Our Birth Story: Baby Sandee is here!

Skin to skin….

Baby Sandee is here! I’m about to share very intimate pictures and my story in full detail with you all. Please know that this is very important and special to me. I’m sharing my story because I shared my pregnancy  with you. The birth story makes full circle, and I hope it will inspire you, or assist you in making the right decision for YOU, or simply to empower you (or someone you may know) to know you CAN in fact do this. Most births are uncomplicated, and I was lucky enough to be one of them.

First of all, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your love and support via my social media channels, especially the Snapchat family who have overwhelmed me with love since I went into labor 2 weeks ago. I’m so excited to share this with you: the  most intense and amazing 18 hours of my life. 

I want to praise my wonderful husband, also my birth coach, certified via the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth in preparation for this very moment! He has really transformed himself into super dad! We were excited once labor started. I did get inpatient at times, but was never scared; only because I knew exactly what was happening every step of the way, so let’s get this show on the road. We were at 41 weeks pregnant and so ready to meet Baby Sandee.

If you had a chance to read my previous post on how I ‘naturally induced labor’, you know I was in pre-labor for a full 24 hours before I went into actual labor. It’s almost like it wanted to be true labor, followed by a continuous annoyance all day. True labor started on Wednesday night, December 28th, 2016 and I knew it was the real deal right away. 

My first contraction came exactly at 11:20pm, and I recognized it as being different than all Braxton-hicks combo contractions I had ever experienced previously. Everyone describes contractions as very strong period cramps, but I beg to differ. Perhaps my period cramps were never ‘that bad’ so with that, I just couldn’t relate.

Here is what it felt like: Deep lower abdominal and lower back pain accompanied by stabbing cervix pain, and yes, that is stabbing pain deep inside your vagina, but fear not…I knew this meant my cervix was dilating, and that is how you come to accept the discomfort. Yes, I say discomfort for lack of a better word. It really did hurt, so I’m not going to sugar coat it for you guys, you know I like to keep it real, but it’s the type of pain that has a purpose, and you know won’t last forever, so you endure it.  The lower back and deep abdominal pain comes from the baby lowering itself down into the birth canal, so you know that’s unpleasant as well. Your body is meant to do this, or so you tell yourself, and take deep breaths between contractions. It’s nice to have someone reminding you of this. That person for me was my hubby.

My contractions started 18-20 minutes apart, and I knew I had to try to sleep in between them, after all, it was still pretty early in the night. I had Winecoach call the midwife on call at the birthing center around 2am to let her know we would likely be coming in that morning. This was happening!! The midwife picked up with a very sleepy voice (sorry to wake you Elizabeth!), and assured us we would probably be having her only later that afternoon/early evening. At that point in time I was convinced I would have the baby earlier, as the contractions continued to intensify, now around 10-12 minutes apart. I thought to myself, this is going faster than I thought!

Winecoach handled me well throughout the night, timing my contractions, at times waking me up so they wouldn’t abruptly awake me. He used all his tricks, back massage, belly massage, affirmations, imaginative suggestions, you name it. Back rubs helped the most when I was in bed. That night, we didn’t sleep but for 50 minutes when contractions let up a bit towards morning. They did return stronger, and shorter apart, lowering to about 6-8 minutes apart, and quite strong. I still had to pee all the time, so on a regular night it was already tough to sleep…on labor night I just knew it really wasn’t going to happen. The mucus plug aka bloody show that had “started” passing the night before, continued to be expelled, every time I went to the bathroom. I was starting to bleed a little more each time, and the pain got a little worse with each pee break.

Early morning when contractions were picking up, we tried the bathtub with warm water so I could relax and let this thing take it’s course until it was finally time to head to the birthing center. I really felt my cervix opening up with each contraction which was wild. I was a bit worried my water would break while in the bathtub but it helped me relax, so we stayed in there a while before returning to bed.

Around 9-10am contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, but they were lasting nearly 2 minutes, so I hardly had time to recover. I was getting serious now and I knew we were getting close. I told winecoach to call the midwife again. I could tell by the look in his face he knew things were getting real, and we probably should head to the hospital soon despite them telling us to only go when we were 2-3 minutes apart for 2-3 hours. I really tried to keep calm but things were getting intense. He called the birthing center and explained that I had been bleeding and the pain was quite intense, and despite contractions only being 4-5 minutes apart, they were lasting for so long it seemed like they were never quite stopping. By this time my mother and sister who were sleeping next door had woken up and noticed I was in labor. Funny, because my sister had massaged my ankles with Clary Sage essential oil just minutes before I went into labor, but I went into my bedroom without telling them. Throughout the night they had no idea and we wanted it that way. I can’t believe I managed to kept it quiet so we could stay calm, collected and focused.

