^^ It's hard to think that she's been here with us for 4 months now... ^^
^^ My sweet mother-in-law made us delicious breakfast. ^^

^^ That furry child of my was my source of oxytocin. ^^
^^ I honestly don't know what I would have done without my Doula. ^^

^^ It pains me to look at my swollen self. I gained over 50lbs in 41 weeks and 3 days. ^^

^^ Lehi was such a great papa doula! ^^

^^ Passing time between contractions. We were waiting for me to get to at least 5cm to head to the hospital. ^^

^^ Trying to get the baby girl to drop. I walked up and down the stairs for a while. ^^

^^ I'm truly surprised that we didn't have pineapple shortage. I was consuming SO much in the third trimester. ^^

^^ Always by my side. ^^

^^  Packing up last minute stuff! ^^

^^ I had such a hard time leaving her. If it were up to me, I would have taken her to the hospital with us. ^^

^^ I was at 6cm when we checked in. ^^

^^ My mamas. ^^

^^ We had the XX, Alt-J, and Sigur Ros on repeat the entire time. ^^

^^ I progressed 1cm in the span of 4 hours. They had to break my water, but that still didn't help.^^

^^ Finally 8 hours later with no progression, they gave me pitocin. That was the only time a little doubt creeped into my mind. I didn't know how my body would handle the intense contraction pitocin was going to give me. And at this point, my stamina was running super low. ^^

^^ After few more hours of enduring contractions and pushing, finally at 6:22AM, Coco was born. ^^

^^ We were taken to the recovery room about an hour later. ^^

^^ I had my mother in-law take Coco's beanie home to have Luna get familiar with her smell. ^^

^^ Coco couple hours old. ^^

I've been postponing Coco's birth story because I knew it was going to be extremely long like my labor. My labor with her was 47 hours. It started on Friday, Halloween morning and I delivered her on November 2nd, Sunday morning. 

Years before I got pregnant, I knew I was going to go the unmedicated, natural birth route. 
It just made sense for me. I have a relatively healthy body and I knew that my body was made to do this. I felt extremely confident and comfortable with my decision. When the time came I took some birthing classes to further educate myself. Honestly, it was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Knowledge is so powerful. The more I learned about human physiology and other facts, it further validated my choice.

In the third trimester, I trained myself mentally and physically. 
I worked on my breathing techniques and just really trained my mind. 
I knew that this was going to be one of those "mind over body" situations. 

With having a wonderful midwife, fabulous doula, and my sweet and supportive husband, Lehi. 
I can truly say that I was not afraid. Not once did I feel scared of the birthing process. 
I did everything within my power to get everything ready. 
I felt like I was almost training for a big marathon. 
I was 10 days past due. I did everything in the books to naturally induce myself, but Coco just simply wasn't ready to come out. She wanted to make an entrance whenever she was ready. My midwife was ok with that because she predicted that Coco was underweight. Little did we know, she came out 7 lbs. 13 oz. 

Anyway, so I tried bouncing on exercise balls, eating excessive amount of pineapples, drinking some special tea from Mexico, acupuncture, exercising, and every possible way to produce oxytocin -- a hormone that creates contractions. 

Like I said, Coco wanted to decide on her birthday. As it got closer to Halloween, people started betting that she was going to be a Halloween baby. While she wasn't born on Halloween, I started my labor on Halloween morning. That day I had an appointment with the imaging center to go get Coco's heart beat checked since she was past due. At the check-up the tech was SO confident that I was going to have her that night, the latest the day after. I didn't want to check-in yet because part of my birth plan was to dilate as much as I could at home and then going to the hospital. Plus, they don't admit you until you are at least at 4 cm dilated. I also didn't want to spend too much time at the hospital. So, I took the opportunity to run some errands in between. 
I went to Homegoods since it was Halloween and they had some decorations on sale, then we went to Costco to grab last minute things, and finally ate some authentic tacos at a very questionable restaurant. Now that I look back, that was such a risky move on my part. I mean, I easily get food poisoning, what was I thinking? Thankfully, I didn't get sick from the food and it was delicious. 

That night, my amazing photographer friend, Brittany dropped everything she was doing and flew in from California to take our birth story pictures. I was supposed to go pick her up at the airport with Lehi, but the contractions intensified that night, so we had her come to our house with Uber. 

The following morning, I knew I was getting closer, so I called my doula. At this point, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart. 
My doula who is also a massage therapist gave me a massage and allowed me to take a quick nap to gain some energy since I couldn't sleep at all the night before. My furry baby, Luna was right by my side the whole time and it was so sweet. She knew something was happening and she wasn't leaving my side. 

