Birth Story + Reflection
Updated: Apr 8
I have been wanting to write this for a while now, and now it feels like the right time to share. This blog will be broken down into three sections: how I prepared, my birth story, and a reflection piece at the end.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. :-)
On July 29th, at approximately 2:44pm, Elliston Creek Caracciolo Garcia was born into the world. This was an unmedicated and natural birth.
How I prepared:
Mama Natural Course, Hypnobirthing to help heal fears around giving birth, binged listened to the Birthing Instincts podcast, hired a doula, and did my own work to remove any barriers I had around giving birth, i.e., journaling, self-coaching, meditating, tarot, and surrounded myself with people who not only believed in me, but believed in the entire physiological process of giving birth.
I live a very holistic and organic life. I choose to eat organic food and I eliminate foods that weaken my immune system, i.e., dairy, eggs, gluten, and corn. I know that may sound intense to some people, but it’s what works for me, and my physical make up.
I was prepared for a long labor and to be late. From everything I had read and listened to, it seemed like first time mamas should prepare themselves for a 24-hour labor and to delivery after their expected delivery date, so that’s what I had mentally prepared myself for.
My due date was August 8th and Elliston Creek Caracciolo Garcia came into this world on July 29that 2:33pm.
A few days, or maybe it was a week before giving birth, I got a hemorrhoid. Yep, you read it right. Don’t be shy folks!
Looking back, I think it was a sign that I was getting close, but at the time, I just figured it was a part of being pregnant. Whoo hoo!
The night before I went into labor I was up like every hour. I would go right back to sleep, but I was up A LOT that night, mostly going to the bathroom. Around 4:45am, I woke up again to go pee and as I was getting back into bed, I felt a gush of warm liquid expelling out of me. I quickly went back to the bathroom and saw that my shorts were completely soaked and as I sat back on the toilet, more liquid came out. “Holy shit. My water just broke.” I said out loud. Evan woke up and joined me in the bathroom. Soon after, and I mean SOON after, like 10 minutes, I started having contractions.
We called our doula and midwife to let them both know what was happening. Our midwife told us to keep her posted, as labor can be drawn out for many hours. Around 7am our doula showed up and I was having full blown contractions. It was ON. By 10am we were leaving for the birthing center which was 45 minutes away. By the time we arrived at the birthing center, I was having the sensation to push, which at the time, I had no idea that’s what I was experiencing. I tried the bath, but I got cold and weirdly couldn’t get comfortable. My favorite position was squatting over the toilet. They had a metal bar along the wall of the bathroom, which I held on to as soon as I felt a contraction coming on and then immediately bent down to squat as the contraction began.
I also liked being on my hands and knees. AND counter pressure saved me. Both my husband and our doula would squeeze my hips as hard as they could when a contraction began. It helped take the edge off and focus my attention elsewhere.
My breathe was also a life saver. I made low groans all throughout labor. I never let myself go into a high pitch scream, and if I was about to, my doula gently reminded me to stay low and connect back to my breathe. I gave zero fucks about how I sounded. Those animalistic sounds helped me stay grounded and calm and ultimately carried me through labor.
Around 12ish, the pushing began. This was the most intense and challenging part for me. I had never felt such an intense sensation in my body. There was a brief moment when my midwife kindly but firmly said to me, “Sarah, you gotta give it all you have when the urge to push arises. No holding back.” At the time, I didn’t realize what was happening, but Ellis’s heartbeat had lowered, and he passed meconium, which meant that he was under stress due to a decrease in blood and oxygen supply. And so, that’s what I did. Each time the sensation to push arose, which was every damn contraction, I gave it all I had. I pushed for two hours and then boom, Ellis was born at 2:33pm on July 29th, 2022.
As he came out, he was choking a bit. Our midwife immediately put a tube down his throat to suck out the meconium, so he didn’t swallow it. She asked if I wanted to catch him or hold him and I was like, “No, make sure he is okay first.” LOL. I was not the mama who wanted to catch her baby. I wanted him to be okay before I held him, which was literally like two minutes after I gave birth.
I was 10 days early and my labor lasted a little under 1o hours, both circumstances I had not expected. I never got a break. It was ON from the moment my water broke. Fast and furious, as I like to call it. We didn’t even have the car seat put together or his bassinet, but my incredible husband managed to get everything ready as I was laboring at home.
I am so incredibly grateful for my birthing team, Evan, my husband, and Ellis for helping me get through one of the wildest and hardest experiences of my life. I know that we all have a desired birth plan, and sometimes reality doesn’t meet our expectations. May we all have grace and compassion for ourselves for how we bring our babies into the world.
As I reflect on the last eight months, I have realized so much about myself, and as it pertains to pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period, I have realized this: I prepared endlessly for giving birth, but I was completely blindsided by the postpartum period. And yet, I am not sure if I was in the space to prepare myself for this phase of my life. And now, it’s my deepest desire to help mama’s during the postpartum period, because it has been the hardest and scariest time of my life. No one really talks about it, which is why I am talking about it. We need to give mother’s just as much support during the postpartum period as we do during their pregnancy and birth.
What do you think? Do you wish you had more support during your postpartum period? Looking back, is there anything you would have done to prepare yourself for this phase in your life?
I stumbled upon a poem that brought tears to my eyes. It’s a beautiful poem that illustrates the balance between preparing mothers and showing up for them when they are IN IT. It rings so true for me. I hope you enjoy it too.
Thanks for reading!
What do you say to a sister
Who is about to
Enter the sea
When you don’t know if she will be met
With storms or calm water
When you don’t know what
Journey awaits and
How she’ll make it shore
What do you say to a sister when you see her scan
Hesistant and unsure
When you know her fear
And the work that lays ahead
When you know she’ll come out the other side
Softer, perhaps. Or maybe scarred.
But stronger, too, no doubt.
You walk with her as deep as you can into those waters
And you hold her close, as long as you can
And then you let go
And let her dive deep
Knowing there are parts of this journey she must
Knowing there are storms that she must face
On her own
And you stand, a lighthouse, the shore
As she becomes one with the sea.