Ep 135: Bekah’s Birth Stories – Night and Day Difference


Today Bekah shares not one but two birth stories! Her first labor was long, rough, and full of interventions. Her second, however, she describes as “an incredible, redemptive, medication-free experience that made (her) view birth in a whole new light.”

Between her first and second births, Bekah listened to many birth stories. Through these other women’s experiences she learned more about what she wanted and what she wanted to avoid. This is what makes childbirth education so important. Had Bekah known her options going into labor the first time, she would have done things differently.

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • How important it is to be gentle with yourself if it takes longer than expected to get pregnant
  • What it was like for Bekah to lose her father only weeks before giving birth
  • Why she had to be induced and how painful she found it
  • How the epidural affected her and why she had to discontinue using it
  • How she pushed for four hours and eventually wound up with a second degree tear
  • How her father’s passing contributed to anxiety in the postpartum
  • Why it’s important to learn from other people’s birth experiences
  • How much of a difference mindset made for Bekah’s second birth
  • How much more quickly she dilated and how much less painful it was

Links Mentioned in the Episode


Categories


Subscribe and Review 

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? If you haven't, you definitely need to! I don't want you to miss a thing and I have so much amazing content for you, mama to be! You can subscribe in Apple Podcasts by clicking here or in Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you loved this episode, I would absolutely love it if you'd take a few moments to leave me an honest review on Apple Podcasts. The reviews help other pregnant mamas to find my podcast and I just really love to check them out. Click here to head over to the reviews, select "Ratings and Reviews" and "Write a Review" and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast was, or what you found most helpful.


Come Join Me On Instagram

I want this podcast to be more than a one sided conversation. Join me on Instagram where we can connect outside of the show! Through my posts, videos, and stories, you'll get even more helpful tips to ensure you have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. You can find me on Instagram @drnicolerankins. I'll see you there!


Share with Friends


Transcript

Ep 135: Bekah’s Birth Stories – Night and Day Difference

Nicole: You are going to love this birth story episode. Welcome to the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins a board certified OB GYN, who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer at drnicolerankins.com/disclaimer. Now let's get to it.

Nicole: Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This is episode number 135, and I am so glad that you have decided to spend some of your time with me today. On today's episode of the podcast, we have Bekah. Bekah and her husband live in rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They own and operate a tree and landscaping company that they started together shortly after they got married. She handles the office side of the business, while fulfilling her lifelong dream of being a full time stay at home mom to their two kiddos. They have a four year old boy and a one-year-old girl. Now Bekah comes on to share her two birth stories. And it's really important to hear both because we're going to hear about the night and day differences between the two. Her first labor, she describes as a very long, rough experience that was full of interventions.

Nicole: And her second birth was an incredible redemptive medication-free experience that made her view birth in a whole new light. So we're going to get into all the juicy details of how her first birth. She had an epidural. She pushed for four hours. Her second birth was quite different. This one was unmedicated. She only pushed for 15 minutes. She shares how she used things like affirmations, the importance of mindset, having a playlist, listening to birth stories, how she thought about pain management differently for her second birth and how those things made such a difference in her experience. Now, everything that Bekah is going to talk about, about what improved her experience the second time around, are things that I teach and things that you can learn inside the Birth Preparation Course. The Birth Preparation Course is my signature online childbirth education class that gets you calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful birth. It especially focuses on giving birth in the hospital. So after you listen to this episode, if the experience that Bekah had sounds good to you, then check out all the details of the Birth Preparation Course so you can learn some of those techniques too. It's incredibly affordable, packed with information. So check out all the details at drnicolerankins.com/enroll. All right, let's get into the birth story episode with Bekah.

Nicole: Thank you so much, Bekah, for agreeing to come onto the podcast. I'm super excited to have you talk about your birth stories. And this is going to be a little bit different because we usually just talk about one, but I think in order to really get a full picture, we have to talk about both of your births.

Bekah: Yes, I'm excited.

Nicole: So why don't you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself and your family, if you'd like.

Bekah: Well, thank you for having me on. I listened to so many were stories and I never thought I'd get to share my own. So I'm super excited to actually share mine. Um, but yeah, my name is Bekah. I'm 29 years old. I'm married to my husband, Dan, um, for seven going on seven years now. Um, we have two kiddos. Um, my son Thaddeus is four years old and my daughter Aribel is, she just turned one in March. Um, we live in like rural Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and like farm Amish country. And, uh, my husband. Yeah, it's beautiful. Um, my husband and I, we, um, shortly after we got married, we started at tree and landscape company together. So I actually used to work with him every day until I got pregnant. And now I, um, stay at home with the kids and I do all the office side of the business.

Nicole: Love it, love it, love it. I love their names by the way.

Bekah: Oh, thank you. We wanted something unique.

Nicole: Exactly. Exactly. So why don't we start off by having you tell us a little bit about your first pregnancy, how was your first pregnancy for you?

Bekah: It was, um, it was great. Um, well, when we first decided to get pregnant, our very first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, an early miscarriage around six or seven weeks. So like once I got that taste of being pregnant, oh my gosh, I wanted to be pregnant so bad. So like we, we tried for about eight months and, um, it felt like forever. I know that's not a long time. A lot of people wait longer, but it felt like a really long time until I got pregnant again. And, um, so when I was, when I did find out I was pregnant, I was just like over the top excited and none of the pregnancy symptoms bothered me. Um, I was really,

Nicole: I can totally understand that. It's like ah-- I always feel bad when I say this, but it took us six months to get pregnant with our first one. And I felt like I was gonna die.

