The Holistic Birth Podcast

A Birth Story: Maisie's Birth

September 03, 2023 Holistic Birth & Beyond Season 2 Episode 15
A Birth Story: Maisie's Birth
The Holistic Birth Podcast
More Info
The Holistic Birth Podcast
A Birth Story: Maisie's Birth
Sep 03, 2023 Season 2 Episode 15
Holistic Birth & Beyond

A Birth Story: Maisie’s Birth

On today’s episode we welcome Alycia to tell her beautiful and powerful birth story. Thank you so much Alycia for sharing your birth of Maisie with us! 

Resources Mentioned:

Guide to out of Hospital Birth use code PODCAST20 for 20% off! 

Looking for more? Check us out on Youtube & visit the blog for show notes and transcript


Holistic Birth & Beyond, LLC

Into the Labyrinth Birth Services

Allison- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte- Instagram & Facebook

Free downloads:

Holistic Birth and Beyond Freebies

Unpacking Fears Journal

Guide to Vaginal Steaming

Into the Labyrinth Birth Playlist

Holistic Birth & Beyond’s Spotify

Birthing at Home Free Guide

Looking for more? Check us out on Youtube & visit the blog for show notes and transcript


Holistic Birth and Beyond, LLC

Into the Labyrinth Birth Services

Allison- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte- Instagram & Facebook

Show Notes Transcript

A Birth Story: Maisie’s Birth

On today’s episode we welcome Alycia to tell her beautiful and powerful birth story. Thank you so much Alycia for sharing your birth of Maisie with us! 

Resources Mentioned:

Guide to out of Hospital Birth use code PODCAST20 for 20% off! 

Looking for more? Check us out on Youtube & visit the blog for show notes and transcript


Holistic Birth & Beyond, LLC

Into the Labyrinth Birth Services

Allison- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte- Instagram & Facebook

Free downloads:

Holistic Birth and Beyond Freebies

Unpacking Fears Journal

Guide to Vaginal Steaming

Into the Labyrinth Birth Playlist

Holistic Birth & Beyond’s Spotify

Birthing at Home Free Guide

Looking for more? Check us out on Youtube & visit the blog for show notes and transcript


Holistic Birth and Beyond, LLC

Into the Labyrinth Birth Services

Allison- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte- Instagram & Facebook

Brigitte  0:17  
Welcome back to the holistic birth podcast. This is episode 15. And today we are having a special guest on today. This is Alicia. And she's going to be telling us about her birth story. So we're super excited to have her today. Thank you. I was so excited to share this. Yeah. So yeah, Alicia and Jimmy had their baby in April. And the gender was a surprise. And it was really special to them to be able to announce. She's here to share her story with us. And kind of walk us through her experience. And we're honored to help you share your story with the world. And yeah, so let's start at the beginning.

Allison  1:27  
Tell us a little bit about your fertility, and or pregnancy journey, however much you want to share.

Alycia  1:32  
Okay, sure. Um, so my husband and I have known each other for more than half our lives. And you know, having a family was something that was always like, super important to us. I was, you know, kind of like the local babysitter between like, my neighborhood, my cousin's like, I was just like, I was meant to be a mom. And so after we got married in 2015, we started to, like, try to, you know, conceive, and it was just more difficult than we thought it was going to be. So we got pregnant. Gosh, I think like January of 2017. So a couple years after we got married, and we ended up miscarrying that pregnancy. And so this kind of journey of fertility has been like six plus years, I had been through countless fertility clinics, you know, did like the battery of testing. And we got the diagnosis that we had unexplained infertility, which was like so hard, because there was no, there was no plan, right? It was just well, we don't know why you're not getting pregnant. Like, everything looks great. There was no course of action that we could take. And so July of 2022, we decided to do an IUI procedure. Instead of going right towards IVF, which is you know, very like in depth and, like, very expensive, we decided to try the IUI first, the fertility doctor, you know, gave us like a 10 to 12% chance that it would actually work. And it worked on the first try. Which child like that's great, literal miracle. I say it all the time. It was on our seven year wedding anniversary month. So Lucky number seven, actually. Yeah. And just like it was wild. So that's a little bit about our journey.

Allison  3:38  
Yeah. How? How was your pregnancy? The first and second trimester with adjusting to this pregnancy? Yeah.

Alycia  3:47  
Pregnancy was, I would say pretty good. Like I kind of had like the normal major, like food aversions. So like plain pasta with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Like that's really all I could stomach for a while. I'd never really got like, I never threw up, which was really good. But I was just tired a lot. So I would say I had like normal pregnancy symptoms. second trimester was amazing. I felt more like myself was sleeping really good. So yeah, I would say it was like a pretty, pretty standard pregnancy.

Allison  4:28  

Brigitte  4:30  
What was your mindset toward the end of pregnancy?

