8 Ways My Second Birth Will Hopefully Be Different

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Have you ever felt like you wanted to scream, but couldn’t? Like it was an out of body experience? That’s how the birth of my son went for me. The joy and excitement I hoped to feel when they handed him over to me after 24 hours of labor, three of which I pushed for, didn’t happen

Instead, I felt numb (mentally and physically) and maxed out. I was happy to have a beautiful and healthy child. But, I felt violated and disrespected in many ways. It was like my birth plan was thrown in the trash and every wish or hope I had for this sacred experience went away. This led to extreme feelings the days and months after his birth. 

And while my love and admiration for him grows every day, the urge to have things happen differently for my second child became a mission of mine.

Feeling Overwhelmed

If I’m being honest, this pregnancy was a total surprise. My husband was undoubtedly happier than I was and told me how our family will be complete sooner and this was a blessing. He helped me calm down and appreciate the surprise. He was right!

With our first, we planned it as best we could. We were trying and I was expecting it. This second time around it felt much less out of my control than before. But, I’m happy. Of course I am, being pregnant is a miracle. I’m grateful.

The biggest reason I felt so overwhelmed is because I knew I wanted this birthing experience to go differently. I thought I’d have more time to get the right team in place to support me even before I got pregnant. But, now I had to pivot, take action, and go with the flow.

My Son’s Birth Story

I have always been inspired by unmedicated births (I’m going to refrain from referring to it as “natural birth” because all birth is natural, in my opinion). Before getting pregnant I knew that going for a least intervention, unmedicated birth would be my ideal situation. I knew from reading and podcasts that midwifery care would be my best option to get this outcome. 

Long story short, the birth of my son went the complete opposite of what I wanted it to be like. I had one unnecessary intervention after the other. The provider that was there for the majority of the birth was cold, unsupportive, and degrading. I knew I should have spoken up for myself, but I kept quiet. I had a lot of healing to do after this. 

Where I’m Going From Here

I took time sharing my son’s birth story on Facebook; it was surprisingly healing for me hearing how many others had a similar experience. My therapist was helpful in helping me break down the feelings that I had with this experienceMost of all, I was able to realize that I can choose a different team for the next baby.

photo courtesy of Parties and Poses

Here are eight ways my second birth will hopefully be different–what the “plan” is this time!

1. I’ll Hire a Doula

With my son’s birth, I didn’t hire a doula. My husband wanted to be the “doula”, which was a sweet sentiment. He was a great birth partner, but not a professional doula. So, this time I hired Janice of Peaceful Birthing to be my doula. She taught the hypnobirthing class I took and has been an open resource for me. The more research I do, the more I realize that having a doula will help decrease the amount of intervention. Having her there will also increase my chances of having an unmediated birth.

2. I’ll Speak Up

No matter how uncomfortable it makes me, if I feel uncomfortable or disrespected this time, I will speak up. I owe it to myself to honor my feelings and intuition. I can’t stress how important it is for any birthing person to speak their truth. We are still paying customers of our provider and if we’re not being treated the way in which we deserve, we owe it to ourselves to speak up. 

3. I’ll Stay Active

Keeping active is a major priority for me this pregnancy. With my son, it was the COVID lockdown for all of the first two trimesters, so I spent most of my time on the couch. While it’s hard to stay motivated this time around, I know that keeping my strength and stamina up will only help me with labor. I also rely on the workouts my coach Brooke Rozzie schedules for me each week. 

 On top of my three weekly workouts, I have daily stretches that my doula has given me to prepare for birth. Do I do them every day? No. But most days I do. I feel stronger and way more fit than I did before.

4. I’ll Listen to Positive Birth Stories

Since I have a wild toddler, reading books isn’t an option these days. But, my earpods and podcasts are my best friend. I listen to positive birth stories almost on a daily basis. These different stories give me confidence in myself and the biological process I’m putting my trust in. Some of my favorites are Birth Story Podcast and The Birth Hour Podcast.

I also have mentioned in other blogs that I have left most mom groups on Facebook. I find it extremely helpful without all that noise. Too many posts about labor, inducing labor, and not-so-good birth stories–I don’t have the mental space for that right now. 

I will also try and revisit some of my favorite birth books (Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method, and Birthing From Within) on Audible this time because . . . mom life! 

5. I’ll Keep Things Simple

Last time I did too much. This time, I’m doing less. I don’t have a countdown on my phone with the number of days until the baby arrives. Instead, I’m unattached to my “due date” because I know that 5% of babies come on their actual due dates. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my baby could come two weeks before, or two weeks late.