Bekah: Like it feels so, yes.

Nicole: And I was like getting like, why is everybody else getting pregnant? And, you know, I was, I was not the like kindest person I would say, it was stressful. So I totally relate that. I know lots of people have, um, lots more struggles. But it can be hard.

Bekah: Yeah. Yeah. And all you see is pregnant women, all of a sudden everything is babies and yeah. Yeah.

Nicole: So you finally got pregnant and everything. Um, the wa went okay with the pregnancy?

Bekah: Yeah, it was, it was very smooth. Um, of course, like I was always worried just because I had had a miscarriage, like every little feeling, every time I went to the bathroom, like, I was just always scared of that happening again, but it, and I was really sick. The first trimester, like throwing up all the time, but I didn't care. I was just so happy. Like I have, my husband took pictures of me with a bucket, just sitting there. Like I carried this little trash can around, but I was just like so thrilled. Um, but yeah, it was, it was good. Um, the one thing I'll mention, because it has a little bit to do with later on. Um, my dad was really sick, um, during my pregnancy, he had cancer and, um, it was like the worst of it was towards the end of my pregnancy. So I feel like my pregnancy went really fast just because there was a lot of like hospice visits and running him to appointments and stuff like that. So

Nicole: That is really tough. That is really tough. Yeah. So what was your, what was your prenatal care experience like?

Bekah: I went through a group of OBs and midwives. Um, it's actually the same one my mom used for my last few brothers and sisters. And, um, their main office is actually like connected to a women's and babies hospital. So, um, yeah, it was just a bunch of OBs midwives. You didn't see the same one for every appointment. There was, I don't even know how many, but there was a lot of them. So I saw someone different each appointment and also meant, I didn't know who was going to deliver my baby, just whoever was on call.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. So what did you do to prepare for your birth for the first one?

Bekah: Honestly, I think that's where I went wrong with the labor. I didn't do, um, really anything. I didn't listen to any birth stories. We did do a class through the hospital. The hospital offered like a tour and a couple of weeks of classes one night a week and it was fun and all, but like, um, as far as I knew about birth and giving birth, I was just like, it hurts. You get an epidural, you have your baby. Like, that's the extent of what I like, knew about it. And when the classes they did talk about like going unmedicated as an option, but I already knew in my head like, oh, it's going to hurt. I'm going to get an epidural and then everything will be fine. So like, I wish I would have like looked into it a little more, but I didn't know, research or anything, so.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha. And, um, I forgot to say, do you feel like people were kind, did they treat you well during your prenatal care?

Bekah: Yeah, they did. The appointments were pretty fast. It was just, you know, your weight check everything quick. Um, like now looking back, I've heard midwives take a little more time, but overall, I mean, I didn't have anything to compare it to, so I was happy with it. Yeah.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. So was there anything that you wanted for your birth besides getting an epidural itself?

Bekah: Yeah, I just didn't want it to hurt. Um, no, not, not really. I was just so excited to have a baby. Um, it's what I always wanted since I was a kid. I always wanted to be a mom, so yeah. It was just super excited. Um, and it, yeah, like I said, it was all new to me, so I didn't have any expectations or anything yet.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. So then tell us, it sounds like the pregnancy was okay, but maybe the labor and the birth part wasn't as great. Is that fair to say? So why don't we get into that? Tell us what happened with your first labor and birth.

Bekah: Yeah, so um around. So he was, my son was due on June 15th and my dad actually passed away on June 1st. So, um, okay. Yeah. So like the last few weeks, like I said, it was just a lot of like, you know, spending time with him and everything. And it was such a weird thing, like being excited about this life, but also like mourning this life that's leaving. It was just like a weird, weird time. But, um, with, so I had my 39 week checkup a couple of days before his memorial service and I had my, um, OB, I asked her to check me just to make sure, like, I wasn't gonna go into labor during his service. I really wanted to make his service. So, um, she checked me and when she did it, like, it hurts so bad. And, um, it wasn't normally like that.

Bekah: And as soon as I left, like when I got home, I started like spotting and, um, I realized over the next like day or so, I had started losing like parts of my mucus plug. And I don't know if she like stripped my membranes without asking or accidentally, or I'm not sure, but like I heard that it really hurts when they do that. So I think she kinda like jumped started labor just by checking. But so like, um, I got through his service and everything, but I was like feeling these like, um, like pressure and, um, it felt like Braxton Hicks, but it was like kind of getting a rhythm to it over the next couple of days. And so I'm, I'm pretty sure I was having contractions like those two days after my appointment off and on. And, um, so then it was a Saturday morning.

Bekah: I woke up and went to the bathroom and um, I like went pee and I felt like I continued, like, it goes pee and I was like, what is happening? I'm not actually peeing right now. Um, so I called them and I was like, I, I don't know what's going on. I don't know they they actually told me, like, you probably are peeing yourself, which at the time, I wasn't sure if it was my water or not, but they kind of dismissed it. So we just, my husband and I, we went on with our day. Um, we actually went and got supplies for a job we had. And, um, we just, it was just a normal day, but I was still feeling like I was having like contractions and they were getting like stronger all throughout the day. So that evening he was, my husband was working and I was home alone, but I was just like really uncomfortable.

