Waiting for a Baby
This blog is here for you if you're seeking strength and courage for the big day. Wonderful mothers share different birth stories, each unique in its own way, along with insights to pass on to expectant parents.
A big thank you to our mothers who have shared their stories <3
Here is a beautiful birth story from Johanna (Instagram: johannagrantcom), who planned for a home birth. Humble in recognizing that birth cannot be planned down to every detail, Johanna had a goal and a vision to give birth to her child in a calm and secure manner at home.
Johanna and her partner prepared meticulously, creating a safe and comfortable environment. They had a doula to support them throughout the process. It wasn't an easy journey, but with support from each other and the professionals present, they managed everything that came their way.
"It's 6:30 am, and I'm up to pee, everything is as usual. No signs of anything. At 6:50, Lily wakes up and needs to go to the bathroom, so I follow. I stand up, and the classic 'pop' sound is heard, and I think 'I wonder if my water just broke.' I walk about 5-6 meters into the hallway, and yes, there comes a big gush of water. V is sleeping upstairs; I say in a pretty low voice from downstairs, 'I think my water broke,' and he wakes up in a millisecond (which never happens otherwise). According to him, it sounded like I was right next to his ear, speaking normally, so he was probably very ready and prepared.
I call my mom, who's coming to pick up Lily, and then I call my doula, who will be there to assist. The water continues to trickle every time I stand up, but contractions don't start. 2-3 hours later, the doula arrives, and we start immediately with exercises from 'Active Baby' to get the baby in an optimal position and hopefully initiate contractions (we thought he might be slightly tilted with his head, hence no contractions starting). It's probably closer to 10:30/11 by now, I guess. We alternate the exercises as instructed and then start with acupressure. Around lunchtime (12-1 pm), the first small sensations start. We alternate the exercises as instructed, and I also roll around a bit sitting on a Pilates ball for almost an hour while contractions intensify more and more. Around 3 pm, I know the intensity is increasing significantly, and by this time, I'm timing everything, and it's getting closer to getting into the birthing pool.
I get into the pool around 4:15-4:30. Then the labor continues there. Awful contractions but nice breaks in between. I feel the progress, and this time, I can feel when he starts descending (I never did with Lily), and that pain was the worst; it was hard to stay positive. Then it's time for the head to come out, and it goes well, needs a little assistance from outside when the head is out before the rest of the body comes, and by 6:20 pm, he's all out, and the feeling is: confusion, surreal, and exhausted.
After a while, we move to our own bed (that feeling was unbeatable), waiting for the placenta to come out, which happens within an hour. He's alert and awake. I breastfeed, and after maybe 2 hours, we start getting ready to go to the hospital for a check. I shower off, put on my own clothes, and 4 hours after his birth, we're at the hospital. I get examined, the umbilical cord is cut, he's weighed and measured, and we schedule an appointment for a doctor's checkup.
An amazing, calm, undramatic, and loving birth experience in our own home. In our own living room. With companions we chose ourselves. With calm hours afterward for the best chance of bonding, etc. It was a dream."
Johanna's Tips for Birth:
- Have a vision of how you want your birth to be, but when it actually happens, take things as they come.
- Focus on maintaining your breathing and calmness in all situations.
- Communicate with your partner or support person about your expectations. Being on the same page and receiving the support you want is empowering.
This is Emelie's story about a birth that wasn't at all as she imagined, ending in an emergency C-section and a realization of being able to accept the situation as it is.
"It's really true that life can't always be planned, especially when it comes to childbirth and the new life that comes afterward. It's easy to feel both happy and excited but also stressed and worried about everything that's going to happen. But it's important to remember that it's okay to take things as they come and that it's completely normal and allowed to feel different emotions.
When I was going to give birth to my first child, I did everything I could to prepare myself as much as possible. I packed my hospital bag early with everything I thought I would need, cooked food to have in the freezer, and tried to plan as much as possible. But a few weeks before the due date, everything didn't go as planned. I gave birth to my child prematurely, under difficult circumstances, and ended up in the neonatal ward, which was a completely different experience from what I had expected.
