Shane and Ashlee's Birth Story
I found my doula, Amanda. I knew I wanted her to be my doula. She seemed very relaxed and calming and had such a soothing voice. My husband was very hesitant about all this. He was supportive, but didn't like the idea of some lady in our delivery room that we didn't know. We took her hypnobirthing classes, and I practiced telling myself my body was made for this. I used the relaxation cd often. When I went into labor, I was thrilled. I didn’t realize I had 25 hours of contractions ahead of me. They were manageable to deal with, but after about 20+ hours of contracting, and no progressing past a 4, I left the hospital frustrated because I knew I was in labor, but the hospital told me I wasn’t. I called Amanda and she said “I think I know what’s going on. Can I come over?”
She came to my house with some oils to diffuse to help me relax, and had me get into some different and unusual positions. After she was done helping me, she encouraged me to go lie down and try to get some rest, since I didn’t get any sleep the night before. As soon as I got comfortable in my bed, the contracting REALLY picked up. What she did WORKED! She originally told me that those positions would help encourage the baby into the right position, and it certainly did. I thought maybe I was feeling the contracting more intense because I was lying down, but I started moaning and started noticing I felt shaky, feeling like I had a fever(didn’t realize in the moment that I was in transition). My husband came up and told me we are going back to the hospital again. He didn’t think I should be moaning and contracting without any progression. I knew something was up because I really needed to moan through each contraction and it was pretty intense to where I had to stop for each contraction, couldn’t talk through them, and just needed to moan. We rushed to the hospital, and at this point I planned on getting an epidural because I was tired of feeling the contracting. I knew I could do it, but I didn’t get any sleep the night before because I was contracting, and I hadn’t been eating much because I wasn’t hungry. I was exhausted and I thought they were going to tell me I was still at a 4.
Shane called Amanda and told her we were headed to the hospital. We arrived and they checked me and I was dilated to an 8 with a bulging bag. I was shocked. I knew he was coming now! And I knew I had no time for the epidural, which was a good thing because I really wanted to do it naturally, but in the moment I wanted the epidural. Amanda rushed to the hospital to meet us there and she was on the phone with my husband encouraging him on how to help me. As soon as they put me in my room she came rushing in! She said she had never made that drive as quickly as she did that day! I was moaning for the epidural, but it was just my way of expressing how tired I was. I didn’t really want it and my husband and Amanda knew that. They just encouraged me through each contraction because I originally told them that I would just need lots of encouraging through it all. They did it perfectly. Amanda was massaging me and helping to encourage me into comfortable positions. She was there to help me with whatever I needed. She was like the perfect angel. The wonderful thing about it was that my husband didn’t have to worry about massaging me or being helpless about what to do because she was there doing that for him because that’s what he needed as well. He was there to just hold my hand and talk me through it and encourage me. He didn’t feel the stress of being alone with me and not knowing what to do. Finally, my water burst! It was crazy, like nothing I had ever experienced. I knew he was coming. There was intense pressure. I got on my knees, on the bed, and rested my upper body on the bed(it was at an incline). I finished laboring , most comfortably, in that position. I didn’t even want to think about lying down on the bed. He started to come and Amanda and my husband just encouraged me through it all. They were angels. I couldn’t have asked for better support. Our 8 lb. 15 oz. baby boy came out, they placed him on the bed under me so that I could reach down and bring him to my chest on my own. It took a moment for me to come back into myself and realize he was out. In those last moments of labor you are totally outside yourself. I don’t even know how to describe it. You are so consumed with your body and what you are feeling that you hardly notice anything that’s going on around you. You can hear what’s going on around you, but it’s like being in a dream. It’s a totally interesting feeling. So, when I finally came back into myself, and held him skin to skin, it was amazing. My pain was instantly gone. I was sitting and changing positions instantly. I wasn’t restricted by IV’s or numb legs. It was a completely new feeling, something I didn’t feel with my previous deliveries. I couldn’t believe I did it! THAT was an amazing feeling! I DID IT!! I was on cloud 9. I didn’t tear, and I attribute that to the position I was in when I birthed him. And I was starving. J I got up an hour later and washed myself off, went to the bathroom and as soon as I came out the hospital had food for me, and that wasn’t enough, so Amanda went and got my husband and I some subway. My husband was soooooooo grateful Amanda was there. SO grateful. He was sooooo hesitant in the beginning, but now would encourage any man to have a doula. It takes a lot of pressure off the man in the labor and delivery room. J And he was so worried she would judge his lack of help in the labor and delivery room, but it was nothing like that. She was a team member. He never once felt uncomfortable or had feelings of inadequacy. It was surprising to see his gratitude for her after all of it, considering how he felt about having a doula at the beginning. It took me a few days to process the whole experience. It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life. It was incredibly spiritual, and empowering. I would do it again with my next one, but there won’t be another, which is why I am so grateful we did it this way with our last one. It was a bonding experience for my husband and I. Everyone will take something different away from the hypnobirthing classes. The main thing I took from it was the information that my body was made for this, and that I could DO IT. I also gained helpful knowledge about hospitals and what I have the right to do in hospitals that hospitals wont usually tell you about. I gained that knowledge and used it. AND the breathing techniques helped me. That was my focus through the contracting. Plus, it was a great bonding experience for my husband and I, and it was a wonderful support system being able to chat with people who are doing what you are doing because not everyone you talk to will be supportive of your decision, but that’s only because they don’t have the knowledge to understand it. I would encourage any woman to try a natural birth and to hire a doula. It’s totally doable. You were made for it.