Bekah: So I went for a drive, I got some ice cream and a movie and I was just hanging out watching it. But like, I just couldn't like sit still and I didn't even know why. And, um, well of course I was in labor and didn't realize it. And um, I went for a walk and called my mom and she's like, you know, if your water broke, you really should be in there, if that was your water. So I called them again and they told me to come into triage and, um, I went in and they tested, they did that test where I guess they see if it was your water or not. And, um, they said it was, and I was only one centimeter dilated after like two or three days of like these weird contractions. Um, so at that point they decided they had to, um, like induce me since I wasn't progressing on my own.

Bekah: And, um, yeah, it was only one centimeter. So, um, they said they're going to start Pitocin right away. And because like I trusted them and didn't know anything about anything. Like now I know there's other options to like more naturally induce labor, like foley bulb and things like that. But I was just like, okay, whatever you, whatever you got to do so, um, you know, we got to our room and they started the Pitocin and, um, my hubby, I forgot to mention he met, I drove myself there and he met up there from the job. And so he was getting like the bags and everything and, um, went home to get his own stuff and came back. And, uh, we just like settled in for the evening. And, um, that was around like 4:00 PM. So, um, they got the Pitocin started and that really like right away, I started feeling contractions over the next few hours and they were getting stronger and stronger.

Bekah: And I'm like, I know now that Pitocin contractions are so much worse from what I hear than just regular contractions. Yeah. I think they are, I've heard they're way more intense. So, um, but also I didn't have anything to compare it to, but yeah, they were getting worse and it was late and my husband was just beat cause it was a long week and he had just been working. So he was sleeping and my contractions were getting worse and worse and like, I didn't know what to do cause I had no preparation or coping or anything, no breathing techniques. So I'm just like laying there, like not knowing what to do. And, um, I was trying to wake him up, like call for him, but he was so out. I was actually like throwing things at him trying to get him to wake up.

Bekah: I felt bad. He wasn't waking up. But anyway, I got, I got the nurse in and um, they checked me and I, um, it was like four or five centimeters and I was like, I'm ready for an epidural. Um, and um, yes, they, they started that whole process. And um, sometime in the middle night I got the epidural and then everything went away. Like I felt great. And about an hour or so later, all of a sudden I started, I was just laying there watching TV and all of a sudden I started feeling like really sick and like dizzy and lightheaded. And like I was gonna pass out. Like I couldn't even like stop myself. It felt like the room was closing in. So I like press the button for the nurse. And I was like, I'm about to pass out. And um, my blood pressure had like completely tanked.

Bekah: And so they gave me, um, the thing was ephedrine or something like that. You got it. Yeah. To get my blood pressure back up. And then it happened again. It was, it was the scariest thing. Like, uh, I was, I was terrified cause like I couldn't control myself. Like I, I didn't want to like pass, pass out. So they said, um, they didn't really have an explanation. I said, oh, it's probably epidural. And they said, they turned the epidural off at that point. And um, then my blood pressure was normal. So I guess, because they turned it off, I started feeling all the contractions again and it was super painful. Um, but I, at that point I was like, I'll take any pain over that scary sensation of like just losing consciousness and not being able to do anything about it. So, um, so yeah, then, but at that point I was stuck in bed because I had gotten the epidural.

Bekah: Um, I had, they were doing a catheter and stuff like that. Um, had the Pitocin going and I couldn't move so they can track, I could feel all the contractions, but I couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't walk around. I was just like laying there, like just trying to figure out how to deal, deal with it. So, um, yeah, the rest of the night went on and um, I was just like trying to watch TV. I was watching all like kids animated movies, because I didn't want anything serious or scary or sad. Right, right. So, um, yeah, the, so that was like the night, the morning went on, this is now Sunday morning and around 12 o'clock. They checked me and said I was complete. And um, they were like, you can start practice pushing. And I was like, I don't know what, like, I don't know how to push.

Bekah: So we did a lot of, like, we got like a rhythm going, like they would, I'd push, um, a nurse and my husband would hold my legs and um like, count to 10 and then do it over and over again. And, um, I, like I said, I started that at noon and continued that for the next four hours. Like he just would not come, oh wait, if you could see my face right now. That was a lot. That was a lot. It was just the hours were going by. And like, he, he wasn't coming out and I was like, just completely delirious. I was literally falling asleep between contractions. Like I'd push fall asleep, push again, fall asleep and I couldn't even stop. So it was crazy. Um, I threw up at some point in there and it just, I just felt like defeated cause he wasn't coming.

Bekah: And of course I didn't want like a C-section or anything of that, but like I just wanted him out so bad. Like it crossed my mind like whatever they have to do. Um, so they did at one point say, ask if I wanted a mirror just to, or didn't really ask. They just kind of brought one, I think for motivation for me. And that helped because like I could see his head and it, it was there, but it just wasn't coming out. Um, but yeah, close to four hours. Fortunately his heart rate was good this whole time. Like nothing happened that made them emit an emergency situation, but um, they brought another OB in to check things out and he was like, um, up to this point, I hadn't seen any male doctors and it was a male and I had always worried about that and he walked in and I didn't even care. I was like, I don't care who's in here. But um, helped me.

Bekah: He's like, has anyone ever talked to you about, um, vacuum or anything like that? And I was like, I don't, I don't know. I don't care. I just want him out. Um, but yeah, so he was like really stretching me. And he said at this point it would be easier to get him out and try to pull him back up through a C-section. So, um, I just like when he came in, I dunno, he just, the whole like mood changed and um, I just, I got like a last bit of energy to push him out. And um, when he, when the baby starts getting like really close, like they pull up the table and like everyone starts like scrambling. And I remember seeing that happening and I just like got this excited feeling because I was like, if they're moving fast, that means something's happening. Right.

