Before giving birth, I always thought about writing a Transformation Thursday blog post about getting back into shape post-baby. However, since going through childbirth, I feel it is important to write about the more significant transformation that took place: how I became a mom. So that is part I. Part II I will save for next time.
As my body grew larger and larger, I wondered what amount of effort it was going to take to get my “pre-pregnancy body” back. It was my first pregnancy and I had no idea how my life was about to change. No matter how many people tell you your life is going to change, you have no idea until you experience having a child of your own. As I look back, over the past year or so, I have transformed into something I never could have imagined. What I have gained is so much more than a “pre-pregnancy body.”
Halfway through my pregnancy, my thinking changed significantly. For those that haven’t been pregnant before, the decision to have a medicated childbirth comes up frequently. It is the assumption that everyone will use an epidural, or “see what happens” when they arrive at the hospital in labor. At first I wasn’t sure, I thought, “ill see what happens when Im in labor” like most people. Then I got my first Brazilian wax and I thought, “Im definitely, 100%, getting an epidural because that hurt!” Luckily for me at this time, my soul sister, sister from another mister, cousin, Jenna Harris (holla) was pregnant too. She was living in California and thinking about birth plans, and all that crunchy California stuff. I had never even really thought about the delivery and what was inevitably going to happen, BIRTH A HUMAN. I started freaking out but luckily stumbled upon a documentary produced by Ricki Lake, “The Business of Being Born.” This film changed my thinking about an unmedicated childbirth completely. I decided to get educated on childbirth and learn more about the delivery. I dove in headfirst because that’s what I do when I am determined. I started listening to visualization MP3s and meditating daily. I decided to commit to the idea of a no epidural, no nothing, childbirth. And for some reason, this idea was completely RADICAL to most. So this made me want to do it even more. Tell me I cant do something and I will do it…Go ahead.
So the day is April 26, 2014. I was a couple days away from being 38 weeks pregnant. It was my first week not teaching at SP. I had the week off from work, so I watched 37 episodes of Game of Thrones and walked the beach with my dog Chewy daily. It was my sister (-in law)’s bridal shower, followed by a birthday party for Mrs. Becky Parker where #SPNation was representing. It was a good day and I felt good.
The next day, at 730a, I woke up and my water broke. I went in to Beverly Hospital around 930a to make sure it was what we thought it was because I was in denial. I didn’t have any signs of labor until we left the hospital around 130p. We could have stayed in the hospital but it was my first baby so I figured I would be in labor for 24 hours. We actually asked if we could go to work the next day!??! Denial. My plan all along was to leave the hospital and not return until the babies head was crowning… not really, but I wanted to stay out of the hospital for as long as possible. We went home, I showered, and prepared myself for what I was about to experience, as best I knew how. I listened to my visualization MP3 and meditated. I was focusing on my breath and trying to stay calm. My contractions became stronger and more intense. I wasn’t able to speak or move much during each contraction and they were coming every 3-5 minutes. So we went back to Beverly Hospital around 530p. When we arrived at the labor and delivery floor, we met the nurse who would be taking care of us (Go figure, the nurse was my “Butt and Gut” instructor, Danielle, from the YMCA). I got to the hospital at 4cm dilated and 100% effaced. All I had to do was get through another 6cm. From 530p, until the birth of my son, I did not stop moving. I also focused all of my intention inward. I focused on my breath and trying to relax physically as much as possible. I delivered my son at 945pm with a nurse midwife, Danielle, and my husband by my side and without any hospital intervention. NOTHING. We popped a bottle of Dom Perignon at midnight and I never felt better in my entire life.
So there you have it: the most significant transformation of my entire life. I was someone whose major concern was maintaining my physique and worried about my getting my pre-baby body back. Now, after giving birth in the most natural way that I could, I feel like someone who could conquer anything. It was the most empowering and humbling experience of my life. I have never been more grateful for my body than I am now. I write this not to diminish anyone else’s birth story, but simply to share my life changing experience. If you were to ask me during labor, a couple days after, maybe even a month later, I may have underestimated the feat I had just accomplished. I am now 5 months postpartum and have never felt better about myself from the inside out. I credit that to my birth experience, and the most perfect baby boy that I am honored to call my son.