Alycia  4:33  
Yeah, so that was that was different. So I felt good, right, like leading up to it and I work in a fitness center. So I was staying pretty active. I did just a lot of like mobility work like I wasn't, you know, hitting the weights heavy. I wasn't doing a lot of cardio. It was more of just like sitting and stretching doing that a lot every day and so like physically, I felt okay, up until a certain point I don't remember But maybe it was like 2830 weeks, something like that. My back started hurting. And I was like, Oh, no. And I had dealt with like back issues growing up. So it was something that was definitely like on my radar. And so I started to see a chiropractor regularly couple times a week, and that just really helped. And it also helped to make sure that the baby was in proper positioning for birth. So that was that with mobility work was like, huge to get me through to the end of pregnancy. And my sister was saying, she's like those last two weeks, anyone you talk to right, those last few weeks of pregnancy, like they're gonna get you and I was like, no, they're not gonna get me. Because I felt like really, I felt pretty good. But yeah, tell you those last two weeks, I was just, I was like, Well, I'm tired. Like, I just felt big. Just moving took a lot of effort. So yeah, I would say those last two weeks were just a little bit challenging. Yeah. Yeah. Physically. Yeah. Physically. Yeah.

Brigitte  6:03  
Did you have any, like fears surrounding your pregnancy? I know, you said you had a previous loss. So is there like any fears that particularly that came up for your birth or just through the pregnancy?

Alycia  6:14  
Yeah. So like, very early on, like we had a miscarriage early on in pregnancy. So getting to like, there were certain markers throughout our pregnancy where I was like, okay, like, you made it to the 12 week mark. And then I forget what week, viability week is. It might be like week 24, or something like that, like, we hit that. And it's like, okay, like, this is good. But I just, you know, didn't feel super connected to the baby. And we didn't know the gender, right. So I didn't know if it was a boy or girl. So like, we had names, but I didn't like look at my belly and say, Oh, this is so and so. Right. So yeah, I was meeting with Allison Allison was our doula and so I was meeting with her for the first time. And she was asking me, you know, like, do you? Do you get a sense of like, the personality of your baby? And I was like, that question just hit me kind of hard. I'm like, no, like, I don't feel connected to my baby. And so you know, she had kind of said, Are you and kind of said, right? Like, maybe that's just your body's way of like you're mentally protecting yourself, like, protecting your emotions of not getting super attached because of like, what has happened in the past. And that was like, probably, like, the biggest light bulb for me during the entire pregnancy, because I was like, Oh, my God, like, this is why, you know, I'm having some of these feelings. Like I was just more nervous. I just wanted to make sure that this baby was going to be okay. Yeah. And so after that conversation, we got maternity photos done. We had our baby shower, and like those were just like two huge monumental like, okay, like, this is happening. The baby's okay. I'm okay. Like, we're having this child. And it was yeah, that was really cool.

Brigitte  8:02  
It's great. You got a great-- had a great doula. It's a great question to ask.

Allison  8:13  
How did you? I guess, it's going to the next chapter of things. How did you know you're in labor?

Alycia  8:20  
How do I know isn't labor? So every like little like movement that like the baby would make like leading up to this, I was like, Oh, is this a contraction? Like, I don't know. Like people say you can have Braxton Hicks for like, weeks, you know, like leading up to birth. And so like, I thought I experienced that. Maybe I don't really know what on April 4, I woke up at 445 in the morning, and it was like, legit, mild period cramps. And I'm like, Okay, this is different. Like, this feels like what people are talking about when they first go into labor. And so I wouldn't, it wasn't painful. I wouldn't classify it as being like, painful. It didn't like shoot me out of bed, but it was just like a mild crown. So I went to the bathroom. And like, there was the bloody show. So I was like, okay, like this, this, this is different. I think this is the beginning of labor.

Allison  9:13  
How did it feel when you realize I think this is beginning of labor?

Alycia  9:16  
Yeah. So we we had done a lot of prep work. And so everyone you know, is saying you don't want to be tired and labor like there's like nothing worse than like going into a long labor and you're just exhausted. So we had always had this plan of like, no matter what time it is, like we're gonna try to just you know, rest and relax. So it's 445 in the morning. I had slept throughout the night, so I was like, I was feeling good. I obviously woke me up. I'm like, This is what's happening. He's like, Well, we should try to go back to sleep and I'm like, okay.

Allison  9:50  
Good thinking!

Alycia  9:52  
It didn't last very long. So I don't know how long I was in bed for about I was just like, these are just like, they're just bothersome like I couldn't really sleep through it. Um, But I told you me, I was like, I want you to sleep. So I left him in bed. And I started like, well, what am I going to do? So I started to clean. So I cleaned the toilet and I cleaned the bathtub, the mirrors and I'm just like doing my thing and like, the contractions are like starting to come, but I didn't necessarily I wasn't timing them. I didn't know, they didn't really feel super strong. Like I was just kind of like, you know, moseying through them, I would say. And so it was about 630. So almost like two hours after that. I texted you, Allison. And I was like, This is what's going down. I want to call the midwife, right? Because it like yeah, like I didn't, it didn't feel like it was super serious. And again, it was just still like that mild crampy feeling. And so you had given me like some pointers, you know, try to eat something. I was feeling like a little bit nauseous, so have some like lemon water. I couldn't eat a lot. I had like, a piece of toast I was working on for probably like 45 minutes. Like I just like, couldn't eat, but I was trying to write. And then I just remember at one point, like the contractions like I had to really just like, stop and focus on them. Like I couldn't continue to clean like I was. And I was just like on all fours, like in the bathroom, like on the bathmat. And I'm like, I kind of wake me up for.

