Peaceful Birth in the Alaskan Mountains

by Svea Boyda-Vikander on April 28, 2014

Rebecca M. writes,

“I wanted to share my story, because your blog is what initially inspired me to give birth my way.

I had my first little girl very young, in a hospital, medicated and hooked up to all kinds of equipment. IV in place, monitor on my belly, completely uncomfortable and unable to enjoy the labor and delivery experience. I was so worried about bringing a baby home, I didn’t focus on how I was actually going to bring her into the world!

Three years later, married and settled down, my husband and I found out we were expecting our second. I was high risk for the majority of my pregnancy (low lying placenta) so I had to be seen by a doctor. Once I was no longer high risk, at around 32 weeks, I looked into birth centers. I came across one that was 40 miles away, gave them a call and set up a consult. I met with them and was in love. I felt so at home. I knew I was meant to have my baby there! I switched to a different provider at 33 weeks.

At 38 weeks, I went into labor. My doula came over and comforted me, then when my husband came home from work we headed to the birth center. I labored there for 23 hours, and it was so beautiful. I paced the halls, looked out the floor to ceiling windows at the Alaskan mountains, snacked on whatever seemed good, and soaked in every contraction. Then, after taking over 20 hours to dilate from four to seven centimeters, my midwives said they felt confident in breaking my water.

labor support

Right after they broke my water I got into the tub. My two midwives at my feet, my husband to my left holding my hand, and my doula to my right holding my hand. I remember looking out at the snow from the nice warm tub, feeling so loved and confident in my ability to birth this baby. I went from a 7 to a 9 within the hour. According to my support team I was very quiet in the tub, until it came time to pushing her out. My midwife said I was at a 9 and had a lip around my cervix so to wait a few more contractions. No kidding, two contractions later, I sat up screaming and pushed my beautiful little girl out in two pushes.

vernix baby

crying

I still look back on that day and feel empowered. Every woman should be given the opportunity to see what her body is capable of. I couldn’t have done it without my husband and doula – they were so good to me through that long labor.

While I was pregnant, I’d sit on the Birth Without Fear blog for HOURS reading stories and tearing up when I’d see the photos to go along with them. I couldn’t wait for my day to come, I couldn’t wait to say, “I did it”, and I couldn’t wait to have the chance to send in my story to you. Your blog and Facebook page are so inspiring and powerful.┬áThank you for encouraging me to bring my baby to the world my way!

And thank you for taking the time to read my story. I have been waiting for my two little girls to give me some time to sit down and write this – I couldn’t wait to share my experience with all the Birth Without Fear readers!”

holding baby

**Photo credit goes to my doula, Amber Reichenbach- who managed to capture our birth AND be by my side. She is an amazing woman!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer R. May 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Thanks for sharing your story and photos. I love the line “I labored there for 23 hours, and it was so beautiful.” I love how even a long labor can feel beautiful to the mama! Thanks for expressing it so sweetly and succinctly.

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Michelle Melville-Kashon June 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

I loved your story! Reading it made me feel more calm about giving birth. I am 31 weeks and I have been considering the switch to a birthing center. I love how you re-framed the way you talked about labor. Thanks for adding serenity to my day :) Congratulations!

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Lisa Soto June 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I loved your story. I’m 37 weeks + 3 days and am delivering at a birthing center. I can’t wait to meet my baby girl. I had a medicated birth with my first child. I didn’t want my second child born that way. I’m choosing a natural delivery this time around.

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