My Birth Stories!


(mellow guitar music) – Hi, it’s me, Jessica. I am 33 weeks pregnant right now and I am about to have my fifth experience with childbirth, so (laughs) I wanted to share with you guys my previous labor and delivery stories and experiences and answer some questions. I’m on a bunch of message boards right now where I lurk on pregnancy message boards and I see so many people who ask questions about what labor and
delivery is really like and recovery and just
like, kind of, all of it. First of all, I really wanna emphasize that everybody is different, everybody’s experiences are different, their bodies are different. What I’ve gone through
is in no way a guarantee of what you’re going to experience. I do think it’s great to get a
variety of stories out there. And I also think it’s really neat because I’ve had four deliveries and they’ve been different as well. There are some things now that I kind of have come to rely on,
that I know my body does, but I’ve also had really
different experiences and I think that that’s
cool because I can actually compare what it’s like to get an epidural versus what it’s like to not
have any medication at all and versus what it’s like to have Pitocin, which is something that will
induce or start up your labor, and then also not have an epidural. I’m seeing a bunch of questions like that on the message boards that I’m lurking on and I figured I would kind of just share my personal experience and again, like giant disclaimer,
my personal experience. You do not have to base
anything that you do off of me. I really don’t want anybody to feel judged off of like my experience either, like your story is your story and it’s beautiful and wonderful however it is, so please embrace that. I hope that this is just, kind of, a fun and educational video for
people who are curious about what someone’s labor
and delivery experience could be like, does that make sense? I think that’s so important which is why I’m emphasizing it so much, it’s like really important to me to never make anybody feel any judgment or fear or like why wasn’t I like that. That’s not what this is about. Everybody’s different. So, I’ve got a bunch of
questions off of Twitter and Christina wants to know,
“What has been the same “and what has been the
majority of differences “between your labors, also
have you ever had an epidural?” So, I’ve given birth four times. To Bailey, who was seven lbs 11 ounces, she was my smallest and my first. She was induced, which means that I took something called Pitocin
when I was 39 weeks pregnant and she was my one
experience with an epidural. So, I went to the hospital, got Pitocin, things were going great. Somewhere in the middle of the night they said well, the
anesthesiologist has to go to bed and it’s really traffic-y in LA, because that’s where she was born, and he probably won’t make it back in time if you do start feeling pain, because at that time I still wasn’t feeling pain from contractions. So, I didn’t need pain relief at all and I was kind of like. It was my first baby that I was having and I had wanted to feel it. I had wanted to like
really feel contractions and see if I was gonna have a
no pain medication delivery. But I was also totally
open to it, after all. They’re like, look,
you’ve got to do this now or if it really starts hurting you probably won’t have an option. Which I’ve heard happens
to a lot of people, like they get put in that position. So, I decided in that time, okay fine, I’ll just get this epidural. I’d wanted to see if I’d need one or not but I was just like, all right
fine, I’ll get this epidural. But I was a little nervous about it and I wasn’t feeling a need for it and I think that that’s
really, really important. I feel like if I had
been in incredible pain and needed it I would have had a different experience of an epidural. But basically, I got one,
I was a little bit nervous. I had a little anxiety when
getting it but it was okay. And then there was a lot to it that I didn’t realize would be necessary. And this was 12 years ago almost so, things might have changed
but this was my experience. They have something in your back, like a tube or something, I don’t know I didn’t see it it was in my back. It numbs you from here down. I didn’t really think
about what that meant. So, first of all, it meant that I was having to position myself in a way to accommodate there
being something in my back and I’d have to go to the
side and I’d have to move. That was uncomfortable for me and it wasn’t something that I liked. And again, I went into it feeling fine and not feeling in pain to all of a sudden now I had to be accommodating for something weird in my back. And then my feet were
really, really tingly. They felt like they’d fallen asleep. And I had people coming
in like Christopher and maybe Colleen and Rachel and, you know, all my family were coming in and I’d have them like hit my feet and like kind of rub at my feet because they just felt so uncomfortable. This is not common, but it happens and it happened to me (laughs). So, I went from a place
of not uncomfortable to getting the epidural and
then feeling uncomfortable. I also needed to get a catheter because you can’t feel anything anymore so there’s a chance you’re
gonna pee the bed (laughs) so they put a catheter in you to, kind of, like empty you out and I was nervous when they told me that, like I was like, really? That’s gonna happen? But actually, of all the
things, that was pretty awesome because it was like the
first time in nine months that I wasn’t having to get up to go pee like every five seconds, so I was kind of like, actually
this is awesome (laughs). So, that was kind of more
fun than I had anticipated. (laughing) Finally, my water broke
at around nine A.M. And all of a sudden it was like go-time like I dilated, everything
happened like all at once right after my water broke. Once my water broke it was time to push. It was me, Christopher, the doctor, there were some nurses around. What was really, really neat
about having the epidural was that we got to fully
focus on the baby being born. So, Christopher was like
down there near the doctor and he was like, oh my gosh she has hair, like he could see her head coming out and it was like this really cool moment where I was like, oh my gosh, Christopher do you see our baby? And they’d be like, push, and
I’d be like, okay I’m pushing. But it wasn’t that bad. It was kind of, it was
just like a really fun, joyous experience where we were
really focusing on the baby. Obviously it was taking effort on my part. I didn’t push for too long, so I wasn’t like totally exhausted but it was like okay, I’m pushing now? Okay. It wasn’t like excruciating
pain because I had the epidural. And it was fun because I was hearing about my baby for the first time and our baby was about
to come into the world and Christopher got to be down there, and I was like, tell me everything, what’s goin’ on down there? It was really, really cool. And then she was born, yay! So, the other thing that I
noticed about the epidural that was kind of a bummer for me was a few days later I had like a bruise and it was still bothering
me while I was recovering. So, after having Bailey I still was being bothered by the bruise
and that’s not normal either it was just my experience
with the epidural. I had this bruise that really, kind of hurt for several days later. So, my next birth was
Jacob and he was I think eight lbs one ounces but
I actually don’t even know because they switched it at one point so now I’m like all confused. He was like eight lbs to
eight lbs three ounces, somewhere in there. He was also born at exactly 39 weeks. So, Bailey and Jacob were born basically the same day in pregnancy. I did not get induced for Jacob. Of all the labors, Jacob was the one that I actually knew I was in labor for. I remember we were sitting down, we were playing a little
board game with Bailey, and I was like, oh, oh (laughs). And I started feeling stuff. And then I went to the bathroom. I lost my mucus plug. That’s a thing. Sorry if you’ve never heard of that! Basically it’s a plug of mucus that is kind of a lot (laughs)
that plugs up your cervix. You can lose your mucus
