Lessons from Birth #3

It was only 5 short years ago that I was single, in the best shape of my life, business was booming and I was living it up large, in the greatest city in the world; NYC! How much can change in a short amount of time! Business is still booming and I’m still loving NYC, but … now as a mom of 3 kids many things have changed. But, I wouldn’t want it any other way! 

Bringing my third child; Daniel, into this world was such an amazing experience but, it wasn’t easy!
My first 2 children Gabriel and Arielle were birthed in a hospital with midwives. I did no epidural or any drugs and had 30+ hour labors with each of them. I was blessed that both of them were born healthy and recovery was good.
My first instinct when I was pregnant with my 3rd was to go the same route. However, the hospital midwife center I had used for the other two no longer existed, so I had to find another hospital, another midwife group and make sure my insurance covered the hospital and the midwives! Which is no easy task in NY! It seemed like New York hospitals got rid of their midwife groups!

After about a month of interviewing midwives, hours on the phone with my health insurance, I finally settled on a midwife group in a hospital in downtown Manhattan. All my prenatal visits were good, I had no amazing experience to speak of but I also had no complaints. As I entered into my third trimester the only thing I had left to do was attend a hospital tour. I only waited until then because the hospital only allowed us to attend a tour within my last 2 months before my due date! 🤨

So here I am 7 weeks before I am due to give birth and I attend the hospital tour. I was horrified! I won’t go into all the details but just to give you an idea, the size of the room that had 2 beds in it was the size of a closet. If one person would get off one bed they were literally on the next bed.  Then they proceeded to tell us all the “rules” of the hospital! My head was spinning. I looked at the faces of some of the other parents on the tour, many whom were first time moms, and I felt so bad for them! 
But by the time I got home my well trained mind of having a positive outlook regardless of my circumstances started kicking in. “Maybe it won’t be so bad… maybe you can leave the hospital earlier… maybe you will get lucky and get one of the only 4 private rooms in the whole hospital….”
Yet as well trained as my mind was, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. I knew this was not how giving birth should be… 

That was when an idea entered my mind and I couldn’t get it out of my head! Maybe I should have a home birth…

A couple days later I had an appointment with my doula/massage therapist and shared my hospital tour experience and my idea about a home birth and she was so encouraging! Immediately she went to work finding me a midwife that would be available and willing to take me so late in my pregnancy. Within 24 hours I had a meeting set with home birth midwives. I was still a bit skeptical but as soon as me and Luis sat down with them and got educated we were 100% firm in our decision that this was the direction we wanted to go.

One of the questions they asked us was: would there be anyone in our lives that might look down or talk negative to us about doing a home birth? Both Luis and I laughed; I’m sure there will be, but bring it on!

The next few weeks with them were amazing. All my prenatal appointments were in my home, my kids even got to participate in some of them, listening to the baby’s heart beat as a family. It was beautiful! 

Then it came time for me to make a huge decision! I was having a major event that I put on annually for 500 of my associates and it was going to be in Charlotte, NC. Of course I knew I may not make it when I booked the event and I prepared everything as if I wouldn’t be there… but when it came down to it I really wanted to go! I also really wanted to give birth at home… what to do!? Deep down I had a gut feeling my baby wouldn’t show up any time soon, I also weighed the risks and confirmed with my midwives that I had no health issues (although they still recommended I shouldn’t go)

But I listened to my intuition and made the decision to get on a plane 5 days before my due date and make it happen! It was a great decision! The event was a huge success, and I felt so good being there for my team! My patient baby then made me wait another 2 weeks to make an appearance and just as I predicted on 1.19.19 he was born! 

This birth experience was so different than the other two I had. First, there was no going to the hospital, so that eliminated figuring out “where I was up to” and how far along I was. Unlike the other two births where my water broke 30 hours into labor and right before delivery, this time it woke me up in the middle of the night and my 11 hour labor started right then.

