The birth of my own babies

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

    Just as every mom, I love to revisit the day I first met my babies. As a doula I am often asked how my experiences were, and I am happy to share. So, I will go ahead and leave a really short version of each here as something I don’t always do which is write a blog post. I encourage moms and dads to write their birth stories too, it helps process, keep a memory that one day you can share with your child.


The birth of my first son – Hospital Birth in Brazil with epidural

The first time our eyes met.

As soon as the first 2 months of pregnancy kicked in, and I started thinking of the inevitable day of giving birth to my baby, I started researching and realized the vaginal birth my mom always claimed were the best she had, it was not the norm at that time (2010). Private hospitals had a 90% cesarean rate. The OBGYN I saw for my regular exams had a room full of pictures of births and ALL cesareans, as well as all experiences I heard from her clients. So I decided to switch doctors looking for one that was more known for attending natural births. I switched, then I switched again, second time I was 38 weeks pregnant. I had a doula who helped me in this process too.  

My doula Stephanie 

The big day came I was 39weeks and 3 days into the pregnancy. It was 9:30am, I felt the first colic like feeling, timed it on a computer program (no smart phones’ app at that time) it was every 10 minutes; husband had just left for work and came back, we had lunch and headed to the doctor at 1pm, and from there to the hospital because I was 8 cm dilated. Squatting during contractions helped me. Being on the car was not comfortable at all. Doula met us at the hospital. I got the epidural at 2pm – I didn’t get much thought on it at the time, all I heard was it was almost as a routine. Looking back, I believe it was a good thing since baby was still high, baby still needed to rotate and move down, we still had some ways to go. In Brazil, the epidural used allows you to walk around, and I could do that for the next hour or so. At 4:58 pm my baby came after a few pushes. I felt so happy, my husband cut the cord, baby came to my chest, all my family came later at night to meet the first grandbaby. He was a champ breastfeeding!
Things have changed in Brazil, there are many more natural births, homebirths and some birth centers. There are more doulas and midwives than 12 years ago.

The birth of my second baby, first daughter – Car-birth on the way to the birth center

Baby girl was born on the passenger seat.
A towel the midwife brought covers half this  photo but I love it.
When we were half way on the pregnancy, we were moving to Houston for my husband’s work. I started with the midwives at the hospital which was the only one that worked with midwives at the time. I kept researching and I remember we watched the documentary “The business of being born”. I hired my doula. She shared her home birth experiences with us. We decided to talk to an out of hospital midwife. We figured a birth center would be ideal for us. 

My doula Katherine.
Well, at 39 weeks and 3 days again, on a Saturday morning at 5am I woke up and as I headed to the restroom my water broke. 5:30am I was feeling really consistent contractions, midwives and doula were advised and would meet us at the birth center. We put our little boy in his car seat, towels in my seat (the waters keep coming guys, have towels in the car!) and headed there. I knew it was not comfortable in the car, but heading from Sugar Land to Pasadena it is a 40 minutes drive. I was trying to leave my whole body relaxed when contractions came, welcoming then as they brought my baby closer. When we were about 15 min to get there, something changed, I felt, it was like she moved down, I said to my husband “she is coming”. We decided to keep going since it was really close, we left the highway and got there, my doula came to help us out but saw baby crowning, then just called the midwife; my husband was on the driver's side with my little boy on his lap. I was so happy it was all so fast and I had a smile on my face the whole time, my doula could capture it, and I love her for that, she saved the memories of my little ones special birth! 6:30am my girl was born on the passenger seat and came to my chest! I believe I breathed this baby out, I don't recall pushing any time.
We moved in with a wheeled  office chair, Baby girl latched well, her brother was still breastfeeding, so we did our first time tandem nursing, then placenta was born a while after, we stayed for a couple more hours and all headed back home in time for lunch. It was summer so it was really a good thing she was born early in the morning! 