plug like a week or two in advance of giving birth, it’s not like an absolute you’re in labor sign. But it’s a strong sign
that you’re getting close, and in my case, for this
situation, I was going into labor. I was like, let’s find
somebody to watch Bailey and go to the hospital. So, like about 20 minutes later we were headed to the hospital. They checked me. They said, yup, you’re
5 centimeters dilated, you’re definitely in labor. I was like, cool this is awesome. I think it was around 8 P.M. Family was coming and hanging out and I was still handling it well I didn’t feel like major (yells). I can always talk through my contractions until I get into active labor. I was just kind of like, yeah, I think this is a contraction,
(laughs) like that. I remember Gwen and Trent,
Christopher’s brother, and Christopher were all in
the hospital room with me and I was kind of like, ooh (laughs) like I think my water just broke. Like I can’t even remember
what was going on. But I just remember like,
oh my water just broke. And I’d love to hear what
other people say about this, but I feel like when my
water breaks I can hear it. I feel like I hear this
pop and I don’t know if it’s like internal I’m hearing it, but I feel like I hear a pop and then like a glug glug (laughs). And that’s been my experience every time. I’m really curious if
other people actually, like if that’s true or
if I’m just imagining it. So, all of a sudden my water broke and the next contraction was like, yes I feel this oh my gosh I’m in pain, everybody get out of this
room, like what is going on? And for me, apparently,
when my water breaks, often I will dilate almost instantly to like it’s time to push, it’s go-time. So, we really learned that
with Jacob because (laughs) I didn’t have an epidural,
I had been feeling fine, and all of a sudden my water broke, my nurse checks me and she’s like, yeah you’re ten centimeters
dilated, it’s time to push. I was like, oh so we’re
not even talking epidural? She’s like, nope (laughs)
we are past that time. I’m like, all right, let’s
do this then, let’s go. There’s a stage in labor
called active labor and basically you transition
into active labor. So, I went from this sort
of like, mild contractions that I don’t feel much, a lot of women really, really, really
feel those contractions and that’s why the epidural’s an option because when that is extremely painful and you’re having excruciating
pain for hours on end it’s an awesome thing to be able to have an epidural as an option. However, I don’t really feel that. My body moves really quickly
through the active labor stage and then all of a sudden I’m fully dilated and it’s time to push and
that is definitely painful. Definitely I can feel it. I get into this point where I’m like, not even really present. I know nurses will ask me to do things like, oh can you do this? And I’ll be just like, no! I can’t do anything. Like I can’t move. It’s like very different strong pain. But it’s really short for me. Basically I get into that painful place, I push through a few contractions, and typically the baby gets born. But this is my first time
experiencing this, with Jacob, I didn’t know what to expect. So, all of a sudden
they’re like, all right it’s time to deliver, it’s go-time, and I heard them over the
speakers of the hospital going, can we get a doctor? Any doctor? (laughing) Is there anyone who can
deliver a baby who can be here? Like, oh okay. Basically that was my first
time having a nurse delivery. My doctor did not make
it for the delivery. She even said, I had my shoes
at my door I was ready to go, and I think she had ten
minutes to get to me and she didn’t make it in time because I went so quickly from like you’re fine and talking with
family to there’s a baby here. So, that was my first experience with completely natural delivery. I didn’t have any Pitosin and
I didn’t have any epidural. So, the thing that really surprised me about having a non-medicated delivery was that with Jacob, I
could feel him wiggling like the way he would up here in my birth canal like
as he was coming out. And I really felt it the most with Jacob so I don’t know if
everybody feels that either when they’re having no epidural. I was just like, oh (laughs)
like it kind of felt weird ’cause I could feel those movements but they were definitely
like in my birth canal. That was unexpected. The other thing was it was a
really different experience from when Bailey was born
because instead of Christopher being down where the baby was, he was up here in my
face taking care of me because I was definitely more
focused on pain management than I was when I was having Bailey. So, I always try to talk to people who are considering epidural
versus no medication and especially people who are really biased against an epidural. So, I don’t know what
the climate is like now but when I was first
having Bailey and Jacob there was this huge movement based on a bunch of documentaries
coming out and stuff of people who were very anti-epidural. I always think that’s a big bummer. I think that modern
medicine, like epidural, C-section, Pitosin, all of it, they’re all great tools that we have and I’m grateful that we have those tools. I don’t think everybody needs those tools but at the same time I’m so grateful that they’re there and available. After having an epidural
birth verus non-medicated there was a really cool, special thing about the focus being on the
baby and the baby being born versus the focus being on
me getting through my labor. However, I will say I do
try to avoid an epidural just because my experience
was more discomfort than it was an alleviation of pain. But if I were to be in major pain the way I am when I’m in active labor for an hour or two hours, 100% I would say yes, bring on that epidural, like we are ready for this epidural. But it’s just not typically my experience, so, that’s why I go
non-medicated typically, kind of, I’ll get into that in a second. So, the other thing that surprised me about having a non-medicated
delivery with Jacob was actually how much afterwards, and I’m talking about like right after. He comes out and that’s an awesome relief, it’s really cool that feeling
of the baby coming out, ’cause you’re like (yells)
then it’s like (makes noise) (laughing) and the baby comes out and you’re like, whoa! It’s a really neat feeling of relief. (repeats sound) But oh my goodness my bits stung. They stung so bad and it
was because I didn’t have major tearing, I’ve
never had major tearing, but I’ve had enough where they go like, oh you need a stitch or two, and then I’m like, okay whatever, I don’t even know what
you’re talking about, do your thing down there. It really stings. And if you think about having
a cut in your nether region and then them sewing it up,
you want medicine for that. (laughing) So, actually, at that point
they gave me lidocaine I think. They do some sort of topical anesthetic and I’m like ready for that. It’s so funny ’cause I don’t really feel like I need an epidural I don’t feel like I need too much going
on while I’m birthing but right after I’m like, sure! Numb whatever you want. I don’t want to feel all that. So many people talk about it being like a relief after you’ve had the baby, and for me when I was non-medicated I could feel a lot of stinging
and I wasn’t expecting that and I was glad for the
pain relief (laughs). So, that was Jacob. Parker was my whopper of a kid. He was nine lbs nine ounces. He was a few days overdue. Going into labor with him was complicated, I couldn’t tell if I was
in labor for so long. Actually, Colleen has
a video on her channel of kind of a little bit of my birth story. But I get an irritable uterus which means that I get random contractions and I also don’t feel the contractions until I go into active labor
so I get really freaked out not knowing whether or not I’m in labor. And I had been walking
at five centimeters. So, that means that I had like two weeks where I was walking around
at five centimeters. Which, for a lot of people, means you’re in labor go to the hospital. For me it means like, just
hang out, just wait it out. And my doctor at the time
really wanted to induce me and put me on Pitosin and
