A FREE Book to Start the New Year – Today and Tomorrow Only!

The book is packed full of tips for those interested in the idea of a minimal intervention birth plan, and the second half of the book is dedicated to empowering and detailed birth stories.

The week ahead is pretty monumental.  It’s a fresh start – a new year!

Many of us are in the middle of goal setting. If you want to read my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions (hint: run from them) and some of my goals for the upcoming year, click here.

I actually heard from a friend today that said her goal is to read one book a week.  Wow.  That’s impressive.  And though that is not my goal this year, I love the idea of reading more. I know many of us hope to read more in 2019.

So in honor of helping others start the new year on the right foot – I am giving away my latest release for FREE ($9.95 value) on Amazon – today and tomorrow only!

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The book is packed full of tips for those interested in the idea of a minimal intervention birth plan, and the second half of the book is dedicated to empowering and detailed birth stories.

I’d love for you to share this with friends and family that would love to get their hands on their first read for 2019.

Cheers to your best year yet!


J.K. Coy

P.S. Here is the full link to grab the book FREE thru Monday night: 
https://www.amazon.com/Because-YOU-Are-Superwoman-intervention-ebook/dp/B07KDRK3TC/

 

Because You are superwoman #1 Amazon pregnancy and childbirth.JPG

Because You Are Superwoman; Chapter One Freebie!

An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth. Start reading now!

My newest book release, Because YOU Are Superwoman, was a labor of love.

After nine months of research, collaboration, story compiling, cover design, editing, formatting, etc. launch day is finally here.

The book has over twenty positive birth stories, paired with six evidence-based steps for a Minimal Intervention (M.I.) Birth, to provide you with the confidence and skills you need to go after the birth experience that you desire. An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth.

You can check it out on Amazon Now.

Or Start Reading Chapter One Below…

Chapter One: Claiming Your Superpower

My husband likes to refer to me as “Superwoman.”

Of course, no spouse constantly feels this way about their other half. I am highly aware that I have plenty of shortcom‐ ings. But when the subject of birth comes up, he likes to remind me how amazing it was to witness his wife being so incredibly strong and capable as we welcomed our daughters into the world.

It was two intervention-free hospital births in the last two years that earned me that designation. But painting myself as a strong, brave heroine isn’t the full picture. I am also the preschool wimp who got one ear pierced and then jumped into the store’s window display to hide because I was so filled with fear just anticipating the pain of the second poke. I actually refused to get the other ear pierced until the fourth grade.

Don’t worry, my mom did take out the lone earring to spare me from looking like a tiny pirate. No one wants their little girl to have to explain that she is a big wimp every time someone notices her pirate ear. Thanks, Mom.

So obviously, anticipating the pain of childbirth for over thirty years had me terrified. I assumed that when the day came my water would break somewhere wildly embarrassing. Then, with water dripping between my legs, I’d rush right to the hospital in a panic, screaming for the epidural the moment they sat me in a wheel chair. Then I’d lay on my back with my legs spread eagle, cursing my husband’s name for DOING THIS TO ME! The doctor would rush in just in time to catch my camera-ready newborn baby, and the nightmare would be over!

natural positve minimal intervention birth book amazon

Honestly, that was one of the only common birth examples I had ever been exposed to. On the very rare occasion that someone brought up a story involving a woman going au natural or desiring minimal medical interventions, it was surrounded by snide comments, alluding to the notion that the woman and her birth were a bit…crazy, granola, hippy, old-fashioned, uneducated, unplanned or reckless in the face of modern medicine.

My own sister-in-law had two home births after a tough hospital birth, so you would think I would have some other reference point. But she also now lives on a mountain in rural Argentina, so she is obviously a unique breed. It was difficult for me to relate to her and her “natural ways” when I finally found myself in need of childbirth advice. In fact, since we were really nothing alike, I assumed birthing without intervention wasn’t for me.

 

Me (Probably a Lot Like You)

I’ve spent years learning from higher instruction, earning degrees in business and education. I’ve worked in profes‐ sional environments for a decade and a half. I have a fairly progressive husband who willingly jumps in to help maintain the details of managing our household. Our finances are in order (meaning, I at least track my spending enough to know that I have burned through way too much of my daughter’s college education money at coffee shops as I pen this book). I’ve created a modest, yet comfortable, Pinterest-worthy home for my sensible family of four and our rescue companion, an elderly red dog that looks more like a dingo.

Alright, enough with the gold stars. We’re all bored.

But all that said, it is not unfathomable that I resist my intervention-free births being categorized as crazy, granola, hippy, old-fashioned, uneducated, unplanned, or reckless.