The birth of my third baby, second daughter – Waterbirth,  planned Homebirth with midwife

credit:Britelite photography

So this time, we learned our lesson and decided to have a planned homebirth with our midwife. Baby was sitting – breech, until 34 weeks. I believe it was my webster trained chiropractor’s appointments that helped her turn. At 39 weeks and 3 days, my back was rhythmically hurting, I remember my dad’s wife was manicuring my toes and I could only be sitting on the birth ball all the time. Looking back, that was probably some early back labor. At 39 weeks and 4 days, contractions started at 7am, on the last day of spring break. Everyone was home, contractions were every 8 minutes, not really strong, but midwife knew my history and came at 11am to check on me. My doula came too. My first cervical checking on the pregnancy, I was 4cm dilated. They left and said they would be around, we had lunch, I was sitting on my birth ball,  filled the birth pool, at 4pm I felt contractions were much stronger, lasting longer, surrender and breath through them was hard. I texted midwife and doula and they all came back, this time we had a birth photographer who arrived too (totally recommend having one!). I was 7cm dilated. I got into the birth pool and what a difference the water makes for those contractions! The kids were around, it was a very cozy warming atmosphere.
My doula Kristi.

At 6pm without really pushing, my little girl arrived in the water, sister and brother cheered, my husband was crying. Again I haven't pushed, just focussed on breathing. Soon she latched, placenta was born a little after and dad cut the cord. The midwives are wonderful cleaning everything, it was a peaceful night. It was a longer labor than the previous labors but I couldn’t tell.

Early pregnancy loss – loved soul we didn’t meet

We discovery we were expecting, and it was a total surprise, and so much happiness. I told my midwife I was 5 weeks pregnant, we scheduled our first appointment for 10 weeks. When she came, we didn’t have a heartbeat, it was heart breaking. That same day I spotted earlier, I knew something was different. My husband stayed at home with our three kiddos, my midwife went with me for an ultrasound - that blessed soul, it took about 5 hours to get the ultrasound at the local hospital. It looked like at 6 weeks, our baby stopped developing. the next day, naturally, I felt contractions, it was just like labor, maybe more painful than all the others-emotionally certainly was. It was our goodbye to the early undeveloped new life we didn’t have a chance to meet in this life. Those days were sad, we were hurt, but then there was peace and we realized our family was not complete.  


The birth or my fourth baby, fifth pregnancy,  third daughter – waterbirth, planned homebirth with midwife, unplanned unassisted


First selfie, waiting for midwife. 

My husband and I and our three kids were so happy for this pregnancy. At 39 weeks and 2 days I spent the day having training contractions – Braxton Hicks contractions. I felt energetic, cleaned the whole house. Later at night, when everyone was sleeping I somehow couldn’t. The first contraction came. It was 12:20am. Texted my midwife, said it could take a while but was letting her know. Later she said she was in alert from that point on. 1:20am I told my husband, I couldn’t lay down anymore. Husband woke the kids up, they came to my room. He filled the tub.  I sat on the ball, soon I decided to take a shower and see if it was the real deal. Water broke before getting there, there was meconium, I texted to see how long it would take for my midwife to arrive and asked her to come. It was 2 am. She would take 30 min.  I could only stay in the shower for about 2 contractions. Left the shower, then 2:10am I got into the tub. I remember thinking 20 more minutes the midwife was going to be there. 2:18am after one urge to push, I felt her head and said she is haired! My baby girl arrived, I brought her up, with  my kids and husband around, she cried, she was here!
My midwife Sandra.
We had the midwife over the phone, at that moment she was 10 minutes away. She arrived and we were there for at least 20 more minutes, baby latched well; the placenta came, my oldest son cut the cord. My midwife taught the kids by showing the placenta where baby was. I went to bed, the midwife weighted the baby and checked on her, kids went to sleep, midwife left and off to bed we went at 4 am as a family of 6. It was accidentally unassisted, it was fast and I didn't have time to really fear or even realize it, it was a blessing, as the birth of all of them, and we are so thankful for that!

 And those are, in a few words,  my own birth stories. I would love to hear yours!

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