Since my birth photography clients graciously invite me to be a part of one of the most personal experiences of their lives I thought what better way to launch the birth of my blog than to share my very own birth story.
A little over two years ago, when my son was born, I was not yet a birth photographer and regrettably I didn't hire one. One of the primary reasons was due to my own insecurities, which you will read more about below. The photos included in this story were taken by my amazing doula, Delilah Ray with Cherish Birth. Although I LOVE the images and will be forever grateful that these priceless moments were captured, next baby I will definitely be hiring one of my amazing colleagues in the Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photography community. I truly believe that quality photographs, documenting our lives most memorable moments, are one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to our family.
The Birth of Colby - July 5th 2015
Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
I always wanted children, but as a plus size girl I was nervous and honestly a little embarrassed to get pregnant. It took almost 3 years to conceive and I never sought fertility help because I was too ashamed of my weight.
After getting a positive home pregnancy test, I immediately started to worry. Would the doctor be concerned about my size? Would they judge me for being overweight and pregnant? How would being plus size affect my pregnancy and desire for a natural, un medicated birth?
I was determined to do everything in my power to have a healthy pregnancy and un medicated birth. I started with some research to ensure my medical provider (Magnolia OBGYN) was well known for supporting natural childbirth. I also decided I wanted the support of a doula. Searching for a doula brought out some more insecurities regarding being plus sized. Here I was a chunky girl and it seemed like ALL other natural birthing mamas were the super in shape, all organic type (nothing wrong with these woman, often times I wish I was these women). I was embarrassed because I felt being larger meant I had a lesser chance of achieving my natural goals, and again I was worried about possible judgment for being a big girl. Thankfully, I found an amazing doula, Delilah Ray with Cherish Birth. From our first conversation she helped me gain confidence and I felt like I could achieve my birth goals.
As my pregnancy progressed I continued to have concerns, sometimes silly ones. Would the ultrasound work as well on me since I had a fluffy tummy? Would I get a cute baby bump or just look fat? Would I automatically have complications? All this worrying was for nothing. I had a healthy pregnancy, no complications, clearly looked pregnant and never felt better.
My estimated due date was June 26th, but from the start I told myself I’d likely go late and always joked about having a 4th of July baby. The 4th of July came and went and in the early morning hours of July 5th I woke up around 3:30am for one of my many bathroom breaks. I noticed more than usual cramping and got excited thinking today might be the day! I remembered our doula saying to rest as much as possible during early labor so I quickly got back into bed and tried to go back to sleep. The cramping was pretty uncomfortable so I mainly dozed on and off until 4:30am. At this point I rolled over and felt two strange popping sensations. I immediately thought I wonder if that is my water breaking and sure enough when I went to get out of bed I felt a gush of fluid. I hurried to the bathroom and to my excitement it was my water breaking - LOTS of fluid - but to my disappointment, the fluid was not clear and instead was greenish brown. I knew the colored fluid meant baby had passed meconium and my original plans of laboring at home as long as possible were no longer an option we were comfortable with.
I woke up my husband told him today was the day and that we would need to head to the hospital sooner rather than later. I told him to go back to bed while I got ready. Contractions were already at 5 mins apart and strong, so showering, shaving my legs, drying my hair, etc., were all a little more difficult, but I was excited and wanted to look as normal as possible. All through the early morning I was in contact with our doula, which was great as she was able to provide additional info on meconium stained fluid and what that would mean for our birth plans.
We arrived at the hospital around 8:30 am, with contractions still approximately 5 mins apart, but with them getting more intense, I was having a bit more trouble walking and talking through them. At 9am I was checked and was 4cm dilated. My doula arrived and was already worth her weight in gold by applying counter pressure and being a positive and supportive addition to my birth environment.