The midwife said to go ahead and come to the birthing center. I thought I was moving faster than I actually was, but contractions are no joke. You really have to stop every step of the way. At this point, I was calculating how long it would take me to get down the stairs and if I could do it in between contractions. It felt better to labor on the toilet for some reason, but not really. It seemed there was no good place to “labor” and deep abdominal breathing was the only thing I could do to try to keep things under control and let my body do the work it needed to do to get this baby out. Granted, it is difficult to realize all this when you’re going through it, but at some point, in the madness of and elation of labor somehow you find a voice within yourself or a point on the wall that you focus on, and think, one more breath closer to meeting my baby. And you move along….it was like this at home and once I got to the birthting center. Don’t miss out on the tour I shared by clicking here so you can see exactly where I gave birth.

Speaking of which, finally, after being able to get dressed in between contractions, off we went to the hospital. The car ride was 20 minutes long, and I kept my eyes closed along the way. The day was pleasant for a winter morning: sunny and in the high 50’s. I wore very loose clothes and was as comfortable as possible, which was not at all.  I’m thankful my family stayed quiet during the car ride , because it wasn’t easy for me. Every mile felt like 10, and every curve was nearly unbearable. I closed my eyes harder, while trying to relax but really, I just couldn’t wait to get there already. I was hoping to walk in to the hospital and march my “prepared” little butt to the birthing center, but the medical assistant was already waiting for us with a wheelchair. God was I so happy to see that wheelchair. Please, get me to the birthing suite, I thought.

Mercy birthing center entrance

As usual, the ladies in the birthing center were wonderful and welcoming. My fantastic midwife Elizabeth was waiting for me so we could get the dreaded cervix check out of the way, which guess what? This time it didn’t hurt AT ALL. I was already 6 cm dilated, which apparently is the perfect time to arrive at the hospital/birthing center. What I love about the birthing center is that you don’t have to be hooked up to monitors, IV, nothing. They check your blood pressure, baby’s heart rate periodically (I’d say about every 15 minutes), and if everything is good, and we just carry on.

I heard: “Your room is ready for you”.
“Alright, I’m dilated! Let’s get this started!” I imagine my face wasn’t the friendliest, but I did walk to the birthing suite from the main clinic.

Off we went to the Summer birthing suite, apparently the one I had chosen. I didn’t even remember anymore, or cared. The truth is all the birthing suites are beautiful, so it didn’t really matter, but the Summer room is beautiful and most private all the way in the back. The lights were dimmed and the atmosphere was perfect. I saw the bathtub was filled and the lights directly above it were on a bright green fluorescent color. I later used that as my main focus to keep my mind off the pain.

It was suggested I go in to the shower right away. Winecoach got in there with me (in his trunks. Yes people, have your hubby bring his swimsuit with him if you’d like this intervention) and was massaging my back when I needed him to. I was hanging on him half the time. As I write this I realize how much of a trooper he was. I was doing hard work but he was supporting me every step of the way. I maybe stayed in there 30-40 minutes? Something like that. Elizabeth suggested we try the bed for a while.

The pain was getting really out of hand by then, or so I thought. I believe this is the time I was going through transition, or the most difficult part of labor where a big part of dilation occurs. This is often the part where women ask for a more serious intervention, such as an epidural or even a C-section. It can be the ‘darkest’ part of labor and it was the most difficult for me. I asked for nitrous.

I knew I didn’t want an epidural because there was no way of getting one at the birthing center, so that was never an option for me, but I can totally understand why women ask for it now. One would need to move to the maternity ward for such an intervention at this hospital, and I was set on having the most natural birth possible, still, so I had to hang in there. I never had experienced nitrous oxide before either, but had heard from people that it helped them not care about the pain when they got dental interventions. I was really wanting some type of relief, so I asked for it. It felt like it took at least an hour to get the darn nitrous since the time I requested it, and it was administered via a non-rebreather mask much like oxygen, and I’m sad to report it did NOTHING for me.

I felt like I had the mask on for another hour until I gave up. I felt the pain of every contraction even more intense now. Could this be making it worse? Had time stopped? I was praying for it to be over soon. Lying there on my back and so uncomfortable reminded me of work, when all the patients that came into my physical therapy clinic stating they have 10/10 pain but literally walked into my clinic after driving themselves. I couldn’t even hold a conversation and wanted to cry. I figured this was as close to a 10 as I every got! Every wave of pain was pretty crippling, but again, didn’t last forever and I lived to tell the story. So let’s not dwell. 

This green light helped me focus…from the bathtub and from the bed.

