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Welcome baby Ezra James 1.30.24 with Mindful Birth Doulas

**Special thanks to first time mom, Ashley, for sharing her amazing birth story with us here! It's our honor to have supported your birth. Thank you to Mindful Birth Doula Silvia for her unwavering support.**

birth and labor doula Naples

My Birth Story

When I go to the OB, they always say “If your water breaks, go to the hospital immediately!” That's what I was thinking about when my water broke @ 1:40 AM on 1/29.  This happened while I was sleeping and the next thing I knew, I was rushing to the bathroom. I texted my doula, Silvia, and she said there really isn't any risk until 48 hrs and since I wanted to labor @ home, she suggested staying home. So I stayed home. I wasn't experiencing any contractions & was just waiting for them to start. She also said to drink lots of water so the fluid can replenish. She then verified w/ me that my water was clear & there was no foul smell. I told her there wasn't so she said to get some rest. I was up for a few hrs on adrenaline but eventually fell back asleep around 5am.

I woke up and still wasn't experiencing any contractions. Brandon decided to go to the dentist since they hadn’t kicked in yet & openings @ the dentist are hard to come by. To pass the time I filled out my c- section plan, just in case. I also did my paint by # & set my OOO for work & sent over my unfinished tasks.

My weekly OB apt was scheduled for 1:50pm that day. I knew they were going to send me to the hospital. I was nervous about that because I did not want to be induced. Silvia made suggestions on how to get labor started: stair climbs, curb walking, red raspberry leaf tea, dates, spicy food, nipple stimulation, doing figure 8's on birth ball. I did birth ball, tea & dates. I did not want to be induced because I was informed the contractions would be more painful & I was trying to do things naturally. Silvia gave me suggestions on what to say to the doctor -"Have you had other patients who've opted to wait @ home until contractions start naturally & had good outcomes?" or "What about my situation specifically makes you believe it is urgent or necessary to go to the hospital immediately rather than wait?"

All that went out the window when we got to the OB apt. The doc assistant brought us to the room and when I told her my water had broken you could tell she was immediately anxious and asked why I was there. She said I needed to get to the hospital & wasn't going to let me see the OB. I insisted I see her and she eventually agreed. The assistant came back to ask if baby was still moving & to ask about the clarity of my fluids. Then the OB came in. I can't remember all the details of what she said but she did explain why I needed to go to the hospital & told us to grab some food before we go. She said she would meet us at the hospital after her last client. This wasn't what I wanted, but was definitely what I expected.

Brandon & I went to Jimmy John's down the street & took our time. We made it to the hospital around 4:45pm. The nurse & the OB told me I needed to get induced or I'd put the baby @ risk. This made me very uncomfortable because I didn’t want to get induced since that can make the contractions more painful. But obviously I didn’t want to put my baby @ risk. I opted to trust Silvia that there was no risk @ this point…It had been 11 hrs since my water broke. I found it difficult to respond to the docs because I didn't want to be a difficult patient or make them feel I didn’t trust their expertise. I ended up telling them I wanted to try some natural methods first. I was 1 cm dilated.

Thankfully Silvia arrived around 6pm. She didn’t have to come since our contract said contractions had to be like 4 or 5 mins apart; in active labor. Goes to show how much she cares. I'm so glad she came when she did. She & Brandon did a bunch of different positions to manage the pain & help labor progress. At that point I was having very mild contractions but they weren't regular. My favorite positions we did were: Brandon behind me lifting my belly & us swaying. I also liked when Silvia put the scarf around my lower back pulling & putting her feet on my knees. Those felt the best. We also  did one where the scarf was shut behind the door & I pulled on it & swayed. I think there were some bed positions too. There was also this electrode thing that vibrated on my back. Lastly, we did some movements on the birth ball. We also timed my contractions. All of this helped my labor progress & the nurses & doctors never came back to ask me about induction / Pitocin. 

The nurse we had when we got there, Andrea, left about an hour of our arrival. Cary was the replacement. She was pretty relaxed and left us to ourselves like we wanted. Meanwhile, Silvia had the diffuser going, we had chill music playing & dim lighting. There was definitely a vibe. The intensity of the contractions started picking up around 11:30, lasting 1 min, 2.5 min apart. At 12:30am I asked for a cervical check because I was feeling pushy. I was 4cm dilated, 90% effaced. I pushed for a little while longer feeling a 10 pain level & felt like I was screaming. Brandon said I was just "mooing," he said I wasn’t screaming. “Mooing” because that type of breathing sends the air through you & down your body instead of out your mouth. It's supposed to be good for contractions. I was so tired & exhausted. Before long I told Brandon & Silvia I was thinking about getting an epidural. They supported me in that. 

I thought it would take just 10 mins or so to get relief. Boy was I wrong. First they had to fill me with fluids which took 30-45 min. Then the anesthesiologist said she was having trouble "threading" the epidural. It felt like she poked me 3 separate times trying to get it to work and this was the hardest part of the whole birth experience. I was having level 10 pain contractions & was told I had to remain completely still. That felt near impossible. I held on to a comb to try to put my focus there. I don't know how I made it through that part. Brandon had to be @ the other side of the room & Silvia had to leave while this took place. The nurse, (Cary) was next to me telling me I could do it & to be still. I was so, so tired, just past the point of exhaustion. They finally administered the epidural but only one side was numb. They had to wait to prop me up to see if the other side would numb. I was feeling pain @ a level 7 on that side. It took almost 2 hrs from the time I asked for an epidural to the time I was numbed on both sides... by that time I drifted asleep…

a new family with baby used birth doulas with Mindful Birth Services in Fort Myers

2 hrs later they came in to check me and I was 9.5 cm, 100% effaced. This was @ 4:45am. Nurse said she would check back in an hour. At 6:30am I was 10cm. I decided to wait for my OB since her shift starts @ 7am  rather than using the doc on call. I started pushing @ 7:20am. This was a breeze compared to everything I'd experienced laboring naturally & getting the epidural. My pain level was at 3. I also had really bad nausea at this point so Brandon was holding a bag in front of me to throw up in. I was really surprised I didn't throw up. It felt like I didn't push for long @ all. My OB came into the room @ 8:15am & baby was born @ 8:20 perfectly healthy. I had 2nd degree tears & one right next to my clitoris. My OB stitched me up right away.

When he came out Brandon said, "That's the cutest little cry l ever heard," w/tears in his eyes. He later told me the tears were more because of all the blood he saw me lose. His comment about the cry was ironic though because he is sensitive to sounds & had been researching ear plugs & noise cancelling headphones to prepare for when we bring a crying baby home, yet he thought Ezra’s cry was cute. I got a kick out of that. Ezra weighed 6lbs 11oz & was 19" long. I was able to have the "golden hour" with him where we did skin to skin & bonded.

I forgot to mention, the nurse shift changed before I began pushing & we got the best nurse of all- Jessica. She said she thought every one should have a doula & was really warm & welcoming to me & Silvia. She asked if I had a birth plan & spoke to me about what she thought might be a challenge but told me she’d do her best to follow it. She was also very positive & had an upbeat attitude. She was very informative & knowledgeable as well. At our postpartum visit w/ Silvia, she mentioned I was the 1st person she worked with that didn't swear during labor/delivery and the only one who didn’t say "I can't do it.” I hadn't realized either of those things until she mentioned it. I can't imagine giving birth without Silvia. She was so supportive and helpful. Brandon and I agree, we had a really great experience and so much of it was because of her. 

Congratulations to this sweet new family of three!

With doula love from

The Mindful Birth Doulas

Mindful Birth Doulas Tara Silvia Jennifer Kamber Christine Fort Myers


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