And I’m not the only one.

 

The New Examples of Birth

In this book you’ll read over twenty stories of amazing women who had positive birth experiences, all requiring very minimal intervention from modern medicine. These women have conquered their own self-doubt. They have stared down the deepest parts of childbirth, and now, you get to be a fly on the wall as you transport yourself into their stories and see how they found their own strength to kick childbirth squarely between the eyes.

The women in this book, myself included, are strong, educated, modern mamas who wanted more options to achieve a positive and healthy birth experience for them and their babies. Just like you, we had questions. We wanted to understand the “why” of our care. We wanted the evidence, and then we wanted to feel supported to make decisions with our family’s interests in mind. We did not want to make our birth decisions out of fear. When we looked at how modern medicine had overstepped its boundaries, we insisted on something better.

Just because birth interventions are so common that they are now considered normal, we knew that didn’t actually mean they were necessary or beneficial for us. They were not accepted as our standard for care.

Alternatively, we all knew how fortunate we were to have modern medicine as our back-up in case we were truly part of the small minority that should require intervention.

 

Some Alarming Intervention Data

According to the National Listening to Mothers Survey (2013), which interviewed over two thousand women who had birthed in the prior year, interventions in labor were closely linked to increased, unplanned cesareans. Specifically, the study noted women who received an induction or epidural were more likely to have an unplanned c-section. The most common forms of induction they referenced were the use of synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin), breaking a woman’s waters, inserting a finger into the cervix and “sweeping” or “stripping” the membranes, or a prostaglandin gel, pouch, or tablet placed near the cervix. Often times, women receive an induction concoction that includes two or more of these methods.

The idea that one intervention increases the likelihood of others, is often referred to as the “cascade of intervention.” Once interventions are introduced, the unplanned cesarean rate increases. Among first-time mothers who had term births and experienced labor, those who had both labor induction and an epidural were six times more likely to have a c-section (31%) than those who had neither intervention (5%). Get out your highlighter and make sure that last sentence is glowing.

Additionally, there are plenty of other routine birth practices that have become par for the course but show little benefit to a laboring woman: restricting food intake, using bladder catheters, restricted movement while attached to intravenous fluids, time constraints, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, and lying flat on our backs to push.

 

Reserving Interventions for Plan B

Please understand, I am not here to tell you that medical interventions are the devil. I am not on some witch hunt, crusading for women to deny all assistance during birth. I would like to assume these interventions were created with good intentions in mind. The problem lies in the fact that most interventions have become synonymous with childbirth in this country. And many have become widely used out of convenience, instead of necessity. Interventions have become the Plan A; the starting point for birth. As women, we have stopped asking “Why?” and started accepting that this is just what birth looks like in this country.

Unfortunately, this passive acceptance has come at a cost.

Medical practitioners perform cesareans at approximately 32% of U.S. births. That is almost one in three births that end with major surgery. Ultimately, cesareans have become the most commonly performed surgery in this country. It feels like that should be a red flag, birth in this country is in a bit of a crisis.

In fact, our cesarean rate is more than double what the World Health Organization recommends to reach the most favorable outcomes in decreasing the maternal and infant mortality rate. Staci Berrey, a doula for almost a decade, and owner of Labor of Love Birth Services in Orange County, CA, explained, “Medical intervention is not the enemy; it is the overuse of it for reasons that show little benefit to the laboring mother that we should take issue with.”

Interventions save mothers and their babies every day, but we should question whose best interest is being put first when an intervention is the starting point for birth in modern medi‐ cine. If we prepare a woman’s mind and body, make her feel safe and supported, and then get out of her way, the body is amazing and actually knows how to birth with very little assistance or intervention. If we were able to save costs on unnecessary interventions upfront, that would leave more money available for a woman’s follow-up care after delivery. One way to do this could be reducing the cesarean rate, since c-sections are fifty percent more costly to providers than vaginal births.

It should be noted that the United States has the highest maternal death rate among developed nations. Over sixty percent of maternal deaths are preventable with regular monitoring of the mother. After giving birth twice, I fully believe that waiting four to six weeks for a woman’s first postpartum check-up is far too long, especially since in the same time frame it is common to have three or more appoint‐ ments centered around your newborn.

A Mental Shift

When I found out I was pregnant with my first, I spent the first thirty-two weeks under the care of a traditional OB- GYN, who I actually really liked. But once I started to learn that my birth choices were greater than…

  • A tree-hugging, drug-free, painful birth or medical interventions as soon as I reached the hospital?
  • A home birth with no aide or a hospital birth where someone else made choices for me based on dated practices?
  • How soon did I want to be induced or would I rather just schedule a c-section?
  • An epidural or pure hell?