The midwife suggested we move to the bathtub. I remembered it felt quite nice at home, earlier that morning so I agreed this would be nice and it was. Plus I had to do something because I knew it would be too difficult to stay in that position. Lying in bed was just getting unbearable. 

The tub was a nice change. Just what I needed. Elizabeth checked me again, I was at 9cm dilated. Wow. That seemed promising. Now I understood why I was hurting so bad. Something was really happening! Elizabeth had very reassuring words to me and I remember sniffing a calming essental oil. Was it lavender or peppermint? I’m not sure, but it was nice. She kept saying, listen to your body, your baby is perfect, you’ll meet her soon. I could hear the baby’s heart rate through constant monitoring, every 15-20 minutes. It was reassuring.

The discomfort was great, but the mobility in the warm water was the best place to labor in. I could go from one side to the other, hold on to the grab bars, and try to keep my cool. I could actually hold short conversations now in between Contractions. Look at Winecoach’ sweet face, drink my ice cold water, and suck on honey sticks my sister was constantly offering and I was constantly refusing previously. I needed energy but I didn’t feel like I was running out of gas yet. Just an internal battle with myself to keep going. Another fetal heartbeat check, temperature and blood pressure check for me .This didn’t annoy me because each time I was reassured baby was happy and her heart rate was fine.

THE TURNING POINT for me was when the midwife told me to reach down and feel the baby’s head in the bag and it didn’t even sound weird to me. I freaking love midwives.

I was in the water so it felt natural. I placed my finger in there and hit what felt like her head, because it was!! I did feel the bag of waters very distinctly! What a wild sensation. Elizabeth’s words were so empowering: “This is all you, you listen to your body and you’ll meet her soon. Take deep breaths and push when you want to. Do whatever your body is telling you to do, you know best.” And she was right.

It was like a light bulb when off in my head. I was in that bathtub for what felt like another hour and a half…something like that, and having the urge to push some, and I did just that more than a few times. It’s like I could feel her moving along but not quite ready to come yet. I asked for another check. We were at 9.5 cm dilated. So very close to the necessary 10cm. Just a little longer…Winecoach thought I hit the natural alignment plateau and at the time I agreed. Looking back I don’t think so. I think it took exactly the necessary amount of time that was needed to get her here.

Elizabeth suggested I try squatting which is all I wanted to do my whole pregnancy. Squatting opens up the pelvis 10-15% more when it’s time to push, so it seems like the optimal position to push right? Well, I didn’t feel that way at the time. I literally felt like my “butt was going to fall off”, or so I kept saying that. This is something else you may not hear alot, but there so much pressure in your rectum that it literally feels like it’s going to fall off every time you push! TMI? Maybe, but this is what it felt like to me. I leaned over the sink and was bearing down trying to push her further in the squatting position, but it was just too uncomfortable back there. It’s funny now, but not at the time! Elizabeth reassured me it wasn’t going to fall off but I wasn’t convinced, so she suggested I go back to bed and rest. 

He was perfect. He kept me sane.

Rest sounded like a good idea at the time, and it did feel like contractions were giving me a break now. Either that or I could just tolerate them much better in the water and it had calmed them down for a bit, but now, contractions came with an urge to push, so I knew it was getting closer and closer.

I walked back to bed and laid down on my left side. Elizabeth placed a big peanut exercise ball between my legs and covered me nice and warm. The lights were turned even dimmer and I tried to rest a little. Winecoach was right next to me just being him, which is all I needed. I was getting annoyed by people’s voices and didn’t really want to talk. Contractions were strong, so strong. I placed my finger in the birth canal one more time and noticed she was at least 50% closer than when I had checked in the bath tub. I measured my finger, not very objectively but it worked for me. When I was in the tub I felt my middle finger entered about half way to reach her head, and now it was just the very tip. Was I really this close? YES.

It was just hubby and I in the room at this point while I was “resting”. I felt the urge to push with everything I had with these contractions now, so I had him hold my right leg and went for it. Later my mom and sister walked in to check on me and noticed they saw something. Could the baby be crowning? I checked again with my fingers and felt her closer, really the top off her head was right there! Baby Sandee was coming.

GET THE MIDWIFE, I barked at my sister.

At this point my mom jumped in to help winecoach with my right leg. I really was pushing with everything I had so my mom pushed against my right foot to assist.  Elizabeth came right away, like an angel through the door. NOW, it was showtime. She continued to empower me and I pushed harder and stronger each time. I felt baby’s head coming like a ball of fire. I heard Elizabeth saying, “look down and feel your baby, she’s in the bag of waters!”. 

