Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Birth Story - Part 1

Since baby came (already 9 days ago!) I've been working on my birth story.  Over the course of my pregnancy, I've learned so much about pregnancy and birthing and met so many women who have shared their birth stories, I was very excited to share mine.  Hopefully some of the information in it will help other mums have the birthing they want!

So, without further ado, part 1!

Ebba’s Birth Story

I want to share my birth story because I think it was such an amazing experience, I can hardly not share it.  I’m proud of it, I’m proud of my husband and daughter, and I’m proud of myself.  And I want other women to know what is possible.  It’s probably bragging, at least in parts, but in my opinion, any woman who births a child -- no matter how -- should be allowed to brag about it.  It’s one of the most amazing things humans do.  

I've divided the Story into 3 parts, so this will be part 1, all about how my husband and I prepared for the birthing, because the preparation was SO important in how things ended up.  Next will come the actual story itself, and then, finally, segment 3 will be tips and tidbits that didn't make it into the story.

Preparing for birth: Choices

Our birth experience was so much what we wanted, in part I’m sure, because of some great decisions we made early on...and just wonderful things that happened as a kind of domino effect.  Our first great decision was going with midwives instead of an OB.  At the time, we didn’t even know how great a choice that was.  We did it not because of any beliefs about one or the other -- I honestly had no clue about anything at that point.  I chose midwives because my friend had just had twins, and she loved her midwives so I just went with the same ones.  Our midwives were Andrea and Carolyn from Bloom Community Midwives.

From there, everything fell into place.  My midwives caught wind that I was interested in a home birth (again, not because of any beliefs, but because my husband doesn’t drive and I was worried about transport to the hospital!).  We discussed this with the midwives, and they gave me some great resources to read about how and why to do a home birth.  (Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth was my favourite resource!)  After all the reading, I was beyond decided.  I can’t mention enough how important it is to be informed about child birth.  It helps so much during birth to know and picture what will happen.  I never had particularly negative ideas surrounding childbirth (my mum always spoke openly and positively about my own birth), but I still hadn’t realized that I could give birth in comfort and safety in my own home.  I always anticipated a kind of sterile hospital birth, full of strangers.

Once a homebirth was decided upon, we chose a prenatal class that would help us to have the most relaxing, comfortable birth we could.  Our midwives recommended Hypnobabies, a name that at first left us giggling.  But when we found the local Hypnomammas course taught by Jenn King, we knew it was right for us.  Hypnobabies is a very intense course that prepares one in every way for birthing.  I enjoyed learning about the detailed processes that go into birthing, and also enjoyed being “forced” to take at least 30 minutes a day to prepare myself mentally and emotionally.  It helped me to relax in the months leading up to the birth.  The last part of Hypnobabies that I love is how it involved the birth partner (in this case, my husband) in the preparation.  I’m sure that’s why he was so calm and helpful during my birthing time.  (a lot of things happen during birth that could freak the uninitiated out!)

The last piece that we added to our preparation was our doula, Chloe Dierkes, of Urban Doula in Vancouver.  We picked several doulas from the Hypnodoulas list and then interviewed them to see which one we gelled best with.  They were all, of course, wonderful, so our decision was about 99% gut feeling. :) Our guts chose correctly!

These are just the choices that we made so we could have the perfect birthing for us.  That doesn't mean these would be the right choices for everyone, but the point is that the more you know ahead of time, the better your birthing can be.  Take these decisions carefully!

Once I've finished this 3 part birthing story, I will address some further topics in more detail, such as why to have a doula, the difference between midwife care and OBs (at least here in Vancouver), and the issue of "estimated due dates," induction, and real gestational times.  So stay tuned!


  1. Great blog! I've already passed it on to my pregnant friends :-) ... maybe you'd consider a blog post on your naming process?! I'd love to here how you and David arrived at Ebba Irene!

    1. That's a great idea! Perhaps I'll write that one after the 3 part series. I was wondering where to go from here. :)