The Surprising Journey to Parenthood
Getting pregnant was not in our plans for 2022. It was a HUGE surprise when I took the test to confirm what I had already anticipated and felt. To say it was a moment of mixed emotions would be an understatement. After a moment or two of panic, we began to get excited for our journey to parenthood.
My first symptoms were nausea and vomiting and it progressively got worse. Being a birth worker, I had in mind where I wanted to birth, and quickly scheduled an appointment at Seasons Midwifery and Birth center in Thorton.
Having a birth center birth where I could trust my body to birth my baby was something so important to me. However, I did have a back up plan in the event we needed more care for myself or baby. So as long as my pregnancy was going normal and safely, I knew it would happen at a birth center. And it was! Other then aches and tiredness, my pregnancy was textbook. Baby grew healthy and strong, I stayed active and took care of myself through the midwife appointment and regular chiropractic care with Norris Chiropractic and Wellness.
Seasons was nothing short of amazing and I loved my care there with the wonderful staff and midwives. Unfortunately they were abruptly shut down during my third trimester, which caused me to transfer care. (They are now open again!) It was such a hard transition because I LOVED Seasons so much and couldn’t imagine birthing else where. After many discussions with friends and fellow birth workers, I settled on Birth Center of Denver. While the transfer was hard emotionally to get through, it turned out to be the best outcome. I was so happy with my care with them, and felt so supported the rest of my pregnancy.
When my parents were pregnant with my sisters and I, they chose to not find out the gender until the birth. This was such a fun surprise for them, that I wanted to do this during our pregnancy. My wonderful, and supportive partner wanted to find out the gender, so our middle ground was to find out the gender of our baby, but to keep it between us. This was something so special, and such a fun secret to keep until we announced the birth of our baby. We plan to do this with every pregnancy in the future too.
While I was pregnant, I went through another doula course, as well as taking on my own private clients attending births as well. At the birth center, you are required to take all their birth classes to birth there, as it is different then birthing at a hospital. So pregnancy, birth, postpartum, really became second hand knowledge. I learned so much last year and attended so many beautiful births. All this knowledge prepared for the birth experience that I wanted, and I continued to educate my partner Alex through it all. He supported me unconditionally the whole time. We grew closer then we ever have before, and continue to now with our daughter here.
December 13, I went about my normal activities that day. I had a few appointments scheduled that I attended and planned to finish the remaining galleries I had in my queue that week. That day I felt off, not sick or tired, just off. I even told my doula that. I had a chiropractic appointment, my 38 week midwife appointment, and a pedicure with my cousin that day, and ate my partner’s Mom’s spicy food. I think that combination helped kick start it all.
As I was getting ready for bed, I finished brushing my teeth and laid down in bed. As soon as I laid down, my water broke - but I didn’t believe it at first! I told Alex, ‘Either my water just broke, or I peed myself.’ And quickly ran to the bathroom to figure out what happened. I changed my clothes, put a pad on, sat on the birth ball to feel if more water came out. Nothing happened for a few minutes so I decided to go to bed and see if labor would wake me up. That was 11:00 PM. At 1:50 AM a contraction woke me up. I ran to the bathroom to discover more water leaked on the pad and I had bloody show! Yay! My body WAS in labor! We called the midwives to let them know, and began timing contractions. They were 2-3 minutes apart and slowly getting more intense. At 3:30 we called the birth center to tell them we were going to start heading their way since we were 45 minutes away from them.
The whole car ride I stayed in my zone, breathing through contractions. Closing my eyes. Only opening them to see how far apart they were. They were still 2 minutes apart.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. We are about to meet our baby.
Arriving at the Birth Center
We arrived at the birth center right around 4:30 AM and I cried as soon as Alex parked the car. It was such an emotional release to be at the birth center, IN LABOR, getting ready to have a baby. My contractions were getting more intense, and I wanted to get in the tub as soon as I got checked in. They checked me, I was basically 100% effaced, dilated to about 4, and baby’s head was at a zero station. Hence why my contractions were ALL in my hips. I got in the tub and man that really helped. My doula and birth photographer, Danielle Kent Photography was not able to make it due to road closures, so she sent in her back up, Rebeka Torres (Beka) , who is a good friend of mine as well. This is something that as a doula and birth photographer I knew could happen, which is why it was important to know that Danielle had a back up plan in place.
Contractions were getting more intense and I was getting very vocal. I could tell Alex was nervous but trusted the process as much as he could. He really did amazing. I asked for Nitrous Oxide for pain management, and man was that my best friend for a while. I had to get out of the tub to start using it, and things sped up so fast. At 7:00 AM, they had the shift change and I was hollering at that point for more relief. I was exhausted, couldn’t rest between contractions because they came so fast, and I was just done. The midwife told me that they need to check me to make sure if we did transfer, that I wouldn’t have a baby on the way. When she checked me, I was at 7 cm. After I heard baby’s heart beat and listened to the midwife’s calming supportive words and my doulas, I decided to keep trying at the birth center.
Rocking on the birth ball, squeezing the comb, using the nitrous, and hip squeezes. Then I moved to the tub for more relief, and began to feel like I needed to push.
At about 8:00 AM the midwife checked me - I was fully dilated and baby’s head was LOW.
The Birth of Roselyn
They say when you’re in transition you go into another world. Boy was I in a WHOLE other world. After getting checked, my body FINALLY gave me a break. It was such an out of body feeling. Alex was there holding my hands, cheering me on with positive words, Beka keeping me grounded and documenting the whole thing, with the midwife and nurse close by. I began to push around 8:10/8:20 AM. Originally when I envisioned pushing as breathing baby down. While that was a great thought, it most certainly did not happen. I pushed with all my might and as loudly as I could have been. It was wild. I checked myself after a few pushes and felt baby’s head. I knew we were close. I was moving around the tub in different positions, and eventually landed in hands and knees. Then I heard the midwife tell Alex, ‘Alright Alex come over here to catch your baby’ he responds, ‘Okay let me take my watch off’. (insert eye roll emoji)
After a couple more pushes, Alex catches her, and passes her with the midwife in the water into my arms. Baby girl was here. Born at 9:09 AM. Her cry was so beautiful. Her cord was thick and juicy. And she was SO CHEESY!!! That's what happens when you have a 38 weeker. I couldn’t believe it. Alex and I cried together looking at our beautiful baby girl. So much hair. Chubby cheeks. Taking it all in.
A few minutes after Rosie was born, the midwives helped me out of the tub with baby girl and walked over to the bed. Something I felt was impossible, but that’s adrenaline for ya! We snuggled in bed together for a few hours and soaked in what the f*ck just happened. The midwife team did what they needed to to make sure we were ok, then gave us our golden hours as a new family of three. The only part that was rude was the postpartum contractions. Those are rough!!! Then Danielle, my main doula arrived, and we cried together.
Eventually they did the newborn exam, let me rinse off, ate my favorite meal from Syrup, and took a NAP. Sheesh. That nap was crucial! We went home at 3:00 PM that day to start our life as a family of three. Life was so good. I am SO proud of myself. I had the birth I envisioned, with a few changes, but overall exactly what I wanted. Birth is wild, intense, emotional, loud, and so f*cking beautiful.
Creating a birth team in a birth space with trusted providers makes ALL the difference. I felt so safe, supported, and cared for the whole time, and so did Alex. He was nervous as heck the whole time, but damn he was amazing. I’m so grateful for this experience and how much it will change my doula role in future births.