Baby E's Positive Birth Story

Hey y'all!


Wow, I haven't written a blog post in almost an entire YEAR! The whole ~world shutting down and never being the same~ really puts a damper on creativity...or at least it did for me. 


In case you don't follow me on Instagram, you probably missed out on the fact that I recently had my first baby, Emmitt! He's 8 weeks old today!


I can't believe I didn't post any pregnancy blog posts. Even though I really had an almost perfect pregnancy, I didn't feel like sharing too much about it. I have lots of postpartum and baby product recommendations that I can't wait to share soon though!


I wanted to write down my birth story with my sweet baby boy so I can share my positive experience using hypnobirthing and having an induction. This might be a long one, but I'm so excited to write it!


Before I became pregnant, I said I wanted to get an epidural. But once I was realistically considering my options,  I decided I wanted to try to do a medicated free birth. I was still very much open to the idea of an epidural, but wanted to see what my body could handle.


In my "mom groups" on Facebook, I had heard a lot about hypnobirthing. No, it’s not about being hypnotized but rather using breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation. After doing some research myself, I decided to purchase The Hypnobirthing Digital Pack by The Positive Birth Company. I will say that it's a UK based course so some of the information isn't exactly relevant or accurate for the US healthcare system. I've heard really great things about the Hynpobabies course, but wanted something more affordable!


My husband, Michael, and I watched the video course while I was in the beginning of my third trimester. It's got a lot of great printable resources as well. I really felt like taking the course helped prepare myself mentally. One of my favorite mantras I pulled from taking the class was:

Birth is natural and my body is MADE for it!

For my birth plan (or as I like to refer to it as "birth preference" since you can't really exactly plan birth), I used the free Mommy Labor Nurse Birth Plan Template. I found it the easiest to use since I could just check off what I wanted while in labor. She's a great resource for all things birth so definitely give her a follow if you're pregnant!


My preferences were pretty straightforward. I wanted as natural of a birth as possible but was open to any medical intervention deemed necessary. So with that in mind...


I somehow made it to 41 weeks and made the decision to be induced. I had tried EVERYTHING starting at 38 weeks to get my body to go into labor naturally, but nothing worked. Seriously, I ate 6 dates a day, drank multiple cups of red raspberry leaf tea daily, curb walked, completed the miles circuit, used my pump...


It felt discouraging since my OBGYN had told me at my 37-week appointment that she thought I'd be in labor soon. Even at my 40-week appointment she had said she was shocked that I was still pregnant! Baby boy was so low my entire pregnancy and everything seemed right, but it just wasn't happening for me.


I had been having on and off contractions for a few weeks. I even had a few "tonight is the night!!" moments, but everything would die back down in the morning. I felt frustrated and disappointed because I really wanted to let my body do its own thing. 


At my 40-week appointment, we ultimately decided to book an induction date. I had 5 days to try to get my body to go into labor, but again, baby boy was staying put.


My induction was booked for Tuesday, March 29th. Since this was my first baby and I was only dilated to a 2, they had me come in on Monday night to start prepping my cervix. It was kind of nice knowing what was going to happen because it allowed Michael and I to enjoy our final night together as just us.


We got Chuy's for dinner, came home and showered, then headed into the hospital. I felt relaxed and reminded myself that tomorrow, my baby would be in the world! 




Once we had checked in, they had me take a shower and use a medicated wash on my body. Then I had an IV inserted, blood pressure cuff on, a monitor on my belly and we began using Cervadil to ripen my cervix. I slept pretty horribly because the blood pressure cuff would take a reading every 30 minutes. But it was also sweet since we got to hear baby boy's heartbeat all night long on the monitor!


In the morning, I was dilated to a 3 and they started me on Pitocin. Around 9:00am, my doctor arrived to break my water and get labor started! She said she'd see me in a few hours. 


Right away, my contractions went from a 3 to a 10 on the pain scale. Thankfully, my mom arrived just in time to help Michael support me through the intense surges. I knew that labor would be uncomfortable, but people who compare contractions to period cramps are definitely wrong!


I used the Freya App from Positive Birth Co to listen to meditations and remind myself of breathing techniques. It was really hard to focus on anything but how my body was feeling. I moved out of the bed to try and walk around but found it most comfortable to be on my hands and knees. I actually couldn't even sit down. I think I might have been sitting on his head because the pressure was so uncomfortable!


The worst part was being hooked up to the IV and Pitocin so I was setting off alarms from the position of the tubing. I was also extremely hot and asked for an ice pack to put on the back of my neck as I knelt on the ground. 


One piece of advice I would give to people going through labor is to have your partner study pain relief options to offer. Michael was amazing at applying counter pressure to my back when I asked for it. Basically, he pushed down and in on my hip bones to help relieve back labor.


After about 40 minutes of being on the ground, I had the urge to push. Being my first birthing experience, I figured this is just what it felt like. There was no way that I was going to give birth that quickly! 