just make things regular and just get it done, and I
really wanted to avoid that. I wanted the experience
of going into labor, I think that’s really fun. Even though I’m really stressed out and annoying the whole time, but I do think it’s fun. I also knew from having Jacob that I could do it without medication
and I’ve always heard if you’re on Pitosin the contractions get so much more painful because it’s like a forced chemical reaction in your body that, first of all, is
just way more painful and then also there’s little chance that you would do it without an epidural and I was just kind of like, I was a little nervous about all that. I go to the hospital, at one point, going like, am I in labor? They’re like, 100% yes you’re in labor. I’m like, okay if I call my
family I better be in labor because they’re gonna be
coming from out of town, make sure I’m in labor. They’re like, 100% you’re
absolutely in labor. And then like, four hours
later everybody gets there and they’re like, we don’t really know that you’re in labor anymore. What are you talking about? You promised me. And they’re like, yeah we don’t know, we don’t know what’s going on, I think you’ve got an irritable uterus. Basically, I did and they got to a point where they did talk me into going onto a lighter does of Pitosin
to even things out and just make the contractions even. I did that. I was reluctant for a long time but then I finally got the Pitosin, was still feeling kind of
fine, kind of like, oh okay. Doctor came in and she checked me out and I think I was like
seven centimeters dilated and like talking and fine. I feel like she broke my water. So, I think she went in and actually broke the water that time. And then within like half an hour I started doing that rapid progression and I didn’t know (laughs). The nurse was like, are
you gonna want an epidural? What do you think? And I was like, I’m doing
okay, it’s starting to hurt but I think I’m fine. I’m gonna get up and go to the bathroom and then we’ll talk about an epidural. So, I got up from my bed,
walked to the bathroom, went to the bathroom. Basically couldn’t get up from the toilet. I was like, I’m gonna
need that epidural honey! (laughing) And Christopher helps
me and I’m like (yells) I’m just a mess. I just remember getting myself to the bed, and I had just seen the nurse like three minute before or something, and just trying to get to the bed and just being in massive amounts of pain. Christopher gets the nurse
somehow, I don’t even remember. The nurse comes in and I’m like, I think maybe I do want that epidural like all of a sudden it got really bad! She looks and she’s like, yeah
you’re actually ready to push there’s no epidural happening here. It’s like, oh okay. And that actually was a huge relief ’cause I was like, oh that makes sense. I’m feeling transition,
I’m in active labor now. I was still pretty out of my mind. I remember feeling really, really hot and I was like, Christopher
get me washcloths. And I remember him getting me washcloths and wetting them and putting
them all over my face and I all of a sudden just
felt really, really hot and I needed to get all these washcloths. And he was doing that and,
again, really focused on me. The doctor came in. I was feeling a little salty at this particular doctor at this moment. She’s not my doctor anymore. I didn’t like the way she handled trying to push me on Pitosin
and push me on a lot of things. So, I remember (laughing)
I started pushing and I remember seeing the
amniotic fluid squirt at her (laughing) and she dodged it a little bit but I was kind of like (laughs) I was really happy about it. I was like, ha ha, gotcha! (laughing) Anyway, I squirted out a
little bit, got her back for not being really nice to me earlier. I remember them saying don’t push and really, that being
the first time I realized there are times when you’re
not supposed to push. It’s really important to listen in the labor and delivery room because you kind of want to just go at it, be like, I’m gonna push this baby out, It’s gonna happen so fast,
I’m gonna do it in one push, I’m gonna bam this out, but
like really there are times, I don’t totally know what they’re doing, I think sometimes it’s like moving the umbilical cord from their necks. I think in Parker’s case,
I think he was so big they wanted to make sure
his shoulders came through and his collarbone didn’t break because that can happen
in labor to babies. So, I think they were navigating that. I just remember being like, oh really? Are you sure? I kind of want to push,
maybe I should just push and sneak out a push. And they were like, no. And I was like, okay, all right, I’ll hold back here a little bit. I didn’t push and then
I did and he came out. And he was fine, he was perfect. He was very red. I remember he was like bright red and I think that was because
he cooked for so long, like he had been in there
and he was a little overdue. So, he was this big, chubby, red baby and because he was over nine lbs they had to test his blood sugar every hour for like three
hours and it was fine. But I will say I do
think those contractions were probably the strongest most intense contractions that I had and I think it was probably because I was on a bit of a dose of Pitosin. But I survived it and I
was able to do the Pitosin and no epidural and a lot of people will kind of scare you out of that and say like, you can’t get Pitosin and then not have an epidural
it’s just too terrible. It wasn’t too terrible. It was a lot but it was okay. And again, for me it was
like 10 to 20 minutes of a lot of pain and weirdness. But I wouldn’t have done it any other way. So then we have Duncan and
I actually have a vlog up on our channel if you
wanna check that out. It was a really cool experience because my water broke when
I wasn’t at the hospital. That was my first time that’s happened. And Christopher and I were out, we’d just had a little lunch. I stood up, I heard
like pop glug glug glug, and I luckily was wearing leggings so all of the amniotic fluid and stuff stayed in the leggings but I like booked it
(laughs) out of that deli. I was like, let’s get out of here. I don’t wanna be the lady
whose water just broke on the floor of this deli. We ended up getting to the hospital. I was really worried at that time that I was just gonna
give birth in the car because my experience had been water breaks, baby shoots right out. And that’s what I told the hospital. I was like, this is
gonna happen any second. However, it didn’t. I think Duncan was just
like up and floating. I had a ton of amniotic fluid because I had something
called polyhydramnios in that pregnancy and I have
it again for this pregnancy which just means extra amniotic fluid. And we didn’t really know why he wasn’t descending into my pelvis and birthing. So, I was on a birthing
ball a lot for that which I’m really glad I didn’t
have an epidural at that time because once you’re on an epidural you’re not walking around
at all, you’re not moving. And this was my first
time using a birthing ball during labor and delivery
but I really think it helped so much to help get him down. So, my other deliveries I
don’t think it was necessary but with Duncan I was
really, really grateful. And we covered it in towels and stuff and then there was just amniotic fluid (laughing) dripping all down the room, down the towels, all around me, there’s amniotic fluid everywhere because I really did have a lot. And again, we were
hanging out in the room, people were around, and
I got to a point where I was like, all right I have to admit that I’m uncomfortable here (laughs). And I was like, yeah you guys, I’m really starting to feel it (laughs) so can everybody leave? I was like, oh Christopher,
this is getting gnarly. Can you call the nurse in? We should maybe check. She checked me and she’d
like, yup you’re ready to push and I was like, all right let’s go. I got onto the bed. At that point it was
again kind of like Jacob where they were like, do
we have a doctor anywhere? They called my doctor
but he was on his way, I think he was like in the parking lot. He told me later, he
was like, I was runnin’, I was trying to get there. But again, this one was
