Childbirth is a privilege, not a fear.
If you are anything like me, you love a good birth story. Not the ones where people try to scare you. Not the ones from people who say there’s no way you can birth your child without medication because the pain is too intense. But the stories I like to call…beautifully raw. The ones that start out by encouraging you but also letting you know it will be one of the most challenging yet empowering experiences in your life. And even if your plan doesn’t go exactly how you envisioned, I believe in preparation and education on all your options.
I remember the exact moment when I switched from regular maternity care at a doctors office, to hiring a homebirth midwife. I was 6 months pregnant. I was having conflicting feelings for months prior remembering the not so pleasant hospital moments with my two previous births. The way I was treated and the way my husband was treated. I was merely a number. I decided the only way to achieve an unmedicated, no intervention, and RESPECTED birth I desired, was to have a home birth. Surrounded by support and people who trusted birth and trusted me.
I researched midwifes and doulas in the area and amazingly after my first interview with both, I hired them immediately. There was no doubt I had the best birth team.
I educated myself and read many books such as Birthing From Within, and Ina Mays book. I wanted to hear stories of the thousands of women before me who birthed their babies in the manner I dreamed of. That it was possible. That if they could do it, then so could I.
One of my greatest resources was the hypnobirthing classes I received from my Certified Doula. The guidance I learned to take my mind and body into that deep mediative state was powerful. This not only helped prepare my mind for labor but also has helped me in my every day life.
The morning our son Maximus Takao Grazione was born….it was magical, euphoric and empowering. It was life changing.
I was having contractions on and off for three days before he was born but nothing intense or regular. The night before we had a nice spicy meal with our good friends and my intuition was telling me that this was the night. The night of a full moon.I remember climbing into bed around 10pm after timing a few contractions that were about 5- 7 minutes apart, regular but still not intense enough to think I was in active labor. I woke up at 2:30am to my water breaking and notifying my husband. He texted our birth team and things begin to progress quickly.
The birth team arrived around 4am. I was amazed at how in control I was with my emotions and mental state on handling every contraction as it came. Having taken the hypno birthing lessons with my doula proved to play a major role in how relaxed I was able to remain for the first couple of hours. I truly welcomed every single contraction and was excited as they grew stronger since I knew I would meet my son soon. My doula Candice never left my side as my husband was hurrying to get the birth tub full since the connector for the hose wasn’t working and he ending up dumping a few of our 5 gallon jugs of purified water in the pool.
Katie our midwife was very much present but hands off allowing me to birth naturally without the stress of frequent cervical checks and only checking on the babies heart rate every now and then between contractions. When she noticed the contractions becoming closer and more intense, she asked if I felt the need to push and I did.
I got into the tub around 5am and my husband went and woke up our two daughters and brought them into the room. Malayla our 3 year old was especially excited and stayed close to the birth tub while Arianna our oldest remained calm and patient helping with her sister.
The pushing stage was the most intense for me and I would feel as I was making progress yet feel him slip back in and become frustrated. My doula kept me grounded, reminding me of my breathing and sounds, eye contact, simply holding space for me. My midwife changed my position a few times to see if that would get things moving.
I gave birth laying my chest on my husbands chest as he firmly pressed against my hips. We welcomed Maximus earthside at 6:33am. He didn’t cry right away which startled us, but when he did…it was the most beautiful sound we had ever heard. God had blessed us with a healthy and gorgeous baby son.
Midwife: Katie Miller
Doula: Candice Enriquez