It seems only fitting to start my time with Vegan Housewives with the story that brought me here. The story of the day my daughter was born.
I had a long pregnancy (nearly 42 weeks!) and the last month was filled with contractions and false labor. So when I realized it was really time, I was thrilled! After a sleepless night spent watching crappy television on the couch, I woke up my husband and got in the shower. We walked our dog over to my mother in laws house and called the midwife on the way, she said to come on in.
It was 7:30 am when we got to the birth center, I was checked, labor was confirmed, and we were sent to breakfast. It was so strange being in labor in a diner! I wasn’t sure what would be more disturbing for our server, knowing that I was in labor, or just seeing me tense up and be unable to answer some of her questions or look her in the eye every now and then. I choose the latter, I’m sure I looked crazy! At this point my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and hitting me pretty hard.
When we got back we picked “Sandlot” from the available DVDs and tried laying in bed. Not happening! Laying down had made my contractions hard to bear. I stood up and realized I was going to vomit, I asked for a bucket but what I was given was too small and I made a mess. I was mortified. The student midwife who was taking care of me bent down and just began cleaning it up. With her bare hands. It was something so personal, something your mom would do. It really resonated with me.
The rest of my labor was a whirlwind! I wanted to hold my baby. Something took me over and I became fearless. I didn’t fight my contractions, I turned myself inside out. I sat in a porch swing roughly 4 hours swinging back and forth by my tip toe. I was exhausted and sleep deprived. My contractions were coming every minute and a half and I was falling asleep in between them with my head on my husbands shoulder. He said I would be asleep and then he would feel my body get super tense and then I would wake up, have a contraction, and then lay back down and go to sleep. I was also unfortunately ‘eating” a protein bar for a few of those hours and ended up covered in a chocolatey coating.
At 4pm I was determined to be at 7 centimeters and was told I could now get into the labor tub. This news gave me my second wind. I walked some laps around a basketball court. Not quite ready to sink into the warm water, afraid it would slow down the work I was silently encouraging my body to do. When I came inside to get in the tub I was 9 centimeters and shortly there after I was ready to begin pushing.
Pushing was a much longer journey than I thought it would be. I gave it my all, straining and moving around but I was still very tired and still falling asleep occasionally in between contractions. I remember saying “ I thought I’d be better at this”, I started to doubt myself. All at once the pain became more real, I stopped pushing during my contractions, I even tried to pretend I wasn’t having them even though at this point they had become very obvious physically. It was time to get my shit together.
I began screaming with each contraction. I knew I was being loud but there was something in the animal like nature of it all that was giving me power. My best friend told me she had red hair and my midwife told me she needed to get out of the spot she was in. That was all it took. I used my entire body, shaking from my effort. Her head was out and very quickly after she was on my chest. Georgie Clementine was born at 5:29.
I sat in the water with my husband and admired her scrunched up face. She looked just like him. She looked like an angel. Nothing I will ever be able to put into words can describe the love I felt for my daughter and the joy I was feeling in that moment. I was a different person, a new person. Every ounce of my body and soul were filled with love and pride. My daughter had healed my heart.
By becoming a mother I have discovered my purpose in this world. I am passionate about things that didn’t even exist to me 2 years ago. Researching about the way children’s minds work, how they grow, and learn is fascinating to me. I became vegan when my daughter began solid foods and we embarked on a life of cruelty-free health together. My whole career has changed as I’ve gone from a make-up artist to someone completely submerged in birth culture as a doula, a certified lactation consultant, and an office manager to a community center for pregnant women and families.
I get great satisfaction from sharing my ideas on parenting, food, and birth with other women and their families and getting their unique perspectives in return. I am so honored to be a part of the Vegan Housewives family and to have this chance to reflect and connect with so may women riding this crazy rollercoaster that is natural living and parenting in a 21st century world!
Did you have a crazy birth story? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below! For more water birth stories, click here!