Bekah: So, yeah, so they, um, I was pushing, pushing. I finally, like, I can't hardly remember, like I said, I was so out of it, but I got him out just around. Um, it was right around four, so I just hit the four hour mark pushing and um, he, they put him on my chest. He was, everyone was so surprised. They said he was so much bigger than they thought, because I didn't have a huge belly. He was, um, he ended up being eight pounds, but I just remember like, oh my goodness, the biggest relief when he came out. But also like so much like, oh my goodness, like it's just surreal when they give you your baby for the first time, I can't even describe it, but it was amazing. And um, yeah, it was, it was just like foggy and wonderful. And like, I can remember it, but I just remember being so like, so worn out and from the medication, everything, I just like, I don't feel like I was completely, I don't know. I was just out of it, but, um, also, um, tore, I had a secondary degree tear and um, yeah, it was just, um, it was just rougher than I thought it would be more painful than I thought.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. And do you feel like people were treating you well and trying to help you, but it was just hard because you just didn't know anything about what to expect.

Bekah: Yeah. Yeah. They were all pretty great. Um, um, the midwife that actually delivered, I didn't really connect with her. I mean, she, she was distant most of the time. She didn't really check in and, um, it was mostly just the nurse who I can't even remember at this point, but, um, they were, they were great and they, they weren't like quick to jump on, um, like, Hey, we gotta do a C-section now they actually gave me four hours to push, which is longer than, you know, most times. So I am happy with that,

Nicole: But there wasn't necessarily that like connection there.

Bekah: I didn't feel super connected, but like I said, at that point, it didn't matter. I had my babies and he was out.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha. So the second time around you wanted a different experience. So what did you want to be different this time?

Bekah: The second time. Yeah. So, um, just because of that whole experience, the recovery was like, so rough. I remember like I couldn't even change his first diaper. I couldn't physically move out of bed that day. And it took like over six weeks to feel like myself. Um, wow. Yeah, it was just, I guess, just because of all the pushing everything, it was just, it was just a long recovery. I just remember being so drained and sore for weeks, but, um,

Nicole: Did you have any support I'm guessing they told you come back in six weeks and that was like,

Bekah: Yeah. And that was it. And you just like, you take their word for it because that's what they tell you to do. But, um, yeah, I just, I even called in a few times because I just felt, I just didn't feel right. But everything ended up fine afterwards.

Nicole: Sure. But what I mean, what did they tell you when you called in just, oh, this is normal. Do they ever offer to see you to,

Bekah: I did offer to see me at, and I think I went in earlier. Um, I can't remember it's so long ago now, but, um, yeah, I, I just didn't feel, I just didn't feel like myself, especially down, down there out like going upstairs was hard and, um, but yeah, um, it ended up, you know, going back to normal and everything. Um, at least after the six weeks,

Nicole: Just just took some time. Yeah. And you were also, you were also grieving also, maybe they had a part of it as well.

Bekah: Yeah, that was, it was just, yeah, it was just a strange time. And I remember, um, when, so like the weeks before my dad passed away, we knew he was going to, and I remember every time we walk into his room, he was, he was usually sleeping almost like a baby. And we'd watch to see if he was breathing. Like, that was just like the first thing you do to see if he's breathing. So I feel like that transferred over to us. As soon as my son came out, like every time I saw him, I was watching to see if he was breathing. It was just a weird thing. Cause it was like so soon after that. Um, so it, um, I didn't really struggle with any like depression or anything afterwards. Um, but I know I was just like really, really paranoid about something happening to the baby. And, um, I was like total helicopter mom for like the last, probably four years of his life up until currently.

Nicole: I think we don't, I think we know, and I'm not, you know, giving you a diagnosis or something that speaking from my own experience, I had postpartum anxiety and I wasn't looking out for it. And I think that we under-recognize that anxious sort of feeling of is something going to happen. What's wrong. All of those kinds of things. Yeah.

Bekah: Yeah. And just like intrusive thoughts, but it's like, where does that come from? But yeah, it was worst right after he came out.

Nicole: Yeah. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So the second time you wanted something different, so what did you want different for your experience?

Bekah: Yeah. Um, so I was terrified of getting an epidural, um, but also terrified of not getting an epidural. So like I was just, I didn't want that blood pressure situation again. And um, so when I, about two years when my son was about to, um, we started trying for another and this time I got pregnant right away and, um, I was excited, but I was also just like so nervous cause like that labor day stood out in my mind, so, so strong. And that was like the one thing that scared me about having another and, um, it wasn't super traumatic, but it was like enough that it just terrified me to do again. So, um, yeah, I, um, I just decided, well kind of a, kind of a backstory to her birth. So, um, before we were deciding to get pregnant again, um, I was out for a walk with my son and, and it was a super random, but like the date, um, March 16, 2020 just like popped in my head and this was in like beginning of 2019.

Bekah: So I just like wrote the date down. Um, didn't really think about it. Um, and then ended up getting pregnant. And, um, my due date was March 15th, 2020 the day before that date that I had written down. So, um, yeah, that was, it was pretty cool. And, um, I was just, like I said, really nervous about, um, having the same experience and I was, um, opening up kind of to some of my friends about it and on social media and a friend reached out and she, um, told me to listen to a podcast and it was, um, mostly, well, it was all, um, unmade, unmedicated births, like God-centered births, it's called Birth In God's Presence. They don't run it anymore, but I listened to it, um, all the old episodes. And um, so I started listening to that and I know that sounds crazy, but I had never heard, um, like of like a good birth experience, like without medication.

