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Elle's Birth Story - Clumps of Mascara
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Elle’s Birth Story

[NOTE: I omitted a lot of the squeamish parts of labor and delivery but if you have any particular questions, I am so okay with answering them in the comments. Like, did I really encapsulate my placenta? Sure did!]

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I feared a lot throughout my pregnancy. It was ridiculous, really. I am naturally a very anxious person and pregnancy only heightened that for me. My decision to go with a midwife instead of an OB/GYN didn’t help the situation either. The midwifery philosophy means trusting the woman’s body to do what it needs to do to nurture baby in-utero without much intervention. While some women may get ultrasounds at every prenatal appointment, I had one at 20 weeks. I was in the dark throughout most of my pregnancy. Instead of trusting my body, I questioned if everything was okay. If she didn’t move, I’d freak out. If she moved too much, I’d freak out. I was in panic mode 24/7. The crazy thing is, the only time I really trusted my body was when I was going through labor.

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My water broke when I was polishing my nails. But of course, right? I flew out of the beauty room to Esposo. My pants were to my ankles and I was running back and forth like some maniac. We decided to call the midwife and they recommended that I come in ASAP so they could test me to see if I was leaking amniotic fluid. I just knew I was wasting my time. Because obviouslyyyyy, my water didn’t break. I just peed on myself. That’s it.

But we hopped in the car and drove the midwife and within 20 minutes I had my legs spread all open for the world to see.

“You’re having a baby today.” said the midwife.

I tossed myself in Denial River again.

“Wait, wha?…no. No. Like..not today. How do you know? Is this real life?”

We were told to go back home so that I could labor there and to come back in 4 hours. I tested positive for Group B Strep and had to have an antibiotic. Which also ruled me out of that glorified water birth that I wanted. Womp. We got home and I threw myself in the nook of the sofa and then labored on my labor ball. Esposo kept glancing at me and was steadily asking me if I needed anything. He was so calm. So so calm. I was fine. I couldn’t understand why people said labor was sooo hard. If these were contractions (mind you, that hadn’t started yet), I was doing amaziiiing.

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10 minutes later I was on the floor on all fours moaning and groaning. I’d go from the floor to rolling on my yoga ball. The contractions were in, ladies and gentlemen. And those mofos hurt. The only respite I got was the few minutes between contractions. Those minutes were glorious. I timed my contractions. 3-4 minutes apart. I got so uncomfortable that I crawled up to the bed. The contractions got worse. And worse. And worse. I hummed throughout them. I focused on my breathing. I got that from reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. That book spoke to my hippie soul. It is chock full of birth stories where the women were having babies in cabins and in the woods and all of that craziness. That’s so me. I’d have a baby in a cabin. Yep.

Esposo began packing up the car. He told me I should try to eat something before we left. Good idea. Each step I took killed me. I winced in pain. I continued to hum. Being upright was the worst. I somehow made it to the car and we took the 15 minute trek to the birthing center. Each bump made me want to hurl. I kept timing my contractions. 2 minutes apart and there weren’t many breaks in between.

We made it to the birthing center and they got us settled in the room. The midwife checked me and I was already 5 centimeters dilated. This baby was coming. And I was dying. My Mom was nowhere to be found because earlier that day she told me that she had gotten dreadfully ill and that I simply couldn’t have the baby today. How could my Mom not be there through this? My doula was on her way but I just knew she wouldn’t make it either.

In my head I was cursing up a storm. Out of my mouth, all I could do was hum and say, “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouuuuuuch.” Over and over again. The sweet nurse brought me ice cold water.

“I’m going to throw up.” I told her.

She brought me a pan and I threw up. I knew I was probably going through transition and that shortly after barfing, the pain would only intensify. I tried to stay calm. I asked Esposo to rub my back.

“Get off of me.” I tell him seconds later.

I was loosing it. The pain was out of control. Now that I look back at it, the contractions were painful but manageable. I suffered from painful menstrual cramps my entire life and so my pain tolerance is pretty up there. The real pain came from the perineal massage that my midwife gave me during those contractions. I wanted to kick her in her chin each time she told me to relax as she tried to massage the nether regions. I knew that she was only doing this to help prevent me from tearing but I was an animal at that point. I just wanted that baby out and I didn’t want anyone touching me.

If you’re not familiar with childbirth, when a baby is ready to come out, you push as if you have to take a poop. It’s the weirdest feeling because not only are you dealing with the pressure from baby bearing down, but you’ve also got those contractions kicking. It’s hard to focus and stay calm but I pushed and pushed and pushed and Baby Elle was born into the world at 5: 27pm. I was in active labor for 5 hours and I pushed for 17 minutes. My labor went so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to rip my shirt and bra off.