My contractions kept coming in waves, and I was definitely feeling primal. I let myself yell and moan as much as I needed. My husband said it scared him a little but it really helped me get through them! 


Since the pain was so intense at this point, I asked (honestly I kind of begged) for an epidural and also mentioned that I felt the need to push. My mom called my nurse to let her know I wanted medication and that I was having an urge to push. (Later, my mom said she looked at Michael, doubtful that baby was on its way so soon haha!)


I had my eyes closed and was just listening and waiting for the epidural to come through the door. My nurse came to check my progression and said, I was dilated to an 8 which meant no epidural, it's baby time!


My doctor was juuuuust about to go to a cesarean, so another doctor stepped in to help. I honestly could not tell you who was in the room while I was going through delivery. I had my eyes closed with an ice pack laid over them the entire time. Again, I just tried to focus on my meditation app, but it was really difficult.


Thankfully, my doctor made it in time when I was able to start pushing! When I was delivering, it was important for me to listen to my body, not someone telling me when and how to push.  I was grateful my doctor was able to make it since the first doctor was stressing me out the way she was instructing me.


Baby boy was ready to come out, and I was pushing with all my might. I think pushing was worse than the contractions because you just so badly want to see your baby. We did have a short moment where his heart rate dropped since I was struggling to push him out, but hearing that was enough to encourage me to push my hardest.


After about an hour of pushing (it honestly felt like hours and minutes all at the same time), sweet baby Emmitt was born into the world! My first thought when I saw him was "oh my goodness he's BLONDE!" He was an 8lb chunky boy and he's so so perfect.



I was nervous to deliver the placenta, as I heard it could be painful as well. But honestly, I was on such a high from seeing my baby that it felt like a relief when it was delivered. I only had a small tear, so stitches were minimal.


Our golden hour was magical. He snuggled right up to me and latched pretty well right off the bat. I am so so in love!!


Within a few hours of delivery, I was able to get up and walk around. I truly am grateful that I didn't get an epidural since it made recovery so much easier. In fact, a few of the nurses commented that it didn't even seem like I had just had a baby haha. We even got to leave the next day (they usually keep you 48 hours after birth, but we only stayed a little over 24) since both bubs and I were thriving.



He has been the perfect addition to our family. Peanut (our dog) was great with him from the start and I cannot wait to watch their relationship grow stronger for years to come! Denny (our cat) is still curious from a distance, but we know they'll be buds eventually.

We're going to be pretty selective about how much we share about our sweet baby E. Navigating social media as a parent is hard! Thank you for letting me choose what we post and for enjoying the information we do share.

If you have any other questions, especially about inductions, please feel free to DM or email me! You can do it mama. Birth is tough but so are YOU!


xo,

Sarah

 


Journal Prompts for Your Highest Self

 Hey y'all!


Let's do a check-in here. How ARE you? You feeling okay? I hope you are. Times have been tough, but I want you to know that I love each and every single one of you that stumbles across my blog. I will always be here for you if you need a friend.


As for me, I've been feeling a lil bit 'meh'. I think I'm hitting a roadblock and feeling some real burnout in the creative areas of my life. Your girl needs a vacation and thankfully has one planned real soon.


Blogging for me has always been one of my favorite ways to push through the hard parts of life. So here I am!!


Today I want to talk about showing up for your highest self. And I know you're thinking "Sarah, I don't even show up for my right-now-self". To that, I say, "same girl." But that doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't strive to become the gal (or guy) we know we can be.


It's time to get out your trusty journal and favorite pen and think. Imagine your absolute highest self. What does that feel like? Who is she/he/they? Below is a list of questions to ask yourself as you journal.



Beach-Ready Amazon Finds

 Hey y'all!


I'm so excited to FINALLY go on a vacation! The past year has been so hard on everyone, and I know we're all feeling the travel bug. Since we're all vaccinated and enjoying #ShotGirlSummer (because getting vaccinated is your duty as a good/kind/caring human being), I'm going to South Padre Island with my in-laws next month!


Since I haven't been to the beach in what feels like 100 years, I stocked up on some new things. Everything linked is under $40. I guess this is also a great update to add to my capsule wardrobe series since they're all basic items I can easily rewear and reuse. 



Stud sandals | Bikini Hexagon sunglasses | White coverup | Sun hat | Layered necklaces

Spring Roundup: Top Vegan Shoe Picks

 Hey y'all!


I'm so happy the weather is finally warming up here in Texas! We still occasionally get a chilly morning, but so far, my husband and I have been able to get lots of use out of our backyard. My day feels complete once I get to stretch out on a blanket and read a book.


The warm weather also brings a whole new level of #shoegame. I usually buy a new pair of sandals each year that I wear the heck out of all throughout spring and summer (and honestly sometimes into the fall because Texas weather is weird, y'all). 


Here's a great roundup of some vegan-friendly shoes for spring and summer!




Click the images below to shop the post!