another nurse-only delivery and what happened was when he came out he actually had the
amniotic sac around his head and the nurse said that she thinks maybe that’s why it slowed down,
like my water must have broken from somewhere up here or something. This is her theory, I don’t know. But the amniotic sac
itself was still intact where his head was and she was like, maybe that was slowing it down
and kind of plugging him up. That’s so cool like I
wish I had seen that. Bailey and Christopher got to see it, just that his head was born with it still in the amniotic sac. And then he had the cord wrapped around his neck a couple times
and I didn’t say this before but all of my kids have had that. I think going into having a baby I thought that was like a worst case
scenario super scary thing but actually, at least
for me, it’s 100% normal and I think for a lot of people it just is very typical for that to happen and the nurses and doctors
know how to handle that so, don’t be scared of that. Like they do know how to work with a cord being wrapped around the neck. All right, so Duncan comes through. The nurse is a rockstar. I think they got to a point where there was one more nurse in the room. But I do remember being in
so much pain and so tense that they were like, can you
please just try to scoot up? And I was just like, I can’t, like my hands are stuck
to the bed, I can’t move. I was so stressed because I was like, I want to make this
delivery as best for you and safest for the baby but
I physically cannot move I’m stuck to the bed and my muscles were just so tensed up from the pain and being where I was at in the labor. And I tried so hard to remember my labors ’cause really you get into this zone. I don’t think I’m a
screamer, or super loud but I don’t even know. Like I’ll ask Christopher
after, was I screaming? Was I upset? What was I like? And he’ll just be like, no you were good like you could hear you, but I don’t know if he’s telling me the
truth, I don’t know (laughs). I don’t really know what I’m like. I just get very much in this zone where I’m like (hums). Duncan was born. He was eight lbs four ounces. I remember them saying that and me going, oh he’s so tiny! Just because I’d had Parker before and he was like a pound
and a half almost larger and eight lbs four ounces seemed like it was gonna be a much
smaller little baby. I remember the nurse just being like what? That’s not tiny at all! And I was like, no really
much smaller than my last one. And then the doctor made it
in to deliver the placenta and I should say, also,
that time with Jacob when my nurses delivered,
the doctor made it in to deliver the placenta as well, so. And that’s a whole other thing, you’re kind of like,
okay I just had the baby and then they’re like,
okay, placenta time, and you’re like, okay, and then
you gotta push that out too. But that’s not a big deal. Significantly less of a big deal than actually birthing a child but it’s kind of like, come
on I just did the thing guys, I gotta do this too? That’s the big overview of all of my labor and delivery stories. I’ve never had a C-section. It could be a possibility, it was definitely a possibility with Duncan. It was a concern for Bailey which is why I initially induced because
she was measuring larger, my stomach was measuring larger. Christopher and his family
were all giant babies and his mom needed a C-section
because they were so large that we really didn’t know
what to expect with Bailey. But now I have confidence
that I can deliver bigger baby but then there are a lot of variables. So, the polyhydramnios I have means that I have a lot of amniotic fluid which mean that the umbilical cord could potentially come out before the baby and that’s like automatic C-section. It’s definitely possible. I’m bringing it up because C-section and extreme tearing are
my two biggest birth fears and I think in part it’s because
I’ve never experienced it. So, even though I’ve
had so many deliveries I also feel like I’m in the same boat as someone who’s never had it because you never know what to expect. And I still have that fear
and I know so many people who have had C-sections who are like, no actually I prefer it, it was great. They’re my superheroes, you know? They’re the people who have done the thing that I’m scared of doing. Or even like Colleen
had very severe tearing and I felt like she handled it so well. That’s always been on my list. My two things that I’m really scared of. And with C-section I’m not
scared of getting the C-section I’m just anxious about the recovery and what that would mean. I just wanted to share that
I still have my own fears and they’re also things
that superhero moms do in the delivery room every
day, all the time, so. New York Dreamer asks, “What would be “your biggest piece of
advice for first time momma “when giving birth? “I’m 38 weeks today and I just
can’t wait to have her here.” Yay! I’m so excited for you, New York Dreamer! You might even have her by
the time I post this video. Maybe, we’ll see. But hopefully I’m here in time
to give you a little advice. I would say birth plans
have gotten hugely popular, they were just on the rise
when I first had Bailey, and I think that it’s cool to have that if you feel like a need
to write out your plan, but my huge piece of advice is to not get so stuck on
anything being a certain way and I think that something’s
gonna be different, no matter what it is, small or big, things will be different
than what you envision and I think that if you marry yourself into this mindset of it has to go this way that you’re setting yourself up for a feeling of failure
or a feeling of fear. While I do think it’s totally cool to have an idea of what you want, I also think approaching
things with an open mind and adaptability is really, really good. It always makes me so
sad when I hear somebody who’s disappointed in
their birth experience because it didn’t match up
with what they had wanted and not that those feelings aren’t valid, I just wouldn’t want
those feelings to exist because they were manifested by a desire for things to go a certain way. And I really think that
all birth experiences are so, so, so special and important and not something to be looked back on with regret or sadness. So, I understand looking back on it and being like, man I wish
I had done it this way or I wish I had done this differently or oh man if I had done this maybe it wouldn’t have ended up like this, but I also feel like the
more you focus early on on it having to be a certain way then that’s setting
yourself up to fail more. And be open to accepting whatever your body needs in that moment. I know people who come from a
non-medicated birth standpoint where they’ll say put in your birth plan even if I ask for an
epidural don’t give me one and they really strongly have that opinion and I really strongly disagree. Especially when you’re asking your partner or your birth support
person to tell you no, I think that’s really terrible. I feel like I might upset
people by saying that but I really feel like if in
a moment you need something then you should have the
freedom to ask for it. I just, I think that’s really important. Obviously do whatever you’re gonna do and if that’s something
you really wanna commit to I get it, I just. I think you need a safe word or something where you’re like, no
actually this is fine, you can give me pain
medication or you can do this. Just because you don’t
know until you’re there how you’re gonna feel. Brewery Vision says, “I’m
terrified of the after. “Getting out of bed, stitches, blood, “going to the bathroom,
soreness, recovering down there. “When does your body feel normal again?” Okay. Being terrified of the after
I don’t think is as necessary because it’s amazing how much
that week after giving birth to a baby disappears into oblivion. And you’re focused on your
baby and you’re very tired and a lot of stuff’s going on down there and you’re kind of like, I don’t care. (laughing) I feel like if I didn’t have
a brand new baby to care for I’d probably be like with
a mirror investigating trying to figure it all out,
but it’s amazing how much that stuff doesn’t bother
you in the way it does when you think about it
before it’s happening. It’s very weird. And also modesty. Like all modesty, I think
