When I met Yasmine I quickly felt a connection. Doula work is directly tied to energy work. I knew with my whole body I wanted to work with her. I think one of the reasons was because, she is only a few months older than my first born. I have a special place for Gen Z in my heart. Though, feeling a maternal feeling I felt compile to be more direct with my doula approach while presenting her options. At times I tend to be "here's the info and you make your decision". But, Yasmine already knew what she wanted and what she wanted from me. What a beautiful journey it was! Here Ill give you a glimpse on my perspective on this amazing birth story of self empowerment.
Yasmine is the oldest of eight siblings and has witness her youngest be born at home. With one of them being an unplanned unassisted birth. Every time she talked to me about her experience and presence at her siblings birth it was with such joy and excitement. The way she holds being the first one to hold one of them besides mom its deeply engraved in her. My job is not to convince anyone of anything. But she was convinced she wanted this. Homebirth was part of her, part of her innate knowing. Homebirth is where my heart lies and I was really hoping this for her as well. Some women just know. This was her. She didn't need all the childbirth classes and preparation. She simply trusted. Trusted birth, the process, her body. It was so beautiful to me how this young couple had so much trust in each other. Her husband didn't say much at our prenatals but he always reassure her he trusted her. It was ultimately her decision! There's so much to learn from these two.
Yasmine kept going back and forth about where ultimately she would give birth. I believe this where we all should be while planning a homebirth. Not having a set expectation but being flexible. Because ultimately birth will take its own course. Part of me believe going back and forth came from her provider instilling fear and not necessarily hers. Her doctor wanted to induced her because she was dilated to 3cm and 80% effaced he "could speed things along" and insisting she would need to be put on Pitocin. She really didn't feel like putting herself through those final appointments anymore. She knew what her heart desire but was flexible. She understood if need be, she would go to the hospital. During our final prenatal meeting we talk about the plan one more time. Addressing as well her low iron levels I made sure she knew her alternatives, risks and following her intuition. Eventually, the decision was to labor at home and transferred to our local birthing friendly hospital twenty minutes away and not go to the hospital where her OBGYN has rights at, which is ten minutes away if there was a need. They had their bags pack by the door. Where they remained.
During the last week of pregnancy she experience prodromal labor almost every single day. As a first time mom she really did wonderful at coming back to center and not panicking. She was tired, she was feeling defeated, she tried to induced naturally and get labor going but nothing worked. I reminded her to let it go, to rest, to go have fun with her husband. To not be in anyone's timeline but her baby's. During this week there was also a lot of stress from family issues with her mom. I decided that she would benefit greatly about letting this out. I paid her a visit with my five year old daughter. Dropped off some cloth diapers and chatted for about two hour. She had planned to have her mom present at the birth. Ultimately, making the hard decision to not have her present for the birth. I could sense how much this was stressing her out. I was so proud of her for making this tough decision. But she stepped in her power and claimed all that is her and how she wanted this birth to unfold.
It is highly important we chose the energy in our birth space wisely.
On Thursday, July 7th I had a Chiro appointment which happens to be the same Chiro clinic she was scheduled for that following Monday. She quickly crossed my mind and decided to check on her at around 9:40 am just a few minutes later she texts me she thought her water broke. She wouldn't stop leaking shortly after hearing a "pop". Period like cramps quickly turned into contractions. This was REALLY it, finally! I was at her house shortly after 11:45am or so. She was in active labor with constant surges every four to six minutes within an hour they were two to three minutes apart. Her husband had stepped out to go grab some Epsom salt and a bite to eat for all of us. At one point I was really thinking he need to hurry back. This is escalating pretty fast. All that week of prodromal labor really made huge changes and birth was near. In between surges she was talking to people on TikTok, eating tater tots, and had a phone call with a family friend while moving her hips on the birth ball.
Things intensify around 1:30pm. She stop at the mirror for her last selfie with her belly. By 2pm she got in the tub where she hit transition not long after. It was extremely hot in the bathroom. We were all sweating with her. I remember going downstairs to the kitchen to grab her a popsicle. That was like heaven to her and me lol. Yasmine felt for her baby's head and told us she could feel baby an inch away from crowning. She couldn't talk to us much. Transition hit with a punch. It probably lasted about 30 minutes. She was roaring with all her might. I suggested a change of scenery. Maybe get out of the tub. To which she later told me it was what she needed but couldn't tell us as she couldn't put words together. She cried and roar until she got out. It was no way back, she left her body to reach for her baby, she has crossed the threshold of life and rebirth. She was reaching for her starseed.
She got out of the tub around 3:40ish. Decided to labor on the floor. She followed her body and tried multiple positions. All fours, kneeing, and ultimately moving side to side on her back in a "happy baby" position. She tried closed knee pushing on her side and we started to see a head. She would go onto choosing a side laying position to birth her baby. She did such a beautiful job at laboring down until the Fetal Ejection Reflex took over. A few of these and baby was born in less than 30 minutes at 4:12 pm. Her husband caught the baby. The cord so perfectly full and blue.
Weight 8.5 lbs. on their baby scale; 19 inches.
She took some tinctures to help with bleeding. The placenta was born in less than 30 minutes. She birth the placenta into a stainless steal bowl. There they set on the floor amazed and loving on their baby. Mom got to finished her tator tots, a protein bar and a juice box. She tied the baby's cord while dad held her and she cut it. Pregnancy and birth was finally over. No longer attached to each but still ONE.
It was such an honor and a privilege to work with this young couple. I believe the we millennials are paving the way for the next generation. We may not get everything right but I have faith we are heading in the right direction even if it takes to rebel out. Until the system show us otherwise we will be.
Erica is the absolute best! My heart longed for a peaceful unassisted birth at home, but I didn’t feel capable. Erica encouraged me and walked with me through my pregnancy reminding me that I have bodily autonomy and teaching me how to advocate and speak up for myself. She helped me have so much confidence and realize what I’m capable of. I knew that I was definitely built for birth! I had my unassisted birth, at home, and it was so peaceful!!!! As a first time mom it was the absolute best experience I’ve ever had! She is wonderful birth doula/coach and photographer! Our pictures turned out amazing! She was also an amazing postpartum support partner! She did three belly binding sessions, cleaned for me, and even made moon milk! I would 1000/10 recommend her! Sincerely a FTM and POC who felt disrespected and invalidated by the medical system. - Yasmine