Birth of Maya
This birth story is so raw! I don’t have know if I could have come up with he words to describe it, or paint the picture. Thankfully, I don’t have too! Talina, wrote her own beautiful birth story. This mama worked so hard to bring her little girl earthside. I cant express the amount of love that was felt during this birth, I hope you can feel it when reading & seeing this amazing birth.
We were getting ready to meet Jeremy’s parents for dinner at a cute Italian restaurant down the street. I was 40 weeks pregnant, officially on maternity leave and feeling totally down to eat a bowl of pasta and jump into bed for the night. That’s when the contractions came. I was timing them as usual, with that mild feeling of “is this the night?!” After a few bathroom runs and “did I just pee myself?”, Jeremy decided it was time to call. I was also noticing more blood after using the restroom so that started to concern me. I called in and they said it could be amniotic fluid, but I felt like I would KNOW if my water broke..right? Wrong. I went in and they said I had a slow rupture and I was being admitted. The reality of the situation hadn’t quite hit me. I felt eerily calm for what I thought was supposed to be this hectic moment. We changed gears quickly, making the phone calls to family, getting situated in the room. I remember this really quiet moment of changing my clothes, taking my makeup off and just sitting there with my husband feeling excited and nervous.
The contractions started getting more intense. I was having a hard time breathing through them. They brought out a birthing ball and I just remember bouncing on that thing while the anesthesiologist was going over my pain management options. I was getting so angry wanting her to just leave because I needed to focus on getting through the contractions! My pain management plan was pretty open. This was my first pregnancy and I didn’t want to immediately get an epidural when I didn’t know what my body could handle. To be clear, I wasn’t going for a natural birth to have a badge of honor, to shame moms who chose otherwise, or for bragging rights. I ended up having a natural birth because I had a super amazing husband and a nurse that offered the birth tub at just the right time. I remember lying in all different types of positions in agonizing pain trying to breath through the contractions. I was teary eyed when I looked at Jeremy and said “what are my options?!” That’s when the nurse offered the tub and I literally jumped out of the bed, waddled as fast as I could and jumped straight in the water. I immediately felt relief, though it was temporary.
The contractions continued and I remember the hollering yet rhythmic sounds I was making through each contraction and the sweet relief in between. I was offered apple juice because they said I was losing energy and getting dehydrated. It was so hard to focus on anything but the contractions. I got checked to see how dilated I was and it felt like a fire burning rod got shoved up my vagina. I was in so much pain. I knew I would have to get out of the water eventually, but I felt super confused about when it was “time”. This really heightened my anxiety because I wasn’t understanding the doctors instructions. I just remember crawling out of the tub and on the bed on all fours in so much pain. I ended up on my back and felt my legs being split open. I was really struggling to widen my legs. I can look back on the time now and see that I was really triggered in that moment. As a teenager I was drugged and sexually abused repeatedly over several years. I have struggled with feeling like I have no control over my body or knowing what has happened to it. This also played a big role in why I wanted to see if I could do a natural birth. I felt like I wanted to feel everything and be in control of my body through the experience. I feel like sexual abuse and a trauma history during pregnancy, labor and delivery aren’t really talked about. I feel like my heightened anxiety and fear at the critical moment wasn’t addressed and when I got told to “PUSH” I really didn’t know what to do. I just felt like I was screaming nonstop and nothing was happening. That’s when I heard the doctor say more people were going to enter the room, that Maya was losing oxygen, and I really needed to push her out. At some point there was a vacuum thing and I really couldn’t feel what they were doing when they were suctioning head and pulling while I was pushing. Jeremy tries to describe it to me and honestly I don’t remember the vacuum part at all. I had an oxygen mask on my face and I was really scared. I could tell my mom and Jeremy were scared and I was worried that something terrible was going to happen. I remember my mom saying “you need to push baby girl!”. Between more screams and pushing I heard someone say, “you can see her hair!”. As I was clutching the mask on my face I kept pushing. I really didn’t feel anything at this point, I felt completely numb. When they pulled her out I felt relief emotionally but my body was in complete shock. I saw her as they were putting her on my chest and I wanted to cry, was trying to cry, but I just felt completely in shock like my body wasn’t catching up to what was happening.
My sweet Maya was on my chest! The pictures I have of this moment still bring tears to my eyes. I remember them taking her off to weigh and measure her and that’s when they discovered she had pooped on me. That still makes me laugh today. I remember shaking uncontrollably and no amount of blankets helped. I remember lying there, legs still wide open while they stitched me up from the tearing. That was really hard for me and I chose narcotics to help with the pain. I was so uncomfortable I absolutely hated getting the stitches. I remember the nurse asking if I wanted to start breastfeeding. The moment Maya latched I was so happy. There is a picture of me breastfeeding Maya and my mom and Jeremy are by my side and it’s just this perfect memory I keep with me.
When everyone left and it was time to change rooms, the reality of how exhausted and drained I was finally hit me. I had a catheter in which I hated, it was so uncomfortable but the stitches needed to heal a bit and using the restroom would be super painful without it. I remember trying to stand up and get in the wheelchair and my ears started ringing and I nearly fainted. They immediately had me sit down and just wheeled me to the room as I was. I didn’t shower for about a day and a half. I felt disgusting. The blood, stitches, catheter, hemorrhoids, and overall pain was really overwhelming. Maya wouldn’t sleep in the bassinet so Jeremy and I took turns staying up with her and holding her while she slept. It was the hardest 48 hours. Looking back there were definitely moments where I felt unprepared, scared, anxious and overwhelmed. I also remember moments of so much relief and joy. I’m sure there are gaps in the story or moments I don’t remember just right. I feel so fortunate that I have the photos to look back on and remember such a special day.