Brigitte  11:30  
This is serious now.

Alycia  11:33  
It's like sort of getting serious. Like I woke him up. Nothing. He could do anything for me at that point. But we just I wanted to figure out a game plan. Yep. And around that time, it's like, seven 730 My sister was up with her son. So I FaceTime them while she's giving, feeding him breakfast. And you know, I'm having to stop for these contractions. And my sister is like, I think you're in labor. Like, I don't know, like this kid, like I just started, right? Like two or three hours into it. And I'm like, There's no way like this can't be like labor labor, like labor can last 2436 like it can last a while. So I guess I would just I was thinking more long term. But I should have realized that my mother and my sister both had quick laborers. So I should have really realized that you know, my labor was going to be quick as well.

Brigitte  12:28  
Yeah, like that does run the family like a lot of Yeah, quick Labor's tend to you know, people have the same. Yeah, same thing happened. Yeah, that's really interesting. 

Allison  12:37  
It's definitely a good mindset to to not assume that it's going to be quick, but also not think this is going to be four days. Right? A very good in between of, kind of, not like alarming. Like if sometimes there's like alarm, it feels like the excitement or the nerves kind of just take over. And then everyone just wants to like, put the plans in motion get to where they need to get to and sometimes just like writing it out, do your thing cleaning, I guess. Cleaning could do it, right?

Alycia  13:06  
Spic and span! But it kept me busy, you know, can be doing something. So I needed to be moving. Like that was a big piece for me during labor as I like movement is so important. I want to have the like the ability to move and so sure just kept me busy. 

Allison  13:23  
What comfort strategies and like positions, like do you think were the most helpful for you?

Alycia  13:28  
Yeah. So all fours was, it felt really good being on all fours for me. And like my whole, you know, pain management game plan going into this was like, I'm going to have so many things like just in case. And so I think, like movement was important. I had the acupressure mat, which we can talk about a little bit, I was obsessed with that 10s unit I wouldn't ever birth without a 10s unit. I had like those combs that people use, which I didn't even end up using them. But I had Yeah, I had so many things that I didn't end up using essential oils was important to me. So to have that like aromatherapy to just like, help me like breathe and focus on something other than the sensations going on in my body was important. And then music so I, you know, knew going into this birth that like I was going to need a ton of physical support. So I felt like all of my pain management coping techniques for like physical base. But I really feel like I leaned into more of the emotional supports that I like, like I didn't put together a birthing playlist until maybe like four days before I gave birth. Like I was like, oh, whatever, like well. I'm feeling like we need to listen to something but I was so glad I did. And I just picked songs that were like important. Jimmy and I and I was like, we were bringing this child into the world. Like I wanted songs that like, reminded me of him and like how much I loved him. So we did like, just a bunch of like, almost like wedding songs that you would find like first dance songs, just just a bunch of like, random random stuff. 

Allison  15:18  
It was a good playlist, if I can speak to that. It was a very good point. Like the the midwife, the student midwife, like everyone was like, she's got good music. We're getting compliments. We were all singing along. Yeah. Like, some of us were like, like, just kind of bopping around. Yeah, thing. Like, it was good.

Alycia  15:36  
It was random. And like something like I when it's so funny, because like, music in our pregnancy was important or not important, but it was like a part of our pregnancy. So Jimmy, and I always listen to music, like, at night when we're cooking dinner, whatever, like we always have it on and he's more of like, the house DJ, so he'll just put on like random stuff. And even like, we would get up for work early in the morning Sundays. And like he'd put on just like random, like random stuff. Like Miley Cyrus, like just like just like the most like absurd stuff. And I'm like, Oh, my God, our neighbors are listening. Like, the variety. We do a huge variety of music. So yeah, it's like, it's important, you know?

Brigitte  16:18  
Yeah, music is Yeah, I think for sure. I love music. 

Allison  16:24  
Yeah, we have like a whole we have a lot of playlists. I mean, I was using so many playlists as a doula you just you just got to tap into your Bluetooth speaker and just let it roll. I feel like music is one of the underrated things, I think and yeah, the HPV has like a whole Spotify of them because I was like, I'll just make them shareable so other people can see because there are different moods, like different music hits you in different Yes.

