Video Interview With Alicia
When did you realize you were really in labor?
I THOUGHT I might be in labor the night before she was born. Then my bowels started evacuating from both ends, so I talked myself out of it. A stomach bug had been making its way through our family and I was the last to get it.
The next morning around 7, my stomach had settled and/or completely emptied. I was still having contractions about 10 minutes apart. My son was with my parents for his weekly sleepover. My husband and I decided to start a puzzle while we waited to see if this was labor or if it would calm down. Around 09:45 I thought again, this might be labor and started a group text with the support team.
By 10:30, I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes. So I called the birth center. They encouraged hydration and a bath to see if the contractions settled. After 45 minutes in the shower/bath, I felt like my labor was progressing. At 11:30 I wanted to go to the birth center. We arrived around 11:50. At this point, I felt like I did with my son’s birth right before I wanted to push. But I didn’t know how far along I really was so prepared myself for several more hours at the birth center.
Between 11:50-12:14 was a blur. I got in the tub and had the instinct to feel myself to see how far along I thought I was. I felt a fluid-filled sac protruding. My midwife suggested to push down and see if I could feel a head. And sure enough, I could! At that point, I asked them to be sure-“there’s no way I'm not in labor, right?”
It was at that point, I KNEW I was in labor. Next contraction, I started pushing. She was born at 12:14.
What was the most challenging thing about going natural?
Not knowing when labor would start. Surrendering to baby’s timing and to my body’s ability to execute birth when she was ready.
What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?
Reading birth stories hence me wanting to share my story this time. Also watching videos of calm and peaceful births. Practicing my birth affirmations. Practicing relaxing my body during discomfort and pain.
What surprised you about your birth?
How quickly it happened. How powerful my body is. How powerful relaxing and surrender can be.
Find your power. Trust your instincts. Build your support team. Practice your affirmations. Do your best to set yourself up for success. And then surrender to the process.
What pain relief strategies worked best?
Relaxing into the contractions. I would feel the wave of power building and my first response was to tense up but when I relaxed my forehead, my eyes, my jaw, my shoulders, etc, I could feel pure power and it was amazing.
How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?
Shocking. And beautiful. I was captivated.
What did you name your baby, and why?
Eleena meaning sun ray. She is a light in our life.
What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?
As a person who likes (to think she can) control everything, relaxing and surrender are key. Find your power. Trust your instincts. Build your support team. Practice your affirmations. Do your best to set yourself up for success. And then surrender to the process.