My birth stories...
My journey into parenthood began in 2005 when I became pregnant with my first child. I had a physician and was planning a hospital birth. At 34 weeks I developed renal colic and was admitted. For 1 week I layed in the hospital, swimming in a semi-conscious sea of extreme pain combined with high dose morphine & gravol around the clock. The Dr said "tomorrow morning". The fear of being induced was so strong that I just went into premature labour on my own. The next day I was wheeled away to deliver my baby. I don't know where my strength came to deliver vaginally, considering I was in excruciating pain & hadn't slept or ate in 7 days. I layed on that bed for 4 hours, pushing. 2 days later I brought my son home, as birthing my baby is what cured my sickness. I'm so thankful for my husband, mom, sister & friend who surrounded me during that time.
In 2007 we were expecting our 2nd child. At that time I became more aware of my own intentions for pregnancy & birth, & I was really turned onto the holistic approach to it all. I enrolled in the Stony Plain shared care program, got prenatal care from midwives & birthed my daughter there in a warm pool of water. My husband & mother were at my side & it was such a beautiful experience. Because my first birth had been so different I felt like I was given another chance to truly take in the full experience. I was well & I was ready. I roared my daughter out like a lion.
In 2009 when expecting again, we chose to have a homebirth. We carefully considered what we desired, & wanted our experience to be as natural & peaceful as possible. I spent the early hours of labour in & around my home, & eventually I felt most comfortable in the family bed. My husband & our children made up the cheer team alongside the bed and our midwives sat quietly by the window. Soon after my daughter was born we all celebrated with a pizza breakfast. It was the eve of Christmas eve, and the festivities could not have come sooner!!!
In 2011 when expecting our 4th, we knew we would choose another homebirth with our previous (amazing) midwife. I also asked my best friend to come, & although she lives in California, she said yes. That was such a true gift in itself, as having her there meant so much to me. as labour progressed and got heated, I seeked solace. As I layed alone in bed, I felt a huge rush and rose up to birth and greet my baby. At that exact moment my lovely midwife showed up, & immediately after that the room was filled with my husband, our children, my friend & her 3 children! It was quite the soiree. I remember the children looking so fascinated as I birthed my placenta. Afterwards they received quite a lesson of placenta anatomy/dissection from my midwife. It was my her (my midwife's) birthday as well, and it was a very special day.
2014 marked another year of expecting for us. We for sure wanted another homebirth, but this time chose to keep it intamite. This was to be our 5th & final child, and we wanted to soak it all up, just us I early laboured while I was doing crafts. So I crafted some more as I welcomed those early rushes. We put our children to bed a little early so my husband and I could focus on getting through the labor together. Several hours later we called our midwife, and not too long after that on the family bed I birthed our daughter. My midwife was so excellent (as she had been the previous births) & she stepped back as my husband & I birthed our final baby as a team. My husband says that the most amazing and unforgettable experience he has ever had was the moment he reached out his arms and was the first to cradle our child.
It is reflections of my own birth experiences that have helped solidify my decades long desire to become a doula and make it a reality. My 5 unique birth experiences have helped shape who I am as a woman, mother and now doula. I welcome this new chapter of my life with open arms and a caring heart, and I am ready.
All images & content by Sharon Jong