story
I’m a 2nd time mom and having done all the possible research (ie. Google searches) a mom can do, I just knew this baby was going to come sooner than my stubborn first-born, who at 41 weeks still required a grueling 31 hours of labor. I was all set to go, when 40 weeks came and went. I saw Stephanie at Baby+Company and we did the membrane sweep, and I underwent my 2nd round of acupuncture at 40+5, and the fun began. I awoke the next morning (it was a Thursday) around 4:30 having mild, yet consistent contractions. This was the identical scenario of my first labor beginning. My husband, Matt, got ready and left for work, and I laid in bed timing them (of course way too soon but I was excited, and nervous!). I called him to come back about 30 minutes later because we live in the middle of absolute nowhere and he works in Charlotte and could be up to an hour and a half away from me at any given point, so he came on back home to begin the waiting game.
It was a fun morning for us, we got our daughter (3.5 years old) ready and took her to preschool, and told her that when we saw her again her baby brother would be here. She was so excited.
When we got home, we binge watched some DVR recordings that needed to be freed up, and watched labor progress, again identically to my first experience. I bounced on the ball, and we even did the deed one more time for good measure, which I 100% attribute my speedy active labor to! We had planned to go to our doula’s house, which is halfway between our house and Baby+Company so the commute wouldn’t be so long, and to be sure we made it in time. So once contractions got around 10 minutes apart, I think it was maybe 1:00 and we headed to her house to hang out. She helped me do some relaxation, fixed me lunch, and we laughed at a few trashy episodes of Two and a Half Men for a while, when around 6:00 my contractions had become increasingly uncomfortable and were nearing 5 minutes apart, we decided to head to Baby+Company. We got there about 6:45, and Stephanie checked me only to inform me that I was 4 cm dilated, but my bag of waters was bulging through my cervix and could break at any minute. She sent hubs and I on a walk and said don’t come back in less than an hour but don’t stay gone more than 2, so off we went. We walked up to Ben and Jerry’s and I got a sorbet, at which point my contractions were very uncomfortable and still around 3-5 minutes apart. We decided to head out when I was unable to refrain from making noises and the other customers began to show looks of concern. On the walk back, contractions were serious and I was forced to stop and breath through them, leaning on my husband through each one. He was in full-on coach mode at this point. We strolled through the park and down a street where some really cute houses were, then decided it was time to head back to the center and call Pam (our doula). It had only been an hour at this point, but when we walked back into the center Stephanie and her husband were having their dinner in the lobby area and a seriously painful contraction struck me and I remember her saying “uh huh that sounds good!” and I just laughed and we went on back to our room. (We were in #3 which was my favorite).
Once we got into the room, I stripped down and went to sit on the toilet for a while through a few contractions, I was really hot from the walk since it was about 95 degrees outside, so I decided to get in a lukewarm bath to cool off. I had no intentions of giving birth at this point as I figured we still had a while to go. Well I was wrong!
I sat through about 4 contractions in the tub and shifted my weight and felt my bag of waters burst. My husband shined his flashlight on his phone in the water and confirmed the fluid cloud, and went to get Stephanie. She came in and informed me that labor was about to get serious and that we were getting ready to have a baby. WHAT?! I’d only been in serious labor for an hour… she’s lying. I told her she was lying… She laughed, and told me that I was likely 9-10 centimeters and that whenever I felt the urge to go ahead and push, and I began freaking out. And then I started vomiting, which is my signature response to intense pain. I vomited through about 4 hours of my labor with my daughter. Thankfully I only did twice with this one, as transition only lasted about 10 minutes. For whatever reason, I wasn’t ready, but this baby was coming! My hands and arms went numb because I started to hyperventilate and Stephanie and my husband coached me to control my breathing. Stephanie instructed me to insert my finger and that I’d be able to feel my baby’s head, and I did it and that was the only motivation I needed. My husband described my face from going from full freak-out mode to intense determination. I moved from sitting to hands and knees to help facilitate his descent. I think I pushed 3 or 4 times and he was out. I was still numb and completely amazed and not even able to hold him at first when Stephanie put him in my arms. It was truly an out-of-body experience. I couldn’t believe my body just did that. I did it. Throughout labor I remember thinking of this one thing over and over again… I had done a workout program by Shaun T (a Beachbody program) and his slogan was “don’t run from the work, feel the work” and literally this statement helped me allow my body to do what it needed to do the entire time. I breathed, let everything come down, and the baby came peacefully (minus a few choice words I shouted during transition and when I felt the ring of fire… which is everything everyone says it is).
At this point, Pam had not even made it to the center yet. And I had all this nice relaxation/focus material (my best friend made us a focus board of pictures of all of us with motivational quotes, it was really awesome) but didn’t get to use any of it! Pam came in about 15 minutes after he was born, and was flabbergasted that we had done it that quickly. But he was here, and our family was perfect. It was such an emotional rush that I had not experienced the first time. My first was born in the hospital, and a failed attempt at a natural birth. I did have her vaginally but was not able to forego an epidural as they threatened me multiple times with a c-section if I did not give in and take the meds to tolerate labor.
This experience healed me from the negative experience I had with my first birth. It was everything I wanted it to be. Absolutely perfect. I had the incredible blessing of getting absolutely every single thing I wanted to happen perfectly, just the way I wanted. I know this is not in any way the norm, but I was fortunate enough to experience perfection. I had my favorite midwife, my favorite room, short and tolerable labor, and the most amazing and empowering experience I could ever imagine. He came at 8:58 p.m. and we were home, in our bed at 3:00 a.m. Matt went to get our daughter the next morning to meet her new brother, and we began life as a family of 4 with breakfast in bed.
Joseph Tate Brinson
September 15, 2016
Delivered by the wonderful Stephanie and Tracy. I love these 2 special ladies. They took great care of me and my family. I am so thankful for them and Baby+Company, what they do is truly remarkable. I hope stories like mine spread and that other women realize their options and that more and more make the choice to take control of their pregnancies and births.