I started picturing the possibility of a minimal intervention, positive birth experience, based on the principles and prac‐ tices of believing in what my body was made to do (while not being embarrassed to admit I was totally open to evidence-based medical interventions that became necessary).

With this mental shift, I knew I needed to switch to be under the care of a woman who was experienced in advocating for using only those interventions that were in a woman’s, and her baby’s, best interest. Someone who routinely saw the miracle that our bodies are capable of with very little aide. Someone who truly believed that most medical interventions did not need to be common practice and would best be saved for Plan B, after first supporting me with less invasive techniques.

I knew that for me to fully trust someone during a time when I could feel scared and vulnerable, it would be critical to have someone in charge of the show who knew what was “normal” during a birth where medical intervention was an option, but a road taken only after a number of other more natural methods were exhausted.

Because You are Superwoman back

The Birth Dialogue

If we want to change birth in this country, we need to change the dialogue surrounding it. Birth doesn’t have to be trauma‐ tizing. Each woman sharing her story in this book truly believes that. We want to empower you with confidence in your mind and body. We want to give you the courage to seek a positive birth experience beyond the horror stories that society has routinely exposed us to. This means educating yourself with new perspectives of birth and seeking out care providers who specifically align with your goals. Our child‐ birth beliefs have such a profound impact on the care choices we make, on the way we labor, on our outcomes, and ulti‐ mately how we feel about our experience.

My Great Aunt Pat shared her positive, intervention-free, hospital birth story with me long before I was pregnant. She didn’t tell me it was orgasmic. She didn’t say it was easy. She didn’t say it was painless. But she did say it was totally, one hundred percent worth it. In fact, she chose to birth the same way two more times. At the end of her story, she turned to me with delight in her voice and said, “You could totally do it, too!”

Her words spoke power into me. She believed in me before I had even considered believing in myself. Because the confi‐ dence was coming from a strong woman who had fully expe‐ rienced birth and spoke positively about it, I trusted it.

But I was still nervous. How could she believe I could do something so unfathomable? Births like that are for superheroes. They are rare unicorns. They are for totally- committed natural mamas. They are for people so much stronger than me. But words are powerful, and the notion stuck with me.

A few years later, I found myself pregnant, and I recalled her confidence in me. I wasn’t sure what it all meant, but little by little, I started to put aside what I thought I knew about birth. By reading the mind-blowing stories of women who didn’t curse birth, but instead believed in their bodies and took charge of their care, I started letting go of the notion that childbirth was just some tragic event that women had to endure. Instead, I started getting excited about the life transforming power women can experience through childbirth.

By harnessing the confidence and techniques I learned from other remarkable women who had succeeded in the type of birth experience I wanted, I was able to create my own posi‐ tive examples of birth as I welcomed my daughters into the world. The same six techniques I used (laid out in detail in chapter three) can be replicated by anyone who wants their own minimal intervention birth. The journey began when someone opened my mind to the possibility of a positive birth experience and then instilled confidence in me with their positive words. From there, the responsibility fell on me to be an active participant in my care choices.

I want to pay it forward. I want to provide that same confidence to you. I believe in you. I believe in your body. I believe it is okay for you to stand up and ask questions. I believe you deserve a positive birth experience. You are an incredible, educated, strong, modern woman with a body that is capable of giving birth. Each of the women in this book believe in you. You are not too weak, too old, too broken, or too scared to just roll over and let birth happen to you. You have superwoman inside you.

It’s time you believe it.

Get Chapter Two Now.


 

If you enjoyed this preview, consider writing a review on Amazon to help spread the word!  You can add a review here.   here.

With Love – J.K. Coy

 

One More thing…

Share your positive birth posts with these tags to join the conversation and possibly be featured on my author pages: #MIBirth #BecauseYouAreSuperwoman @StoriesbyJKCoy

 

ALL the Birth (Book) Details – Slighty Less Graphic than My Birth Video

Can you imagine being pregnant and having the “due date” continuously pushed back, week after week?

At some point you might just think you are going to stay pregnant forever.

Many times I felt that way during the writing of the latest book.  Things took far longer than I expected to come together.  It literally ended up taking nine months from the time I put a call out that I was looking for positive, minimal intervention birth stories to then compile, write, edit, format, and publish this baby.  And like an anxious mama-to-be, I was losing my patience with the process toward the end.

