Birth Stories

Eating Dates Religiously Helped Jessica During Her Natural Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    I had a whirlwind day of heavy-duty nesting! My three-year-old daughter was at her grand-mom’s for the afternoon, so it was the perfect day to clean and prepare! I was a week ahead of the due date and feeling like it was GO time since my daughter had been two weeks early. I had enjoyed a date smoothie with chocolate almond milk earlier in the day and prepared a dinner in the Dutch oven of Beef Burgundy. As the meal was simmering, I sat down on the couch and actually heard an audible was my water breaking, and unlike my first birth, it was absolutely unmistakable and yes, just like the movies! It was a gush and it didn’t stop! My pets (two dogs and two cats) all heard the pop and looked at me in wonder.

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    I was most concerned with manifesting the midwife I most wanted to be present for the birth but low and behold she was the one on call when we arrived at the hospital! I knew she’d support me in my natural birth plan...and honestly, it was such a rapid birth, no one even had time to properly admit me as a patient, let alone suggest any type of interventions or medications.

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  • What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?

    I ate those dates religiously! Truly, I had about six a day in the final few weeks. I also stayed fairy active thanks in large part to my daughter. I also found a provider who completely resonated with my energy and with whom I felt safe sharing my hopes for the birth. During my intense contractions in the car en route to the hospital, I found it therapeutic to sing some of the songs on my birthing playlist...” Last Night of the World,” from Miss Saigon was the song to which we pulled up to the hospital, and it will never sound the same to me!

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    The speed! My entire labor was less than two hours long, start to finish. My boy was born in two pushes about 15 minutes after entering the hospital. The urge to push was so strong... it was practically unstoppable. I was also pleasantly surprised by the faster recovery time, even though my body was still in a bit of shock from the speed of the birth itself.

  • found it much easier to push and much easier to intuitively let my body do what it wanted to do without an epidural, and the surge of after-birth hormones is just an incredible feeling!
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    During the active labor contractions at home, I went out by myself into the garden and did a lot of squats and low moans. In the car and in the hospital hallways, as we waited for the room, I was singing everything that came to mind!

  • How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?

    Absolutely incredible and a huge relief during what was a stressful pregnancy—between the pandemic and a slight anomaly on his 20-week scan (which turned out to be nothing); holding him and breathing in his sweet, peaceful vibes was a truly delicious moment.

  • What did you name your baby, and why?

    We named him Olivier, like Oliver but the French way. My husband has some French heritage and I knew he’d be born a Libra—a dove of peace, bringer of harmony and the Olive branch. We call him Oli for short!

  • What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?

    I found it much easier to push and much easier to intuitively let my body do what it wanted to do without an epidural, and the surge of after-birth hormones is just an incredible feeling! I am very fortunate to have had two empowering, yet very different births, and I’m so grateful for that. Just as I am for my incredible children, who are also so uniquely different from one another! And I definitely swear by the dates!

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