there’s a chemical response that goes in your body
where you’re like, yeah! What’s wrong with being naked right now? (laughs) Like it’s amazing how much certain things don’t bother you the way they would in any
other point in your life. But at the same time you’re very shocked, you’re like, wait what is going on? The clots are gonna be how big? Why didn’t people tell me this? What is going on? (laughs) But it’s also like, all right sure, okay. It’s not that big of a deal in the moment. And it’s always gonna be surprising. You’re gonna kind of be
like, wait what’s going on? Okay, sure (laughs). It’s not as painful or as stressful. Definitely get medication. They’ll offer you pills and
stuff, Tylenol or something. Take it. And expect to still feel contractions especially if you’re nursing or something. You get these really strong contractions that are not as strong as labor but close and it’s kind of a surprise, you’re like, wait, I’m still dealing with this? But it’s okay, and that
week goes by so fast. I know my doctors have told me, oh we’re just doing a couple stitches, and I think that they’re internal, but like I’ve never seen them, I haven’t put much thought into them. They give you numbing
spray and they give you a bunch of different tools
to manage your business but it’s not like if at any
other point in your life you got stitches down there. I mean (laughs) I can’t imagine if I had some sort of injury
that lead towards stitches and it wasn’t from having a baby I think it would be like the
biggest drama of my life. But for some reason it doesn’t seem to matter as much in that week. And as far as your body
feeling normal again you’re supposed to give
yourself a six week recovery, that’s how long it takes
for your cervix to close and you really will feel a lot better before six weeks, typically, it depends on the extend of your injuries? I don’t know what to call it but the extent of what happened. So, typically they say a minimum of six weeks of pelvic recovery. I feel like around two to three weeks if things have been very
typical, like in my experience, you’re still getting heavy bleeding. I can’t remember when that stops so I don’t want to give you
the exact scientific time of when your bleeding needs to chill out, definitely ask your doctor. You’re not really feeling
a lot of pain, discomfort you’re kind of feeling a lot better, especially around three to four weeks. But, in my experience,
I was also breastfeeding with my other four kids, I don’t know what will happen with this kid. I mean I hope to breastfeed our new baby but I don’t know what will happen just because you never know. You have a new adjustment and
the breastfeeding adjustment is a new body adjustment
too, that’s a new experience, and I don’t wanna say your
body feels back to normal because you’re then navigating that but I will say a typical
down below recovery they say is like six weeks. I think you’re feeling a lot
better within three weeks. I’ll update you after this next baby with more specific timeline for that. But when they’re saying
like, you really are, that’s a whole new thing to navigate so, you don’t feel completely normal and your body’s a new shape
so, it depends on how much you care about that like how
that affects you emotionally. It’s weird. I feel like when I had Duncan I gave birth and I was like, dang! Like you still have a giant tummy but at the same time I was like, ooh! I feel so thin! And then within like a month I was like, I don’t feel so good about myself like I feel a little awkward
about my postpartum body. And I always try to not, like
I try really hard mentally to just accept myself for how I am but I do feel like that’s in there at least for a lot of women,
maybe not, hopefully not all. Ideally no one. I still think that there’s
like psychological aspect like a thing you go through where you’re really struggling with your body. Even though, oh my gosh,
I’ve never seen a woman who’s just given birth and
I’ve judged her for one second. You know? I try to remember that, like I don’t care what a woman’s body looks like after they’ve delivered a child I’m like, you’re a superstar! You’re amazing! You rock! For me, it does affect me
a bit and I wish it didn’t because I really, really strongly feel that women’s bodies are
beautiful and amazing and I just really respect what they can do and then I still go through that. This feeling of feeling kind of just gross or not how I want to look. I wanted to talk to you guys about that because that’s really, that’s a thing that happens with me and I wish it didn’t. And I don’t think that about other people. But I still struggle
with that emotionally. And I don’t feel that in pregnancy. In pregnancy I’m like, yes! This stomach has a reason to be here! And I love that. And I typically feel really, really body positive during pregnancy. And I know some women
don’t have that experience and I really go through it a
little bit in the postpartum. It’s hard for me. All right, Jennifer asks,
“What are things you do “to help your body be ready for labor?” I do nothing. I’m just throwing that out there. With the exception of
maybe some perineum massage which I’ve heard now is being questioned whether that works or not,
but haven’t had much tearing so maybe that’s connected
in a positive way. But basically I don’t do anything else and I want to say that because
I don’t want you to be scared if you haven’t done some
sort of physical preparation. I don’t want you to either feel guilty that you weren’t strong
enough going into labor or feel like you haven’t done enough because your body can do this. My body can do this. And if it doesn’t happen
the way you envision it’s not because of something
you did or didn’t do. Kelly Anderson asks,
“What is the first thing “you wanted to eat after giving birth?” Basically my answer is
everything (laughs). One of my first requests is like, bring on that hospital menu! And then I found out in my last pregnancy that a lot of my friends actually have fancy food ready for them, one of my friends has a cheesecake
from Cheesecake Factory, and they’ll like have these fancy meals all prepped for once they deliver. That is some good planning. I really respect that. I had no idea. I just like go wild
with the hospital menu. It’s often French toast but
it depends on when you deliver because they serve different
things at different times. But basically the whole wide world because it’s the first time I don’t have heartburn in like nine months. Alex wants to know if I
have a playlist of songs or songs that make labor go faster. This is something I 100% don’t do. And I think if Christopher
was the one to give birth he would have all this music
prepared and be really into it. I’m not that into music. I’ve never set up any sort of music while I’m in the delivery room. It’s not something I wanna hassle with. But if you’re pumped up
by music, totally do it, but it doesn’t do it for me. So, oh my goodness, I
hope that this was helpful or exciting or interesting
for you guys out there. I know so many people have
different birth stories. I would love for you to share
them in the comments below. If you have a different
experience please share it or if you have the same
experience share it. I think that the internet
can be such a great place for us to share our
experiences and become educated and also, man that third
trimester pregnancy, where I’m at right now, is
just such a time of waiting and curiosity and you don’t
know what’s gonna happen and it’s a time where you
wanna learn and hear stories. So please share, especially
positive stories about birth. Go ahead and share your realities. Try not to really freak anybody out if you have a really scary story and by anybody I mean me,
because oh my gosh (laughs) I’m about to do this here. And I will be reading all your comments. I love stories like this. Address whatever you want to address of what I’m talking about but
do it in a way that’s kind. Let’s talk and have discussions but please try to make
things civil and let’s learn. Let’s learn about childbirth. I’m so excited. I can have my baby soon,
like in five to six weeks I’m having a baby, oh my gosh. (mellow guitar music)