Even the name took longer than expected to choose. But a title, is pretty important.  It will be around for a while.  I wanted a strong title, yet one that wasn’t too “birthy.”  So like most of us do when we are expecting, I made lists and ran them by friends (and fans) to gauge their reaction.

But ultimatly the decision was mine.  This book was my baby.  The final title is one I feel honors the women that shared their positive birth stories in the book. And it also encourages any woman, that decides to one day give birth, to believe in her body:

Because YOU Are Superwoman:  How to Harness Your Superpower and Create a Positive Birth Experiance with Minimal Medical intervention 

Things are finally coming together.  This baby is fully baked and ready to make an appearance.

Speaking of appearances, let me share the first official cover photo!

natural positve minimal intervention birth book amazon

The cover clearly lets readers know that the topic is “birth,” but hopefully the strong, modern, and bold look and feel alludes to the tone of this birth book.

I also threw in some humor and overly personal details, just to keep it light;)  Think of the book You are a Bad*ss and then add the words, At Giving Birth.

Here is the working book description:

***

Do you want a positive birth experience, but haven’t heard of any?
Do you think a more natural birth experience sounds ideal, but don’t know how to go about having one?
Have you ever wondered if other strong, educated women choose to birth with minimal medical intervention?
Fortunately, these are not your typical birth stories. 
These are the remarkable stories of modern-day superheroes. A bunch of bad*ss super women, just like you. They are bold, educated, strong, and they decided to do things differently. Ultimately, they chose to make their belief in their body Plan A, while reserving the marvel of medical interventions for Plan B.
Over twenty birth stories, paired with six evidence-based steps for a Minimal Intervention (M.I.) Birth, will provide you with the confidence and skills you need to go after the birth experience that you desire. An empowering experience that likely strays far from everything you’ve been conditioned to believe about birth.
Stop simply hoping for a positive, minimal intervention birth. This book contains the specific birth plan for you, and it’s easier than you think.

***

Cursing, pooping, grunting, naked, raw, real and candid birth stories told by strong, intelligent mamas.  Above all their stories will encourage fellow women that they too have everything they need to birth their baby with minimal intervention.

So here is the exciting part. Unlike childbirth where you never know the exact birthdate, this book is going to be available on Amazon on Nov. 11th, 2018!  That’s just two weeks away, and I couldn’t be more thrilled for you to read it!  If it lives up to the expectations of those of us that collaborated on it, this book is going to change the way women, and practitioners, think about birth.

If you’d like to get an advanced copy of Because YOU Are Superwoman in exchange for an honest review on Facebook or Amazon, join the launch team! Contact me here and include the words Launch Team in the heading – I’ll follow-up with details next week.  To join the team and get your free advanced copy, I need to hear from you by Monday, Nov. 5th.

Ready to get your hands on something now?  For a limited time, if you buy either of my children’s books on Amazon, you get the e-book FREE and you can start reading ASAP!

And if you are still questioning, does she really have a graphic birth video? The answer is yes.

And no.

It’s not a flattering angle, and I don’t plan to share it;)

Here’s the Birth Book Update You’ve Been Waiting For

I now have over twenty birth stories contributed.  They may have all been natural births, but each story is very unique, as are the bad ass mamas featured. 

The Coys-59I’ve got a matter of minutes before my baby awakes from her magical slumber and turns in to a salivating little monster in search of THE MILK.

I wanted to give a quick update of where things are at with the most recent masterpiece in the making – a compilation of Natural Birth Stories, meant to inspire woman to take control of their birth care.

I now have over twenty birth stories contributed.  They may have all been natural births, but each story is very unique, as are the bad ass mamas featured.

  • A Woman that had two medicated births and wanted to finally have the birth experience she desired
  • A  woman that gave birth in one of the most progressive birth countries:  The Netherlands
  • A woman that delivered TWINS without pain meds
  • A woman that had her baby eight minutes after arriving at the hospital (my hand is up)
  • A woman whose labor lasted more than a day
  • A woman that had to fight the negativity she received from the hospital staff to persevere
  • A woman whose body was recovering from physical injury and just a year ago never would have thought her body was capable
  • A woman that had to face the feared “back labor”
  • A woman afraid of hospitals and pain.
  • A woman that has been ashamed to share her birth story because it’s not acceptable to share a positive birth story in light of all the negativity surrounding birth
  • A woman that had to cancel a work presentation to go deliver her baby

In short, a bad ass woman just like you.

So here is where I am at –

The stories are in, I have requested follow-up details from every contributor, I interviewed Staci (Doula and Owner of Labor of Love), I hired the editor this afternoon, and I am wrapping up the opening chapters this week.

