Here is my birth story from March 3, the day I became a mother thanks to Phoenix Michael. Thank you to the staff at St. Francis Medical Center, Dr. Paoloni at River City OBGYN, and my mother – my inspiration and my lactation consultant. Best in the biz if you ask me <3
Baby Phoenix was due on Feb 24, 2020 but he wasn’t showing any signs of coming by then.I was 100% okay with that because I knew that he would come when he wanted and well, I was terrified of pushing a baby out. Like, terrified.
My husband would joke that I am totally fine having an “April baby” aka just let me be pregnant for forever. My fear of labor and delivery was SO real, but then again, I assume that it is for every woman.
Phoeny was showing no signs of coming so my doctor suggested an induction for Monday, March 2nd. The driving factor for me being okay with this suggestion was that it was my Aunt Mary’s birthday – who is one of my favorite people on the planet that passed away a couple of years ago. With the induction being Monday, my doctor suggested that I come into the hospital Sunday night to get the process started. At this point, I am just ready to go with the flow. Or so I am trying to tell myself.
Until I wake up Sunday. Actually, I didn’t even “wake up” because I barely slept that Saturday night. My mind was full of all kinds of thoughts and the unknown was haunting me. I wake up Sunday and pack for the hospital. Kevin left to run a couple of errands before hospital time and I knew I needed to meditate. I went up to my office to meditate and sobbed the entire time. Not because I was sad, but just because I was terrified. We can just call these feelings “pushing a baby out jitters.” I was SO scared. I didn’t know what to expect with labor, delivery, or being the mother of another soul.
We get to the hospital and are greeted with smiles from all the nurses at St. Francis. Just like that – we are shown our room and it’s time to put the hospital gown on and IVS are inserted. I remember getting so hot with how quickly things started – idk if I was going to pass out from overwhelm or what. Luckily, I didn’t. My doctor comes in an hour later to insert what is called a balloon to start the dilation process. This wasn’t painful at all. In fact, Kevin and I rather enjoyed our first night in the hospital. We ordered uber eats – Capital Ale House to be exact and it was delicious. I didn’t start feeling crampy and uncomfortable until the wee hours of the morning. I had some pain meds for this and tried to sleep, but of course didn’t because I WAS SCARED.
When my doctor comes back in the morning around 7 am to take out the balloon and check how dilated I am, I am barely at 4.5 cm. The plan was for him to come back in the afternoon to break my water. He suggested getting the epidural before the water break. I was not sure if I wanted to be limited to my hospital bed at such a low dilation point, so I opted for waiting on the epidural until after he broke my water and upped the pitocin dose. Holy moly.
Once these 2 things happened, I was feeling contractions to what felt like the end of the earth. I 100% should’ve gotten the epidural when he suggested it because by the time I could get it, I was in so much pain it was hard to stay still during the actual epidural process. I remember asking my nurse “Can we do the epidural between contractions?” She replied by telling me that the epidural process takes 20 minutes. My next question was in complete hysteria – “What if I get a contraction when she is inserting the epidural?” She looked me straight in the eyes and told me that in that case, I have to breathe very slowly and more importantly – NOT MOVE. My mind was blown. I had no idea how I was going to stay still during these contractions. Thank God for my nurse because a contraction came right as the anesthesiologist was inserting the needle into my back. She braced me and coached me and kept me sane and still. PS Getting the actual epidural did not hurt and I do not have a high pain tolerance, for all inquiring minds.
Once I got my epidural, I felt like a new cathclaire – just like all of the mommas say. The next time I got checked, we were getting close to time to push and the doctor and staff were confident we would have a baby by 10 PM March 2nd. Keep in mind, I haven’t eaten since dinner Sunday. However, I did have 4 blue raspberry popsicles.
My doctor comes in after I had been pushing for about an hour. I continue to push for another 2 hours. My mom on one leg and Kevin on the other. You guessed it, there was no baby by 10 PM on March 2nd. I had been pushing for a long time. Not only was I starving but I wanted my baby out. My doctor suggested the vacuum to help get Phoenix out and I almost lost my mind. This is where I have to thank Dr.Joe Dispenza for all of his books, workshops I attended, and breath work teachings. I had to stay calm, focus on an elevated emotion and my vision for the future. Getting into a good state of mind at this point was not easy to say the least. It was as if in that moment – when the Neonatal team (about 15 people) came into my labor and delivery room that I knew why God sent this meditation practice into my life. For this very moment. I had to dig deep, elevate my emotions in the most exhausted state of mind and focus on my vision for a healthy baby in my arms as soon as possible.
Dr. Paoloni tells me we have 3 chances to get him out using this contraption he referred to as a vacuum. I can feel the tears as he says those words, wondering – what if I can’t get him out in those 3 pushes? I don’t even mutter the words of that question because I know I can’t even allow my mind to go any further down that rabbit hole. Instead – I say okay, and push as hard as I can. I had to tell myself that I have the choice to make this part of my story traumatizing or helpful. Before I knew it, Phoenix was in my arms and I was sobbing saying “I’m sorry” over and over because he was crying. I know most babies cry when they come out but I couldn’t help but think that he must’ve been absolutely terrified being brought into the world sucked or whatever, that way. Another rabbit hole I didn’t let my mind trick me into going down. I shifted to gratitude for my baby in my arms and joked “buddy, you need Botox!” because of all of his sweet, sweet baby wrinkles. Probably not most mother’s first words to their son but it was hilarious and I love him and wish those wrinkles were still there today at 9 weeks old. Phoenix was born at 12:11 am March 3rd.
And to answer everyone’s other favorite question, yes I tore. I tore a lot. My labias looked like the size of the Atlantic Ocean after giving birth. But don’t worry ladies, everything goes right back to normal. I was up and moving the next day. I attribute that to all of the supplements I took postpartum. Read all about those here. I know everyone’s story is different and beautiful, and that is why I wanted to share mine with you. Thank you to my rock/my husband, all of the amazing nurses at St. Francis Hospital, to my mother – my biggest inspiration and my lactation consultant, and to Dr. Paoloni at River City Obgyn for a safe and healthy delivery. Thank you doesn’t begin to express my gratitude. XO
PS – To all of my expecting momma’s, go to the chiropractor. I was having hip pain in my last 2 weeks of pregnancy and I think that is why baby Phoenix was stuck, causing him to need push assistance. My mom told me to go, Dr. Raika told me to go, and I didn’t make it priority! I’m no doctor, but I think that would have made all the difference in my delivery. Speaking of the chiropractor, that was our first stop after leaving the hospital. We went to see Dr. Jassy in Midlothian to get mama (me) adjusted and baby Phoenix because his neck seemed out of wack. It made all the difference and I also can’t thank Dr. Jassy enough for all of his help! Go see them for all of your chiropractic needs! XO