100 thoughts on “My Birth Stories!

  • Amazing how educational this was!! Also I wanna point out what a QUEEN you are, Jess! You talk about Supermoms but you’re the real Supermom here!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!! I love a positive birth story 🌸 I loved the revenge part too 😂 Not sure if it was intentional or not, but I also really loved how the setting looked and how the background matched your dress, it looks very nice! Can‘t wait for the next birth story in October or November 😍

  • Loved watching this!!
    It’s so amazing how all those pregnancy symptoms go away right after birth!
    Completely agree with you on being open minded!! I had a c section on July 23rd. I felt bad about having a c section because I definitely didn’t plan for it and it freaked me out to be in an OR getting cut open lol but the doc said something that really helped me before they rolled me away. She said the ultimate goal is to have a healthy baby and a healthy mom. That’s all that matters regardless of how it has to happen. My son and I are doing great and I couldn’t be happier even if things didn’t go as planned ❤️

  • Omg Bailey looks exactly like you! In the photo of you holding baby bailey I literally thought it was bailey holding one of her siblings for a second.

  • I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck when I was born and it took my mum so long to push me out because it was like I was strapped to a bungy cord. My mum would push but when she'd stop I would just go back again. I feel kinda bad because I was her first baby and she had to go through such a long labour.

  • I have never want an epidural and probably never will have one unless I need an emergency c section then they can do anything they need but I also had the drip to induce me as I wasn't progressing and I was already 25 hours in with my water broken at the start of 25 hours… But I never judge anyone who needs all the medicine and epidural cause you do you… Thats your pregnancy and birth, not mine 🙂

  • My biggest birthing fears were also Caesarean section and tearing; tl;dr both happened and everything was fine My oldest was born after a cravings filled, wonderful 41 week LONG pregnancy experience, plus 12 hours of natural labor plus pitocin oh, and surprise pre-eclampsia, by emergency c-section within 10 minutes of the anesthesiologists frantically dumping the epidural in me. For my youngest I had a difficult and painful pregnancy but went to a wonderful, kind, gentle, compassionate VBAC OB-GYN specialist and had the smoothest, most beautiful birth experience until the tear… oh my goodness, she’s 27 and I remember those stinging!
    But it’s all worth it, it’s always worth no matter what we would do it again, for them.
    Thank you for sharing your incredible experiences & precious memories with us, Jessica, your family is so beautiful.
    Love me some Ballingers xoxo

  • Not only is it different for every person, but every birth can be wildly different for the same person! My two birth stories could not be more opposite, and the funny thing is that each kiddo’s birth story totally reflects their personality now! My daughter (37! Hours of labor) likes to take her time, my son (4ish hours of labor, came out too quickly for even an epidural, was born on his baby shower date) is still rushing head long into things. All this is to say that even when you think you’ve got it figured out because you’ve done it before, kids will throw you for a loop. And that’s true not only in labor and delivery, but in life as well! 😂❤️

  • I will absolutely not share the story of my daughter's birth in the comments section here, because it will 100% scar people for life. And regardless of what I went through, I would do it all again in a heartbeat no questions asked because that's what it took to bring my daughter into this world. She is a miracle and I wouldn't trade anything. I've been easing myself into the idea of creating a YouTube channel however, and that will be one of my first videos if I ever get to understanding editing and all that stuff.

  • I have so many birth stories, that would take up too much space here. The most beautiful story is the times I would go with my Granny who was a midwife, to deliver babies. The first time I saw birth was at four going on five years old. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed, and even today it brings a smile and good memories on of those times, and people I use to know. The lady in the bed looked at me and said "See, it's a little baby." She had the biggest smile on her face.😊 Thanks for sharing your experiences. This was very positive and informative.