The book is on track to come out this summer.  Subscribe to this blog via email to be the first to know when it launches, or follow us on Facebook @Storiesbyjkcoy.

I typically give out some free copies of my books during launch to readers on my email list.  So make sure you share this with friends that may be interested.

More news to come.

 

Natural Birthing By Modern Women; Share Your Story

There is an accepted dialogue around birth in this country.  Birth is scary, painful, unnatural, should unfold in a perfect pattern, and demands intervention.

It is time to share another story. Your Story.

This very minute, eight babies are being born in the U.S. – CDC

That’s almost 11,000 babies per day – yet when is the last time you heard anyone talking about natural childbirth in a positive context?

Mention a natural birth and people look at you like you must have suffered some horrible tragedy, or be some sort of a closet hippie.  But I know that is not your story.  You are an educated, modern woman.

photo cred:  The Art of Unscripted

There is an accepted dialogue around birth in this country.  Birth is scary, painful, unnatural, should unfold in a perfect pattern, and it demands intervention.

That was the message I had received from society, and I accepted it.  Anything less than a doctor, an epidural, and laboring on my back was venturing in to hippie territory.  Until I got pregnant myself. 

The more I learned, the more I felt conflicted.  Everything I thought I knew about birth seemed questionable.  It no longer felt like these accepted interventions were in the best interest of the woman.  It felt like natural child birth should actually be the starting point for the birth discussion, instead of the option viewed as what crazy, uneducated, poverty-stricken, or careless women chose to do.

I’ve had two unmediated, hospital births in the last two years.

Birth Story One

Birth Story Two

Natural birth doesn’t have to be scary or crunchy.

It’s unfortunate that Ina May’s Childbirth book is still one of the only resources being passed around on natural birth.  I love it too, but a book about natural birth on a hippy commune in rural Tennessee isn’t going to resonate with most women.

We need to extend positive birth stories to all women, even those that do not think they want a natural birth.  They should know it is a realistic option.  It is the most noninvasive form of childbirth possible, and allows women to avoid many negative or unnecessary interventions.  It can be very empowering.  Most often it is a healthy and safe option for the mama and her baby.  And, it’s not some reckless, crazy act reserved for those that love self torture.

Today the U.S. cesarean rate is 31.9%.  How has our society convinced women to casually agree to major surgery, without strongly considering that their body is equipped for birth? Medical intervention is an amazing option when needed, but it should not be the norm that women are routinely encouraged toward.

Sharing my experiences will never be enough.  There is power in numbers.

For most women, having their eyes opened to alternative birth options, and believing that they are capable of achieving them, are different.  All of the self-education in the world likely won’t convince a woman that natural birth may be for her.

It’s the stories of women that have achieved a natural birth, and are just like them, that will make them think maybe, just maybe, it’s possible for them too.

All we can do is plant seeds of belief in other women.  If we show them that we have been there and we believe they can do it too, it can make all the difference in their world.

Women need to read many empowering stories to begin to change the birth monologues that society has ingrained in their minds.  By sharing a collaboration of natural birth experiences, we can show women that not all childbirth is the crazy shit show that we been taught to fear.

If you have a passion for sharing this message and have always wanted to see your story published in a best-selling book, this is your chance.

Are you ready to change the message around childbirth?

It’s time to share another story.  Your Story.

The program kicks off in the next thirty days.  Message me for detailsJust put the words:  Natural Birth  – Your Name – Your Email in the message and I’ll get back to you within 24hrs.

You will receive story coaching from an Amazon best-selling author, deadlines to keep you committed, professional editing services, your birth story featured in a book, and marketing materials to share the amazing news that you are now a published author!

I know you have objections, but your story is too important.  Let’s do this together!

**FYI, I am currently closed to submissions at this time.  Please follow the blog for updates on the release of the current book, and when I will be accepting new clients/stories**

Eight Minute Birth; Baby Delivered Faster Than Pizza Hut

Yup, eight minutes after arriving at the nurses station my baby was delivered.  

The scene opens on a seedy nail salon in a strip-mall in Orange County, CA.  It’s the type of nail place you go when you’ve already spent too much money on personal grooming that month, and you need a deal.  Adequate, but so dated that it’s far from a relaxing and luxurious experience.  There is a woman painting my toes and massaging my feet, as I quietly try to breath through contractions without causing a scene.

