Raquel is a mama of two and the Founder of Here and Now Events
Ellis Shane Federowicz's Birth Story
Giving birth is one of those experiences that you can never really understand until you’ve been through it yourself. Carrying a life inside you for 10 months and going through labor is beautifully terrifying. Your first role as mama is to be brave and strong enough to go through birth. For my second child, Ellis, I decided to go the natural route with no epidural and in a freestanding birthing center. My first child was born in the traditional hospital setting with many medical interventions: induction, epidural, having my water broken and eventually a vacuum extraction.
With my son, I wanted to let my body do what it was made to do and to birth him naturally. I did my research for months, decided on The Brooklyn Birthing Center instead of a home birth, found an AMAZING doula (Courtney Hart), wrote my birth plan and was “ready”. Those last two weeks before he was born, I was tired and cranky and anxious to not be pregnant anymore. I had my bag packed, snacks ready, my labor playlists had been curated and strategy for what to do with my older child when it was indeed time.
On the morning before he was born, contractions were consistently coming but not getting stronger and they weren’t going away. I called my doula after a few hours and then called the birth center. They told me to come in to get checked-it was go time! When I arrived just after 6pm, I was 4-5cm dilated and elated. I went to get something to eat and to walk around to get things going. When I got back I was between 5-6cm, still able to talk through the contractions. I put my headphones on and locked in, determined to have a peaceful and focused birth.
My husband finished his shift at his restaurant and joined me just after 10pm. We rocked, paced, drank copious amounts of water and had bites to eat when I needed strength. My doula, my mom, my husband and best friend were all present for the birth. Hours came and went and I was still 6cm dilated, I began to get discouraged but I had a chorus of supporters telling me I could do this. The midwives changed shifts and after more hours of laboring in the morning I had finally made it to 8cm. The midwife said she could still feel the lip of my cervix and that breaking my water would get things going. And boy did it; my son dropped into my pelvis and was anterior (facing up). The back labor was excruciating but I went from 8 to 10cm quickly feeling like I couldn’t do it anymore. I was able to push him out sunny side up in 3 pushes and I felt like superwoman grabbing my baby and putting him on my chest! Even with all the pain at the end and 21 hours of labor, I wouldn’t change a thing. My birth story is positive and beautiful.
You can do this mama, birth doesn’t have to be scary!