Simona's Birth Story

On July 15, 2020, I welcomed the greatest gift into the world - my baby girl, Simona.

When Justin and I found out I was pregnant late last year, we couldn’t have been more excited. We knew we wanted to be surprised about the gender, so we agreed to wait until she was born to find out, and honestly, it wasn’t until the last week of my pregnancy that I was really getting anxious to know if I was having a boy or a girl.

Since we lived in three different countries during my pregnancy, I felt most comfortable working with OB’s, so that’s what we stuck with through the entirety of my pregnancy. The first few months followed a pretty typical course for a first time mom, and I just could not wait for our little one to be out in the world with us. (Another blog post is coming soon with more details about my incredible pregnancy!)

Around week 30, we were told that Simona was measuring small, and that if things didn’t turn for the better, I was going to have to be induced at week 36-37. Thankfully, at 32 weeks Simona was gaining weight and growing at a rate our OB was happy with. I still truly thought I was going to deliver her early. But at 41 weeks and 1 day, she finally decided she wanted into the world!

My contractions started at 1:30am, and they were painful enough to wake me up and were probably 9-15 mins apart. I didn’t take any prenatal classes or really read any books, so I had no idea what to expect. But I was uncomfortable, and I knew these were early labor contractions because they felt like nothing I had experienced before. I waited as long as I could, but at 3am, I woke Justin up and we were off to the hospital!

Having a baby during Covid was obviously different, but since Simona was my first, I didn’t know any different, and I’m honestly grateful for that! Once we got to triage, I was only measuring 2 cm, but was in a lot of pain. Being in the holistic, “natural” world, I think most people assumed I was going to avoid drugs, that definitely wasn’t the case. (Mama’s gotta do what they gotta do!)

They offered me morphine, and I took them up on it QUICK. The morphine definitely helped me breath better and feel a lot more at ease, but time still felt like it was moving slow.

At around 5am, the nurses and OB on call told us it was probably a good idea to go home for now and to come back in 2 hours. We only live 7 minutes away from the hospital, and Justin couldn’t have been happier (he got to go home and sleep). As for me, not so much...

The second we got home I knew I was in for a long day. Instead of trying to sleep which I knew was impossible, I headed for my juicer (shocker), juiced half a pineapple, and headed for the bath. No surprises here. In my opinion, this combo definitely helped speed things up, and it made me feel right at home.

Once things started to get more painful (the drugs were wearing off) and contractions got closer, I was basically a ball on the couch trying to breath. Key word: trying. I spent some time on the phone with friends who had been here before which helped me feel more at peace and prepare me for what was to come.

At this point I had waited well over 2 hours, probably closer to 4. When my contractions were getting unbearable, I woke Justin up and made him make me a bagel - let’s just say my labor experience was full of things that made me feel good.

Labouring at home certainly wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. By 9am, my contractions were getting closer together and the pain was almost unbearable.

Once we got back to the hospital and I was checked by the OB on call, I was at 6cm. The pain was excruciating at this point, and Justin was so amazing helping me breath and doing everything he possibly could to calm me down, but I knew if I wanted to truly surrender and have a birth experience that was right for me, I needed the epidural.

I was admitted then and there, basically begging for an epidural. We got to our room and I was told the anesthesiologist was in surgery and wouldn’t be available for 45 mins... of course! At this point, I was almost 8cm and the pain was unlike anything I will ever be able to describe. I was gripping the bed side so tight my arms hurt for a week postpartum.

My nurse that took care of me while we waited was incredible. She was the most calm, nurturing, sweet person ever. This was really a testament to energy. I truly believe that good energy attracts good energy and Justin and I attracted her and manifested her.

I finally got the epidural, and my world was forever changed. My experience was INCREDIBLE and when I say I was on top of the world... I truly was. I even have texts to prove it! I basically texted everyone in my phone saying how incredible I felt post epidural.

It took me 4 hours to get from 8cm-10cm, so I did a lot of resting and Justin and I got to relax and chat. We felt so calm, we even said “I can’t believe this is labour”. I drank probably 3 L of apple juice in those 4 hours because you can’t eat while in labor (it’s truly never a bad time for juice!) and planned out our meal post-delivery.

Once I hit 10cm, it was time for me to start pushing! I could feel some things, but for the most part I needed to be guided and told when to push.

I pushed for 25 minutes, but it came down to having to use forceps - Simona wasn’t coming on her own, and she and I needed the help. Her heart rate was dipping, and they wanted her out ASAP. At that point, I just knew that this is what was meant for me and for us, and when not having a plan proved to be the best plan. No plan meant no disappointments or expectations, and helped us to just take everything as it came.

With the help of forceps, Justin, and an amazing OB + staff, at 6:24pm, I safely delivered the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

I have never cried so hard and felt so much peace all at once. I will never forget that moment

they laid her on my chest for the first time. Some things truly can’t be explained, and I hope that every mother who longs to will someday get to experience this joy for themselves. I was so excited and overwhelmed with emotion, it took a good minute for the nurse to announce and me to realize we had a little girl.

It’s a funny thing - you wait 10 months to find out what you’re having and you think that’s all your going to care about, but in that moment, the sex was the last thing on my mind. I just knew my baby was here. Healthy and with me and that’s all that mattered.

Simona weighed 5 ‘12 and 18 inch long, and I had never seen anything more perfect.

It may sound cliche but she really is all my dreams come true. Becoming her mom will forever be the best thing that happened to me!

So many of you have asked to hear my birth story. And I hesitated to share because I didn’t think it was much of a story. But the reality is, every birth story is an incredible one. This day was a miracle of a lifetime and it was every single thing I asked for my entire pregnancy. Every day, during my meditation I would visualize how I wanted my birth to go. I would practice how I would feel or how I wanted to feel and that’s exactly what transpired. 

There is nothing I am more proud of, and however you give birth is absolutely beautiful. 

XO, Danielle