At this point I am ten days “past due” (my thoughts on that here), and I went to bed the night prior with some minor back pain.  In the morning it was still mild so I spent a few hours working on a children’s book marketing project, making no bake coconut bites, taking a two mile walk, washing and vacuuming the car, and buying a new house plant, before finally heading to the nail salon at 2:30 pm.  By then I had convinced myself that I was likely in labor, but I figured I had plenty of time since the pain was manageable and hadn’t come around to the front of my belly yet – it was still all in my back.

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So, back at the nail salon…another woman started doing my gel manicure.  I’m pretty sure it must have been her first gel because it took her over an hour.  She kept applying the paint, then wiping it off and starting over.

Mind you, this entire time the back contractions are continuing to intensify.  I was shooting the woman daggers with my eyes, praying she would get it together so I could go home and be miserable in peace.  I finally asked her if she was almost done because I had to go, this baby was coming tonight.  Every ten minutes I was having a thirty second contraction that I had to close my eyes and breath through.

By 4 pm she finally wrapped it up.  I drove myself home and was in the tub by 4:15 pm.  My husband came in to the bathroom to check on me.  I told him what was going on, but figured the contractions needed to get closer together before heading to the hospital.  I was planning another natural birth (read the first birth story here) so the last thing I wanted to do was arrive at the hospital too early.

I reached out to my midwife just to let her know that I thought we would be heading in to the hospital later tonight.  I decided to track the contractions with an app on my phone.  Come to find out, I am a poor counter in pain.  The contractions that I thought were thirty seconds long, were really a minute, every eight to ten minutes apart.

I showered between contractions, while my husband made arrangements for our toddler, and then I decided to go lay in bed.  My poor husband tried to push on my back during a contraction because the counter-pressure during contractions had been really helpful with my first labor.  This time not so much.  Laying down and having someone push on my back was the exact opposite of helpful.  Contractions were lasting about a minute and a half every four to six minutes at that point.  I was almost in tears and snapped at him to stop asking me so many questions!

That was my first cue that we probably needed to head in to the hospital.  That, and the intensity of the contractions were getting to the point where I could no longer quietly breath through them.  I was moaning out in pain.  We headed out to the car for our four mile drive to the hospital.

During the ten minute drive I was alternating between texting my parents who had just arrived at LAX airport an hour away, giving updates to my midwife – contractions were now lasting for one minute – every three minutes, listening to my husband yell at every stop light, and me squeezing my cell phone like a stress ball as I moaned through contractions.  As we rounded the corner by the hospital a very intense contraction got me and I firmly pounded my fist on the car door a few times.  That got both our attention.  This labor had gotten REAL really fast.

Once at the hospital I jumped out of the car while my husband grabbed our bags.  I had to pause at a couch inside the hospital to moan through another contraction.  There was a man and his young son near by and I was trying my best not to be too loud and scare them.  By then my husband caught up with me and was trying to get me to take the elevator up to the birthing level.

“Nope,” I said.  I needed to keep moving.  I had one goal.  Make it to the nurse’s station before the next contraction.

“I’m taking the stairs.”

Thankfully I did, because I literally made it to the nurse’s station, saw my midwife behind the counter and smiled at her, then put my head down telling the triage nurse to talk to my husband for any details she needed.  I started moaning through another contraction, except this time it was different.  I could feel my body start to involuntarily push the baby down.  It was like my body knew I had made it.  I was in the hospital.  My midwife was there.  I was safe.  The time was 6:08 pm.

As soon as my midwife heard the types of sounds I was making, she took over the situation.  She told the nurses to get me a room NOW.  They offered me a chair to wheel me to a room.

“Nope,” I said.  I wanted to walk since I had a break between contractions.

We made it to a room and they had me take off my pants (the comfy Le Tote ones I borrowed), and offered me a hospital gown.

“Nope,” I said.  I didn’t want to feel like a patient.

The nurses told me I could climb up on the bed.

“Nope.”

I was a woman on a mission at that point;  my one and only job was to birth this baby, NOW.

“Hand me those pillows,” I said to the nurse.

That was the last rationale thing I said until my baby arrived.  I proceeded to stand next to the bed, lean over, and bury my face in the pillows while I screamed through each contraction as my body pushed the baby down and out.  I knew I was supposed to be trying to keep my voice low and relaxed, but all I could do was shrill and hang on for the ride.

Some how my husband was able to get the video camera set-up during all this (in case you’re wondering, it’s not a flattering angle).  He then asked the midwife how much time we had before the baby arrived.  She confidently responded, “About two more pushes.”

She was right.  Two pushes later, she and my husband were catching a perfect baby girl.  I laid over the bed panting as if I had just finished a marathon in record time.  They offered to pass the baby through my legs so I could hold her and get up on the bed.  Official time of birth –  6:16 pm.

