How has birth changed you as a woman?
Birth has really empowered me to make my own choices. It showed me how I am the best advocate for my own body and baby. It has taught me that not every medical person is right. It made me realize to trust myself and listen to my motherly instincts!
If I believe baby is fine, it’s fine.
If I think I need to rest, I need to rest.
If I feel I’m not going to have this baby soon, then leave me alone. (Don’t make me go to the hospital too soon to just walk around for hours potentially days.)
YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME!
What advice do you wish you had known before giving birth (even if it’s something gross)?
An epidural doesn’t always work, at all, or fully! Haha!
That every woman has choices and depending on the hospital there are certain policies you need to abide by; look into those before choosing where to birth.
Tell us a little about your birth story?
LITTLE? Hmm how can I tell a little bit, when I feel it was such a longggg “bit” of laboring!
Well this was my second birth. While lying in bed Sunday I felt a leak- it was some blood and mucus. We made our way into the city, an hour drive. Even though we arrived at 1am it actually took me eight hours before I had finally admitted myself upstairs. I paced back and forth in the hallways, breathed through contractions in the waiting area before I even had the courage to make my way to the maternity & delivery ward. I was too afraid to have a repeat C-section. So this time around I was determined to avoid any unnecessary interventions. By 10 am myself, Mike, Dawn our doula, and Amara Mikes cousin our photographer checked in. My so-called plan was to walk and walk in order to speed up my labor process.
Mike was sick with cold and flu symptoms so my doula dawn was our saving grace. When I say saving grace I not only mean for myself and baby but for my husband and everyone else there. He was able to rest while we explored the entire hospital all day and evening. When I say explore I don’t take this lightly! Not only did we pace those eight hours prior to checking in, we continued to explore the hospital on every level, nook and cranny, windows, doors, entrances, flights of stairs, exits, and areas that whole day. No time like the present for a man to be very ill, that was tough. Soon enough was enough and I needed my rest, this baby wasn’t quite ready yet or my body. I tried everything in my power naturally to progress baby to come sooner; craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, food, showering, massages, walking, praying, laughing, and self-talk. By midnight I received an epidural for rest and shortly after Pitocin. I was very nervous for this because it was not part of my plan but I realized after trying almost everything naturally and giving my best 100%, the medical intervention might have had to be place in my journey, after all I was in a hospital anyways. Dawn was kind enough to get Amara and Mike blankets so they could sleep while I rested. Things only progressed to 7cm by 2am, so the doctor broke my water. At 3:10 I began to push and at 4:20 Monday morning our baby was born. It was so exhilarating Mike announced the gender of our baby BOY, another boy I could not believe it! I was in total utter shock so much so that even when I saw our baby’s boy parts, I had to re-ask Mike what we had. I cried happy tears in disbelief and said “oh my goodness we have two boys” and laughed. I then asked what his name was going to be; he replied “Casen with an E.”
What are your three must-have birth bag items?
Truthfully I think it’s the people you have around you. Unfortunately I learned this when my bag was forgotten for my first pregnancy. I was extremely disappointed because I thought I needed these tennis balls so he could massage more than five minutes in the case his hands became too sore. For my second I had my pretty birthing gown which I learned afterwards was a waste of money. Now I look back on those pictures- it was pretty, but not at all important on how it made me feel during birth! I guess if I had to choose one thing to bring it would be baby’s first outfit.
What is one thing you find beautiful about birth?
Aside from that initial first little cry that baby needs mama. It is seeing the baby in daddy’s arms and him looking instantly in love of something the two of you created!
What would you tell someone who just found out they were pregnant?
Nap while you can! If you have headaches perhaps it’s your body telling you, you need to rest. Ultrasounds can be very deceiving. A tech can be a millimeter off on the click of a button and the results can drastically effect so called “results”. Don’t Google things. We are all different, different bodies, different babies, different parents, heck even different placentas and umbilical cords haha!
What were your beauty must-haves while pregnant?
1. My Body Oil from the Saje store it’s called – Mothers wellness (stretch mark blend)
2. Happy Mams Spray- uplifting aromatherapy spray for expecting new mamas from Earth Mama: Angel Baby
3. My lavender mist from the Saje store it’s called – Lavender Relaxing Mist
Both of these sprays were my go to’s when things got tough! One spritz of this on my face told me it everything was okay and to calm myself. It instantly relaxed me or made me happy! I’m sure it was all in my head but hey it worked and you just gotta do what works for you!
4. Lush products but I have to say the Dream Cream hand and body cream was my favorite because it actually replenished my dry Albertan skin.
Words about your photographer?
Oh, Amara, she was so patient- well she had no choice haha!
In the midst of birthing she stuck behind the scenes perfectly not to get in the way which professionally helped the staff and everyone all around! She was not just a creepy person in the corner with her camera flashing the flash, testing out shots just to check the brightness of the room. (That is just annoying) Yet she was a great support for my husband and the waiting game. She walked the hallways when I did, she rested when we did. She was actually a part of it so this did not make it at all awkward because she went through everything we all went through. Truly she was a part of the team, and our birth story! I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way for my first birth photographer. I believe everyone needs a birth photographer. Evidently she captured the realness of our birth. I think the best part aside from her being just the photographer was her being there as a friend and family member. She just does her thing and naturally it all comes together in the midst of her taking pictures, her perfecting comes from her talented editing. Not once did she ask me look here, to turn my head, or pose anywhere. To have her there was a breeze and totally worth not having to ask anyone else to take a photo off their phone. She showed me what birth looks like from an outsider looking in. The beautiful connection and love of a family, the bond of supporters you have there is undeniably shown in the photos. These are my forever memories no matter what I may forget, I’ll have these forever to look upon. Once my children are older I can’t wait to share these moments with them.
While picking a photographer I had to make sure to pick someone I was more than comfortable with because this can greatly affect your way to birth. I couldn’t have picked a better person it was very important for me to have her there as I had such a need and want to remember this birth unlike the first time around.
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