Alycia  16:48  
Yeah. And I wasn't sure if I wanted like the up be like, right, like heavy hitters, like, you know, we're going out clubbing Yeah. I wanted like more of like the mellow like tranquil spa music. I didn't want either of those. I just wanted like songs that transported me to. Yeah, like Yeah, I'm pleased feeling.

Brigitte  17:07  
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It's good. Yeah. Fantastic. Yeah. So tell us about like once you went to the birth cottage.

Alycia  17:17  
Yep. So we decided to give birth at a birth center. It was really important for me to have an empowered birth, an unmedicated natural birth. And so like, the safest place for me, was a birth center with a team of midwives. And so kind of every decision like leading up to that how we're prepared for birth was really just to make sure I hit my goal of having that unmedicated natural birth. So, you know, let's say going back to the day, it was around, like nine o'clock in the morning is when, like, they opened for business. And so I'm like, Okay, I'll call them at nine when they're there. And so like, 9am, I call, I was like, hey, this what's going on? At that point, I had started like tracking my contractions. And they were like, every two minutes, which, okay, so they say to go, like they say, To Call the Midwife team when you're like, 411 Yeah, but really, my contractions were never like that far apart. Like, they kind of started like, really every, like two or three minutes from the get go. But again, they weren't like, super intense. So that's why I was like, Oh, I'm not gonna like alert the press. So I'm, like, you know, every two minutes for probably like, 30 to 40 seconds. And it was just been going on for a while. And so Marissa, our midwife was like, well just come in, like, we're here. Like, we can check you out. And I wasn't like opposed to having cervical checks. You know, I think it was a good way for me to see like, okay, where I'm at, and I just didn't want to get discouraged if, you know, it wasn't like, where I wanted to be. So I was like, Okay, we'll be in by 1020. Because we still had to do a few things. So I had to go get batteries for the 10s unit. Got it. So I like we go to my sister's house to get batteries. And you know, she's like you're yet like you're really like this is it like you're I was dreading the car ride. And so I had the acupressure mat. So if you're not familiar with it, it's like the cushy mat. It has like spikes on Yeah, I've seen those. Yeah, I'm obsessed. And so I used it actually, I've been using it for years because I would get really bad period cramps. And if I laid on that, and I had it on my lower back period, cramps would disappear. So I'm like okay, maybe in labor it like acts the same way it will make my contractions like disappear. And so I had a small mat and I sat with it in the car. And so every time that contraction came when we were driving there to a 30 minute drive, I would just like really press into that mat and it was Like the best coping tool for the car? Yeah, very cool. So we get there 1020 You know, we go into like the little birthing suite, which is, like, really cool. If you're not familiar, like, yeah, birth center, because, you know, there's like a, you know, maybe a full or queen bed like, it just looks like a bed that you would have in your house. There's a huge like tub, and it's just, like very homey. There's not a lot of like instruments or --

Allison  20:30  
Very warm, very comforting. 

Alycia  20:32  
A lot of natural light. And so it just like, obviously, we were there, like throughout our care. So just, it was like a safe place. Like it really did feel like home. And so we get there, I get checked out. I'm two centimeters dilated, and I'm just like, okay, like, that's okay. Yeah. And I was like, I'm not like, in a ton of pain, like, this is all manageable. And I'm like, Okay, I wasn't expecting to be, you know, six, seven centimeters. So, Marissa or midwife was like, well, you can, you can leave or you can stay we're here all day. Like if you want to hang out and I'm like, honestly, like, I don't want to make that 30 minute drive when things are like more intense. Yeah, so we decided to stay thank God things happened like progress fairly quickly. Yeah. So you know, Jimmy is kind of like setting up things. We put some lavender oil in the diffuser on the bed. I had a peanut ball, you know, doing some contractions that way. And then kind of like back and forth between like the toilet and the bed. And you know, Jimmy, like I was like, you know, still like in my own head like managing these contractions like I didn't need him they're constantly like holding my hand but I could tell he was like starting to get like a little like, Okay, this is happening like I just like he never once like, alerted me to like maybe how he was feeling in labor. But like, I just remember at one point, I'm on the bed having contractions and like I hear him throwing up and oh, like, going through it like nervous. Oh, my gosh, yeah. To you.

Brigitte  22:17  
Oh, my gosh! 

Alycia  22:18  
Sorry, Jimmy!

Brigitte  22:24  
No judgment here. I totally understand. Once you did get in the tub...

Alycia  22:32  
So that didn't happen till later. So at. I mean, at one point, I was like, on the bed and I remember looking over like the big window and like, it looks out over like, like a wooded area. And I was just like, I want Allison. I feel like Jimmy was just like he just like he didn't know what to do. And I'm just like, I need someone here. That is like, who knows what's going on? Like, obviously like Jimmy and I have never like birth a child before. And so like having Allison having a doula was so important for us. Like I mentioned, we both work in fitness centers. And so you know, we see people members come in. And you know, they can hop on treadmills do their strength training routine, and that's great. Like, they can see results like, but if you hire us as a coach, and we work one on one, like, you can just optimize that experience. And so having Allison as our coach was like, okay, she's the expert, like, I'm going to her and so I just, it got to a point where like, I want to do there. Yeah. And like, that's when Jimmy was like, Okay, I'll get her here.

