I wanted to have a natural birth or as close to natural as possible, and from what I read and heard about the hospital system, I felt it would be important. I talked with Myla on the phone and knew she was special. We met in person and that was it. I wanted Myla to be on my side because she had lots of experience in supporting birth and I knew she’d have my back with my goals. I didn’t want to be pushed into something I didn’t want, like some of my friends had told me they had experienced. I didn’t want the machine to eat me alive.
During my prenatal care, certain concerns of mine were being ignored, yet I wasn’t in a position to switch providers. Myla helped me put things into perspective and create a birth plan. To be honest I was surprised and happy that my birth plan was actually honored. I imagine it’s not always the case, yet the nurse staff referred to it several times and kept a copy in my charts for other staff. I was pleased they did much to support my goals. Originally, I had no intention of making a birth plan, and had Myla not aided me in creating one, I’d only have goals in my mind, and I doubt that my partner or I would’ve been able to express our preferences so succinctly to the staff in his state of exhaustion along with the intensity of my contractions – it was beneficial to have a written birth plan.
Myla and I got off to a great start, often talking on the phone as she was available during the months preceding my due date. We had very thorough prenatal meetings. Beyond getting an understanding of my birth preferences, Myla facilitated exercises particularly helpful for me—stuff from Birthing From Within, a fear releasing visualization, because I was anxious about a lot of things. She lent us a couple books, and we learned and practiced many positions and laboring techniques.
When labor actually began, I felt encouraged. I used the techniques we practiced and reminded myself the contractions would soon be over, even if it seemed they’d last forever. This gave me the endurance to labor at home for quite a long time. As things intensified, and during the thickest most difficult times of labor when I couldn’t see straight, Myla stayed very calm, which helped in calming me. We were so fortunate to have her with us. I had a very long labor. Plus, prior to labor beginning I hadn’t slept – I celebrated New Years Eve through the early morning so I was up for nearly 48 hours!!
Myla’s actual physical support was incredibly appreciated: she rubbed my back with such soothing touch, and supported me with her words and in silence. I needed her to be my cheerleader when it was rough. Yes, my partner supported too, but differently. Husbands and partners are not necessarily experienced with birth and they may get freaked out or tired. My partner happened to be his chair a lot towards the end, understandably, because we were exhausted. Myla was steady, putting washcloths on my head when I was hot, encouraging me to rest, and reminding me of what I knew inside.
In the end, I was very satisfied. As requested in my birth plan, right after birth, I held my baby for quite awhile (maybe an hour) before they cleaned her, put her in warmer, wrapped her. Those first moments were such a special time for us to bond as a family unit. It was also nice to have excellent breastfeeding support! When I am blessed to be pregnant again, I definitely want Myla to be there.