Bekah: Like I didn't even know that was possible. And hearing all these stories from women who had like empowering and amazing births without medication, like it literally blew my mind. I was like, how does that, how is that even a thing? Right. So like I dived in, I listened to these stories nonstop, just filled my head with this stuff. And I was like, if they can do it, like I can, I can do that too. And it's terrifying. But, um, I just learned so much just about your body and about the whole process that I didn't even know before. Um, just by listening to those stories.

Nicole: Right, I love that.

Bekah: That's mainly, um, what like really changed my mind and shaped my plan for, um, my birth is just, um, diving into experiences that I had didn't, like I said, I'd never even heard before.

Nicole: So you knew this, you knew this time that you weren't you're like I can't do that epidural thing again. That was too much. So did you do any like childbirth education in addition to that or take classes or read books or was it really just hearing the stories that was enough for you?

Bekah: Yeah, I wish I would have, um, like classes, like the ones you offer. They sound so amazing. I didn't know about it then, but I wish I would have, but yeah, it was mainly just listening to the stories and they describe, start to finish process of birth so that I learned so much about all the different phases stuff that I just didn't know, or maybe I didn't listen to when I was taking hospital classes, but, um, but yeah, it, um, it just, like I said, opened up a whole new world of like positive unmedicated birth experiences that I just, I didn't know, you could, you could have, um, so I spent the next like few months or last few months of my pregnancy just like filling my head with that. And just, I also, um, wrote out, I know you can't plan your birth, not really a birth plan, but like birth affirmations, all the things I like wished for, for my birth, like yeah, you don't need a C-section you'll go into labor on your own. Um, just every single detail of my birth, um, down to even like the time of day I wanted to give birth, like I was really particular

Nicole: Right. I think that visualization is really important actually. I mean, and it's a, it's a tool that actually elite athletes use all the time is, is like trying to see things all the way through. So I totally get that. And it doesn't mean that it's going to necessarily, you can't guarantee anything, but that piece is actually really important.

Bekah: And I I've wrote it down, read it every day. I would repeat it every day. I go, I go for walks every day with my son and I just say the things over and over again. And I knew like if it didn't come about that way, I would be okay. But it's just, yeah, it was just putting it there in the forefront of my mind. Um, I also, um, made, uh, I called it labor day, um, playlist with just like empowering worship songs, like my favorite songs and it's what I wanted to play during my birth. So, um, yeah, that was kind of how I prepared just, um, just constantly filling my head with that stuff. And I've like, now I know that birth is like almost more mental than physical. I mean, it is crazy physical, but like what you do with your mind ahead of time, it it can like make or break your entire birth experience, if you're ready or not mentally.

Nicole: 100%, 100%. I said the very first thing I teach in my class is mindset and real important. It is for your birth 100%. So then, oh, and did you, I should say, did you go to the same practice or did you do a different practice or what did you do this time?

Bekah: Yeah, I went through the same practice. Um, and this time, um, I kind of saw the same, I planned to see the same midwife or, well, she, I'm sorry, she's an OB, but she doesn't deliver babies anymore. She just does appointments. And it just worked out that I was able to see her pretty much my entire pregnancy, even though I knew she wouldn't deliver. And I just like got really close with her and felt comfortable with her. And, um, it was kind of nice in that way. I told her so many times I wish she would be there to deliver, but, um, yeah, she, she was amazing. It was just nice to see, see the same face.

Nicole: Nice. Nice. Nice. And then, so then what was your labor and birth like this time? The second time around?

Bekah: Yeah. So, um, let's see. So I was due on Sunday, the 15th and, um, that weekend I, um, didn't really feel anything different. I kind of lost my appetite and, um, but I was like, like I had said earlier about, um, I, that date, the 16th that I wrote down, um, I was, I was really leading up to labor. Like I really was determined, not determined. I was more like convinced that I was going to have the baby on the 16th. I even told my mom like, Hey, be ready on the 16th, watch my son. So, um, and I scheduled my husband off from work and, um, so anyway, on the 15th, um, that morning I was out for a walk. I do, I did a lot of walking. I was really active that pregnancy, but, um, out for a walk with my son and, um, we live, like I said, an Amish country and there's like, um, a bunch of Amish school houses on my normal route that I would take.

Bekah: And of course when you're pregnant, you have to pee all the time. So I couldn't go, I couldn't go a mile without having to pee. So I stopped in the Amish school house bathroom. It's kind of like a porta-potty, but like in like a little shed. And, um, I actually like lost my mucus plug out there on my walk in the Amish bathroom. So I was like, oh shoot. So I got to get, so I was like a mile from the house and I got home quick and told my husband and, um, just kind of waited to see what happened, but nothing really happened. I started towards the evening feeling like a little crampy. And, um, later that night, like started getting like, um, a rhythm to the contractions. So I downloaded a timer and was just timing them to see. But, um, I was, I was like really uncomfortable.