I looked underneath my right leg (remember, I was lying on my left side facing winecoach, so we both had to peek through my right leg to see her head coming, still covered by the bag of waters which never did rupture. I just realized my water never broke. What!? How! My baby was coming inside the bag of waters which only happens to like, 2-3% of all births. Wow. But not to steer away from what I was feeling, now I know why they call it a “ring of fire” which is precisely crowing, and it’s a very distinctive burning sensation. It’s really difficult to describe what it feels like to have a head hanging out of your vagina, but really, IT JUST BURNS like a round ring which is the circumference of the opening around he baby’s head/neck.

“It’s so HOT! It burns!” is all I could say. Over and over again.

I now remembered all the videos I watched at the Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth classes where I heard ALL the women say “Just get it out!”, and could definitely relate. I felt Elizabeth pouring some cooling water/gel-like liquid (could it be chilled lubricant?) which helped some until the next contraction so I could keep pushing through. It was quite uncomfortable having her head sticking out of me and I just couldn’t wait to push the rest of her out! I always heard that once you get the shoulders out you’re home free, so I was anxiously waiting to get there!

I pushed for what felt like hours, but really I think it was less than one hour. As a matter of fact, once baby dropped into my birth canal it was around 30 minutes of pushing till we met her. I had a moist towel and was holding by butt because I was still convinced it was going to fall out. I did that myself, the whole time I was pushing. It’s all a blur, but this story is a good approximation of what happened. All I know is that each time I pushed, it was with more might. I knew she was coming and could feel her moving down. At some point things happened so quickly, and I had to get one last push in there even before my next contraction. I wanted her OUT! 

Elizabeth cut the bag of waters and I pushed harder with the next one, and Alexandra Maria came; I did feel a little more burning, could it have been a little tear? It didn’t matter….she came out and right into my arms at 5:56 pm that December 29th 2016. The placenta was delivered immediately after she came, and winecoach did the honor of clamping and cutting her umbilical cord.

She never did cry too much but did sneeze…twice. That was the most amazing sensation of our lives! One because I was no longer in pain and the other because I finally got to meet my baby! Tears of joy as I looked at her, looked at him, looked at her, at my mom, my sister. What a moment of pure joy. I held her in my arms, she had these big bright eyes and was very much awake. I couldn’t believe we made her, she grew so big in my belly! I did this?! Wow…Our bodies are amazing. I couldn’t believe I had just pushed her out. What a process, what an amazing process. I was elated, so much happiness and I felt like a million bucks!

Our first family portrait. Skin to skin….

We bonded for 1-2 hours uninterrupted. All they did was literally use that snot sucker to get any “gunk” out of her and checked her lungs which had a bit of fluid, completely normal and cleared up shortly thereafter, especially for a baby born in the bag of waters. We just looked at her, trying to figure out who she looked like, her ways, everything about this little human that was finally out. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEXANDRA!

I tried breast feeding her but she wasn’t latching. She didn’t act hungry and preferred looking at us, interacting. The nurse said this was normal, and because she was in the bag of waters she probably had residual fluid in her little stomach so wasn’t hungry yet. You can tell she enjoyed being close to the boob though. 

I told daddy to take off his shirt. “Hold her against you, skin to skin”. We bonded. We were a family now, our very own little family. It was the most beautiful day of our lives, and I just can’t believe she’s 2.5 weeks old now.

HOW I FELT. Immediately after.

Physically, After she was born it’s like I went back to feeling like myself immediately. Better yet, I felt like super woman, really! I could do anything! I felt powerful! I realized I was hungry. So hungry. The last time I ate was at 2 or 3 am earlier that morning. It been in way too much pain to eat after that! Those honey sticks my sister made me suck on and all the water I was drinking saved me. I also realized I hadn’t peed in a very long time because the baby was compressing my bladder for the majority of the time I was in the birthing center. 

As we were bonding as a family, my super midwife was checking on my downstairs which apparently was in need of 3 internal stitches close to my urethra, and that was the extend of the ‘damage’. I was sore, but otherwise, felt pretty good, and she did what she had to do which I barely felt at that point. The fundus massages every 30 minutes-1 hour I could have done without, but is extremely necessary. That’s when the nice nurse comes and pushes on your uterus so you can expel more afterbirth that needs to come out, sporadically but is really uncomfortable. Anyway, I had just delivered a baby naturally. This was nothing! Bring it on nurse.

The same nurse brought up a good point: she walked in with some menus and asked us if we wanted to order some food, because the kitchen closed at 7 pm, so we hurried up and did that! I was starving! We got plenty of orange juice, as per the Bradley Method way of celebrating a natural birth, the couple always cheers with OJ, and so we did! When the food came, we went to eat and Alexandra was taken to get measured right in the room with us! 