Allison  23:42  
That phone call. He was like, she's ready for you. Yeah. Like you got it, I'm on my way.

Brigitte  23:46  
How long was that?

Allison  23:48  
You were at the cottage for like, a couple, an hour and a half. And then, and then we talked and I think it was maybe like, a half hour later? Or 45 minutes even you got there. And yeah, you would think you were just getting on the bed for another check.

Alycia  24:02  
Yeah, so just before that, like just before you arrived, one of the midwives came in, and she was just helping with positioning because again, positioning was super important. But I think like in the moment, you don't know what's going on, like labor land is a very true thing. Like all these things I cared about and like, I'm very type A personality, like I needed to have like all these things, like just in case, right, I had a whole suitcase of stuff out the window. Like I just like had no idea what was gone. So she comes in and we're doing sideline position. Yeah. And so she's like, do three contractions on each side. And those were so intense. And I think that's like when you showed up.

Allison  24:43  
Yeah, you're like I need to go to the bathroom. I need to get up. 

Alycia  24:46  
Yeah. And around that time is when I don't know if you suggested it, or I suggested it, but I was like, I want the TENS unit. Yeah, that was a huge, huge game changer for me. Um, and like things just again, they're getting intense. And I wouldn't like, yes, it was tough. But I wouldn't say like, I'm in excruciating pain like I yeah, I've had this like, I think we all have right like, you see, like people screaming out in pain and stereotype. Yeah, the girl like I never like got to that level. Yeah. 

Allison  25:25  
There's kind of a level of like, coming outside of yourself with that. I think a lot of times it's like, there's, it's not necessarily that someone's maybe it's partly like their sensations that are really challenging. But there's also this like, suffering place or like deaths, like desperate like, can no one helped me, am I alone? So sometimes it's almost like there's this big like transformation that you make, like mentally and like, I think that's when people are trying to like all of a sudden reach out for something because they've maybe hit like a wall or something. Yeah. And you seem very steady. If I can speak to that you spoke you were very steady. You know, you did a really good job of like, all your preparation. Even if you didn't use everything in your toolbox, you at least had the comfort of like, I have all the things that I could think of. And they're there if I need them, you know, and you've definitely pulled on the ones that were like, exactly what you needed. 

Alycia  26:18  
I did a ton of like, I watched a ton of birth videos on YouTube. I had an hour commute each way into work. So I was like, podcast queen. Yeah. I wish I had this podcast. I did Ina May Gaskin's book, she has Spiritual Midwifery and Guide to Childbirth, and they have probably, I don't know, 50 plus birth stories. And so just like hearing, like, all those positive birth stories was huge. And for me, that was just like a comfort like, okay, like, I can do this. My body was meant for this. Yep. And so I think I, I relied on that a lot. Yeah. And it gets huge. Yeah,

Brigitte  27:03  
Yeah, definitely.

Allison  27:06  
Yeah. I think it was like, 1:30 when you got in the tub?

Alycia  27:11  
Yeah. Yeah. So like right before that. Like, again, like things were just like, very intense. It was the most intense throughout the whole process that it got for me was before, right, like right before the tub. And Marissa came in, and she's like, Well, do you want me to check you? And I'm like, Yeah, fine. Like you just like, see where we're at, again, because I was at two centimeters before. And so she texts me and she's like, You're, like, almost there. Like, there's just a little lip left your nine plus centimeters. And I'm like, what? Wow. And it was like, for me, like, I don't know, if I started crying. But I was just like, wow, this is happening. Like it just, that was really cool. And yeah, like that intense part that I went through. Like that was transition. Like, I didn't know I was in transition when I was in transition.

Allison  28:01  
It's always a hindsight thing. It's very hard to pinpoint.

Alycia  28:05  
you could tell me I was in transition, like when I'm going through it. I'm like, okay, like, it's not gonna last forever. It's short term. Right. But like, going through that. I was like, wow, I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.

Allison  28:15  
Yeah, yes, transition can be very much a hindsight thing where you don't really know what's happened, or you're in it until after so that's very fair that you say that. Can you tell us about what it was like being on the toilet like being, you know, in that dilation station?

Alycia  28:32  
Yeah. So I love the toilet. I didn't expect to like, oh, that's kind of gross. It's unsanitary. No, it was the best. There's kind of like, bars on the wall that I would just kind of like hang on to like, usually I would hang on to someone's hand as well. But it just like it was like a really great setup. And I just remember, like, feeling pushy. And then you Allison immediately, like, left the room. Can you call me like she's feeling pushy? And then, like, Marissa came back into the bathroom, and was like, Do you want to have this baby on the toilet? And I was like, No, the whole plan was to have like, a breath in the water. So she starts the water in the tub to start that feeling because we hadn't filled it up yet. And we're on our way back to the bed for kind of like the last time and you and I just like stopping middle the room because I got a contraction and I'm just like hanging on to you. And it was just like a really sweet like tender moment. Jimmy actually got a picture of it because he saw you taking pictures like throughout labor. And he just was like, let me capture this and like I'm so glad he did because it's just such a cute photo of us, too. 