Yup, eight minutes after arriving at the nurses station.  

after birth love other

I’m not sure if that was a hospital record, but my IRONMAN husband is looking in to it.   He laughs because on the video he says it’s like I have a race high.  I am really excited and can’t stop jabbering with the nurses about what just happened.  In my defense there were a lot of endorphins and hormones rushing through my body at that point.

after birth love

An hour and a half later, the medical staff was finally done prodding my lower half, checking on the baby, and making me answer hospital in-take questions – since we bypassed that last bit on the way in.  As they walked out, my parents arrived from LAX.

mommy and baby meet

After a short visit with my parents, we sent them out to get Pizza Hut, the holy grail of post partum.  The restaurant was located just a mile away, and they were supposed to deliver the pizza to my parents, downstairs at the main entrance of the hospital.  Some how it took over an hour and they ended up delivering the wrong pizza!  I thought about calling to complain, but it was 10 pm and I hadn’t eaten since 1 pm…so obviously I just grumbled about it as I ate three pieces.  The good news was that it bought us a proper moment to meet our baby girl, and finally agree on a name.

Baby Liv Claire Coy entered our world (2.2.18) fast and furious.  A crazy, yet perfect labor and delivery.  Definitely, the most exciting Friday night these parents have had in a long time.

perfect baby girl

I’ve heard second labors are typically about half as long as your first.
In your experience, was your second labor much shorter than your first?

 

Why are Positive Birth Stories Like Rare Unicorns?

Does that mean I am going to tell you that birth is glamorous, something I’d chose to do for fun, or pain free?  I wish.  Really, I do.  I have to do it again myself in just a few weeks

Not everyone wants a natural childbirth.  DUH, I get it.

But I’m confident that every mother wants a positive birth experience.  The funny thing is, most of us aren’t exposed to many, if ANY, positive birth stories before we have to give birth ourselves.

Either we assume they don’t exist because of how the media portrays birth, or because people are so damn eager to share their horror stories, or because it’s just not the norm.

So I wanted to share my birth story, as a point of positive reference.

Does that mean I am going to tell you that birth is glamorous, something I’d chose to do for fun, or pain free?  I wish.  Really, I do.  I have to do it again myself in just a few weeks (Subscribe to follow this blog and get an update when the final part of the story is added:  How I feel About Birth the Second Time Around).  But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a positive, empowering experience when you look back on it.

So here we go, the Birth Story of a Mother, a Father, and a Baby.  Because that is the thing, you birth a baby and a new identity for yourself and your significant other, all at the same time.  Crazy to think about, right?!

At 33 yrs. old I finally felt like I had traveled, learned, and self indulged long enough, that I was ready for a child.  Fortunately my husband was also far beyond his college party days, willingly going to bed by 10pm., and was also on board with the baby idea.

After four months of trying, I took three pregnancy tests the day before Father’s Day and confirmed I was in fact, with child.  Why three tests?  I messed up the first one by not reading the directions (yup, it can be more complicated than peeing on a stick, for some brands myou have to remove the cover;), the second was a false negative, and the third was a winner!

baby 8.14.15

Once we found out we were pregnant I started down the traditional health care path.  I picked an OB-GYN, and as it turned out, I really liked her.  She was younger, active, and had two young kids.  I had no issues.

But the more I learned about birth in the U.S. (read Part One here: Natural Child Birth Sounds Insane, but You’re Still Curious:  Six Resources to Consider) the more I started to think about natural birth.  Honestly, I wasn’t 100% convinced I wanted to go that route, but once I found out that there was a midwife that could deliver at my hospital, I switched to her care at 33 wks.  I figured it was my best chance of receiving the coaching and attention I felt I would need to achieve the birth I wanted (read Part 2 here: Why Natural Birth Trumped America’s Other Options)

I felt good during the third trimester and continued to stay as active as possible.  I gave up running around 32 wks, but was still playing tennis, walking, doing light weights, and a little Zumba.

I went in for an appointment at 40 wks. + 3 days.  I wasn’t dilated a bit.  But, I figured my baby and body knew what to do when, so I wasn’t too worried.  Then the midwife started discussing inserting a balloon to start dilation.  I was not excited.  She said she would give me a few more days.

At 40 wks. + 5 days, I went to Zumba.  I had finished everything on my to-do list, so I decided to layout by the pool.  That was noon on Leap Day,  The one day my husband told me not to have the baby.  I felt what I thought may be the start of contractions, but I decided to relax and see.