Alexandra was 20.5 inches long (52cm) and 8 pounds, 11 ounces (3.95 kilos). I call it my overcooked to perfection baby as she came exactly at 41 weeks, at the turn of the new moon, as my grandmother in Brazil had predicted. I’m not a big believer in the moon stuff, but that’s the way it happened.

A very special thank you to my midwife Elizabeth and the nursing staff at Mercy Birthing Center. You provided us with the BEST experience possible and for that we are forever grateful.

Because I birthed naturally in the birthing center, we had the option of going home 4-6 hours after the birth, and bringing the baby back the next day for testing, but since we had not taken the early discharge class, we weren’t eligible. Our second option was to stay at least 24 hours in the hospital, meaning we had to move to the maternity ward for the night (most people stay at least 48 hours) so she could get her tests done in the morning and at exactly 24 hours of birth before discharge, so that’s what we did. 

Winecoach and I spent the night watching her and learning from the nurses, our first night as a family. We’re talking breastfeeding (which is very hard!), diapers, swaddling, burping, all stuff we didn’t know. Finally, on December 30th, we were discharged at 7pm and went home!

My sister, mom and husband getting Alexandra ready to go home.

Baby it’s cold outside!

Thank you for reading our birth story! I hope it inspired you to consider having a natural childbirth one day! It is tough, but so rewarding. I wanted to make sure I shared this with you guys before I forget the details. Apparently everyone forgets what labor pains are really like, which is why people do this multiple times! Now, I’ll never forget, but I would do it ALL over again…for her.

My little family!

Please share your birth stories below! I would LOVE to hear them plus any feedback. I hope you’re inspired!

I want to reiterate that all information found on this blog post reflects my own experiences and opinions. Please visit with your doctor or midwife regarding any of the interventions described here to ensure your safety and the safety of your baby! Thank you for stopping by, I hope you benefit from this blog post. Please share your story with me below! Also leave your comments and questions below as I’d love to know about your own experiences and what worked for you! Don’t forget to follow @ColorfulPregnancy on Instagram for my nutrition tips during pregnancy!

Xo, Ana

Count Colors, NOT Calories!
Color your Plate, Color your Life.
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  1. Shanell says:

    What a fantastic story! Been following you since the Maldives! How exciting! Congratulations to you both on a new journey! She is Beautiful! THANK YOU ANA for sharing this post! inspiring me to go natural for my next one – I hope I can be naturally and mentally strong as you ANA!

  2. Megan says:

    Welcome little lady, what a perfect bundle of pink she is. Congrats to you both.
    Your story is beautiful, honest, raw and filled with love and emotion. I love every thing about this.
    I was fortunate enough like you to birth my youngest two in a beautiful birthing centre also. The most amazing experience of my life. Such a beautiful caring and private experience as the midwifes that work in these services are like angels from above. It warms my heart to hear you experienced the wonder of a natural birth as I understand how precious and memorable this is.
    Well done to you all, you are pretty clever huh xxxxx
    Congrats and enjoy the beautiful journey of parenthood and all the love and fulfilment it will bring.
    She is a very lucky lady to have such amazing parents as you both.
    Good luck and enjoy xxxxx

  3. Aleisha says:

    Hi Ana. Congratulations on beautiful baby Alexandra! I loved reading your birth story & have been following you the entire way. I had a baby boy 5 weeks before you & my birth experience was similar to yours, all natural, first contraction just after midnight & Patrick was born 9.08pm the same day. It is by all means no easy feat but our bodies were made for this! I agree with you about midwives; they’re fantastic people! I knew right from the beginning that’s what I wanted, not a doctor unless necessary & thankfully it wasn’t. Thank you for sharing! All the best to you & your amazing family!

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Sounds very similar indeed! Seems like you had a bit longer labor but anything under 24 hours to me is a blessing!! We are very blessed to have been able to do this without intervention. It doesn’t always work that way! Blessings sister!

  4. Dolores Addison says:

    What a beautiful story! So happy you had the delivery you planned for and worked. Hard to get! I can’t wait to meet Alexandra!

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      You inspired me the whole entire time I was in labor. I just remembered all YOU Went through and stayed strong. This is peanuts next to your story! You should definitely share it here with the others ❤️

  5. Angel says:

    Hi Ana, what a beautiful and inspiring story. Congratulations, you did great! I am pregnant with #4 due 3/16 I opted for hospital deliveries. Baby weight: 1st 8lbs, 2nd 7lbs 10oz, 3rd 8lbs 14oz. For all of my deliveries, I went to 7 cm dilated and then I couldn’t take the pain anymore I chose the epidural, the pain to me felt like my body was being torn in half..whew! For my third, I did opt for the epidural as well however when it was time for him to come, I could feel everything crowning, the burning, I was ready to ask for a c section but I held in there. I just let my body lead me, so we’ll see what happens this time!