Bekah: I couldn't lay in bed that night. I watched a movie and kind of like, I couldn't lay down. I was like more on my knees against the couch, just watching the movie. I couldn't, I was trying to like sleep, but they'd keep waking me up, but it was never like enough to get him up. So, um, yeah. Then the morning came and I was kind of frustrated because they were still like eight, 10 minutes apart and nothing had changed at all. And this was now the Monday, the 16th. And, um, so I decided to go for a walk. I thought maybe that would help a little bit. Um, it was really slow. Like I was just like waddling cause I was having contractions every few minutes, but, um, as I was walking, um, I heard someone beep and pull over into like a empty lot.

Bekah: I was walking by and it was actually the girl that had recommended that podcast that like literally changed my life. It happened to be I'm serious. She pulled over and I was, I just couldn't believe it. Cause it was like a full circle moment. Like I've been preparing for this birth because of her and here she is. So it was so cool. So I told her, um, I think I'm in labor and I'm nervous and she put her hand on my tummy and she prayed for me in that moment. I got like the strongest contraction I had yet and I almost couldn't stand still, like while she was praying for me. And, um, it was just so cool. And um, she drove away and I walked home, but like they were getting stronger and stronger. And um, at this point it was like noon and my son usually goes to take a nap.

Bekah: So I put him down for a nap, but I was like, if I could just get through his nap, um, it would be the perfect time. Like I wanted to go into labor after his nap so that like, you know, he's all set for the evening. And um, it happened just that way. I, he woke up from his nap, we ate and, um, they were getting, my contractions were getting closer and I couldn't like talk through them anymore. And I was just like wandering in circles. Um, so I called into the office and um, they said, well, we have an opening, um, in the next half hour, if you want to come that way, you can skip triage. And if you're in labor, we'll send you right over to the hospital. So, um, yeah, I went in, I got checked and I was, I was so surprised I was already six centimeters.

Bekah: I was so like blown away because by four or five centimeters, my first birth, I w I couldn't function anymore. So, um, I was like, I had done all that at the house and didn't even realize it. Um, so, and it's funny cause the, the, um, I went to a different office than I normally did. I'd went to the main one near the, um, the hospital and the OB that was there, happened to be there that day was the one that I had seen for all my appointments. So I got to like wrap up my very last appointment and it was her and she, um, she was so excited and it was like, right when COVID started in March and she's like, I'm not supposed to touch you or hug you, but I'm going to give you, she gave me a hug and, um, yeah, they sent me over.

Bekah: Um, my mom had met at the, and everyone stayed outside since COVID, they weren't allowing other people in. And, um, so she stayed out just in case it was time to go and she was going to watch my son. And, um, so they switched everything over. And my husband came into the hospital with me and, um, we got to skip triage and go right to our right to our baby room. So, um, yeah, and at that point, like they heard I was coming in and I was like six centimeters. So they actually had everything laid out for a headlock and everything to get ready for an epidural. And I walked in and I told them I was not going to get the epidural and they were so they were so surprised. And, um, the nurse was so excited because she said that at that hospital, I think they said like over 90% of their patients get an epidural and she's like, I don't get to see unmedicated birth often.

Bekah: So yeah. She was excited. Um, so yeah, just, um, labored in the room. Um, I remember the, like I said, it was like a couple of days before the whole country shut down with COVID. And so like my son, I was like super, super attached to him and like, he'd never been away from me for more than an hour. And, um, they told me that he wasn't going to be allowed to come in to visit us. And I was just like, that wrecked me. And then that moment, like I was completely taken out of my labor mindset and like totally thrown off focus. Cause I, that just like tore me apart. I didn't want him to be away that long. Um, but I realized like if I'm going to do this unmedicated birth, I need to refocus. So, um, yeah, just spent the next few hours at this point.

Bekah: It was, um, around like three, 3:00 PM, three to four on, um, on Monday and yeah, my husband and I would just, um, hung out in the room. Well, he hung out. I was just like walking around and, you know, going through contractions, we put my, um, my playlist on and we had the lights dimmed. So it was just like a really nice setting. Um, I like really wanted a peaceful, peaceful surrounding, and that's exactly what it was. So, um, yeah, they were monitoring the baby. Um, they were doing intermittent monitoring, so that was, that was nice. I wasn't hooked up. I got to walk around. Um, my favorite place to be was in the little bathroom in the dark in a corner. Just like when I had a contraction I'd go in there and they'd, they'd be like, where'd she go? I just like liked being alone.

Bekah: Um, I didn't even like, want my husband close by most of the time. I just, like, I know some people are really social laborers and they like a ton of people. I would have been okay like just sitting in a corner by myself, but yeah. Um, so they were getting worse and worse, um, over the next few hours. And I know, um, at some point the midwife came in and I got to meet her and I fell in love with her right away. She was like, everything you picture a midwife to be. She was so sweet, but she did tell me her shift was over at seven. At this point it was four o'clock and I was about like seven, eight centimeters. So I knew I had, if I wanted her, I had to get it done fast, but yeah. So I just, you know, continued to progress.

Bekah: And, um, one thing with like everything I listened to and heard, I just tried to like, remember that and put into practice. So, um, like just breathing through everything. And, um, I remember when they talked about contractions, um, handling them, they said like, when you get a contraction, your initial reaction is to like tense your body. Or when you feel pain of any kind, you just tense your whole body and you like close up. Um, but what really worked, what they talked about and what worked is like, when you get a contraction, you like, you feel your, you want to tense your body, you just kinda like, let go, um, just like loosen your entire body up. And that's what I did. And it was, it was the wildest thing, because like, in any other situation, when you feel pain, you tense, but just like becoming loose, like, it just, I could feel myself progressing.

