This is the story of my own birth: December 2022

Welcoming baby Finnegan Jacob.

He was due Monday the 19th, the same day that my deceased best friend Jacob was born. With our next midwife appointment planned for Thursday afternoon. I asked to come in Wednesday instead, and at 3pm on Wednesday I elected to have a cervical check that confirmed I was still not dilated at all, but that my cervix had softened so we were thinking he might be a Christmas baby after all.

At 11pm I got into bed and fell asleep.

Not even two hours later I awoke from my first contractions. I got up and walked around to make sure I was feeling what I thought I was feeling. I got up to use the bathroom and decided to start timing them. I was surprised at how intense and long they were as I had only been awake for 20 minutes.

The app that I was using to time my contractions kept telling me to get ready to go to the hospital (they were lasting 45sec-1min long, every 4-6 min for over an hour). My husband woke up around 4am and tried to comfort me, but the contractions kept coming. All of a sudden I felt nauseous, and immediately had my head in the toilet. By 6am I told my husband that it was time to call the midwife and let her know I wasn't experiencing pro-dromal boy was coming today.

My midwife, Tiffany Dietrich (the owner of Saige Birthing Center located on Magazine st. in New Orleans) arrived around 10am and checked me...3cm dilated. I think I had a mini panic attack; 8 hours of contractions and I wasn't even halfway there yet?

There's absolutely no way I can do this.

She recommended a bath and some Benadryl to help me get some sleep. It helped tremendously. I got to "sleep" between the contractions every five minutes...okay, more like rest, but it definitely helped. Around noon an angel acting as a doula showed up. Brad, bless his heart, helped as much as he could, but nothing compared to a woman's touch. She knew exactly where to apply counter-pressure and I was so grateful for those moments of respite. She left around 3pm promising to come back a bit later. I was really beginning to question much longer was this going to take?!

I finally began losing my mucus plug...I felt like things were finally progressing. The contractions were getting stronger so I decided to get back into the bath tub for the third time. By 4pm I was making sounds I'd never heard myself make before...I kept asking B when the midwife was coming back...these contractions felt more 'pushy' than they had been feeling and I was getting increasingly more terrified.

My midwife showed back up around 4pm and I felt a miraculous moment of relief. Albeit that was quickly replaced by a riveting contraction. I labored on the toilet, letting out more than just sounds. I was exhausted, and it felt like this baby was never going to come out.

The contractions continued to get stronger and I ended on all fours on the floor. My water STILL hadn't broken and I was desperate for this to be over. I asked where his head was and Tiffany said he was close, but that my waters were basically creating a cushion and making it harder for him to descend. So back onto the toilet I went with instructions to push as hard as I could to try to naturally break my waters.

Time no longer existed at this point, but after a while I felt a pop and let out a loud "finally" and maybe some profanity. I wanted this baby out now. I had B sit behind me against the tub and I laid back into his arms. My entire body felt the way your foot feels when it "falls asleep". I was shaking, tingling, breathing too fast and screaming so loud I'm actually shocked I didn't have police show up to my home. B was surprisingly super calm and kept reminding me to breath and encouraging me to push.

As I got closer, I projectile vomited all over myself and after getting quickly wiped up by my birth team my midwife recommended I switch positions again and try pushing on her birth stool. Not long into pushing I could feel his head with my hand and I leaned into the contractions and with everything I had in me, pushed until I lost my voice.

mom gives birth on bathroom floor with the help from new orleans midwife Tiffany Dietrich from Saige birth center

These images are by no means flattering, nor did I take them. (My husband and doula did the honors). My birth experience was not flattering. Once I transitioned it was practically a war-zone inside my bathroom where I remained until Finn was born.

In a cloudy haze of contractions I had declined to have photos taken during my labor and birth and boy do I regret that! Luckily my husband decided to take matters into his own hands by taking the only photo I have from birth which you will see is the lovely iphone photograph above. I had imagined myself crying when I finally got to hold the little alien who had made such a ruckus in my belly for 10 months...but I was still coming back to earth when I took him into my arms. I was helped over to the bed where I delivered the placenta and received my consolation prize- a well-deserved shower.

All and all, I got the exact birth experience that I wanted (although next time I could do without all the fluids!).