Teri's Birth Story
I entered my second pregnancy with a lot of fears and apprehension about the labor. Even more so than with my first one, mainly because I knew a lot more this second time around and because my first birthing experience was less than perfect. I wanted nothing more than to have an entirely different experience this time. My first step in creating a different outcome was to hire a doula. We hired Liz Stika and even though I was late in the game in finding her, we managed to meet three times before the birth. During these meetings, we talked a lot about fear, how I could navigate through my feelings and how to not feel afraid to say how I hoped this birth would turn out. She encouraged me to write my perfect birth experience down on paper and begin to believe that I could create that outcome with positive thinking.
She also provided us with a lot of reading materials, ideas/advice and tips to prepare for labor in other ways too. She was full of great information and a wonderful person to talk with. My husband and I also attended an all-day birth class taught by a midwife that Liz works with. Due to some complications it was appearing like an induction was in my immediate future. I spoke to Liz and she gave me advice on several additional herbs that I could try to initiate labor. I immediately stocked up and started talking to my baby about making his appearance a little early. He listened and the night before induction was scheduled, I went into labor. By this time, I was feeling very well-prepared for birth and had finally decided to go naturally. At the advice of Liz, I was 100% convinced and dedicated to doing it without an epidural (even though I hadn't really told anyone and didn't until we arrived at the hospital). The morning went well. I was managing the pain, thanks to my husband, my mom and Liz. They provided great counter pressure in my hips. I moved around a lot. I paced the room, knelt over on a birthing ball, knelt on a chair, leaned on the bed.... just anything that felt right. At Liz's suggestion, I got into the bathtub at one point and it was literally heaven on earth. I was able to completely relax and the contractions were slow and manageable. Throughout it all, Liz had such good ideas about positions, guided my husband and my mom, was a fantastic massager and constantly reminded me that the contractions were doing what they needed to do. The baby wasn't as active as they hoped, so they ended up breaking my water mid-morning. Transitioning and pushing happened very fast, but my "team" was amazing and Cohen arrived just about ten minutes later. I have never, ever felt so much joy and amazement. I held him and cried. He was perfect and crying too. I was so proud of him, so proud of myself and so thankful for the amazing group of people that helped him get there safely. It was the perfect day I had dreamt of! I thank and give a lot of kudos to Liz for this experience. I am not sure it would have turned out so perfectly without her support.