My husband, Chris, was amazing during the birth of our daughter. Not only was he so incredibly supportive of my decisions, he attended the Bradley Birth classes and helped me do the exercises each night. He worked tirelessly to prepare our home for baby (a total rehab in the two months before she was born) and then during the birth he walked with me the entire journey. We would walk together and as a contraction came he’d stand behind me, supporting me both emotionally and physically – I literally was sitting in his lap as he stood behind me.
Days after she was born we went to the chiropractor and it was amazing that he was “out” in all the same places I was. We literally had traveled together. My pelvis needed adjustment, his pelvis needed adjustment. My leg and his leg needed help in the same places. It was like this incredible, tangible way I could see how much he had been with me. I know I couldn’t have had the experience I had without him.
I also had an amazing doula. Kate Taylor with Creative Childbirth Concepts had been someone I got in touch with professionally because we are both board certified music therapists. But from the moment I met her to interview her to be our doula – I knew that she was supposed to be in my life. She has this amazing presence about her, peaceful and calm.
She walked into our house the night our daughter was born when I was laying on the couch crying. It might have been transition, where contractions were increasingly painful, or maybe just the emotions of the day (I had already labored on and off for more than 24 hours). Kate encouraged me to get up and trying something new to deal with the pain. She was a perfect addition to the birth, bringing with her guidance and gentleness. She changed the feeling in the room, helped us regroup, refocus, and reconnect. She got the music playing, got me on the birth ball, and helped me vocalize in a productive way. I never had the experience where I wanted to kill my husband, never lashed out at him like you see in movies… but I also remember that Kate had a way of touch that was just different than anything Chris could do. It was almost like energy coming from her body and working through her hands to ease my pain. To calm and relax me.
And she did more than just help me. She helped Chris when he wasn’t sure what to do. She supported him, telling him how to help me. She gave him direction. She never seemed to just take over – instead Kate empowered both of us to be a part of this birth. When Chris was exhausted she told him to rest, when he was unsure she placed his hands, when he didn’t know what else needed to be done, she pointed out the next thing to do. She was there for both of us, helping us be a team and allowing space for my husband to be an active part of the birth.
Right before I started pushing, I needed to move out of the bathroom and onto the bed. I had people telling me where to go and what to do, and quite honestly I was exhausted and overwhelmed. Kate leaned in close to me and whispered, “I know everyone is telling you what to do, I know it’s a lot to take. But you can do this. You can birth your baby.” It was the perfect thing to say. Exactly what I needed to hear. The encouragement and empowerment that I carry with me now two and half years after that birth. I did do it. I birthed my baby. My body is amazing. How many women walking around today think to themselves, “My body is amazing”? What a fantastic gift I have been given!
I love Kate. She gave more to us in those 36 hours than I could have ever imagined. Ever expected. She knew the journey, she led us through it. Not just me but all of us. She was our guide and because of her I conquered, I succeeded in having the birth I truly dreamt of.