A natural birth story w/ 10 tips for you (spoiler: hire a doula!)

We love when our doula clients share their birth stories! Below is the story of Vitalina's birth as told by her mother, Tanya, and her partner Denis. Thank you for sharing your story for other parents to gain wisdom from. Special thanks to Mindful Birth Doula Emily for her tireless support and guidance.

I want to congratulate all families with upcoming Christmas and New Year, to share my happy birth story and to thank this year for the best gift ever!

That was a beautiful sunny Saturday - a day before the due date. Our community organized a barbeque and my husband and I spent some time in the pool. After coming out of the pool I felt that my water was leaking. Since I was well informed and prepared for labor (I took online classes, read books about natural delivery and also attended the classes at Mindful Birth Services), I stayed calm, enjoyed delicious food and communication with our neighbors. We left the party early and I remember all our neighborhood was waving Good Bye to us and wishing Good luck. Even though I told them my due date was in two weeks (just to avoid the tension of too much "when"), so I was the only one person who knew that the baby was coming soon.

At home I finished packing a hospital bag and ironing swaddling clothes for the baby. I called our doula Emily and she said that contractions should have began and I just did not feel them due to high pain tolerance. She told me I needed to have a rest and to keep energy for delivery. So before going to sleep I told my husband Denis that it looks like I was in labor and our baby was on the way. I also explained that every labor is unique and sometimes can last a couple of days. So I asked him to stay calm and just love and believe in me.

I woke up and began to feel contractions around 2 a.m., called Emily and she stayed on the line with me during a couple contractions helping me to breathe well. And I should say that right breath helped me so much, it made contraction intensity feel less. So I tried to stay in bed as long as I could, cuddling with my husband, sleeping between contractions, and later I was staying in elbow-knee position finishing writing my birth plan between contractions.

To be honest even though I was prepared well and was going to have an unmedicated delivery, there was a moment when I was almost ready to give up and to go directly to the hospital soon to get an epidural. Around 4 a.m. I was feeling such severe discomfort during contractions and it just grew with every new contraction. So I thought I would not be able to manage it for a long time. And luckily after the next contraction (that was the worst in feeling) I ran to the bathroom and threw up. And I felt so relieved, remembered that vomit was the sign that dilation went well, and I decided to continue following my goal.