By 6pm. when my husband came home from work, I told him I thought I was in labor.  Since contractions were still far enough a part, I decided to go to sleep around 9 pm.  After an hour they were getting stronger and closer and I started tracking them with an app.  I got up, took a bath, packed my bag, paced the house, sat on the exercise ball, and used a heating pad on my back.  By 5 am, or so, we texted the midwife to let her know I was in labor.  We left the house about 6:15 am, arriving at the hospital by 6:30 am.  When I walked in they said I seemed to calm to be in labor.  Ha, I didn’t feel calm.  I was in pain and just trying to deal with it internally!

When they checked me at 7:15 am, they asked if I wanted an epidural.  I said, that depends, how far along am I?  I was at 5 cm.  I decided to press on.

Once I got in to my hospital room, I was able to pace around the room and lean on various furniture, or my husband, for support when the contractions hit.  Once the midwife arrived she applied counter pressure on my back during each contraction.  She told me I could try out the labor tub at 8:45 am.  At this hospital you could labor in it until your water broke and then you had to get out because of increased risk of infection.

labor pains

By that point contractions were very intense.  I was groaning as I could feel the baby moving down with every contraction, and the pressure and intensity building.  Honestly I don’t know if I was totally coherent at that point.  I was just trying to block everything out.

I do remember that I was no longer a sweet pregnant woman  by the time my midwife told me that I needed to get out of the tub so that she could check me (9:50 am).  I was more of a barbaric, naked, grunting beast.  She said the sounds of my groans had changed, and it was a signal that my body was likely ready to push.

Pretty sure I could have pierced her heart with the daggers my eyes wanted to throw at her in that moment, except that would have taken too much energy and coordination, which I didn’t have at that moment.

Some how I exited the tub and they checked me .  Apparently my water broke when they checked me, and I was 10 cm (10:20 am).  I was ready to push.

I had imagined that I would want to push standing up, with the help of gravity working with me.  But once I was on that bed to get checked, there was no way I was moving.  By that point contractions were off the charts, I was screaming and squeezing my husband’s hand, and my body was starting to involuntarily push.  Instead I chose a side position, biting a towel, with one of my legs propped up on a push bar for leverage.

Eventually I was told that the high pitched screams weren’t helping anything.  Plus, I started to worry that I was scaring the laboring mother in the next room.  My midwife suggested that I use low groans, then hold my breath and use the power to push my baby out.

They told me they could see the baby’s head.  I figured they were just trying to humor me at that point.  They asked if I wanted a mirror so that I could see for myself.   I declined.   I don’t like medical stuff, there was no way I wanted to see what was going on down there while I was in the middle of it.  Some people say the pushing phase feels good after the pain of contractions.  That was not my case.  The amount of pressure down there felt scary.  To be a bit graphic, I felt like I was tearing in half.

But here is the crazy thing.  Through all of this, asking for an epidural never crossed my mind.  With the constant attention and affirming coaching from my husband and midwife, I felt convinced that this was all normal.  This was how birth was supposed to progress.  I could just get through it one moment at a time.  My body was not broken.  I did not need a doctor to fix me.  What I needed was a calm environment.  Love and support, gentle coaching to try new things (positions, breathing, etc.), and a belief in myself.

But had someone been in my ear asking if I wanted an epidural, or left me alone with my fears, I probably would have cracked.

After pushing for 45 min. the head started to emerge.  I was ready for all this fun to be over.  During the next contraction I pushed with all my might and the head and the body slide out at 11:08 am.  My midwife and husband were there to catch the baby.  She was perfect.

DSC02712

I couldn’t believe it.  The pain was over.  The pain had a purpose.  The pain told my body what to do.  And that purpose was now in my arms.

I had some tearing, so I had to wait until I delivered the placenta and got stitched up, before I finally got to be left alone between my legs.  But once I was, it was awesome.  I wasn’t attached to anything.  I could freely move and bond with my daughter, soaking up those first few hours as a new little family.

I was pretty damn proud of the birth my daughter and I just achieved together.

Our first amazing adventure, on day one.

Baby Kisses

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So, the big question.  Would I do it again?  Yup. That’s the plan.

Subscribe to follow this blog and get an update when Part Four of the story is added:  How I feel About Birth the Second Time Around.

Want something else fun to read?  Check out my collection of loving and sarcastic children’s books (Love You to Pieces Beautiful Monster and My Mom is the Worst).

And, If you have your own positive birth story online (Natural, Medicated, or C-Section), please share a link in the comments below so that we can collect other examples of positive stories.  Thanks!

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