My Birth Story – Part I

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it is hard to believe that just over a month ago, i was quite literally bringing another human into this world through my body. that still completely blows me away. it has taken me almost a full month to process because it was way more intense that i thought it would be.

i wasn’t able to take many photos of our time at home during all this (obviously). i’m throwing in a few of cassie’s once we got to the birth center (way more to come in part II).

i woke up the morning of september 1 around 2:30am with tightening in my abdomen. sure enough, it did feel different than the many braxton-hicks i was experiencing previously. the main difference was that i could really feel these wrap around my back. i started timing them before i woke up my husband and sure enough, they were coming about every 10 minutes.

i reached over and quietly said to my husband, “i think today is the day…my birth might be starting!” i could immediately feel his energy level raise and yet he worked hard to maintain an even level in his voice as he said calmly, “oh really? oh, this is exciting!” i quickly downloaded an app that timed them for me (i know, technology these days) and we tried to go back to bed since i knew it would be a long day.

we eventually got out of bed about 5am and my husband made me a bagel with peanut butter and jelly. we told the family that the process was most likely starting and my mom stopped by on her way to work to give me a quick hug about 8am.

as the morning went on, i started feeling a lot of intense pressure in my back with each contraction. at this point, i could still talk through most contractions and they weren’t too horrible. i did my best to do the inversion suggestion to turn the baby because i knew she was still in the wrong position. eventually the contractions got too intense and starting making me way too nauseous to do these.

the back pain really ramped up around 10am and my contractions were still consistent, about every 10 minutes. i had to constantly lean over on a counter and have my husband knead my lower back because the pain was so intense.

cassie rosch photography

cassie rosch photography

then they started getting weird. the longest time jumped up to almost 30 minutes apart, then 7, then 10. it was all over the place. we decided to take a walk to the little park by us and let me tell you – it is incredibly awkward to experience a contraction in front of strangers in the park.

my husband called the midwife (chance) and our doula (erika) and told them what was going on. they both told him to take off speaker phone and independently said that with all that was going on, it could be false labor and could last for a few days. i am forever grateful that i did not hear this because i would have lost my shit. while it was nice to have less frequent contractions, i knew that wasn’t a good sign.

erika, our doula (whom i have a whole post queued up about why a doula is necessary and she was instrumental in my birth) suggested we try the ‘trifecta’ to get things back on track. this involved going to a women’s pregnancy center to get acupuncture, massage and a chiropractor adjustment to try to turn the babe and get my birth back on track.

driving there (about 25 minutes) was not the most fun i’ve ever had. i sat in the back seat so i could get on my hands and knees for my contractions. we did the hypnobabies birthing class because again – our minds are so powerful (check out my birth affirmations here). so i put in headphones and tried to listen to the audiotracks to get my mind in a better spot. they definitely helped to give me something else to focus on.

thank you universe that all 3 women at the pregnancy center were able to squeeze me in and each one of them got to help me through multiple contractions (again, super weird). so did the people in the waiting room as i leaned over the receptionists desk to get through another one! turns out the body is going to do what the body is going to do.

after we made it back, things started really ramping up. my contractions were incredibly intense and now more frequent. erika, my doula, came over and starting giving tools and suggestions to both ravery and i. she had me get in the bathtub and light candles, which helped somewhat.

the back pain was excruciating. ravery said he could feel her moving around against my spine during many of contractions and i believe it. i have never experienced anything like that before because not only are you having a contraction but it’s extending to your back and felt like a thousand knives being pushed into my back with a sledgehammer. this is not normal labor, come to find out. i remember very primal and deep sounds coming from someone (turns out, it was me) so i’m sure our neighbors loved that.

ravery was with me every minute along the way and was such a huge help. he was constantly giving me little sips of water, timing my contractions (which erika no longer let me know how far apart they were – good call) and supporting the entire day. i am so lucky to have him as my partner.

i remember sitting in the bathtub about 7:15pm, after an especially horrendous contraction and erika quietly leaned over and said, “i think you’re going through transition and we should head to the birth center…”

read part II


  1. Vivien

    October 5, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Just reading the words of your experience…yikes! You are amazing!
    Vivien recently posted…Teamwork and Leadership

  2. Audrey

    October 6, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Oooooh, I’m so excited and invested reading this! I’ve never met anyone that went through the birthing process like you and Mr. WS. This is really interesting! It also sounds like you had such a strong community of women surrounding you the entire day! What a unique and crazy experience! Can’t wait for Part 2 and the arrival of Atlas!!
    Audrey recently posted…The Birthday Month

  3. Claire

    October 6, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I agree with Audrey, in that you had a strong community of women surrounding you throughout the day. Very important! I had no idea that contractions could come and go like that…and that sometimes you have to walk around and to heck with the strangers if you have a contraction in front of them! LOL

    So happy to hear that you, Ryan and Atlas are healthy and moving forward during this journey. Keep it up! You really are inspiring so many women (and I’m sure men too) with your honest words.

  4. Sara

    October 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Sounds like a long and challenging day. I hope that you have enjoyed the first month with Atlas.

  5. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    October 7, 2016 at 9:13 am

    ouch. this does not sound like fun at all. you are such a strong woman, though, for choosing to do all this without meds!

  6. Paula Howley

    October 7, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Wow honey, you are a super star. I’ll wait for part 2 to share the rest of my comments. Love to you all.
    Paula Howley recently posted…What’s So Funny?

  7. jenniferhastonsays

    October 8, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Holy crap! You are amazing! I don’t need to hear the rest to know that but I am dying to know more and totally understand being too tired to write more now. I had a very different plan for Vivienne’s arrival but sometimes we don’t get to do “our plan” – I am so happy you got to do yours. Waiting to hear more and must say again, You are strong and powerful and I admire you greatly! Get some sleep, mama! (I am off to go feed my little girl!) and then hopefully do the same!

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