6. I’ll Believe in Myself

Last time I spent way too much effort questioning if I had the ability to birth the way I wanted to. This time, I know that I can do it. But, the confidence has to come from within first. Then, I will lean on the awesome support team I have behind me to help in moments I need a boost. 

7. I’ll Know That Every Plan Has a “Plan B”

While it pains me to even think about having a “plan B,” I have to accept that things may not go 100% the way I want them to. I’m willing to give it my best effort. I also know that the way I birth my next child doesn’t define my worth. 

8. Oh, and Just One “Little” Change in the “Plan”

I’ve decided to birth at home this time. While I know this is a very touchy topic with a lot of opinions, I felt very drawn to this option after my 30 week appointment. Everything was going so well, and on the way home, I listened to a podcast about birthing at home. So, I made some calls and hired a home birth midwife. I’ll report back after the baby is born on my experience.

All birth is beautiful and worthy. I find peace knowing that I have the best possible care and support team this time. I’m prioritizing movement and mindfulness. That’s all I can do without making myself crazy.

The last thing I want to add is that all birth is beautiful and valid. I’m coming from my own personal desires. But, I want to honor and recognize that no matter how you bring your baby into this world, it is beautiful.

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I’ve lived in 15 different places in 30 years. Growing up in a divorced family, we moved a lot. During the recession, I called many places home. I’ve seen my childhood home go into foreclosure and seen many friends & family experience the same. Home has always been more of a feeling than a place for me, as it had to be during hard times. Most of my family was in the mortgage and real estate industry. I saw them lose their jobs and businesses when the market crashed in 2008. In a matter of a year, several homes that meant a whole lot to me get foreclosed on and bought by someone else. The world as I had known it for 18 years changed pretty much overnight. It was a scary time for me as I was a freshman in college. My mom was in a new relationship with my now step dad, and I wasn’t sure where home was for me. Deep down, I had a very strong desire to live in a space that was all mine for a long period of time. I was sick of moving, sick of struggling, and wanting stability. I knew I had a long way to go before I would be able to afford my own home. I had a lot of growing to do in all aspects of life. I had four years of college to complete, a career to establish and get my credit where it needed to be. I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life or Communications degree, to be honest. All I knew was that I wanted to help people in some capacity. Everything came into focus for me when I was 22 and almost done with college. I was searching for a new job & came across an opportunity at a boutique real estate office in downtown Royal Oak. I went in for the interview and got the position on the spot. I also enrolled in my real estate licensing class, took the exam, and got licensed. I knew this opportunity to learn the business inside and out was my ticket to making a career for myself. I knew a career into real estate could have the potential to change my life and help me help others. It was redemption for me after what my family went through in 2009. Finally, I was taking control of something that turned my world upside down. I also knew that real estate was in my blood! I was only at that job for about a year, as it wasn’t the right environment for me to succeed. I moved on to a career in real estate, which inspired me to create Higher Living Real Estate. I got married in 2017 and we were finally in a place to take the ultimate risk and buy our first home in 2018! We’re expecting our first child this fall. House hunting took a lot of convincing on my part to my husband, Vic. He thought we should stay in our rental that we’d had for seven long years. and save more money. He worried that we would get in over our heads. I was fearful too, I mean I had seen people I love lose everything. I didn’t want to lose everything I had worked for. But something inside me said f*ck fear and to go for it, you’re ready! So, that’s exactly what we did. We got our pre-approval, had the money for the down payment, and found the home that we wanted to buy. On my 29th birthday, we closed on our first home. It was an experience that changed our life. It had been almost 15 years since I was in a home that was not a rental or roommate situation. My husband and I now have something that is ours, that we can paint and design the way we like. We can have friends and family over and entertain. These were all things I thought were super far away for me. Now, we’re expecting our first child, we’ve started to think about getting a larger house. We know we're going to grow out of this house soon. It’s scary to think that the home we worked so hard for and are finally settled in won’t be our forever home. But, we know that there’s something out there that will be big enough for us & the family we want to have in the coming years. Let's be honest, the journey to start a family is scary enough. The thought of selling our first home & buying something new on top of it all can be a lot to handle. Taking a financial risk coupled with balancing a family is difficult, but I choose to not let fear define me. Having been through that leap recently myself, I know exactly how you’re feeling. I know what petty arguments you’re having with your partner. I know what it takes to get through the process as quick & seamless as possible!

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