By Sarah B. Harvey
Each mom has their own unique birth story. This past year I had the privilege of being part of a local mom’s journey towards her Big Day with baby No. 2 and her postpartum healing for the 2nd time! Here is a part of her story.
Can I be honest? Being pregnant, with a 2-year-old, during a pandemic, was NOT easy. In fact, it was really hard. Like really, really hard. It tested me emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
In 2018, during my first pregnancy, I was an abnormally chill first-time mom. I trusted the process, my body, my midwives, my husband, and my unborn baby. Maybe ignorance is bliss when you’re a first-time mom (read about my first delivery and experience with Justine here, but something was radically different for my second pregnancy.
A couple things were contributing factors: the pandemic and the panic around that, the fact that I had a very tough delivery and postpartum recovery with my 11lb baby girl, and that I was a full-time mom trying to entertain a toddler while EVERYTHING was shut down. I seemed to be a nervous wreck from the beginning.
Better the devil you know (than the devil you don’t)…
This second time around, I was acutely aware of exactly what was happening in me, around me, and to me. I knew what needed to happen, what could go wrong, and my normal outlets of stress management (like having a babysitter regularly, going to work out class by myself, seeing friends, having playdates) were gone thanks to COVID.
However, the positives to knowing what to expect and applying lessons from my first pregnancy and delivery, truly impacted my second delivery of my son in an extremely positive manner. The most helpful decision I made was to see Justine throughout my entire pregnancy, not just postpartum.
Little Giants will always be my thing
As I mentioned early, I make really large babies. My eldest, Eliza, was born weighing 11lbs even and 23.75 inches long. I gave birth to her vaginally, at home, in a homebirth (shout out to my Midwives and Doula for making that possible). My “little guy”, Galen, was born in January 2021 at Beginnings Birth Center clocking in at 9lbs 13 oz and 21.5 inches.
But I digress…when I found out I was pregnant, my midwives frankly told me that I will never make “normal” sized babies. Little giants will always be my thing. With this information in hand, and wanting to avoid a second episiotomy, I knew I needed to get on Justine’s schedule weekly in order to prepare for my second vaginal birth. This is why I chose to do a 15-session package and I am glad I did.
Getting ready for the Big Day
Starting at about 36 weeks, Justine helped me prepare my pelvic floor for birth by using her physical therapy techniques to relax my muscles through myofascial release. On top of actual manual releasing techniques, Justine helped me connect my mind to my body through a guided meditation that further released the muscle tension and prepared me mentally for labor and birth. In fact, as I was in the peak of labor, with contractions coming every 30 to 60 seconds, I actually used Justine’s exact meditation and breath work to help bring my son down the birthing canal and into my arms.
The Ring of Fire didn’t crush me!
After everything was said and done, with my healthy, glowing new-born son on my chest, my midwife looked me directly in the eye and told me that because of the work I did with Justine, I only had two tiny, microscopic tares, compared to the episiotomy I had from my first birth. To put this in perspective for you, most women with an episiotomy scar like mine, are more susceptible to tearing or another episiotomy due to the scarring from the first. The hardened, inflexible tissue often doesn’t do well during the “ring of fire” (when the head of the baby is crowning). But for me, I was able to experience the ring of fire without my scar giving way! And I know full heartedly that happened for me because of the work I did with Justine prior to giving birth.
The moral of the story:
So if you’re a first time mom wondering what other things you can do to prepare for delivery or if it’s your 3rd baby and you are really wanting a different experience, I full heartedly recommend Justine Calderwood at The Healing Spot for all of your prenatal and postpartum physical therapy needs.
Are you in need of a pregnancy or postpartum appointment
Inquire about the cost and availability here.
Looking for some material to prepare for our own postpartum journey?
Check out The Postpartum Checklist for Brand New Moms and The Ultimate Postpartum Guide.