Guest Post: Micah's Birth Story
We're SO excited to bring you birth stories! Every single baby makes their own beautiful and unique entrance into this world. No matter how they and their mama decide to do it, we want to share it!
This one comes from Abby, who was one of the very first people to get her hands on Expecting and Empowered. She has been the best tester, supporter and model for E and E. We LOVED supporting your pregnancy Abby and thank you for sharing your birth story!
Here is how Micah came into the world:
It all started out on a Saturday night. I went back to my parents’ house so I could get a home cooked meal and sleep in. To be honest, I just really didn’t want to parent a 22 month old Lucy solo at 39 weeks pregnant and my husband, Colin, was going to be doing construction on the basement all weekend. Earlier that day I had done Expecting & Empowered Week 39 full body… little did I know this would be my last E&E workout until I get to buy the postpartum guide.
Sunday morning I woke up to Braxton Hicks waves (Waves = Contractions throughout this story). I had been having them every morning from 3 to 5 AM for the last several days so I didn’t think much of it. When Lucy woke up at 6:30 they were still pretty consistent so I went out to hang out with her and my mom. After about an hour they hadn’t slowed down so I quietly downloaded a timer and soon found out that they were every 5 minutes for about 45 seconds each. Since my labor with Lucy lasted over 50 hours, I was hesitant to say anything in fear that this wasn’t the real deal. However, I still had to drive 45 minutes in order to get home. I made the decision to head back and my parents gladly kept Lucy.
I called Colin but he didn’t pick up! Our only rule for the last couple of weeks was if I called I was in labor otherwise I would text. I understood he was working on the basement and with loud power tools he most likely just didn’t hear the call.
I thought that sneezing was the most dangerous thing you could do while driving but it turns out that having waves while driving is far more risky! Luckily I was able to breathe through them and focus on getting home and the car ride went very quickly. Colin finally called back with the raspy is voice “Hello? Why are you heading back so soon? We haven’t started yet this morning.” I quickly realized he was hungover from a late night out with his dad the night before. This rarely ever happens! When I told him I had been having consistent waves the only words he could muster were “Not. Today.” Oh boy, this was going to be interesting.
When I got home I grabbed my exercise ball from the area I had been doing home E&E workouts, some snacks, a few bottles of water, and went into our master bedroom. I knew that I wanted to be alone so I could focus and figure out if this was the real deal. Colin was so sweet and kept coming to check in on me and massage my back as I breathed through the waves. They increased to about a minute each but stayed right around 5 minutes apart which was manageable but also helped me realize that we were most likely going to have a baby today. Our baby! A whole week early and coming right before the biggest construction week of our entire basement remodel project but we were going to meet our baby.
I birthed like this for 4 hours but honestly it felt like less than an hour of time had passed. I used a hot shower for some pressure relief and moving through the waves on my birthing ball or with yoga helped maintain my focus. My DoTERRA Peace blend put me instantly at ease and the Clary Sage and Jasmine oils rubbed on my ankles and abdomen helped intensify my waves when I felt like they were starting to wear off. I knew from my birthing day with Lucy that I wanted my waves to stay powerful and frequent and wanted to meet this baby as soon as my body would let me. At 1:30 Colin came up and said his projects were done and within minutes I could feel my waves picking up to every 3.5-4 minutes apart and well over a minute each. I felt a peaceful rush fall over me knowing that I was safe and that my husband was going to be there to support me from here on out.
We finished packing up our last minute items and headed to the hospital. It was over a 20 minute drive but my body let me relax and my waves lost their intensity during the drive which was a great break.
One of my favorite midwives, Phoebe, was on call that day. She checked my cervix and I was at 4 cm. Of course I wanted to be a full 10 cm but I never got past 2 cm with Lucy until hour 50 so this was already progress. I asked her to sweep my membranes and in the process, my water broke. There was no going back now! There was meconium in the water so they quietly explained that I would not be able to have my ideal water birth and that I would be hooked up to monitoring during the process.
After a decent amount of time of monitoring in triage, we left to head to our beautiful birthing suite. Phoebe and Colin took turns massaging my lower back during waves and applying counter pressure to my hips and everything was still manageable. With Lucy being sunny side up, she never was able to dilate my cervix so I only had back pressure and no sensations anywhere else. It was so cool to feel this baby’s head pressing down on my lower abdomen and I could tell that there was progress being made.
