Fair warning, this post contains real birth images that some might consider disturbing.  Please read at your own risk. 

With Angel I was planning to have  a homebirth. I  found out about orgasmic births and I said to myself this was it, I was going to have an orgasmic birth.  I was reading a million  books to prepare myself to approach my birth correctly, so it was in fact orgasmic. I believed  that birth meant to be orgasmic by God, otherwise why would he want for all his dearly loved children to come to this world in  pain and torture. I also believed that pain drugs eliminate the connection between  the mother and the child and that I should trust my child to figure  his  way out on his own.  I was afraid that if a connection is eliminated the child would get scared and suffer through the birth process and then the connection would be lost for life.  I wanted skin to skin and was contemplating about leaving umbilical cord attached and wait for it fall off on day 5 or so. In worst case scenario I planned to  have a delayed cord clumping. I was so firm that that this way would be the right way.

 

Today  I know after having 2 babies that  this  may have been the right way in a perfect world, but unfortunately we were not in a perfect world yet.  Everything is relative and true to a certain degree. My homebirth plans went crashing after Angel died and I opted for a hospital birth  with painkillers to at least eliminate physical pain. Alexi was born at a birthing  center with no drugs. Did I have an orgasmic birth with Alexi? Hell, no. It was horrific. But after Alexi was born  I was endlessly happy and was going home the next day in a state of a total bliss, telling everyone how perfect my birth was, because I already forgot the pain and had this cuddle of love in my hands.

 

After my pregnancy loss, I was very careful. I had no idea what went wrong the first time and why. My psychic said it was a blood clot and I remembered that I did not know I was pregnant for almost 2 months and I was taking birth control at a time. I knew birth control might cause a blood clot. Then when Angel was born it was also an obvious cord issue. His cord was wrapped tight numerous times around his neck. I refused an autopsy. So I did not know how to protect myself. I was so scared that I would lose another child. But my pregnancy went on and on and on making me one happy woman.

 

 

 

I chose birthing center for Alexi because I did not want hospital birth. I don’t like hospitals. Hospitals are for sick people. Birth was supposed to be this beautiful happy process.  I did not want my child to be born into the system and get swallowed in  it from the start. I did not want the first thing he saw to be hospital equipment. And closest birthing center  in North Carolina was in Chapel Hill 3,5 hours away from us. And yes, we really did drive every time for an appointment.

 

On Father’s day, June 16th I woke up feeling uncomfortable in my back. It was rather  coming at intervals, so   I downloaded an app for my I pad to track my contractions. They were coming every 6 minutes and lasted 30 seconds. They were so mild that I thought nothing of it.  I also could not believe I had contractions, because  I always thought they start out slowly with a lot more time interval between them. It was 6:45 am. Steve went to work. I called the Birthing Center  and spoke to Heather, one of the midwives there. She said that It looked like I was in early labor and I needed to come to Chapel Hill. Because the birthing center was 3,5 hours away it was always a scare to drive that long while having strong contractions.  I told Heather that I only was mildly uncomfortable in my back and would like to stay home longer. In case anything changes in the length or strength of  my  pain I would call her back and we would make our way to the center.

 

Meanwhile, I told my mom we needed to go to Walmart to get a ribbon for the birthday flags she was sewing for Alexi. We needed to do it  soon before I started feeling anything stronger than what I had. I was not sure I was having contractions. I was rather thinking I  won’t  progress until the next day. On the way to Walmart my mom was  tracking it for me while I was driving. I tell you, it was a pain to try to park in the middle of one of those contractions.  On a way home, almost reaching our driveway, I felt something stronger than what I have been feeling.  It got me worried. No thanks, I did not want  to ride in a car while having this back pain. And what if it got  any stronger? We needed to go to the birthing center now, while I could still manage the ride.  It was around 12 pm.  I called Steve and told him we needed to go.  We gathered our bags quickly and left around 2 pm.  Surprisingly, the ride to the center was not bad at all. It felt like 30 minutes rather than 3.5 hours. I was able to sleep through it on the back seat.

 

We arrived  at around  6 pm.  Sarah was another midwife helping out Heather that day. The birthing center was busy. All the rooms, including an overflow room was occupied. All babies must have decided to  be  born on Father’s day.  Sarah checked me and I was 5 centimeters dilated. We were there to stay for good.  We called our doula and  Danielle arrived an hour later. I was so thankful for my doula. I don’t know what I would have done without her on a day that all the midwives were busy with helping other babies to come into this world.  I labored in bed. Then Danielle offered to fill up the tub.  Water felt like heaven. I was able to relax. But it did slow my contractions down.  Sarah came and checked me, and I think at that point I was 8 centimeters.
It was around midnight  they tied my belly with a riboso and sent us for a walk  outside in order to speed things up. During my labor  I did not want to eat and only drank water. Every hour nurses kept coming to ask if I had any Gatorade  to drink and if I wanted to drink any. I don’t drink  Gatorade- artificial colored petroleum based liquid. So she made me  something else from some kind of powder (probably even worse than Gatorade). The nurse made me drink  the entire glass of it. It tasted so terrible, I thought I was going to throw up. After the  walk I labored  on a birth ball.  While on a birth ball I thought my water broke. After the midwives tested it was in fact  my water. I started having pushing contractions. But at around 5 am I was still at 8 centimeters.  My midwife sent everyone out of the room and told us to have some rest. It was not easy, but I was able to relax and get some sleep. When some of my contractions became intense I yelled through it and went  back to sleep. This little bit of rest really made a difference. It gave me energy to continue.

