When I was 23, I was surprised to find out I was expecting my rainbow baby! She was really there, healthy and strong (I had suffered 2 losses prior).I knew nothing. Not a thing on what it meant to give birth. There were so many stories, words of advice and opinions thrown my way, that it was intimidating, scary and exciting. I was gifted a book called Active Birth: The New Approach To Giving Birth Naturally (coincidentally pictured on coffee table below) and it forever changed my mind. It had pictures from what looked like the 70's, but they were raw and untouched and so powerful. I felt inspired and motivated to find out everything I could about labor, birth and postpartum. And so it began...
I watched YouTube videos of natural births, water births, home-births, hospital births. I watch the docu-series, The Business of being Born and More Business Of Being Born, I think like 3 times. When they say knowledge is power, they mean it! I was so inspired and felt so ready to bring this little girl earth-side.
At 5 am, the day I went into labor with my now 6 year old, I was so excited. I mean so very excited. I had my 39 week checkup with my OB that very morning and she told me to go in when I felt ready. We ended up going grocery shopping and paying some bills. You should have seen some of the looks I got as I used the food racks as support while my surges came and went. This one guy will forever stick out in my mind. My partner was paying for food, while I ended up contracting in one of the aisles. This poor guy. He must have been on his lunch break, as he was dressed in a full suit. He saw me and his face went white. He had no idea what was happening or if he should step in. I'm laughing as I type this. This poor guy walked over to me in such a calm/scared/shocked way, that I bust out laughing repeating "I'm ok, I'm ok!"
7 pm that night I was ready. She was so low and the pressure was intense. I checked into the labor room and here the story begins. I made it clear that there were to be no interventions. No breaking of my waters, no back laying, no epidural (the needle FREAKS me out), and I wanted to move as I pleased. My nurse was amazing. She was my strength through it all. She was my voice. She gave me hip squeezes, she held my hair, she told the Dr to chill, she told the med students to leave, she gave me the sweetest birth affirmations, she was what made my daughter's birth an all enthralling and emotional experience that has forever changed who I was and I am. If this ever gets back to her, I hope she knows how grateful I still am to her. This is the only picture I have of her. I don't even know her name. I was on a birth high I cannot even explain. Then we went home...
My daughter's dad had to go back to work what felt like the next day. I went to work on Monday and had her on Tuesday. All of a sudden I was home alone with a new baby and no one to talk to. I look back and remember begging him to come home early. You see, our daughter NEVER slept. She STILL doesn't sleep at 6. She was a VERY high energy baby who required so much attention. Her dad worked close to 60 hours a week. Nothing could have prepared me for this. I chalked up my emotions and sadness to being over tired and sore from nursing a baby with a bad latch. I JUST NEEDED sleep. This lasted for a few months and then I was fine! I went back to work and started to feel normal again. It never crossed my mind that during that 3 month postpartum period, I could have been depressed. I never would have admitted I'd suffered from PPD or postpartum depression.
Fast forward 4 years, I was pregnant with my second daughter. I decided that this time I'd want a midwife at a free standing birth center. Although my birth was AMAZING, the hospital experience was not. Halfway through my second pregnancy, my midwife asked if I was going to encapsulate my placenta. "HUH?!" I asked...She gave me a business card of a local encapsulation specialist and I was mind blown. I thought I had researched everything. I went home and DOVE into the research. The more I read, the more I realized my experience with my first was no doubt postpartum depression. I knew I HAD to encapsulate this placenta. So I did and let me tell you!!
I had my water birth. My placenta pills were brought back to me the next day. I immediately started taking them. I felt so good, I went shopping 2 days postpartum, I was never moody, my birth high lingered for days, my lochia or postpartum bleeding stopped by 4 days pp, nursing was amazing. All I can say is that my baby moon was phenomenal with #2 and I was so very thankful for my pills. I NEVER experienced what I did with my first. Then I had my son...
His birth was just as beautiful as the girls' births but I still worried about depression. I encapsulated his placenta and again, felt fabulous. I knew I had to help other fellow moms out. I needed to. And so a placenta encapsulation specialist was born and this is just the start!
Oh! And my oldest, the one who inspired my whole new self, is named Ayanah. Her name is a variation of the name:
which means eternal blossom or forever blossoming.
I needed to name my business after her to honor what she did for me. It may be little to her, but it's so significant to me.
Have you tried placenta pills? Did you notice a difference? Please let me know!