  6. Clara says:

    I loved reading the second half of your experience.

    When you said you felt like your butt was falling out I have to tell you…I laughed my tail off. I can only imagine how NOT funny it was at the time. But the way you described it made me laugh.

    I loved that you shared such intimacy with us. I feel like I was there with you. Since I had all my babies via C-section this was really fun to read. I’ve never had anyone describe what it’s like to give birth naturally in such detail. I really appreciated it.

    She’s so pretty. You and winecoach did a great job. You made a beautiful daughter. ?

    I’m really amazed by him. He’s the kind of husband to have. He did his part beautifully. Very impressive.

    I thought it was precious that he got in the shower with you at the birthing center and that he laid in the bed with you, with his shirt off, after her birth skin to skin. This helped her to bond with the both of you and to physically identify the voices that she heard for 9-months.

    Congratulations to you both.

    Once again I would like to thank you for sharing everything about your pregnancy and birthing journey.

    I look forward to you sharing even more as she grows.


    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, we are definitely a team and a team effort even though physically I did the work. Emotionally we were all in and yes he’s wonderful. She’s wonderful and I’m very blessed. Thanks for appreciating, I aim to inspire! It was a beautiful thing ❤️

  7. Jen says:

    I’m sorry, but I had to laugh at your “butt was going to fall off ” sentence, lol! Congrats on your beautiful baby. This post was beautiful! All your posts make me want to have a baby!

    • Jen says:

      Also, it was truly inspiring. Thanks to you, that’s my first option whenever the time comes. I hope I find a birthing center as beautiful and nice as the one you went.

  8. Zoe says:

    I have always thought that I want to deliver naturally–But what struck me most as I read this was the importance of your husband’s support. Thank you for sharing your story, the good and the struggle. I feel very blessed to be able to say that I know my significant other will stand up to the test just as fabulously as Winecoach did. Thank you for shining your light, as always. I am overjoyed for you and your family.

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      I think support is key. From hubby/partner and hospital staff. Just the fact that you don’t have to fight anyone on what you want is already a Win! Encouragement and positive reinforcement is key!

  9. Laura says:

    Congratulations Ana! My husband and I took the Bradley Method classes as well, isn’t the information amazing and empowering!? We were planning a home birth. Sadly, I had complete placenta previa and a fibroid in a bad location so vaginal birth was not an option. I am saddened that I did not get to experience any of the pains of birth but am thankful for modern medicine and a healthy baby! I lost over half my blood during surgery and needed transfusions so needless to say, it was the farthest thing from a natural birth. I’m so thankful you were able to birth in the way you wanted. She is precious! Congrats on your wonderful family!

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Laura, that’s wonderful! I agree and I’m not at all against cesarean sections. I think they are wonderful alternatives in cases like yours for example, it saves lives!! Im also so thankful our birth went as planned, it really was a blessing. Yes the Bradley method is wonderful, it gives the confidence needed to go in and tackle it! Happy for you Laura!

  10. Jade says:

    Congratulations on the birth of your Alexandra ❤ my daughter shares that name with your daughter, and I too share your natural birth story (whilst different of course) – every new life is so precious no matter how they are born, but having done it twice now, I can say that there is definitely something empowering and truly amazing about natural birth. Enjoy every minute of your new baby girl, it’s the hardest but most rewarding job you will ever have.

  11. Kerrys2cents says:

    Hey Ana!

    I remember reading your story when you first posted it and I promised I’d share mine on here but my baby brain took over and I forgot! Anywho, my dumpling (Alexander) will be 9 months on the 24th and so I thought I’d better share before I forget again!

    I remember my first contraction so clearly – it was a sunny Thursday afternoon in June. The same day as the EU Referendum (I’m from the UK and I live in London). My hubs was working from home that day and I since I was 9 days overdue and feeling vulnerable, I was glad about this.

    I had taken a walk earlier that day, as I was doing everyday to keep relatively fit and sane and I had just voted in the referendum.

    At about 5pm, hubs realised he hadn’t voted yet and wanted to go vote. I was hungry but didn’t want to cook and didn’t fancy the left over chilli I made the day before (trying to bring on labour haha).

    For some reason, I wanted McDonalds. I actually hate McDononalds and probably hadn’t eaten from there for years, but I fancied a dirty burger and fries. Hubs said he didn’t want any but he would drive me to get some on the way to vote instead of walking.

