Early labor – the sometimes nebulous time between pregnancy and active labor. Early labor is clinically defined as any labor activity before the cervix is dilated to at least 6 centimeters. Your body may move through early labor in a matter of hours or over the course of several days. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between normal symptoms of late pregnancy (like a back ache) and early labor. One of the best ways to learn about and prepare for birth is to listen to the stories of other life carriers. As we focus on early labor this month – we want to encourage you to listen to the experiences of other amazing humans with the podcast Birth Stories In Color. You can also check out our Instagram or Facebook account for tips on recognizing emotional and physical signs and how to support someone during early labor. And, as always, we welcome phone calls and emails from those who want to work with our birth doula team.

Dayna – Birth Stories in Color

Dayna Ruben’s grandmother had nine children in the Caribbean islands, all home births. During her pregnancy, she thought about her a lot, and her first son was born on her birthday, where she would have been 100 years old. Dayna felt deeply connected to her ancestors and the groundwork that would lead her through her pregnancies. She incorporated hypnobirthing as a deep way to tap into her subconscious and have the births they desired. Both pregnancies were without issues and concerns. Labor ensued slowly as she started dilating on a Monday and would have her membranes naturally rupture (water break) on Thursday. She took her time to prepare herself to leave. She followed the hypnosis scripts that she had been listening to in her sleep, which allowed her to stay calm despite when her surges (contractions) were 5 minutes apart as they left their home..

Birth Stories in Color

Diedre – Birth Stories in Color

Picture this, it’s 1989, and Deidre found out she was pregnant between 4-5 months gestation after multiple negative tests. The moment she found out became a learning experience for a nurse eager to share the news. Deidre flatly reminded her to work on her delivery as you don’t know how a person feels about the pregnancy. The pregnancy moved forward, and she discovered that she was losing weight and often feeling tired, which made her grow agitated with pregnancy. When she finally went into labor, it proved challenging as the doctor on call was aggressive and had problems in his communication style. Not to have her voice silenced, Deidre made sure he knew how inadequate his service was to her in the moment… 

Birth Stories in Color

Shenee – Birth Stories in Color

Shenee is a counselor who focuses on serving pregnancy and postpartum women. Her second pregnancy was going well until her 32nd week presented with bleeding. The bleeding was unexplained, but she was treated to prevent a preterm birth. She was advised to stop working, but she pushed for less restrictive discharge orders as she believed she had a vascular cervix. Her providers suspected placental abruption as she found herself back at the hospital less than 24 hours later. Shenee eventually agreed to stay at the hospital until her baby was born to keep them both safe. There was a period of surrender that led to a month-long hospital stay. This was followed by a feeling of body shame and grief for the pregnancy experience she had expected. Her husband and daughter would visit every other day and enhanced their bond during their time together. Shenee dug deep and started each day with intention and positive affirmations that would later inspire her counseling work. The low intervention birth plan had made some significant changes, but she managed to maintain some of her choices. Tune in to hear how her birth culminated and meet the new mother birthed in adversity…

Birth Stories in Color