Jessie's Birth Story
Updated: Dec 9, 2017
My pregnancy and birthing experience was full of surprises, challenges and unexpected joy.
To be completely honest I always envisioned being pregnant as a horrible time of life that women just have to suffer through in order to get that baby. I always thought pregnancy meant me getting fat, lazy, lethargic, and uncomfortable. To my complete surprise I absolutely loved being pregnant. I never suffered through morning sickness and I managed to workout throughout. I was boxing until I was 8 ½ months pregnant; I only stopped because I was actually embarrassed to show up to the studio being so large. I remember saying in my second trimester that I had never felt better in my whole life. I felt like I had an inexhaustible source of energy. Plus my hair and skin were amazing. It is my hope that the perception of pregnancy changes. I totally respect that pregnancy is different for every woman but I feel like the media portrays pregnancy in such an unrealistic light. I hope that woman today understand that you have the opportunity to make your pregnancy the healthiest and happiest time of your life. For me it was almost like being on a retreat; no alcohol, caffeine, chemicals or toxins. You get to spend every day focusing on wellness not just for you but also for the baby.
My greatest challenge and greatest lesson came at the end of my pregnancy. At my 36-week ultrasound I was told that there was some concern about Hazels growth. She had previously been in the 60th percentile for size she was now only measuring in the 5th percentile. The ultrasound technician and doctor recommended that we induce labor and get Hazel out as soon as possible. They feared that the placenta had died prematurely and that Hazel was no longer getting the proper nutrition to grow. I remember hearing the news and hysterically crying on the ultrasound table. I was scared and a touch hormonal. In this moment I would have given my right arm to insure that the baby would be ok.
This is where my first lesson came in. I feel like the Universe gave me this early gift to teach me not to judge other mothers.
I remember a few years back hearing about women inducing their babies and quietly judging them thinking why in the world would you induce your baby. I thought babies should only come out naturally and when they are ready. The Universe whipped me into shape pretty quickly. We have absolutely no idea what each other are silently going through and that we must support each other as Mothers and human beings always.
Once we made the decision to induce everything moved very quickly which was terrifying. The only thing that got me through those few days and the grueling induction process was the support of my husband and my incredibly wise and nurturing Doula. They were both at my side constantly, taking turns massaging me even as I slept and guiding me throughout the entire process. It was a special love that I will never forget and am eternally grateful for.
Once I reached active labor the world seemed to stop and everything became calm and still. I spent my whole life fearing childbirth. I had perceived it through media and my own imagination as chaotic and painful. My labor was the absolute farthest from that perception.
I had an epidural as I was induced which definitely helped. My room was dark, quiet, and still, almost cocoon like. The only sound was that of Hazel’s heart beat on the monitor. It was rhythmic and soothing. I felt absolutely no pain and was never scared or uncomfortable. Everyone who was in the room as I gave birth described it as calm. And then just like the movies the moment my doctor handed me my healthy beautiful baby my heart opened up. I couldn’t believe how tiny and delicate this little creature was. It was the moment of my life.
My greatest advice is to be present. I hope that every woman can be aware enough to know that this is greatest time of your life. Every cough, every sleepless night, every sweet smile it all adds up to the golden era of our lives.
By Jessie Petruso