Here is the gorgeous Birth Story of Lauren and Steve, a potent and beautiful example of what happens when you embrace your present, prepare and support yourself with a DREAM birth Team, and do the ground work to enable deep TRUST and SELF BELIEF to guide you.
I met Lauren and Steve, in the summer of 2020, together we dived into some virtual birth preparation and had the pleasure of Laurens amazing Mother, join us for one session.
Enjoy reading their beautiful Birth Experience.
Lauren and Steve’s Birth Story
Steve and I made the decision to have a home birth around 28 weeks -
they'd just been reinstated, and so after a lot of discussion, we felt
like it would be the place that felt the safest and where we were
could create the environment most conducive to the calm, physiological
birth we hoped for. Around this time we also considered getting a
doula, as we also assumed my parents would not be able to make it over
from the US to be here for the birth (my mom had been planning to be
my second birth partner). Luckily, they were able to make it over in
time to quarantine and still move in with us well in advance of our
September 20 due date and with enough time for us to savor some time
together before the sweetness and chaos of a newborn joined the mix.
Even though Steve and I had been through a fairly straightforward and
positive labor and delivery before, we'd never had a baby at home and
wanted a few more tools in our toolbelt to help us prepare this time
around, so we reached out to Tessa for some antenatal prep work.
WAITING FOR BABY - RELAX RELAX RELAX
I went past my due date with no signs of labor starting, but even as
the days continued to pass I felt incredibly relaxed (and not too
uncomfortable, thankfully) and knew the baby would arrive when he was
ready. I woke up on Thursday morning, September 24, feeling like I had
the flu. I couldn't keep anything in my system, and felt achy and
tired and super nauseous. I knew this could be a sign of impending
labor, but also knew it could still be a while off. Steve, on the
other hand, was convinced today was the day! I tried to rest in the
morning, then snoozed on and off while Rowan napped. When I woke up I
felt less nauseous, and as I headed downstairs I peeked into the study
and saw that Steve had gotten the office all set up for the midwives.
Regardless of when the baby decided to come, our flat was ready for
That afternoon we all relaxed at home, and around 5:30 I felt the
first little twinge in my lower belly. Things were getting a little
chaotic, as dinner time with a toddler can be, so my parents did
dinner with Rowan while Steve and I went for a walk around the
neighbourhood. We only walked for 20 minutes or so, but I'll always
remember this time as really special - we held hands, we shared how
excited we were and reminded each other that we were so prepared for
this. Steve was mega pumped, and while I was excited to get the show
on the road and meet our boy, I was a bit nervous to go through the
intensity of labour again. As we started heading back home, my
contractions were still mild but Steve timed them just for fun - they
were only about 30 seconds long but coming regularly every 2 minutes.
When we got home, I kept thinking - I just have to make it to Rowan's
bedtime (7:30) and then I can relax. Around 6:30 I sat on the exercise
ball in our living room, rolled around for a bit, and when I stood up
I felt the familiar gush of my water breaking. With Rowan I soaked
through about 4 pairs of trousers before I figured out what was
happening, but this time I put in a maternity pad right away and
noticed meconium in the waters. This didn't alarm me, as the same
thing had happened with Rowan and we were still allowed to stay home
for 24 hours as it was light in colour and he was full term. I assumed
that would be the case this time, too. Around 7 we decided to call the
hospital just to let them know what was happening. Steve did bedtime
while I called triage - over and over and over. It was after 8 before
we finally got through, at which point they told us that we'd need to
come in so they could check the baby and that we wouldn't be able to
birth at home.
OWNING IT - MINDSET
Surprisingly, I was much less disappointed than I thought I'd be. My
predominant feeling was one of - well, if we have to have the baby at
the hospital, let's get to the hospital so we can have the baby!
Contractions were still very mild at this point, but I just wanted to
get there and get settled so I could get in the zone for when things
started to ramp up. We called a taxi and promised my mom we'd call her
when it was okay to come up.
All the way to the hospital Steve and I did long, slow breaths
together. Once we got to triage, Steve had to wait outside while I
paced the waiting area, walking, breathing, trying to stay relaxed.
When we finally got called to the room, the midwife looked at the
meconium and said we wouldn't be allowed to go home and also wouldn't
be able to use the birth center. She asked to do a vaginal
examination, which I agreed to, and told me I was only 1 cm dilated.
At this point contractions were definitely more noticeable. I remember
looking down at the printout coming out of the CTG machine and seeing
her sticker '9:35 pm, 1 CM' and feeling a wave of tiredness. 'If I'm
only 1 cm, do I have the stamina to keep going all night?' I wondered.
After about 30 minutes of waiting, the midwife (who was so incredibly
sweet and thoughtful) walked us to the labour ward, where she'd found