    When I tell you that my oxytocin levels shot up when he said this, I am not lying! I was soooo happy at that exact moment: hubs was with me at home, it was sunny, I went for a walk, I voted, I wanted McDo and hubs said he’d drive me there…McDo is literally a 5 min walk around the way from our house lol!

    Anywho…hubs went to vote then we went to the drive thru and I ordered a Big Mac and a large fries ? hubs decided he would join me…for some reason this made me so happy ?

    Got home and hubs decides he wants to watch Captain America Civil War whilst we eat our dirty food…I love all things Marvel so again…another shot of oxytocin!

    It was then about 6:30 and we’d finished eating and I felt stuffed but contented – no guilt whatsoever. Just as the big fight scene between all of the avengers started, I felt a sharp pain in my belly. Never felt that pain before…so I KNEW what it was.

    I didn’t say anything to hubs though, because I didn’t want it to be a false alarm/braxtons.

    About 10 mins later…bam! Same sharp pain. This time it made me yelp and hubs heard me. I told him I think the McDo sent me over the edge and now dumpling wants to join the party!

    I went upstairs and grabbed my birthing ball and proceeded to bounce about on it to distract myself…within 30 mins I was having 2 contractions every 10 minutes – I would describe that pain and someone stabbing me in the belly and twisting the knife around for a laugh…HORRIBLE!!!

    It got to 8:30pm and I was having 3 contractions every 10 minutes so hubs called Triage and they advised us to go in to the birthing centre.

    We got there about 9:30 and when they checked me I was only 3cm dilated – they would only admit you to the room if you’re 4cm or more so I decided to go back home and labour some more there rather than stay at the hospital.

    We got back home about 10:30pm and I ran a warm bath and lit some candles. I did pregnancy yoga in my second and third trimesters so I channeled some of that calm as I sat in the bath to try and relax. It was no good! I just wanted to stand up for some reason.

    Hubs helped me out the bath and I just sat at the top of the stairs in my towel…I just didn’t have the energy to get dressed or move from the stairs. The contractions were coming more frequently and they huuuuuurrrt!

    At about 12:30 I told hubs I couldn’t do it anymore and wanted to go back to hospital.

    We got there at about 1am. They checked me again and I was 4cm dilated! Hooorah!

    Initially, I did want to be in the birth centre but as I had fibroids, the midwife wanted me on the labour ward in case there was bleeding during delivery. I was lucky enough to be admitted to a room with its own birthing pool and which looked exactly like the one in the birthing centre so I was ok with that.

    When I got to the room, it was about 2:30am. My contractions were every other minute and I was struggling. So I asked the midwife for the gas! I didn’t want an epidural or pethadine as I wanted as natural a delivery as possible. That gas did nothing but make me feel drunk but I still took it.

    I was in my black nightie (all my birthing wear was black – a mummy friend told me delivery is grimy so wear black!!) and sipping water in between contractions.

    The midwives monitored my heart rate and baby regularly and praised me for how calm and composed I was. I was stood up the whole time, swaying from side to side as the contractions came thick and fast.

    Hubs was watching the EU referendum results coming in as it was in the early hours.

    I looked at the clock on my phone and it was 7am!

    I asked the midwife to check me as I was feeling tired and needed some motivation. I was only 7cm! By then, I started to get a bit deflated and the midwife could tell, as she said to me ‘don’t stop now, you’ve done so well and you’ve been so calm and positive, not long until you meet little one now so keep going!’ Hubs gave me a hug and said how he felt useless as I didn’t need him to do anything except pass me water and rub my lower back in between contractions. Truth be told, I think I went into myself – I was just dealing with each contraction as it came and wth each shot of pain, I pictured myself holding my little dumpling…so I didn’t even think about my hubs or the midwife who were in the room with me…I only thought of my dumpling.

    Then, I remember standing up, hubs was rubbing my back and then a huge contraction ripped through me and a splash of water and other gumpf came out of me! That frightened me as I didn’t expect it. Hubs knew it was my water last and told me not to worry.

    I remember checking the clock again and it was just after 9am. Then I felt the urge to push! So hubs called the midwife and he told her I wanted to push. She didn’t check me but told me that if I want to push I should get in thit position I want to deliver in…I had no clue! I hadn’t thought of it…all I knew is that I didn’t want to be on my back.

    So I decided to get on the bed and lean up against the head of the bed on all fours…weird but I found this comforting.

    Next thing I know there were like 5 Midwives in the room and heart monitors around my belly…one for me and one for baby.

    The senior midwife told me to bear down as soon as I feel a contraction…like at the top of the contraction. I did and obviously I was doing it wrong as she said ‘no, push as though you were doing a poo!’