Bekah: I could feel like something happening. Um, it was the hardest thing to do because it was so painful, but, um, but yeah, just like staying loose and calm and, um, that was a big thing. Just not freaking out. And, um, it didn't even cross my mind once to get an epidural. I didn't even say it like, I was so determined to do this. Um, but yeah. Um, so closer to seven, um, I, they checked me. I was like nine. She said my water was like, my water bag was bulging. She asked if I wanted to break it. And, um, I said to go ahead, cause I was at this point, like just ready to be done. So, um, she broke it and that made me complete. And, um, I, at this point I was on the bed, before that I was like walking around and stuff, but I was on the bed and um, they said I was ready to start pushing.

Bekah: So I did. And, um, it was it's, it's crazy when, like, when you don't have the epidural and you have no medication in your system, like when you feel a contraction and when you push it, actually like almost like takes the pain of the pushing away in some way. I've heard, I've heard so many women describe it and it's the weirdest thing. It's just something to work against. So, um, it, like, I always enjoy pushing because it just, it doesn't take the pain away, but like, I don't feel the pain anymore. I'm feeling progress. So, yeah. So, um, I think I only pushed for like 10 or 15 minutes and, um, yeah, her head came out and I definitely felt the ring of fire. I remember hearing women talk about that. And then that moment I was like, oh, that's, that's, that's it right there.

Bekah: And then she's like, okay, hold on. We'll push to get her shoulders out. And the rest of her. And I don't know, I didn't like listen all the way. I guess she was trying to keep me keep it slow, so I didn't tear, but I just like gave this huge push and her whole body came out. And, um, yeah, they, um, they put her on my chest right away and, um, uh, it was like, I can't even like, describe, like, it was, it was crazy amazing when my son was born, but there was something about this because I was like had no medication. I was so present. Um, and it was just like the most, like you hear people talk about the birth high, like that's exactly what it was like, just the most intense, like joy and relief and like so much love. Like, I, I loved her when she was in my tummy, but the moment I looked at her and she was on me, I could not like, it was just, I was overwhelmed. I was so in love. Yeah. I just felt, yeah, I just felt so absolutely amazing. And, um, it was just, it was incredible. I, I think about that moment, like literally every single day. Um, yeah, I didn't, um, I didn't tear at all, um, which I was really surprised, no tearing. And I just felt like I felt on top of the wall felt on top of the world. So it was,

Nicole: And this was the one March 16th.

Bekah: It was on March 16, so right around seven o'clock.

Nicole: Okay. So now all of a sudden, the first time you had this experience, that was, although it wasn't like, I don't know if that you would say that it was, um, terrible, but it certainly, there was a lot of it there wasn't in your control. It just didn't go exactly how you, you thought. And then you approach things completely different. This time got this sign from God, the universe, however you want to put it March 16th, you know, that, that particular date. And then the woman who found, who told you about the podcast and then her showing up on the day that you went into labor, I'm like, oh my gosh, if this is not divine divinely ordained, then I don't know what is.

Bekah: Oh, I know it really was. It, it was, it was like, and it was, for me, it was such a spiritual experience too, like the whole way through, because I did a lot of, um, like I said, mental and spiritual prep ahead of time. So like the whole thing was just so peaceful. And like, I just like, literally felt like God's presence in that room. And everyone that came into that room, they even complimented, they were like, if it's so like just the, they would say like, the vibe in here is so like peaceful. They're like, this was our like favorite room to visit so far this evening. And the midwife that delivered me, she's like, that was my favorite birth. That was so amazing. So it was just like, it was know, it was amazing.

Nicole: That's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. So what was the, as we wrap up, what was the postpartum period like for you the second time?

Bekah: Oh my goodness. It was, it was so, so good. Like I felt as soon as I was done, I felt like, okay, I can leave. I can go home right now. Like I can get up out of the bed and leave. Like it was a total night and day from when I had my son where I couldn't even function, I couldn't stand up. Um, I felt so amazing. And, um, since my son couldn't be there, I wanted to leave as soon as possible. And I guess 24 hours is like the, the minimum you have to stay. So I was pushing to leave by seven o'clock the next night. And she came at seven and, um, we, I was great. She was great. She was like picture perfect baby. She passed everything. And, um, so I was pretty much just like waiting for the time to pass. Um, I was actually like put her in the little carry, uh, walker thing. And at that point you could walk the halls. So I was like wa doing laps around the halls just because I felt so good. And, um, yeah, I think at this, like thinking back, I should have taken it a little easier, but I just felt so amazing, um, compared to my first, but, um, yeah, it was, it was very different than with my son.

Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. I love it. What's it? What a beautiful, beautiful story in full circle moment. Um, I, I just can imagine how, how great that felt.

Bekah: Yeah. It makes me want to do it over and over and over that scares my husband when I say that.

Nicole: Of course. Yes, yes, yes. Oh my goodness. So just to finish up, what is the one thing or one favorite piece of advice that you would tell other women as they get ready for their birth?

Bekah: Um, well I think that the day your children, your babies come into the world is like the day that you remember more than anything more than your wedding day more than anything for me anyway, like it's the day I reflect on more than any days of my life. Um, so like on that day, like you just, you gotta like, literally it was cliche. You got to live in the moment and just like, um, and not fret about things not going your way, because no matter what the baby will come and it'll be exactly how it's supposed to be. And I heard someone say once, um, the day your baby comes, it's not your birthday, it's their birthday. A lot of women want things a certain way because it's like, oh, it's my birth, but it's actually their birth. And, um, yeah, just being present so that you can remember it because you'll, you'll miss it when it's over.