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My labor and delivery is considered speedy for a first time mom and quite frankly, after everything was said and done, I felt like I deserved an effing award. Soooo many people told me I was crazy for having a baby in a birthing center without the option of an epidural and pain meds. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have changed anything. Because Elle was considered small at 5 lbs, the birthing center recommended that we go to the hospital (uggghhhh) to have her fully examined. We were hesitant to do this because her Apgar scores were already high at a 9 and 10 and we just knew the hospital would give us a bunch of run around. And we were right. We spent hoursssss at the hospital. Just for them to tell us what we already knew. Our baby was healthy. Just small with a touch of jaundice. This detour to the hospital prevented Elle and I from really practicing her latch when it came to breastfeeding. It also resulted in two overwhelmed and fatigued first time parents who wanted nothing more than to just take their baby home.

So yes, while my labor and delivery was “perfect”, the events that followed were not. But it doesn’t matter. Baby Elle is here and she’s happy and healthy.

I always considered myself to be a strong woman, both physically and mentally. Giving birth to my daughter gave me a new badge of honor. I left that birthing center so so soooo proud of myself. Yes, I was terrified that my baby decided to come 3 weeks early and I was soooo sad that family members and friends couldn’t make it but the pride I had in myself trumped the sadness and fear that enveloped me during labor.

And not to sound like some superwoman, but pregnancy, labor and delivery are all easy compared to the struggle that came with breastfeeding and dealing with those postpartum hormones. THAT’S the part that people don’t tell you about. Stay tuned for more posts on life with baby. I know Clumps is a beauty blog but I think it’s important to normalize conversations like breastfeeding and the not so bubbly parts about being a first time mom. And if you could care less about that kind of stuff and would rather read about cosmetics, then hey, it’s all good too. I promise not to overload the blog with baby stuff. Maybe once a week or so. :wink:

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  • Ashleigh

    Awww! Congrats! And all-natural, drug-free birth?!! Get it mama!

  • http://thatgirlonthego.blogspot.com asha

    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing Elle’s birth story. None of my 3 deliveries were like that and I’ll admit that I am a little envious but your story has encouraged me to share mine.

    • Brittany

      Your babies being here is all that matters…no matter HOW they got here. Please share your story!

  • Kelly

    You. Are. An. Awesome. Rockstar. Elle is adorable. Alex’s face in the second picture? So much love it makes me want to cry.

    I’m curious about the encapsulation–do you feel it has made a difference in your post-partum? Hope breastfeeding is going better!!

    Many hugs to the three of you(and Meiko, too) ;)

    • Kelly

      PS. You look amazing in those pictures! Throes of labor? Nope, just a nap with a cool cloth on my head to refresh me.

      • Brittany

        Oh darling, this is why I love you. Don’t let the pics fool you. I was a dyin’. I believe the pills have helped with my post-partum attitude. I was a wreck the first few days. I could attribute that to you know…having just given birth but shortly after taking the pills, I stopped crying for no reason. And my energy was through the roof! I recommend it to all mamas. If it works, cool…and if it’s totally psychological, whatever. ;)

  • http://www.beautythugs.blogspot.com Michelle

    AAAWW I loved reading this ALMOST makes me not terrified to be a mommy lol. Congrats on your beautiful healthy baby girl!

    • Brittany

      Yay! So glad to hear that. Bringing a baby in the world (be it through birth, adoption, etc) is tough but the real challenge is the actual parenting part. Pushing a baby out? No biggie. Trying to stay calm when a toddler is having a meltdown? Terrifying!

  • MsFarrah

    Awesome birthing story!! Question from : what is encasulating and what made you decide to encasulate? (I’m sure you can tell I don’t have any kids yet!!)

  • Proactiff

    You aced your assignment with flying colors! Now onward to the baby-rearing and toddler stages with even an ounce of the same organic determination and you just may end up being the poster child for superwoman and motherhood! Lol I love everything about yours an Elle’s and Esposo’s triumph into parenthood. And baby makes three! I appreciate the real rouge stories of motherhood add to this beauty blog! In that order. :-)

    • Brittany

      You’re so so wonderful. XOXO

  • Pamela

    Congratulations! Little Elle is GORGEOUS!

  • Pamela

    Congratulations! Little Elle is GORGEOUS! I actually really appreciate you sharing your experience. I am not pregnant yet, but it is my goal to become so in the near future and a birthing center really appeals to me (No staying in the hospital for days? Yes please!)

    And high five to you for going natural. My mother gave birth to all three of her children without drugs – including my brother’s breech birth.

    Looking forward to hearing more about Miss Elle. Congrats again!

    • Brittany

      Yay for birthing centers! People were shocked that hours after I gave birth, we went straight home. I’d much rather heal up at home than anywhere else. I was obviously sore but getting up and moving around made the post-partum days a lot easier. Sending you lots of fertility dust! :)

  • http://www.beautybykrystal.com Beauty By Krystal

    What an amazing story, thank you so much for sharing. I have had two children and as weird as it sounds, I loved giving birth to them, even when my son hurt the most – birthing just makes me happy :) Much love to you and your family! oxo

  • Enjoli

    Congratulations! Elle is beautiful. I had both of my kids naturally in water birth, the second one being easier than the first. You do deserve that badge of honor. Most women are too scared to do it with no pain meds. Hats off to you!