    So I did…and I did ? I said omg I’m so sorry and they were like ‘don’t worry about that, concentrate on your contractions and pushing!’ Next thing I know there was a cold and damp feeling around my ‘Australia’ which felt soothing…

    I think I must have pushed about three more times and then gaaaaah…the worst burning sensation around my Australia! Midwife said ‘head is out mummy, you’re doing great…just a couple more pushes please!’ hubs was at my head telling me I’m doing great and to keep going!

    So I pushed twice more and on the second push I felt a weird pulling sensation and then sweet, sweet relief down there! Seconds later I heard the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard in my life…my baby boy’s cry!

    They whisked him off to be weighed and cleaned up and I started to cry as I said ‘my baby, my baby is here!’ The midwife said hubs cried too.l but I don’t think he did ?He said he didn’t but he was in awe as our dumpling weighed in at 8lb11oz…he looked a right chunky chunk!

    The other Midwives told me to lie down on the bed after they tidied up the sheets and then they checked my Australia for damage…I needed some stitches so they told me to use the gas and air to help with any stinging.

    They handed me our dumpling for skin to skin and I just felt a rush of happiness, love, contentment, joy…every emotion you can imagine. He was perfect.

    After the midwives repaired my Australia and dumpling and I had skin to skin and tried to master breastfeeding (and failed) we went on to the ward to get some rest and food! I wasn’t hungry but my mother in law brought in some home cooked jollof rice and chicken (Ghanaians!) which I scoffed! The midwives were lovely and helped my dumpling and I get our breastfeeding latch down to a tee after a few failed attempts. I’m so glad I’ve been able to breastfeed him to 9 months and I think I will carry on until he is 1 year old. It’s the most beautiful and miraculous thing, to be able to produce and provide food for your baby using your own body.

    We were in hospital for a couple of days before being discharged to go home after they were happy I could go to the loo (#2) and dumpling was checked over and given the all clear to go home.

    Alexander Jadon was born at 9:26am on 24th June 2016 and the rest, as they say, is history!

    Hope you didn’t get too bored reading my story and thank you for sharing yours!! ??❤????

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Wow Kerry, this is soooo amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story! The McD’s did it but also it was time for baby to come! Contractions are no joke and you described them well as well!! The gas didn’t even make me feel drunk, it just did absolutely nothing for me. I’m one of the lucky ones….
      I LOVE your story, and how you call the VaJJ Australia! You are lovely and we do have a lot in common. 8lb11oz and Alexander! ??

      • Kerrys2cents says:

        Ah thank you for reading my long arse story, Ana! I just realised you delivered at 41 weeks…Alexander was 41+3 when he came…I was so over being preggo at that point!

        I will continue to follow yours and baby Sandee’s journey…she is a gawjus little pudding ??

        • Colorfulfoodie says:

          Thanks lady!! I’m suspect but I think so too! Yes, we have very similar pregnancies and deliveries except I didn’t try all 4s. I wanted to squat so bad but as you read, that wasn’t happening!! On my side was best and laboring in tub was also best. So funny how our bodies tell us what to do, you just need to allow them! I’m so glad you also had a good experience, was your first similar?

  12. Kerrys2cents says:

    Indeed…probably why we were able to birth naturally; by listening to what the body wanted to do rather than what we think we should do! Alexander is my first bubba…if I am lucky enough to have another, the only thing I’d like to do differently is go in the birthing pool…I don’t think I’d want to stand up for 15 hours again ?

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      I can’t believe you stood for that long!!! I couldn’t stand….well you feel like you can’t….there is really no good position!! That’s why I like the tub so much, I could move around and there were grab bars….I loved those grab bars! Then lying on my side with the birth ball between my legs and finally pushing with my husband holding my leg up. Yikes just saying it brings it all back!

  13. Jacqueline Rodriguez says:

    I know I am seriously late with my response but I am a new mama-to-be and I have followed you well before your colorful pregnancy journey. I have always liked your approach to food, life, health etc and appreciate your honesty. You seem to be truly genuine in a sometimes hard to navigate age of social media. I have been thinking hard about who to follow for advice on my new adventure, and I am so grateful that you shared so much of your pregnancy journey. I will be using your site and recommendations as a reference in my own preparation for motherhood because after reading your birthstory (and crying like a baby – thank you 16 + weeks of wacky hormones) I know that I’ve found my “inspiration” mama. Thank you for all you have gifted to your community of followers <3

    • Colorfulfoodie says:

      Jacqueline now you’re the one who’s gonna make me cry!! Your post validates it all! You are such a sweetheart. Congratulations! Don’t hesitate to ask everything while it’s still fresh in my mind! Haha….you’ll rock this pregnancy thing and Birth! We are meant to do this!???

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