Bekah: Um, but also, yeah, just like, um, like I said, the mental preparation is everything, um, so much more important or, um, not even more important, just so much more than the physical it's. Um, it's crazy how much you can change your experience with your mind prep. And, um, the, like, I love the unmedicated birth experience. Um, I know a lot of, I hear from other women that nurses will say, oh, you don't get a gold star for doing that unmedicated, but it is just literally the most like, rewarding feeling when you do it, you have your baby and, you know, you did it like on your own and you feel like superwoman. So, um, just one more thing also. Um, I struggled a lot when, um, when my son, when, when I got pregnant, I struggled with like the thought of having another, I was like, how, like I loved my son so much. I was like, how could I possibly love a second child. And I just want to share with anyone that is expecting another and feels that way, um, that I that's, it's also cliche, but like you, like, you will fall in love with your second, as much as your first, like your heart grows. And I was so worried about like, sharing the love. And, um, like I said, now I could do it again and again, and I know I'd have enough love for more babies.

Nicole: Yeah. It is. You just make more room for more love for sure. Well, where can women connect with you if, you know, if you're open to that, um, you can say, no, you can totally say no. Um, but where can women connect with you, if that's an option.

Bekah: Yeah. I'm on Instagram. I have just the personal account. Um, it's actually my husband and my name together. It's Danbekah. Um, but also through email, um, I don't know if you want me to just leave the email in the show notes page or something.

Nicole: Yep. Yeah, we can do that. Perfect. Perfect. Well, thank you so much for agreeing to come on to the podcast. This story just warmed my heart so much, and I know somebody is going to find it helpful for sure.

Bekah: Oh, sure. No problem. Thanks so much for having me.

Nicole: Wasn't that a great episode? Didn't it just pull at your heart strings, how everything unfolded so beautifully for her, for Bekah to have that great birth experience. Love, love, love that story. Now, after every episode, when I have a guest on and do something called Nicole's Notes, where I talk about my top takeaways from the episode. So here are my Nicole's Notes from my conversation with Bekah. Number one, Bekah mentioned how she really didn't want to get an epidural. She was terrified of epidurals or scared of getting an epidural. And for those of you out there who are listening, and you are someone who is terrified of getting an epidural, you don't like the thought of having a needle in your back. You don't like the thought of not being able to move with an epidural. You are totally normal. Okay? Lots of people have those fears and those concerns, and that is a totally normal fear.

Nicole: So don't let anybody make you feel crazy or like something's wrong with you because you're worried about those things. That's normal, that's natural. You can overcome it either by talking through the process in getting the epidural, if that's what you want to do, or you can have other options for managing pain, like what Bekah did, but please understand that there's nothing wrong with you if you're scared of getting an epidural. Number two, Bekah mentioned how the hospital where she gave birth, didn't have a lot of experience with unmedicated birth, and that may be very common. This is something that is important for you to know ahead of time, if you're planning an unmedicated birth. So you can be more prepared to manage pain. You're not going to have the same level of support at a hospital that doesn't have a lot of experience managing unmedicated birth, same thing with a particular nurse that you have.

Nicole: It's ideal to have a nurse who has more experience helping women through unmedicated birth. That's definitely a question that you want to ask ahead of time. In fact, that's one of the questions that I recommend that you ask, um, as part of your birth planning process and my free online class on How To Make A Birth Plan That Works. I go through several questions that you need to ask when you're making your birth plan. This is one of them, and you can check out that free class at drnicolerankins.com/register. All right. And number three, again, there wasn't anything that was particularly bad about the way Bekah was treated, but book for her first birth. I mean, in particular, but because she wasn't educated about what to expect during the birth process, it felt overwhelming for her. Okay. And this is why childbirth education is so poor, important and good childbirth education because she had actually done a hospital childbirth education class, but it didn't quite prepare her for everything that she needed to know and what to expect. When you have the right information then that is how you're going to feel more informed, more able to deal with things as they come up and that unpredictable nature of birth. That's exactly why I created the Birth Preparation Course so that you can be calm, confident, and empowered in the face of that unpredictability and things don't feel overwhelming. It's one of the things that people repeatedly say about the course is that it helped them to know what to expect and how to have great conversations with things and to manage things when their birth didn't unfold exactly as they anticipated. So I'd love to have you inside the Birth Preparation Course too. So you can check out all the details at drnicolerankins.com/enroll. So there you have it, be sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to me right now. And I'd love it i you leave an honest review on Apple Podcasts, that helps to show to grow.

Nicole: And from time to time, I do shout out from shout outs from those reviews as well. And, um, if you're wondering how prepared you are to manage pain and labor, take my labor pain quiz, it's a short seven question quiz that will help you know how ready you are to manage pain in labor. You can take that quiz at drnicolerankins.com/quiz. So that's it for this episode do come on back next week. And until then, I wish you a beautiful pregnancy and birth. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. Head to my website, drnicolerankins.com to get even more great information, including free downloadable resources on how to manage pain and labor and warning signs to look out for after birth. You'll also find information on my free online class on How To Make A Birth Plan That Works as well as everything you need to know about my signature online childbirth education class, the Birth Preparation Course. Again, that's drnicolerankins.com and I will see you next week.

Are You Ready to Manage Pain During Labor?

Take The Labor Pain Quiz To Find Out!

There's more to managing pain in labor than you think.