"I had an OB appointment for April 21st. I was 39 weeks, my parents were on a plane from Florida to come support me through my natural birth plan but Baby Dakota had a plan of his own.
I woke up that Thursday morning with my hand on my stomach kind of confused, wondering if what I had felt was actually a contraction. Not even minutes after that first one another contraction came rolling after that. Jared was supposed to get off work early and come with me to my appointment so I called to make sure he knew when to get off, both of us kind of joking at the possibility I could be in active labor. After messing with one of my contraction counter apps, I realized they were seven minutes apart. I called Jared right back and told him mayyyybe he should go ahead and leave.
He came home and I decided to labor as long as possible at home in the bath so he started helping me time my contractions. At that point I had no clue it would only be a couple more hours until Dakota was in my arms. I had read so many birth stories of the process taking hours and sometimes even into the next day. I thought we had all the time in the world. We got so caught up talking about our new bundle-to-be that neither of us had noticed my contractions had gotten 3-4 minutes apart in no time.
The birthing center was about forty-five minutes away so Jared was doing everything he could to rush my pregnant butt and our just awakened three year old into the car. Still, with the lack of dramatics and pain that Hollywood makes labor out to be, I thought it'd be forever and I just took my time. It wasn't until we got to the hospital and I was back in triage alone did I have my "Oh snap, this is real" moment.
I was all hooked up silently clenching my jaw at every contraction just watching the monitor when a nurse came in to check my dilation. We chatted back and forth about how the full moon and rain must have pushed all of us into labor, then she told me I was 7cm and I'm not sure if she was in more disbelief or I was. Family beginnings had just given away their last room. L&D was full. My parents were on a plane. The two people who were able to be there to support me weren't allowed back in triage. Nothing felt like it was going according to plan. Everything after that happened so fast.
I had always imagined my birth similar to the hippie moms I follow on Instagram. I pictured flowers in the tub and a playlist of all the songs Jared and I listened to together. While most worried about packing toothpaste and coming home outfits, my last minute check list items were battery powered candles and essential oils. I worried if I had enough birth affirmations saved to my Pinterest and if I memorized the breathing techniques correctly. As a fighter not a lover, I should have known my birth would be everything but all that.
I knew some things wouldn't go as planned but if anything was important to me, it was to be sure one of the birth photographers got there and just as my contractions got interesting, Sonja showed up. Thankfully not long after that a room finally opened up with a tub already filling for me. In those last 30 minutes my contractions had gotten intense, I had relied on water for comfort my entire pregnancy so when I saw that tub I stripped. I tuned out what everyone around me was doing but I felt the pain starting to get the better of me so I decided to reach down for myself and that's when I felt Dakotas head. I had never felt so empowered and with each breath I could feel the moment of meeting my son was coming closer. I had been quiet my entire labor but with a giant roar Dakota was out in one push and it was the most satisfying moment in my life.
What I thought was going to be this lovey, supportive, peaceful birth turned into me going completely within myself to labor on my own to bring my child earth side and I would not have it any other way. I've replayed this moment in my head for almost the past two years wanting to experience natural birth and in the end it turned out better than anything I expected. After going through all that it was nice to finally come back to reality and see both Jared and my son Brendan looking at me like nothing was different, that they knew the whole time what I was capable of. We started off our day just us three and became four."
To book your birth photographer, please contact us at www.cincybirthstories.com