It was a tough time, but I quickly learned that it was more important to have a sense of acceptance and to take things as they come than to try to control everything. Having support from my partner and my loved ones was invaluable, and it was also important to ask for help when needed. Having food in the freezer and a plan for how to take care of myself and my family afterward is good, but it's also important to have flexibility and be open to changes.
The most important thing for me was to feel acceptance for the situation and that it was okay to take things as they came. This gave me a sense of calm and security amidst all the chaos.
So even though it's good to prepare for childbirth and the time afterward, it's important to remember that things don't always go as planned and that it's okay to ask for help when needed. It's also important to have a sense of acceptance and to take things as they come, in order to reduce the stress and anxiety that can arise during this time.
Today, there are a few days left until the expected arrival of our third child. And being open to the possibility that things might unfold differently than expected is an experience I feel has strengthened me."
This is Marielle's story, about a planned cesarean section due to breech presentation and her thoughts about it.
"It was a feeling I had never experienced before, a mixture of nervousness and anticipation unlike anything else. Our childbirth was planned as a cesarean section, so we were prepared for the procedure itself. Despite that, it was a strange feeling, a mix of excitement and calm, as we headed to the delivery room for preparations in the morning.
The night before had been restless, knowing it was our last night alone in the house. The morning was calm and jittery, and I showered and soaped myself with an antibacterial soap as recommended by the doctor. The feeling in the car on the way to the delivery room was special. I was ready to meet my child, but at the same time, I wished to be unaware of exactly when it would happen. I wanted to take it as it came, without knowing the exact time.
We had previously visited the delivery room, but I was so focused on a vaginal birth that I hadn't really absorbed the information about a cesarean section. I was grateful that it was a planned operation, given the risks of giving birth to a breech baby. At the same time, I felt a bit disappointed at the prospect of not experiencing a vaginal birth and getting to know what pre-labor contractions feel like.
My partner was with me during the birth and was an amazing source of comfort to have by my side, even though he doesn't particularly like hospital environments. He wore the required green clothes and joked about looking like a doctor. He was present and an incredible support throughout the procedure. Having him there meant a lot to me.
In the preparation room, there was a wonderful atmosphere. The staff was fantastic and full of enthusiasm for the upcoming birth. I got to shower and prepare again, well-informed and guided by the amazing staff. They told us what to expect and explained why IVs and catheters needed to be inserted. They also showed us which room the baby would be taken to if there was a need for assistance after birth. After a somewhat long wait, it was finally time for us to go to the operating room.
In the operating room, we were greeted by a staff that exceeded my expectations. They were more numerous than I had thought, and they gave all of us a positive feeling that they were genuinely looking forward to welcoming my child into the world. The anesthesiologist sat beside me, closely monitoring everything, and I felt secure with their presence.
The incision took a bit longer than planned, and there was a sense of urgency and a slightly strained atmosphere in the room. But my focus was on catching a glimpse of my child and feeling her against my cheek. I only had a brief moment with her before the staff quickly acted and took her to another room to help her breathe. My partner went with them to be by her side.
While I remained on the operating table and was being sewn up, the anesthesiologist spoke soothingly to me. They explained that it can be a bit complicated to deliver a breech baby and that sometimes extra help is needed to ensure proper oxygenation. I don't remember much from that moment, but I recall feeling like I should react more to the situation, that I must have been quite groggy.
The wait to be reunited with my partner and my child felt endlessly long. Every second felt like an eternity. But eventually, a member of the staff entered the room and reassured me with happy words that everything went well. The feeling of relief and joy that filled my heart in that moment is hard to describe in words.
In summary, it was an extremely positive and successful experience. The commitment, support, and professional approach of the staff made all the difference. Although I may not have been able to feel and react in the same way I expected, I was grateful that everything went well and that I got to be part of an amazing team that made my child's arrival into the world a truly memorable event.
In hindsight, it doesn't feel like the operation was the worst part, which I had probably anticipated because I had set the goal to get it over with. Instead, it was the time after the operation that was challenging, struggling to move around and take care of my child. I wish I had been more prepared for that.
Each childbirth story is unique. Would you like to join and share your experiences with other expectant parents? Don't hesitate to contact us. Together, we can create a space where each story can find its place, and where we can learn from each other."