  • It’s kinda unfair how because some of the staff aren’t going to be working at a late hour, she had to do something to her body she wasn’t originally planning to do.

  • My Mom had me just 20 minutes after getting to the hospital. A vast difference to my sisters first pregnancy, she was in labor for days, and had Braxton hix for weeks. And was sent home from the hospital a cpl times Bc she was progressing very slowly..

  • This is SUCH an informative video Jessica! I’m 23 and I’m not pregnant, but this has made me so much more excited for when I get there one day!! 😂💖

  • Awww thanks for sharing all your stories & being so honest! ♥️♥️ I’m not pregnant right now, but the baby fever is in full effect haha and I’m hoping to be within the next year or so 🤞🏻. This did help with a lot of anxiety and questions I would have though. Can’t wait for your newest bundle of joy 🥰♥️

  • This is off topic but I like to watch videos like these when I start my period bc I have very, very painful period cramps and for some reason it’s comforting to pretend I’m going into labor and having contractions instead of shedding my uterine lining. It makes the pain more bearable for me, idk 🤷‍♀️

  • I had four babies. And non of mine was the same. My only bad experience was my youngest was 13.2 pounds. And the Dr on duty wanted to set me up for a C section just because of his size. It took a lot to convince him if I or the baby wasn’t in danger why do the C section. His size didn’t scare me until I actually started delivery.

  • My water broke with two of my three pregnancies and I heard a pop too! Until you said you heard the pop I thought I must be crazy!

  • I’m so happy you posted this!! I’m not anywhere near having a baby at this point in my life, but I hope to one day. This gave some wonderful insight into how different each pregnancy can be, and it was so wonderful to hear what your experiences have been with the medications they offer for delivery! Thank you for sharing, you’re a super mom! Hoping you all have a lovely day today! 😊💕✨

  • The best thing about a c-section is that you don't do anything and they do all the work. Most of the time they will numb you and you just sit back relax and wait for the baby to come out.

  • I had my baby a year ago and the delivery was not good, the nurses and doctors in particular! U want to have more kids and that wont let me down, but I am really anxious for other pregnancies and deliveries now. Your stories give me hope It may not be the same for other births! Beautiful stories! ♥

  • I thank you for your openness, candidness and honesty. I loved hearing your perspective on many topics, how accepting you are of the different birth scenarios, etc:m. You’re a rock star

  • I had Two different pregnancies one had an easy pregnancy harder delivery. One was harder pregnancy easy delivery. I definitely believe in setting up during labor.

  • I love these kinds of videos from you! I’m not yet married or having kids but I definitely want them in the future and I love learning about it!

  • I think when you were talking about active labor, you meant transition. Active labor is around 5cm but transition is around 7cm or right before you push. It’s not an exact science though. I feel my contractions intense from like 2-3cm on and transition is like hell for me (like you mentioned, every labor is different).

  • The “POP” of the water breaking…. I 100% heard it as well… I had just laid down to bed and heard it and said “oh dear!” My Husband popped out of bead and asked me what had happened… I said I wasn’t sure and just to wait a minute. Then the water came LOL it felt like a gush to me.

    Long story short, I didn’t breathe through my contractions well, got the epidural, was fine and dandy after that. Labour stalled a bit, got oxytocin to kit it back up. Time for pushing came and I think it was an hour or more of pushing. My baby boy did have the cord around his neck but wasn’t too bad. He popped out about 16 hours after water broke with a “true knot” in his cord. I remember the nurse showing it around and being surprised. I didn’t understand why at the time but apparently it is rare 🤷‍♀️. He also had an egg sized bump on one side of his head called a hematoma and a scratch on the other where he rubbed on my pelvis apparently.
    I suffered a 4th degree tear so had to go to the OR to get stitched up and remember feeling so sad that I had to be taken from my baby so soon. He was with Daddy getting skin to skin but I think I will always be sad I missed that time.
    I had a lot of water retention during and after delivery and it seemed to take a while to go away… I was very numb from all that for a while which I think helped me not feel the pain from my tear🤷‍♀️.
    I was tested positive for Group B Strep so in our hospital if your water breaks then you come in and they hook you up to antibiotics during the whole delivery process.
    I would do it all again❤️❤️❤️

    I love hearing birth stories as well so I can’t wait to read them in the comments ❤️❤️❤️

  • This is soooo helpful!! I love knowing what couuuuld happen because I’m a researcher like you. I like to know options and potentials

  • Thanks for making this! I am due towards the end of December and have started thinking “birth plan.” This has been so informative and helpful!

  • I had an interesting experience. I went into labor in the middle of the night. I never got past 5cm. Pitocin made my DD’s heart rate go down,so I had an epidural and a C-section. I ended up not using my birth plan at all. My recovery was pretty good. My DD is now 18,but I remember every detail. I hope this experience goes as planned. Good luck. 😊

  • Definitely NO modestly when having a baby 😂 I mean having a nurse help you pee after giving birth, nurses constantly checking you down there for healing and bleeding. I’ve never even had a pap before I got pregnant just for fear of a stranger being in private areas. But then giving birth I really didn’t care who saw (to an extent😂)

  • Were trying to start a family and I have anxiety and am terrified of labor postpartum how about all of it lol. Did you have any anxiety going into a birth journey?

  • I LOOOVE your dress/shirt (pretty sure it’s a dress but all tucked into bed I could be wrong you know) you’re such a cutie

  • I'm a man and nowhere close to the stage of my life where pregnancies and babies would directly affect me, but I still love hearing and learning about it from you along with Colleen. There's so, so, so many things I didn't know before. Definitely ever-growing respect for women and awe for the human body! Thank you for sharing and continuing to share!

  • I’m 12 weeks pregnant with my first baby and pretty much scared of everything to do with pregnancy and childbirth. This video did help a lot & answered some of my questions. Love watching you and your family!!

