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Stepping into Motherhood: Reflecting on My First Birth

As I sit down to share the story of my firstborn’s arrival, I’m filled with a mix of nostalgia, pride, and a profound sense of empowerment. My journey into motherhood began with a decision to embrace the raw intensity of childbirth and trust in the innate strength of my body. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to experience labor and delivery without the aid of pain medication. It wasn’t just a preference; it was a deeply personal choice rooted in a desire to connect with the primal essence of childbirth and fully experience the range of sensations that come with bringing new life into the world.

As the contractions intensified and the waves of pain washed over me, I found solace in the support of my birthing team and the unwavering belief in my body’s ability to bring my baby into the world. With each breath, each surge of energy, I tapped into a reservoir of inner strength I never knew I possessed.

In sharing my birth story, I hope to shed light on the transformative power of childbirth – a journey that challenges us to dig deep, confront our fears, and emerge on the other side with a newfound sense of empowerment and awe.

So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and  join me as I relive the moments of triumph, the moments of doubt, and ultimately, the overwhelming joy of holding my precious baby in my arms for the very first time. This is my first birth story— a testament to the beauty of childbirth and the resilience of women.

As the days grew closer to my estimated due date of May 6th, 2020, a sense of excitement mingled with the practicalities of this huge transition. I also had fears and hesitations about what my birth experience would be like due to COVID. Would they require me to labor with a mask? If so, how could I breathe through contractions while wearing a mask? Will they allow my doula in the room, will they allow my husband? There were so many questions that we weren’t sure about because things were changing so quickly as far as COVID was concerned.

With plans to relocate from Issaquah, WA back to our home here in Meridian, Idaho just weeks after my due date, the decision was ultimately made to induce labor—a choice that would lead me on a whirlwind of emotions, challenges, and, the joy of welcoming my son into the world.

On the morning of May 14th, 2020—8 days past my "due date," I stepped into the hospital, the weight of anticipation heavy on my shoulders. With the gentle guidance of my midwife, induction began with the insertion of a Foley catheter. As the hours passed, my husband and I watched shows on Netflix and chatted about the overwhelming excitement of getting to meet our son for the first time. After many hours of no progress with the Foley, my midwife opened a discussion about the possibility of starting Pitocin. This was such a difficult decision for me to make but I agreed to start on a low dose of Pitocin because our moving date was only 10 days away and I was feeling some anxieties about not having the time to properly rest and recover during my first few weeks postpartum.

Pitocin was started at a level 2 around 10:00 pm, and at this time, the Foley was still in place. Within 30 minutes of Pitocin being administered, I was having strong consistent contractions. Amidst the whirlwind of sensations and emotions, I found confort in the warm embrace of the tub—a sanctuary where each wave of contraction was met with the soothing touch of water and the unwavering support of my husband and my doula by my side. In those precious moments of rest between contractions, I drew upon strength I never knew I possessed, surrendering to the ebb and flow of labor with determination.

Around 1:30 am on May 15th, I felt a pop which turned out to be my membranes rupturing and I decided to emerge from the tub to use the restroom. My midwife joined me to check on the Foley catheter but it was still securely in place. In that moment, I remembered being told when it was inserted that it would come out on its own around 5 cm and I instantly felt a heavy feeling of defeat. How was I not even 5 cm? Time felt non-existent and I had no idea that I had only been laboring for 3.5 hours— it felt like a lifetime. I continued laboring on the toilet for about 30 minutes and then all of a sudden I started feeling a strong urge to push. My doula assured me that I could push when I felt like I needed to so I did— one good push and out popped the Foley! What a relief!

The contractions were extremely intense and I didn’t know if I could manage much longer. I had a quick conversation, between contractions, with my doula and I decided that I needed to know where I was to be able to get my mindset back in the right place so I took my midwife up on her offer to do a cervical check.

We slowly moved from the bathroom to the bed— stopping multiple times to work through the intense contractions that made me so weak I could barely stand. I laid down and prepared my mind to accept whatever news I was about to receive. My midwife began the cervical check, let out a little laugh, and said “Ashley, are you ready to meet your baby boy? You are complete.” How was this possible? My Foley managed to get wedged and didn’t pop out until I was fully dilated! Hearing those words gave me the biggest sense of peace and relief.

I waited a bit for the urge to push and when it came and I began pushing, the intensity of labor escalated, each contraction a testament to the imminent arrival of our son. With a fierce resolve, I pushed through the waves of pain and uncertainty, guided by the steady encouragement of my husband and birthing team. There were moments where my doula was physically holding me up and looking back, I have no idea what I would’ve done without her in those moments. She was the steady, strong, and loving companion that I needed to get through my birth.

After what felt like an eternity (but was really only about an hour), we could see our baby boy’s head crowning. The moment we had been waiting for— we were about to meet our baby. And then, in a moment that felt both timeless and fleeting, our son made his grand entrance into the world. 

In that sacred moment, as I held him against my chest, the challenges of labor faded into the background, replaced by overwhelming love and gratitude for the precious life we had brought into the world.

This birth story marks not just the beginning of my child's life, but also my first steps into motherhood. I would love for it to serve as a testament to the unwavering support of those who walked alongside us on our journey. And as I wrap up my birth story, I am filled with a profound sense of hope that my story will empower another mama that is about to embark on the journey of becoming a mother. For me, the journey from pregnancy to labor and delivery was one of the most intense and transformative experiences of my life. As I reflect on the ups and downs, the moments of doubt and the surges of strength, I am reminded of the incredible power of the female body and spirit. With each passing day, I am learning and growing, embracing the challenges and joys of motherhood with an open heart.

Thank you so much for joining me as I relived one of the most beautiful moments of my life— the moment I became a mother!

Liam Owen Mullane 


3:16 am

9 lbs 9 oz




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