  • http://www.project-swatch.com Emi at Project Swatch

    I’m so glad that you were able to have the kind of labor & delivery you wanted! And thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to learning more about breastfeeding & all, I’m really interested & love your writing!

  • http://mommakeupmin.blogspot.com/ Virginia

    Congrats!! She’s beautiful!!

  • http://www.beautybycatblog.com/ Catherine

    Off course you have to make me cry! I can’t wait to go see you Friday, I want to hear more about it. I hadn’t been too anxious but I do feel like you, with the whole “no ultrasound” thing. I just pray the baby is ok in there :-)
    I love the picture with the three of you and Esposo crying face, soooo cute!
    See you soon my dear, and Mega Congrats on your princess! <3

  • Miranda

    Congrats on your beautiful baby girl! I started following your blog right before you announced your pregnancy and now I’ll be 20 weeks in 2 days & I am so terrified of giving birth and breastfeeding. I am trying to prepare myself but at the same time, I have trouble reading stories & getting information cause it seriously makes me feel sick and hurt…down there. I also live in a state that doesn’t allow midwives, so I’m afraid I won’t have any say so in the birth. I feel like I’m pretty much doomed, just trying to keep my eyes on the prize! It’s all going to happen whether I’m scared or not…

  • http://permedtonatural.com Staci

    Congrats Brittany!! Your daughter is beautiful!!!

    Stay Blessed!

  • http://www.socamom.com Eva

    Wow. The look on your husband’s face is so wonderful. Concerned. In love. All that… so sweet. Congratulations!

  • http://www.nesheaholic.com LaNeshe

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m definitely looking forward to more “life with baby” posts. How much is the encapsulation? It wouldn’t happen to be covered by insurance, would it? lol How did you arrange for that to happen?

    • Brittany

      Unless you’ve got some awesoooome kind of insurance, I doubt they’ll cover it. The standard cost varies by location but I’ve seen $250-$300 to be the average. I managed to get mine done for $80 though. A simple Google search should produce a ton of options. My lady was referred to me by my birthing center.

  • http://www.SparklingHollywood.com Tracey Sanchez

    Brittany:

    You are such a strong woman.

    Although I have no children, I am envious of you!

    I give virtual hugs to you and the new family!

  • http://www.phyrra.net Phyrra

    You are so amazing and inspiring!

  • Winni

    Beautiful birth story! I wanted so desperately to encapsulate my placenta, but the hospital gave me the legal run around and then destroyed it. My mom had all four of us at home and my sister had both of hers unmedicated at a birth center, I actually “caught” my niece! My daughter was breech so I ended up w a c section, but I’m hoping for a VBAC next time! Congrats to you and I’m so happy you had such an awesome birthing!

    • Winni

      P.S. She is SO gorgeous!!!

  • Imani

    You’re a great writer and will surely be a wonderful mother. Congrats to you and your family on the new addition!

  • Janet

    You rock, Momma! Great job – and she is so, so precious and beautiful!

  • Rozy

    She’s a little beauty.

  • http://beautystarr1009.blogspot.com ChiChi

    congratulations and thank you for sharing your birth story. You’re so inspiring. Elle is precious.

  • http://www.artblt.com Tamika

    Congrats again. Not a mother yet, but I thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I loved reading this!! So happy for you & the hubs. Your daughter is beautiful! Will you do a baby blog perhaps?

    • Brittany

      I’d love to but I don’t think I’d have the time to keep up with it.

  • Pingback: Good Witch, Bad Witch, I’m the Witch with the Champagne | Phyrra | Beauty for the Bold

  • Lennese

    A beautifully written story!!! I have always wanted to know more about the first milk production and breastfeeding experience , will you share that?

    • Brittany

      I’ve got a post on that coming up. Stay tuned. ;)

  • http://northernnailsuk.blogspot.co.uk Joanne Proctor

    Your are so lucky to have an easy time of it for your first, my second birth was that easy but the first one wasn’t , enjoy and like I say all the time to new mums take lots of pics the time passes by in a heartbeat! :D my baby is 21 this time ;)

  • http://forevertbr.blogspot.com Kelly

    Late on the come up, but congratulations. More power to women who do L&D without drugs. Strong strong woman!!!

  • Liz

    You’re not alone in a quick first time birth. I was in hard labor with my son for only about 5 hours, and he was pushed out in less than 20 minutes! You wear that badge of honor proudly hun! Baby Clumps is adorable. :)

  • Andrea

    Congrats and thanks for sharing. Why did I start crying when you said your Mom wasnt there?

  • http://MyMamihood.com Sili

    Beautiful! So proud of you. Yay!!!!!

    • Brittany

      <3

  • http://www.alwaysradianteveryday.com Always Radiant Everyday

    Thanks for sharing. Biting my nails in nervouse fear for when this little girl comes in July.