  • in the picture you put in the video of when you gave birth to bailey it’s crazy how much you look like her!! it looks like bailey is holding baby bailey!! your entire family is so beautiful

  • The people who are completely against epidurals for not just themselves but every other woman are the same people who don’t vaccinate their kids. Modern medicine is amazing 💜

  • I was CRAZY anxious about college things then listening to your stories and voice just suddenly made me so happy! Thank you so much Jessica ❤️

    (I’ve been subscribing since 2014 and its 2019! OMG I’m so excited for this new baby)

    From South Korea❤️

  • Great video, Jessica! It's cool hearing how your births were similar and different from one another and what you learned from each experience.

    I work for an emergency ambulance service, and have helped deliver a baby twice – the actual birth in an ambulance doesn't happen as often as people think. My first was also the first for the mother. My partner was more experienced, but I had to 100% go by what I learned from textbook procedures to help her. She relied on us to tell her when to push and needed more coaching. She would subconsciously hold her breath so we had to remind her to breathe at a sufficient rate. The second birth was the mother's fourth and as you said, she knew her body very well. We went from a leading/guiding role to a more supportive one. She knew when to push and, let's just say, it went A LOT faster and smoother. Haha. Happy to report that both had very little complications and were born a healthy girl and boy. It truly is witnessing something so miraculous and beautiful.

    I wish you all the best and can't wait to see the newest Ballinger Baby Boy! At this point, you're a pro!! Haha 💚

  • I 100% agree with your advice about birth plans. My first ended up being an emergency c-section. Obvs not really anyone's plan, but, I feel like, since I didn't really Have a plan as to how I wanted my birth experience to go, I never had any of that disappointment that some women unfortunately deal with. It just…was what it was. I got a healthy baby in the end, and umm, neither of us died, which was actually a real concern.

  • I hated the epidural. If I have another I'd go without. My doula suggested it would help me sleep but it didn't. And pushing was hard. I couldn't feel my contractions. I feel I did a rotten job pushing. Took an hour.
    Baby wasn't crying when she came out. Scared everyone but she was alert and fine. I didn't get to hold her right away though cause they were busy trying to get her to cry. 30 minutes later I finally got to hold her and the last 24 hours vanished and I was in heaven. She's 4 now. Just started pre-K.

  • This was so helpful thank you Jessica! I’m due my first baby November 6th! I’m excited but nervous about everything xx

  • I haven’t ever been pregnant and hopefully never will, but I can tell my mom’s story of giving birth to me. She had been on bedrest (aside from getting up to use the bathroom or move from the couch to her bed or things like that) for the past two weeks because of a vaginal infection that could’ve made me be born early, which they didn’t want because I was breach so they wanted to give as much time as possible for me to turn around and guarantee that she’d be able to get a c-section if I didn’t. She was scheduled to go in for her c-section at 6am one day, and at around 3am that day she woke up because her water broke (clearly my timing was on point 😝). They immediately went to the hospital, but she didn’t progress too fast so they just kept an eye on her until the time she had originally been scheduled for came around and did the procedure then as planned. Everything went smoothly, and I was born a couple hours later at around 8am at 7lbs 11oz. My mom has said that recovery was definitely pretty uncomfortable and took a little extra time because the incision had to heal and all that, but I’m her first and only child so she doesn’t have a good point of reference for how it would compare to a vaginal birth time-wise or pain-wise other than what the doctors told her and the fact that a massive incision will obviously have pretty different care and sensation than a few stitches or whatnot from a vaginal birth.

  • I had a c-section for my first pregnancy. I was more scared about delivering vaginally and WANTED a c-section. The actual c-section was great. Recovery was a little tough but I was more uncomfortable than in pain.

    I’m so excited for you, and to hear how this new buddy’s birth goes!

  • Thank you so much for all of your birth stories and advice! I'm 18 weeks pregnant and I love listening to everyone's birth stories, especially the positive ones! It's extremely helpful so thank you so much!❤😊

  • I ended up having postpartum psychosis when I gave birth in 2001. No one told me about that as an option. I had no idea what was going on or why I had the thoughts and feelings that I was experiencing. It’s rare but also can be dangerous if not identified. It wasn’t until years later that I discovered what it was, and the bonding I expected to have was damaged due to that condition. Had I known and gotten treatment, it could have been very different. It was my second birth, and I had no clue what was going and because I had never been told about anything other than “the baby blues”- I was scared to let anyone know how I was feeling and thinking. It became a shameful thing for me to just hide. I’m so thankful I know what it is now and can tell someone about it and to GET HELP because it’s not your fault, and it is something that can be treated. <3

  • My family love u guys soooooooooooooo much and I like to watch ur videos as soon as possible.If a video hasn't been uploaded in a while,i go hunt down a video that I haven't seen yet 😂

  • My mom had a hysterectomy when me and my sister were in our 20s and she said the recovery felt just like after giving birth but it was way worse because you don't have all those happy hormones from being around your newborn baby!

  • Thank you for sharing this 🙂 I really loved it. Its interesting to hear how different the different births are. I haven't been so lucky to be pregnant yet, but my mums stories are always "it was the best thing in the world, the pregnancy and birth was all great. I wish I could be pregnant on a loop forever!" kind of things, while friends come with these horror stories. But all women are different, different bodies, different expectations, different experience. I really enjoyed listening to yours. And I wish you luck on the next one, and can't wait for the new Ballinger baby to arrive.

  • The main thing I learned from this video (specifically the old pictures) is that your kids look more like Jessica than I thought!

  • Hi! I'm the one who is terrified of the after haha. The way you explained it relaxed me a lot, like really really relaxed, and I am not close to having a baby right now (maybe in a couple of years! And is totally your fault because every time I watch your beautiful family I start to imagine my own hahaha).
    You actually share a lot with my mum, she says it was painful but it was like 10 min, baby out, pain stopped, placenta is not a big deal. (I was born 29 years ago, and epidurals were not that accesible!)
    Thank you, and best wishes for you and this new baby!!! <3 <3

  • Lol I'm so glad not to be the only person who refers to my parts as "my bits" or "my nether region" haha I frequently use both terms

  • Okay coming here to comment that I definitely heard my water break too. It happened at home while we were sleeping, I woke up and rolled over – POP and glug just like you described. 😂😂

  • i actually had to pause the video from laughing so hard when she was talking about how she sprayed the doctor with the fluid. i was actually crying laughing

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