Eloise’s Birth Story

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I wasn’t going to share my birth story on here out of fear of judgement on my choices of method and medication, but I’ve decided to share it anyway. I hope that by telling my story it will make at least one other expecting Mom feel more at ease with her birth experience. .

With the advice of my doctor for medical reasons we decided that being induced a few days prior to my due date was the best route to go. I had a lot of guilt thinking that I was “rushing her out” or “she wasn’t ready”, especially with so many moms constantly commenting (with best intentions of course) to not go the route of induction no matter what and that the health of my baby depended on staying in the womb as long as she wanted, even if it meant two weeks late. My doctor reassured me that she was healthy, fully developed and that her weight was perfect. Still, because of so many others’ constant opinions flooding in, I felt so much pressure to do the more “natural thing” and go against my doctors advice. .

In the end, we went with the scheduled induction, (ironically as it turned out, I was going into labor naturally that same afternoon anyway, but I’ll get back to that.) I was to arrive at 6 pm on Sunday night and my doctor said after all was said and done that Ellie would be born sometime the following evening. But Ellie had different plans. We were supposed to have a relatively quiet and relaxing first night at the hospital while they essentially just monitored me, but things escalated very quickly. Because like I mentioned I had already started the process naturally, it only took the first (out of three) doses of medicine to put my labor into full swing. By midnight I was having full on labor contractions.

And then again, the guilt creeped in. I had always planned on getting an epidural, but because of the constant stigma (and again so so many opinions) about how unnatural it is, I wanted to wait until the very last minute and only be on it for the delivery. Instead I sat there in excruciating body-shaking pain saying I didn’t want it yet. I felt like I was doing the wrong thing by accepting it. Eventually I remember screaming to Spencer to get the nurse and have them bring it. It brought on so much relief and made the last few hours until delivery bearable. Ellie was born at 9:39 that morning, perfect and healthy.

While I am forever grateful in every way to be surrounded by this community, but sometimes it’s hard to separate this world from (my) reality. For better or worse, Instagram exists in a vacuum. Here, I am completely surrounded by people living entirely natural lives, wanting natural un-medicated births, saying that their birth experience was “orgasmic” and that you don’t need the epidural, or a doctor, or a hospital, and that you’re doing the wrong thing if you want that. Now, I ABSOLUTELY respect every single woman’s birth plan and how she chooses to do it, but that doesn’t mean that everyone needs to do it the same way, or that anyone should be made to felt guilt for doing what is best for them and their family. .

I’ve been contacted by so many expecting moms who share my same values and try to maintain a natural and healthy lifestyle. They want to know what my experience was and how I got through. Now that I’m on the other side I think it’s important that I be as upfront and honest as possible so that they know it’s ok to do what’s best for you, even if it’s at odds with your societies/communities expectations. As great as our IG community is for advice on lifestyle choices, it’s ultimately up to each of us to choose the path we want to take in our pregnancies. It’s ok to trust your doctors advice, or your doula, or just your gut instinct. Don’t let the pressures of social media stigmatize what is the most important journey of your life. Do what feels right and put your families health and well being first.

 

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holly bentley