Those 11 hours, while it certainly had its pains, were calm and comfortable. I moved between the tub, bedroom and sofa. All while having the support of an amazing team of 2 midwives, a doula and my loving partner, Luis.

My biggest concern throughout the whole thing was my other kids but they were safely being taken care of by their grandmother and nanny in our building lounge.

The labor was intense long contractions… I got really deep in my core by focusing on breathing, oblivious to all my surroundings, to find the strength to go through the until the end. The actual delivery was amazing, I had the midwives hold up a mirror so I could see the baby come out! It was miraculous! 👶🏻

Daniel was born at 12pm at almost 8lbs, and I had a perfect delivery, with no complications! The best part was as soon as Daniel was born the other kids were so excited to be able to meet their little brother in their home. One of the other benefits of giving birth at home was that we were able to have our baby attached to the placenta for several hours, long enough to receive all the blood from the placenta, it was a miraculous sight. (Learn more about this here: Intact Birth)

There were several lessons I learned and some that I was reminded of, during this experience.

1) Do what you believe in – what if I had listened to the naysayers (while many of them meaning well) and not gone with what I believed to be right, I may have missed the most amazing opportunity to have this incredible experience.If you truly believe in something stick with it! Only take the opinions or advice from people who excel in the areas you are looking to grow in AND who completely understand you, your desires and goals.

2) The importance of a Team/support/encouragement – Being a very independent person it’s hard for me to naturally rely on others and typically will take most things into my hands. What I’ve learned in business is that you can’t do something great or huge by yourself and therefore you need a team. The same applied to this experience, I completely let go and put my trust in those I believed in. I couldn’t have done it without the incredible support I received from my birth team.

2) Take calculated risk and put yourself in a position or situation where you must make it happen – Sometimes we tend to overthink things. We may already have come to a decision and then we go back and reevaluate a decision that was already made causing us to change our mind. One thing I got in the habit of doing is as soon as I make a decision I take action immediately. As soon as I decided on a home birth I signed up for one. As soon as I decided I was going to my event I booked my flight etc.

A solid evaluation is necessary many times to make decisions but you don’t need to do it more than once! Don’t overthink! Also put yourself in a position where you don’t have a choice but to follow through with your decision. One of the things I made a decision about was to not have an epidural during my births. This was one of the many reasons I used midwives, because it wasn’t something they even offered. This put me in a position where when things got tough (which they did!) I couldn’t fall back and go away from the decision I made, I had to stick with it! And I am so glad I did!

3) Don’t compare; focus on yourself and what needs to get done – one of the things I learned from the home birth midwives (that was very different than the others) was not to constantly compare and measure. I learned that this can be limiting and cause loss of focus on what was going on in the present moment. In my other births I was constantly counting minutes between contractions, finding out where I was up to and comparing to “where I was supposed to be” for my progress. In this birth I just focused on my inner strength and what I was feeling at the moment. I did not look at the clock even once and it ended up going so much quicker!!

Many times in business and life we can get busy comparing ourselves to others and allow it to distract from what needs to be done. While competing is essential to becoming your best, your main competitor should be yourself so you can continue to get better and better!

4) Build your mental toughness – After watching his 3rd birth Luis said; “I don’t know how you do it, laboring for hours with no sleep, food or pain meds.”  

What it comes down to for me, not only in birthing but in life and business, is mental toughness. I really believe what you focus on becomes the center of your world and expands for you. So if you focus on the pain, you will feel it more. If you focus on the end result, it makes getting there just a little bit easier, or in the case of childbirth, a little more bearable! It’s a magical thing! Building mental toughness is something that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s constant work, but well worth it!

In writing this, I acknowledge that many women won’t be in a position to have a home birth due to resources or health etc. And I am grateful to have been able to.

Comment below about what you learned in your birthing experience. 

Credits: Doula Yiska Obadia Midwives: Kimm Sun & Kateryn Nunez

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