Brigitte  29:55  
Usually we don't get photos of us taking the pictures. Yeah.

Allison  29:59  
Which is usually how it Oh, yeah, it's it's nice when someone can step in and just take a quick picture because the time you have with your doula, it's the kind of it's like a nice to have one moment that's captured. So, so glad he did that, it was smart thinking on his part. He very much jumped into action like that.

Alycia  30:16  
Yeah. And then so we kind of were like, back to the bed. And I just remember, like, I needed to get into that tub, and I've never moved fast. I sprinted over to the tub, and I was just like, I'm getting in the tub like, and I was just so sure myself and like, there was, I don't know, like an inch of water. I just didn't care. I wanted to be there. So yeah, I kind of started out in the tub on all fours, it just kind of felt very natural. No one was really coaching me on like, how to be what I needed to do it just being on all fours just kind of felt right. And so I was there for a while, has that tub filled up, you know, things started to feel really good. And it's so true, what they say like the tub is nature's epidural, it just, it was compared to what transition felt like to then what like getting to this end stage of labor about to push, like, it just felt really good being in the tub. And the midwife had the like the hose kind of raking up and down my back, which was something that like I didn't ask her to do, she just kind of like instinctually started doing and it felt so good. Just to have that, like that rhythm that pattern. Yeah, so that was really nice. We were at one point, you know, Jimmy was holding Frankincense essential oil underneath my nose. And I was just using that to kind of breathe and inhale and just that really helped a lot. It's funny because I thought I was going to need a lot of like physical support in labor. So like hip squeezing or back massage or just like, you know, physical support hand holding all that stuff. But I really leaned into more of the emotional support more than anything. And so that really took me by surprise, I think

Allison  32:22  
How, how was pushing for you, the pushing stage? Was it something that was very intuitive? Did you feel like you were like, intentionally participating or something else was kind of, like how did you experience that

Alycia  32:35  
I really liked the pushing stage. It just right. Like we're like almost about like to meet our baby. Like I knew, like this is the end. It was super intense, very powerful. And my body just kind of did its thing. Like I wouldn't say I was intentionally pushing it, but I like I was unintentionally pushing like along with each contraction. Like I wasn't thinking okay, I get to push or bear down for like, you know, 10 seconds like you see in the movies. Yeah, it just like as I was feeling that pressure I would just kind of bear down as that like contraction ended I would stop things would kind of like go back to normal. Having those breaks in between contractions is awesome. 

Brigitte  33:21  

Alycia  33:26  
But no pushing was pushing was unexpected for me. Like I didn't expect it to go as well as it did. Like I thought it was going to be the most intense part of labor. But I would say by far transition was the most intense Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So at one point, I had kind of like changed position. So I'm more like upright seated. Like with my back against the back of the tub. And Jimmy's behind me almost like almost putting me in like a chokehold so like his elbow is like, wrapped around, like, like, his hand is like right here, almost like over my heart. Like he's like, almost choking me. Yeah. And he goes to like, move it or maybe someone told him to move it. I don't know.

Allison  34:11  
I think he was gonna offer you water or something like he was doing something helpful. Yeah, at the same time..

Alycia  34:16  
I was like, no, no. It was just very, like, he was grounding me and it was very much like, holding me to this earth is like what I felt. But yeah, I mean, I was drinking a ton throughout labor. I wasn't I didn't really like want to eat food, but I was drinking. It was like coconut water. So like really? Lights and I was drinking a ton, but at that point in time, I was like, Nope, you

Brigitte  34:44  
Yeah, yes.

Alycia  34:48  
So yeah, I mean, pushing the pushing phase. I guess I pushed for an hour. If you had asked me how long I push for I maybe would have said like 20 minutes like there's really again like you You have no sense of time, like I No idea. So I was pushing for full hour. You know, it was definitely powerful at the end and like we could see her head coming out. And like that was really cool at one point. Marissa, our midwife was like, you can feel her if you want to feel her. And so like, I felt the top of her head. And I just like, I started crying. It was like, again, we didn't know who this little baby was. And I just like it was like the first time like, I touched her. And it was like, that was really cool moment. So I'm glad that like, she encouraged me to do that. Yeah. That was pretty cool. Yeah, that's beautiful. Yeah, sure. Yeah. And then we were just, we're like chugging along. And you know, we could see like she was coming out. And I was very curious about this whole, like, fetal ejection reflex. You know, they say, like, some women like don't even push and their babies just like, fly right out of them. Is that going to happen? I had no idea. Yeah. I definitely felt like I was pushing. I was definitely, you know, a participant in that. But she kind of came out in one contraction, so it wasn't like her head was out. And then we waited. She was out fully in in one contraction, which is kind cool.