Even though I couldn’t give birth to our baby in the water, Phoebe still filled the tub and let me use it for relaxation and pressure relief. It felt amazing! Almost a little too good. The intensity of the waves simmered down a little bit and it gave me the break that I needed to power through transition.
Phoebe mentioned that if I wanted to speed things up, I could do a deep squat in between waves. If I really wanted to get things going, I could squat during the waves but that would be a lot of pressure and get intense really quick. Yep! Sign me up! At this point I still felt super in control and nothing had been too much for my body to handle. I was really ready to meet our baby and wanted Phoebe to be the one to be there the first time we met our son or daughter. During the last couple of hours we had built such a good bond and she was helping me in incredible ways.
With Expecting & Empowered we worked our way up to a 60 second wall sit. During my labor, this was so helpful to have those strong leg muscles! My midwife wasn’t lying! After a couple of rounds of constant deep squats I was barely getting any break between waves and they were lasting between 1.5-2 minutes each. I would stand up to stretch quick between waves then get right back down as I felt the pressure building. Without the E&E practice, I would have not been able to stay low and the whole transition would have lasted far longer. I just wish I would have had this guide with my first baby. I felt a sudden urge to leave the water birthing room and noticed Phoebe grabbed her gloves from her packet. I assured her that I wasn’t anywhere near ready to have our baby (remember that 50+ hour first labor) and she politely nodded with a smile “uh huh, okay... but just in case”.
I instinctively went to my hospital bag and grab out a blend of peppermint and wild orange to help with an energy boost. I felt a lift immediately and my batteries were recharged. With the very next wave I felt the sudden urge to push. My midwife had been right! Phoebe asked if I wanted to get onto the bed but I felt the most comfortable standing at the foot of it as I beared down. It only took a couple waves before she asked me if I wanted to feel our baby’s head. Wow, we were really going to do this and like, now. Colin would later tell me that this is when several members of the hospital staff had entered the room but I was completely in the zone and only felt the support of my husband and midwife and nothing else mattered.
I had done some research and knew that I wanted to push the head out in between waves to avoid tearing. I was able to successfully do this and felt so in control of all of my body’s movements during this process. It was the coolest feeling of relief knowing that the hardest part of the actual pushing stage was behind us. With the next wave the rest of that tiny baby body came out and Phoebe caught him below me as I was still standing.
Our baby was born! I pulled baby onto my chest and embraced with all the love I had. I could’ve held him forever with euphoria I was in! However, within five seconds Phoebe and the nurses were instructing my husband to cut the cord, which he did, and our baby was whisked away from us immediately. Baby wasn’t breathing. With an umbilical cord dangling between my legs I felt like I couldn’t move so Colin ran over to watch the medical staff do their thing. My midwife asked if I wanted to rest on the bed so I easily hopped up and anxiously waited for that sweet cry. Colin watched them stick a tube down his throat and rub him vigorously and after the longest minute ever we heard that tiny baby shout. Oh that noise was so precious!
Colin came back and announced “we have a son” as tears filled his eyes. “Shut up” was all I could say “no way!” I was certain we’d be an all girl family despite everyone feeling confident there was a little boy in there.
We had done it. A natural birthing day where I felt in control the entire time. There was never a time where I felt the need for pain medication and my body honestly took over and amped up it’s natural painkillers with every intensity boost those waves brought. Yes there were times where I felt like that moment would never end but it was super helpful that Phoebe kept reminding me that this was all normal and these feelings were part of the process to get to meet our baby sooner.
Expecting & Empowered successfully prepared my body for a healthy pregnancy: I gained a healthy 27 pounds, had minimal swelling, and had far less issues with SPD, sciatica, and back pain than my first pregnancy. E&E also prepared my body for a far easier labor. I felt so strong and in control and know that without the consistency of the workout guide I would not have had the same redeeming labor that Micah’s birthday brought. With a one week old on my chest as I write this, I cannot thank Amy and Krystle enough for their knowledge and support over the last 9 months. The knowledge and love these women have for a pregnant and postpartum body is truly amazing and I feel fortunate to have been part of E&E from the very start of my pregnancy.
Micah James Green, welcome to our world!
Anyone else have both tears and laughs during that story? We're SO proud of you Abs!
We're SO glad E and E helped make this pregnancy and delivery easier than Abby's first. This is a huge part of our WHY!
-Amy and Krystle