At around 7 am I had one very strong contraction and screamed bloody murder. My midwife came in and said that we needed to make some decisions, because I was not progressing.  I was scared I had to transfer  to the hospital.  I realized  that during my sleep I was suppressing my contractions, because I was scared of a new pain wave coming in.  I made a decision to give in. I would let the pain in. I also realized I cannot just wait for something to happen I really needed to work  for it. They don’t call it labor for nothing. I had to embrace squats. Squatting was causing excruciating pain, but it was bearing my baby down and that is what needed to happen. I could not just sit and wait and do nothing to help the process anymore. It does not  work like that.  We went to the shower where I squatted for about a couple of hours. I was working hard now. I needed to get my baby out and avoid a transfer. We had a shift change. My new midwife was  Mariah.  She was young and full of energy.  After a shower I was still at 8 centimeters and not progressing. My pushing contractions were intense, but I was able to manage through it just fine after my nap. Mariah noticed that my water  bag was not fully broken. She broke my water. Immediately after she did, my contractions became stronger and started coming one on top of the other. I had no rest in between them. One thing I did not realize was how overwhelming pushing contractions were. I had no control over it. They were so much bigger than me.  IV was my last option before they  would transfer  me to the hospital.  I was so scared. I did not mind the hospital at this point and I needed the rest, but I was terrified of the transfer itself. How in the world  were they going to transport me? I could not walk.    I was yelling my throat out. I had no break in contractions. I would rather die than go to any vehicle for a transfer.  Steve and I lost any hope to deliver at the Birthing Center.  God bless Mariah, she said that baby was doing fine and I was doing fine and had an IV, so she would  try to manually move both upper and lower cervical lips that prevented me from progressing any further.

One of a Kind. You.

It was June 17th now. I was the only one left on the birthing floor. Every time I had a pushing contraction I yelled and it made it  somewhat easier. But  because I was not fully open I wasted my energy pushing for a very long time. Everyone kept telling me  to breathe  through it. I was in my own world, and I thought they were crazy to tell me to breathe through it. It was impossible.  That one nurse sat with me and  told me to look at her. She actually  started breathing  fast with me, and I was able to actually breathe through some intense moments. Boy, that was not easy.  After Mariah was able to successfully remove both upper and lower cervical lips I was finally ready to really push productively. The nurse that  breathed with me started dancing.

 

Suddenly, I was on a bed, surrounded by my husband, 2 nurses,  my  doula, midwife, my mom was making a video, my photographer was  taking shots right down there. I was pulling  on to the sheet. I was very loud and scary. And there it was the ring of fire everyone was telling me about. And then he came out!  All of a sudden everything made sense. I had gone through this  labor all for this moment! I did not fully understand what was happening before and why I suffered, but now it made perfect sense.  I felt great. I was awake and alert and very hungry. It was 2:30 pm on June 17. He was 8 lb and 19 inches. We finally met him, our Alexi! We had been waiting for so long! He looked so much like his  big brother.

 

 

 

After having gone through pregnancy  loss and natural birth, I  now feel like I am a superhero. Nothing else can bring me down. I would take over the mountains. Birth is empowering, but it can also be destructive if done incorrectly. I know people who suffered from depression because they were taken away the chance to handle it on their own. Women struggle form feeling of guilt and failure when someone else intervenes with the birth process. Every women is powerful. We have been doing this for centuries. Never think that birth is something you cannot handle on your own and allow your doctors make all the decisions for you. Listen carefully, research your options,   research health risks associated with certain procedures and hospital protocols.  I am not saying going all natural in the middle of the forest.  I am saying before making certain decision think twice and do your own research. Research gives you power.  There is an amazing group of women that can help you and guide you in your learning process. Please check Outer Banks Birth Network. They are very sweet and always ready to help on your new journey. I know it can be overwhelming.

Remember, you have the power to build your own story. One of a kind. You.

 Read My story. Part 1. Story of an Angel.

Read My story. Part 2. Miracle from Heaven.

*Photos   by Brandi Leigh Photography

 

 

About The Author

Katya Melvin

Dreamer, Fighter, Entrepreneur