Brigitte  36:23  
Yeah, that was very cool. Yeah. Yeah, no pause at all.

Alycia  36:26  
No pause at all. Yeah. So again, like was that fetal ejection reflex? Maybe? 

Brigitte  36:31  
Right, it could have been Yeah, yep. Did you see her come out? Did you see the whole process?

Allison  36:37  
Yeah, it was yeah, like one fell swoop. And I think we had all noticed that she was, like a little like crooked, but it wasn't -no one was alarmed. You know?

Alycia  36:47  
Yeah. So she came out like her head was tilted this way. So she was acing. clitics So I'm glad like no one alerted me. Like, you know, she's you're not she's not coming out like, top of her head. Like she was like, you know, maybe that's why push for an hour, like it took a little bit longer. But after the fact, like, you know, she had this like, hematoma like you could tell like, little awkard. 

Brigitte  37:14  
A little awkward, yeah.

Allison  37:16  
Yeah, that's my cue. Yeah. But I mean, you were moving her it just was like, I think nothing was right. Yeah, nothing was wrong. So I think a lot of times people do worry about baby's position and stuff like that. So it can feel hard to know when to be concerned or that type of thing. But you just kind of get going, we all saw that you were making good progress, and you're effective and really like listening to your body. So no one was worried.

Alycia  37:41  
Yeah, I think like Bert, like as you like, the pushing phase is like a very intense like, like, that's the event right there. You know what I mean? And so I was nervous going into labor, and into this birth, like, am I gonna get this like overwhelming sense of anxiety? Like, I'm not in control of the situation? And like, I was afraid of that. But at no point in time, was I out of control or felt like I couldn't do it? Or, like, I was like, losing it, you know? So that was powerful. Yeah, of itself. And I think just like the team that I had there with me, so like my husband, the doula the midwives like it was just this serene. Birth. And it's just like, it's exactly what I wanted. So yeah, it was so cool. It was very empowering.

Brigitte  38:37  
Yeah, that's beautiful. That's great. I was gonna say like, what was the first moments of having her on you? What was that? Is that like holding your baby for the first time?

Alycia  38:48  
It was like, she came out and it was just again, it was like, super fast, like, Whoa, she's here. So, the baby goes right up on my chest. And, you know, she's covered with blankets. And you know, we're rubbing her getting her to kind of make some noises and get up any fluid that she has. And I'm kind of like coming back to -

Brigitte  39:12  
- reality a little bit, yeah.

Alycia  39:15  
It was like, I don't know, a couple. A couple minutes. I would say before I was like, I want to look, it was really important for me to find out the gender and I didn't want anyone else. You know, I mean, Jimmy could have said it if he wanted to, but I didn't, you know, I didn't want it to come from anyone else. So I was like, I'm ready to look now. And I like looked down. And I was like, It's a girl. And they said, it's Maisie. It's been Maisie all along, and I just broke down and cried. And it was just, it was at that point when I realized that the song that was playing just happened to be playing on the playlist was the song that Jimmy and I walked down the aisle to.

Brigitte  39:54  
Yeah, oh my gosh. Yeah. You can't make this up. No. Oh, yeah, that's awesome. Yeah.

Allison  40:03  
Beautiful moment. You've worked so hard for her. 

Alycia  40:07  
Yeah. So hard. It was like such a long journey. And it was like, Oh my God, she's finally here. She's ours. Like, it was. It was one of those like, core memories. I'll never forget that feeling ever.

Brigitte  40:21  

Allison  40:22  
So from the time you arrived at the birth cottage to when she was in your arms, that was..?

Alycia  40:29  
Just over four hours. Yeah. So it happened very quick. Going from two centimeters. Wow. When we arrived at like, 1022 Then her being born at 248 It was very quick. And I was thankful. Like, it was quick, you know? And I just, yeah, yeah, yeah. Perfect. I feel very lucky. Yeah, it's always good. Yeah.

Allison  40:59  
How are your first couple of hours postpartum be like being at the cottage kind of settling in, like hitting it hitting you several times? Oh, my God, she's here. And she's ours. And it's a she and it's Maisie and all that, like, how was how was that time that immediately postpartum?

Alycia  41:14  
It was it was so special. And I kept looking. I was like, Wait, is it really a girl? I was just I remember like, looking multiple times because I had, you know, heard a story Oh, like some other saying that she had a girl and it was a boy or vice versa. And I was like, Wait, is it a girl? Like, isn't Maisie and so like we Jimmy cut the cord. And then we handed the baby to Jimmy which was like his first time holding her and there's a picture of him like holding her for the first time and like looking up at me and it was like, Oh, just like.

Allison  41:48  
Just the smile on his face. Like, what a core memory for him. And for Maisie.