After taking a quick nap while getting massaged, I went downstairs to eat breakfast my mother-in-law made me. After eating, we did few exercises to make the baby drop even further. So, I went up and down the stairs, bouncing on the exercise ball, walking around the house, and eating lots of pineapples in between. Finally when 3PM came around, my doula felt like we were close enough to go to the hospital. I started to gather my things... I remember feeling so thrilled. 

The drive up to the hospital was anything but pleasant. I never realized how many bumps and potholes there were on the road. We also chose to deliver at a hospital that was 35 minutes away since that was where our midwife was... the ride felt SO long. I had my doula with me in the backseat helping me with each contraction. Every 2-3 min she would give pressure on my lower back to help me get through contractions. 

We arrived at the hospital about 5PM. I was 6 cm dilated when we got to our delivery room. 
As soon as we settled in, Lehi started my playlist which consisted of my favorite bands, Alt-J, The XX, and Sigur Ros.  I was feeling so happy and upbeat. We all thought she would arrive that night. Oh, but Coco had different plans for us. 5 hours later,  at 10PM I was STILL at 6.5 cm. I remember feeling so disappointed when I heard that. The intensity of the contractions were getting stronger and stronger as my stamina started to wear off. At this point, my water was still intact and it wasn't broken, so my midwife suggested to break my water. I was initially hesitant since that wasn't part of my birth plan, so I refused. But seeing how slow my progress was, we all decided that maybe it was a good idea to get it done. My midwife also did promise me that we would have this baby in no time with breaking my water. 

Well, 2 more hours after getting my water broken, I got my dilation checked and I was at a whopping 7cm. At this point, I was feeling pretty defeated by the slow progress. At this time I was also informed that Coco was posterior. With my low stamina, I did everything I could physically to get Coco to drop and have her correct her position. I walked around the room, bounced on the exercise ball, got in the jacuzzi. At 1AM, my midwife suggested that I get Pitocin, a drug used to help speed up labor. I resisted this suggestion. I mean, you can call me granola, but I knew what Pitocin was made out of and I did not want that in my body. I was able to handle the contraction my body was creating, but I was doubtful that I would be able to handle intense contractions being created by drug like Pitocin.

After an hour later, my midwife revisited the idea with us. This was right about the time I was starting to get delusional. She spoke to Lehi and my doula and asked them to convince me. It didn't take long for them to convince me at this point. They got me going on Pitocin just before 2AM. 
The contractions were getting so intense, I was shivering and throwing up.

Finally around 5:30AM I started pushing. I pushed for 10 second stretches for almost an hour. That whole hour feels like a blurry dream to me now. Everyone including me was exhausted. My doula had been doing acupressure non-stop for 22 hours. Lehi was also in the same position. The positive affirmations slowly started to stop because they were exhausted. But my nurse, Bonnie was an angel and took over. Verbally coaching me through the last hour. I found comfort in her voice and my body really listened and was able to tune in and focus on what she had to say. I powered through the last hour pushing and finally pulled Coco out. I brought her to my chest right when she came out. I was in shock. Utter shock. I just couldn't believe that she was finally here. My adrenaline was through the roof. I didn't feel any pain then... For about an hour, I had skin to skin with her. It was such a sweet moment. Our entire family was waiting in the waiting room, but we had a little time, just the three of us after the nurses and the midwife left. My heart was flooding with so much love and emotions. I can't adequately express it with words. 

My pregnancy and labor was challenging. I was throwing up until the day I delivered, I fractured my tailbone and pelvis -- definitely one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life, but I feel so incredibly lucky and privileged to had the chance to do it. 

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Hanna Lei said...

Love all the pictures! Absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing your birth story. -Hanna Lei

Ladies in Navy said...

this is so beautiful!
ladies in navy

Armstrong Family said...

Loved that. Thanks for sharing.😊

Georgia Hunt said...

What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations.

Jessica Garcia said...

This was a beautiful birth story :) Thank you for sharing.

xo, Jessica || The Petite Diaries

Alycia Grayce (Crowley Party) said...

I loved this. Thank you so much for sharing! I think it is so important for people to share positive birth experiences. You are a rock star! :) Coco is just BEAUTIFUL.

Michelle Chavez said...

Oh Sashita! I love you so much. Coco is such a lucky girl to have you as a mom. We can't wait to meet her!!!