I set out to tell my birth story today. However, I LOVED being pregnant so much that I couldn’t just skip over that part. Thus we will call this part one of Doiron’s birth story as this is turning out much longer than I had expected. It all started when I was 16 years old and my sister had a beautiful baby boy, Michael Wade. Once I held him, I felt complete, from that moment on I couldn’t wait to find my soul mate and start our own family. Just a short two years later I found my love Bryan and after college we had an amazing Quaker Style wedding (more on that later) and not even a year later I was pregnant with our Sweet Pea (a sickeningly cute nickname that stuck once we told our family we were pregnant and “it” was the size of a “sweet pea”).
We weren’t planning on getting pregnant yet. We had just moved from California to Texas, both started new jobs, and settling into a house with my sister and nephew. I did however stop taking birth control, because I wanted babies, and I believe in fate. When we realized that pregnancy was a very real possibility I dug out a dosage of the morning after pill that was given to me by planned parenthood, who knows how long ago. I took the first pill, I sobbed. I told Bryan that I couldn’t take the second pill, because if I was by chance pregnant, I wanted that baby! Weeks went by and I had forgotten about the whole thing. For years I always had a stash of pregnancy tests because I was awful at remembering my birth control, and did I mention, I really wanted babies! Every time something felt the least bit off I would take a test, always negative. One day I was at work, everyone was pissing me off, everything was making me cry, I felt exhausted. I was talking to my mom, who is also my boss, and we decided I must be PMSing. I went home to vent to my sissy, we chuckled and joked that I sounded pregnant. She told me her story of when she found out she was pregnant, and I thought to myself I can’t wait for that day. I went to bed convinced I would wake up cramping and digging for tampons.
When I got up, I stumbled to the bathroom, and I swear my intention was to get a tampon out from under my sink, instead it was a pregnancy test. I took the test still in a haze, and it wasn’t until I was looking at the positive sign that I realized I had in fact taken a pregnancy test, and it in fact said I WAS pregnant. I began to shake, I couldn’t decide if I was excited or nervous. Bryan was still sleeping; I sat back in bed beside him thinking I would wait for him to wake up. But he wasn’t, so I shook him and said “good morning hun,” he rolled over and moaned. So I waited what felt like minutes but was probably seconds, “honey, I really need you to wake up.” He must have heard the tremble in my voice because he sat up, I told him the news, he was definitely more nervous than excited. We decided we wouldn’t tell anybody until we went to the doctor and knew for sure. So I called my sister five minutes later and told her. I was convinced I wasn’t going to tell anyone else, but when I got to work and saw my mom, I started crying. “Still PMSing?” she asked, “Not exactly” I replied. And then it slipped. She hugged me said everything was going to be fine and the rest of the day passed in a weird jolty way. The next morning we went to planned parenthood where it was confirmed, I was definitely pregnant. I was ecstatic, the idea was growing on Bryan as I used every reason I could think of to tell him we were ready. We told the rest of our families shortly after.
Rewind to one week before our wedding, I was busy crafting favors when I happened upon The Business of Being Born on netflix. Five minutes into it, I was crying and was deadest on having my babies at home with midwifes who loved me and my baby, not a cold hospital with nurses and doctors where this is simply a paycheck and the sooner it’s over the better. I was worried Bryan wouldn’t agree but he didn’t take much convincing, so I married him without hesitation. It didn’t take long for me to find Mary and Debra at Heart of Texas Midwives, we instantly connected with these ladies and felt at home in their little house. For the next eight months I listened to Doiron’s heartbeat in the comfort of a queen bed adorned with a lace coverlet, talked about the birthing process in the cozy kitchenette while snacking on fresh fruit and sipping cold water. These weren’t “Doctor’s Visits” they were conversations with loving women, mostly Mary, who swooned over my growing belly and greeted me with hugs and kisses every month.
They gave me a purple folder 1/2 an inch thick, wrote my name on it and let me pick out a sticker to put on it (ok maybe it was like going to the doctor’s a little bit). The folder was their magical book of pregnancy, it outlined the stages, what each visit would entail, what to do if I felt nauseous, what kind of diet I should follow and most helpful to me, some reading recommendations. Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Natural Childbirth changed my life. Any fear I had about birth was quickly put to rest and I began to understand and trust my body in a way I never had before. Mary also arranged a hypnobirth instructor to come to their office and host a four week course. For some reason, Bryan and I were the only ones that signed up, so we ended up with private lessons, and the amazing instructor Vanessa, came to our house. I was going to ROCK this birth!
I had the easiest pregnancy, no morning sickness, no aching back and an amazing husband who made my health and comfort his first priority. I didn’t even have a single stretch mark . . .until, around week 34 . . .I got a massive stretch mark that reached from the top of my hip up and around to the top of my belly button. And it itched. I read that stretch marks are itchy because your skin is in fact, stretching, but no amount of lotion helped. One day I showed it to my mom, huge, red, and bumpy, her only words were “that’s not normal.” That night a small rash appeared on the top of my left foot. I figured it was a weird reaction and would go away by morning. When I woke up, it was now on both feet and now my hands. Remember that health-conscious husband I told you about? He called my midwives immediately despite my protesting (I’m very weird about phone calls). Mary answered, and of course wanted to speak to me. We discussed the rash and my diet, nothing sounded out of the ordinary. “It could be PUPPPS,” she said, “except it usually starts in your stretch marks, which you haven’t mentioned.” Lightbulb! PUPPPS it was, the cure? Having the baby. Not willing to spend the rest of my pregnancy in agony, we turned to the internet. It was my husband who discovered that many women had luck with Dandelion root, Flax oil and fish oil. I added these pills on top of my prenatals and it really seemed to work! The rash went down, a new batch of PUPPPS would pop up ever so often, and for instant relief I tunred to Sarna cream, but the initial standing-in-an-ant-pile feeling never returned. Mary also put me in contact with a past client of hers who also had PUPPPS. Unfortunately for her, she was also under the impression that there was no relief from the rash, but there was one thing she said that left an impression. The night before she went into labor she had a really bad breakout, and she thought to herself I have got to get this baby out. So, when December 9th came around and I found myself in itching agony, I got my hopes up that Doiron would in fact come on his due date, December 10th.
Don’t worry, I wont leave you in suspense for long, a girls gotta sleep though! Next week I’ll be viewing the Birth Story movie, if you’re in Austin I hope you’ll join me!