Alycia  41:53  
Yeah, you know, that was so special. So I get out of the tub and then we go right on the bed. And you know we're doing skin to skin which was so important for me. It was like her first time starting to latch and nurse and it was just very calm. Like there was no like, we need to do this. We need to do that. It was just you know, we we chilled. We hung out like you and Marissa were at the end of the bed kind of like chatting with Jimmy and I and I just remember like Jimmy and I are crying. You're taking videos and we're just like, I'm so glad that we have like all of that documented because it was so special. And you know, then Maisie was weighed and she was 6 pounds 4 ounces. 21 inches long.

Brigitte  42:43  
Long girl! 

Alycia  42:45  
She's a tall drink of water. Got some long legs on her. So we did that. And then her placenta we kind of like got a closer look at it. And it was like in the shape of a heart which is so --

Brigitte  43:01  
Oh, that's so cool.

Alycia  43:03  
And you did a placenta print for me. 

Allison  43:05  

Alycia  43:06  
We have that little keepsake so yeah, like immediately immediate postpartum was really special.

Allison  43:15  
Wow, amazing. Amazing Maisie!

Brigitte  43:21  
Very, yes. Very beautiful. Touching, like spiritual. And just like, yeah, just an incredible birth. Really? Yeah. Yeah. So many special things. That's really great. That's awesome. So is there anything else that you'd like to share with us or our audience? Anything you want to? 

Alycia  43:40  
Yeah, so kind of like after postpartum you know, we were home that evening, which was so nice to just come home to my bed. So that was that was but about like 12 hours postpartum, I developed help syndrome, which is like very rare, and it's a complication of high blood pressure. And so I did end up needing to go to the hospital and spend a few days there. And, you know, I'm so thankful that, like, I had the ability to go there and they took like, amazing care of me and everything is okay now and you know, I'm very grateful for that. But the thing that gives me the most peace is just knowing that like where I gave birth, and how I gave birth was no, like, indication of or no reason, no cause of what had happened. So it just was like a fluke thing. They don't know why it happens.

Allison  44:41  
Because your blood pressure was fine throughout labor, even postpartum when they were checking at the birth cottage.

Alycia  44:46  
Yes, it was kind of a fluke. Yeah. You know, we had like even throughout pregnancy was a healthy pregnancy and if it wasn't a healthy pregnancy, or I had blood pressure issues throughout pregnancy, like I would have needed to be discharged from their care and had to go to a hospital. But honestly, you know, I wouldn't have changed changed it, it was very important for me to give birth at the birth cottage. Because you know, I wanted to give birth in the water and not just labor in it, I wanted the ability to move around in whatever way felt best for my body and not have to be, you know, hooked up to monitors or hooked up to IVs. And I wanted the ability to eat and drink. I think that's important, you know, like having that energy for this marathon a labor. So yeah, yeah, I wonder as crazy as it was like, I wouldn't change anything. Yeah.

Brigitte  45:46  
Beautiful, beautiful. Yeah.

Allison  45:47  
Is there one piece of advice or guidance that you'd love to pass on to any one listening? Who may be expecting or something like that? Sorry to throw that random one at you.

Brigitte  46:00  
That's a great question to ask.

Alycia  46:02  
I would say just like, you know, I felt like I was like underprepared. Like I needed to do more. Like, that's just my personality, like, oh, did I do enough? Did I prepare enough but I think just trusting in your body, trusting in yourself is just like, the biggest thing and you know, giving yourself the opportunity or putting support in place, knowing that you can like rely on those things. So for me, it was having this suitcase of just combs and food and essential oils, and you know, this hot like this bag of tools that I could use. And then you know, I prepped postpartum, so I think like, just, like, knowing that the preparations that you do is enough, being flexible, like as things change, you know, be flexible and open to that. And just like relish in it, like just like, it's an amazing time. And it's such a special time. And yeah, I could go on.

Allison  47:10  
Thank you so much for sharing and for letting us share your story with other people. 

Brigitte  47:16  
Thank you so much. 

Allison  47:17  
The journey that you and Jimmy have been on to go in, get Maisie from labor, land and back and all that you've you've just, she's already so cute. Still. She's just becoming like this person. I can't even believe how much she's grown already. But yeah. Thank you. Thank you so much for your time.

Alycia  47:34  
Thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I feel like it's just such a blessing to share this story. I really relied on, you know, watching and listening to so many positive birth stories are not necessarily always out there. And I'm hoping that, you know, I could give a little bit of hope and inspiration to someone who is on this journey.

Brigitte  47:56  
I'm sure you will. No doubt about that. So yeah, thank you. 

Alycia  47:59  
Thank you.

Allison  48:00  
Thank you so much. All right. Well, that's it for this episode. We hope to hear any feedback if you want to share about how Alycia's story totally rocked your world or kind of open your mind to things. But yeah, we'll see you next time.

Brigitte  48:15  
Thanks so much. Bye, 

Allison  48:55