I have had the great fortune of getting to know Holly over the course of the past couple of years. As a fellow yogi I first met Holly through Prenatal yoga teacher training. During this training i was deeply inspired by Hollys passion, energy and knowledge base of pregnancy and the birthing process. As yoga students we got a look into the “Intuitive Birth” class and the beauty of the subtle anatomy, and the natural and amazing physiological process of a natural birth.
In my own pregnancy and delivery the combination of yoga, Intuitive Birth and the support of my “ dream team” in the delivery room -which included Holly and local (and incredible) midwife, Kristi Rhodes, my husband and the wonderful staff of St. Lukes, I was well prepared to handle anything that was thrown at me. My plan was to have a natural, unmedicated intervention free birth and I was committed to making that happen so long as there were no major medical issues. One of the major talking points in class is to know that no 2 births are alike and though its quite handy to have a birth plan to share with your provider and nurses, this “plan” should be considered more of a preference sheet - as things don’t always go as planned…..and that's okay. I went in to class thinking there was no alternative to my plan but came out much more accepting of the notion that I can’t control everything and to be open to deviations to the plan.
When my baby girl Wren decided to make her debut 3 weeks early on Dec 11, I was immediately grateful for the advice. My water broke spontaneously at 2:30am while sleeping and most of the early morning was spent with my husband and I trying to wrap our heads around the fact that baby was actually coming! So much energy and anticipation in those early hours. Contractions started slow and steady but nothing much was happening until about 7:00 am and by 8:30 am we were off to see our Midwife. I had planned on laboring at home and this whole process taking hours and hours. I was prepared with postures and massage techniques we had learned in birthing class, I thought that i would bring my yoga mat and meditation pillow to the hospital to practice while i labored. I packed the cute new robes I bought to wear during and after labor…..I had the perfect birth planned out in every detail. Turns out none of that mattered.
After visiting the midwife things progressed quickly. We thought we would get sent home but i could tell things were changing and wanted to go to the hospital immediately . My husband took a rather unflattering picture of me sitting on a bench outside the hospital right before we checked in. Little did either of us know that a short 2 hours later we would be introduced to our daughter. It all happened so fast. The intensity was overwhelming but awesome. No yoga mat, ball or meditation pillow even had a chance of being used…..and frankly at that point i didn't care. I can distinctly remember during one contraction right before Wren was delivered thinking back to class, and remembering to relax. Relax and breathe and let nature take its course. I don’t think i even opened my eyes till it was over but I could hear everything that was happening around me and felt so safe knowing that the people in the room knew my plan, and had our best interest at heart. I never panicked or felt scared. I have Intuitive birth to thank for that. My body did what it need to do and so did Wren. When she arrived she was not quite ready to be on the outside and needed some extra care and stimulation.This moment is still a blur to me , but again I knew she was in good hands and there was a reason she wasn’t in my arms right away. All i could do is trust. Turns out she was a little banged up from her travels and just needed some time and soon we were reunited to recover together. Suddenly the birth plan that included delayed cord clamping, breast crawl and immediate skin to skin made no difference at all. She was here, and we were together as a family. Everything was perfect.
I feel very connected to Wren's birth and wouldn’t have it any other way. Our journey together unfolded just as it was meant to. Totally imperfect and uniquely ours. I whole heartedly recommend taking the time to educate yourself and make the choices that are right for you and your family. Intuitive birth empowered my family to do so and having both Holly's and Kristi's wisdom and and support through the pregnancy all the way to delivery was a wonderful accompaniment to this journey.
We are currently one month in and everyone is happy and healthy and we could not be more thankful!