Meredith had a positive first birth.
This is how she describes it.
I had a wonderful first birth. I worked with a doula, and gave birth at a midwife hospital (in San Francisco). I did a lot of work ahead of my first birth, with my doula (who will be with us again for this birth), yoga and meditation, and a local labor class. My goal was to have a little to no intervention, though I was always open to an epidural if I was far enough along (I wanted to be able to move during the majority of labor). It played out exactly like I was hoping it would; I labored at home for a long while, got to the hospital at 6 cm, and labored there until about 9 cm and got the epidural. I was so grateful for the experience I had. It helped me transition to motherhood feeling empowered, proud and grateful for my body, the work I did to prepare, and the support system I had.
She decided to take the Zoom group course mostly to help her focus on her second pregnancy. As those of you who are preparing for subsequent births know, there just doesn’t seem to be much time to think about your pregnancy, let alone prepare for birth and for welcoming another baby.
As the course went on and Meredith learned more, I think she became determined to work through her fears and really trust herself and her body in a way she didn’t fully realise in her first birth.
And she did exactly that!
Here is Caspian’s birth story as told by his strong mother!
I am sitting in the hospital room, a day after my son arrived, and I had to write to you immediately. I’m afraid I won’t be able to put into words the real impact you, and your course, had on my birthing experience – but I’m going to try.
Despite this being my second birth, I felt like I learned things in your course that I still didn’t know; tools for dealing with labor, but also information about labor and what the body goes through.
As I neared my due date and baby still hadn’t arrived, I started to get a lot of pressure about membrane sweeps. You helped support me in the decision to keep going and trust this baby. I kept doing my affirmations and listening to the rainbow mist meditation. I kept re-reading your email “the time between” and I kept practicing letting go and not thinking about labor starting. I had the best three weeks with my family of three, a time I won’t ever forget.
On Saturday afternoon I went for an NOn-stress test to make sure baby was okay. Everything looked good but no one could understand why I didn’t want a membrane sweep to just get things moving. I was 2 days “past due.” On the way home I told baby I trusted them, and was ready to keep waiting and let them tell me when they were ready.
Two hours after getting home from the test, contractions started as we put our toddler to sleep. In an hour they were frequent and close together. It was all happening so fast, and I was afraid. During each surge I kept my focus on my breath, and thought about what my body was doing. I didn’t need to fear it, it was simply opening up. When I was able to do that, the experience and sensation of each contraction changed. It was still hard, but it was powerful and calming too.
We arrived to the hospital at 8:45pm and I was in a lot of pain. Baby’s head wasn’t in the best position and my contractions were intense, frequent but erratic. I was 6 centimetres and I was begging for the drugs.
My doula felt the contractions showed the baby wasn’t in exactly the right position, so she suggested some rebozo work. Thanks to you, I was able to tell her which way the baby was and what I thought they needed. She shimmed me in the rebozo in between contractions and within minutes I felt relief. The surges were still intense but they felt productive now.
Ten minutes later as they worked to set up the labour and delivery room, I said it felt like baby was crowning. I felt it, even though it had been such a short time since getting admitted. The room got quiet, I was standing next to the bed, they looked and said “You’re right.”
I didn’t have time for the drugs. A thought that paralyzed me with fear for the last 10 months, but suddenly I wasn’t afraid. I was able to let my body take the lead, it told me when to push, I trusted it, and as soon as the head crowned, it was like a giant relief. I put my head into the pillow and worked with my body and baby to move him out. Our baby was born at 9:53pm in the full amniotic sac.
It was magic.
There is absolutely no way I could have had this experience without your course. I felt so strong, so calm, so empowered. I was able to trust and harness my body in a way I’ve never ever experienced before. My doula, who was with us in the first birth too, said my fear felt so different this time around. She said she watched me settle in to this birth and trust my body so much more. I know that’s because of you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It is truly the very best gift I could ever receive. You are an incredible person and I’m so grateful for all you do.