In this series, we share real, raw, & honest birthing stories.
Straight from the birth person.
I was honored to be their birth doula and capture photographs.
What was the most challenging part of your labor, birth, and/or immediate postpartum time?
Sessy was there for both my daughter's birth (2017) and son's birth (2020). For this question, I'm going to speak to a difficult part during my son's labor. I was planning to birth him at a Birth Center, but we had to transfer mid labor (7-8cm dilated) to a hospital for a Cesarean Birth due to him being breech. A quick history: I birthed my daughter unmedicated at a birth center and everything went smoothly, so I was expecting something similar for my second birth. To sum up a the most challenging part- it was the moment I found out he was breech and we needed to transfer. I was scared and overwhelmed. Moments following the news, questions and doubts exploded in my mind. How long will it take to transfer? Is this definitely going to be a c-section birth? What are my birth options during a c-section? Any woman in labor can empathize with the fear I had being 8 cm dilated and needing to transfer. As my questions poured out, Sessy calmly went through all scenarios and necessary information.
An important part to this story is how she gave me much more information than the midwives and staff on duty. She kept my grounded and breathing through each contraction during the transfer, and if my mind started to wander, she would bring me back to reality. It was hard to stay focused. Despite the traumatizing news about needing to transfer, my son's birth was the most spiritual moment I've ever endured in my life. I will never forget the courage and grace Sessy gave me and my husband... a challenging moment that is near and dear to my heart.
Describe the early labor experience and how it was either different or similar to what you expecting.
My early labor experience was very similar for both my kids. Slow and steady. My daughter's was gradual and almost predictable. I was in the early stages for a good 5 hours... I labored at home- walked around, circle "8's" on the birth ball, did my make-up and curled my hair (lol), ate snacks and tried to breath deep and slow. My son's was similar besides my water broke earlier on so my contractions were stronger and came on faster than my first birth.
Describe the active labor experience and how it was either different or similar to what you expecting.
Active labor was pretty similar to what I was expecting. I was very "inward" and breathed through each contraction with Sessy and my husband's support. Time was slow during active labor and I have to thank Sessy who helped me through the long hours.
If your birth required a transfer of locations what was that experience like for you?
For my son's birth, the transfer itself felt long and dreadful. Luckily, Sessy and my husband were there by my side to guide my through contractions while being wheeled through a hospital and having to answer silly questions like "what's the date today" by staff at the hospital. The consultation with the initial surgeon felt overwhelming, but during that time I was transitioning to push so I wasn't 100% coherent. Once we made it to the surgery room I felt scared but ready to do what was best for my baby. Sessy was able to finagle her way into the operating room during times of Covid-19 and I was so thankful she was there with us. As the doctors were beginning the cesarean, she pointed out that everyone in the room was female (besides my husband)- both a powerful and spiritual moment for us all. Joyful tears roll down my face as I remember the significance she had during my son's birth.
What was the healing process like for you after cesarean birth?
The healing process was faster than I anticipated. Directly out of surgery- I knew I needed to stay VERY hydrated so I drank lots of water following the procedure. I was determined to heal quickly and safely. I took it easy the first couple weeks and focused on nursing my baby and laying low. Through positivity and resting well at the beginning of my postpartum journey, I was able to resume my normal activities by week 5 and went on my first run by week 6! Let's be honest, it was more like a jog/walk :) Overall I was impressed by my recovery time. It just goes to show through determination and self-love, you can accomplish a lot.