Our Newest (and Littlest) PP Babe: Baby Rosie
The day before I went into labor, my midwife came over for a visit. She asked if there were any household chores, work tasks, etc. that were undone and weighing on my mind. I told her that there were a few work tasks left on my list that I really wanted to finish up before the baby came. She smiled and said she was willing to bet that once I completed those tasks, the baby would come. I wasn't so sure.
That next evening (after my 2 year old went to sleep), I pulled out my laptop and started working (as I often do at night). I was on a roll and before I knew it, I had finished everything left on my before baby to-do list. Less than five minutes after I closed up my computer for the night, I had my first contraction.
Part of me was excited, but most of me was scared.
The weeks leading up to Baby Rosemary’s due date had me full of nervous energy and thoughts surrounding the idea of giving birth again. Our first daughter, June, was born at home. I may have never even considered the option of having a home birth had my husband Jeff and I not known so many close friends who had positive experiences with home births. The more people I spoke with, information I learned and books I read on the subject, the more excited I was to experience a home birth.
At the time, I felt super confident in my ability to handle a natural home birth with ease. I had been consistently attending Crossfit classes 3-5 times a week for the past several years and felt like my body was up for the challenge. But not even the toughest WOD even comes close to childbirth!
Nothing could have prepared me for the intensity and pain that it brought. And although the experience as a whole was incredible, labor + pushing was excruciating for me. My doula said that it was the most intense home birth she had ever attended.
There were moments when I wasn’t sure if I could go on or if my baby would ever come out. After twelve hours of labor (three of which consisted of pushing - extremely physical pushing that took everything I had in me), June finally made her entrance into the world. The second I met her for the first time, all of the pain and difficulty of labor melted away.That feeling was what kept me from being completely overcome by fear surrounding the idea of giving birth again.
Despite having a pretty trying first home birth, I still wanted to have another because the experience as a whole was so incredible.
We cherished the first day/night at home with our new baby, our midwife coming to us for check-ups following the birth, and everything that went along with the home birth experience. I also loved that Jeff was able to play such an active role in the birth. He didn’t once leave my side (except maybe to use the restroom) for that entire 12 hour span, coaching and encouraging me through the whole thing. It made me feel like we were really in it together from the start, whereas at a hospital I wonder if he would have taken more of a backseat to the doctor and other staff.
I’m a firm believer that a beautiful birth experience can be had anywhere (including at hospitals!). And I'm certainly glad that option exists as it's definitely the best choice for so many. Home births just happen to be the most fitting option for us.
Even so, I was super nervous to go through it again.
So when I had that first contraction, I decided that I wasn’t going to give in just yet. It was almost 11 pm at night and I was not interested in pulling an all nighter. So I laid in bed and went to sleep. I woke up every time I felt a contraction come on (8-12 minutes apart all night), worked through the contraction, and then fell back into the deepest sleep until the next one.
This was actually very peaceful and manageable - so much so that by 8 am the next morning when I started to wake up, I still wasn’t quite ready for things to progress. But I noticed that every time I got up to go to the bathroom, my contractions sped up significantly. Around 10 am, I finally decided to get out of bed, head downstairs and walk around a bit.
It was a whirlwind from that point on. Before I knew it, I was having back to back contractions and soon after that, I was in the birthing tub pushing. I had planned to have a water birth with June but it didn’t work out, so I had really hoped that this time would be different.
Much to my surprise/excitement, Rosie's head popped out much more quickly than I had expected. It was the coolest feeling ever. Once that happened, I knew that the hardest part was behind me and that I was so close to meeting my baby face to face and embracing her. After the head was out I felt Rosie twist her body around, as babies do, before my last contraciton came on. I then gave one final push to move her body out and into the world a few minutes before noon.
I gently grabbed my baby, untangled the chord a bit, and slowly transitioned her body out of the water before placing her on my chest. I held onto her for the longest time, not wanting to give up a second of time with my new baby girl.
One thing that amazed me about this whole experience was how powerful the mind is and how big of a role it can play in so many aspects of childbirth.
I doubted my midwife when she talked about the impact unfinished tasks can have on labor, only to become a prime example of that exact thing. I was also scared of labor and experiencing the same pain that I had with my first, enough so to delay and slow things down significantly during my labor with Rosie.
So much empowerment came from persevering through the birth of June, whereas Rosie’s birth brought me healing and balance.
Both experiences paralleled what life was like for me at the time. When I had June, life was all about just powering through. I had started Primally Pure a little over a year before she was born and was still in major hustle mode, wearing ten different hats and scrambling to keep up.
And now with Rosie, I’m at a place where I’m able to take a bit more of a step back and evaluate + structure my work in such a way that allows me to do more of the things I’m great at within the business while handing off many the things I struggle with the most (something I'm constantly working towards), which in turn is allowing me to have more work/life balance and time with my family.
The two different experiences were also indicative of each girl’s personality. June is strong-willed and spunky, whereas Rosie is calm and content. Both of our girls are the biggest blessings ever, and I thank God each and every day for allowing me to be their mom!