• Shannon Caravello

My Birth Story and What it Taught Me

It has officially been two months, since Renée came into our world, and I’m finally ready to share my birth story. “Legend” has it that the second baby always arrives quicker, and legend proved itself to be true LOL. But the reason I’m sharing this, is because of how completely different this birth was from my first.

Before having Mila, I kept a pretty open mind about child birth and that I’d do absolutely WHATEVER it took to deliver her safely. What took me by utter surprise was my pre-eclampsia which I developed right on my due date. My blood pressure had spiked and before I knew it, I was being admitted to the hospital, induced four times, hooked up to machines, and getting all sorts of medication to ensure I didn’t get seizures and that Mila was safe. I was restricted to my bed for 30 hours before active labor started; it was miserable and painful. I had some expectations for the ‘Hollywood’ birth experience, because my entire pregnancy with Mila had been smooth sailing. In my case, the best things in life come unexpected, and that was exactly how my Mila girl came. The contractions were beyond insane and I stubbornly refused the epidural, because I needed to make sure my body could feel and push her out quickly, because there was meconium (baby’s first poop) in my amniotic sac. The entire NICU team was on standby, and they took her as soon as she was out to check her, but she was perfect and healthy. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat for her! I missed our immediate skin to skin, but we made up for it after with a ton of cuddle time.

Fast forward two loving years later, my second baby girl was on her way. I prepared myself for it to be as crazy as the first, or worse. This pregnancy wasn’t smooth sailing at all. I suffered from morning sickness until the last month of my second trimester. At each and every doctor’s visit, I asked my OB if I would develop pre-eclampsia again. I feared it. But she reassured me that worrying wouldn’t help a thing. I threw the thought to the back of my mind. As my due date came closer, my OB decided to induce me a few days before, to prevent pre-eclampsia from happening again. Worry stepped itself right back in. Thoughts of that dreadful magnesium drip, those painful contractions, and being restricted to my bed for goodness knows how long, came back. I slapped myself. I looked in the mirror and said I was going to do absolutely WHATEVER it took, to deliver my second baby girl safely. Again, to my utter surprise things just didn’t go as I expected.

They went better!

I was DANCING through my contractions in the delivery room, with my husband, unmedicated and happy on life. I began doing my yoga breathing exercises and meditation. I roamed freely and moved through each contraction focusing on my goal: “healthy mom, healthy baby” I was induced at 1 in the afternoon and Renée arrived at 7:30 that evening. I refused the epidural again LOL and became a true preggozilla during those last few contractions. (I’m sorry for what I said while I was giving birth lol) But, you know what, I did it. They placed her on my chest immediately and I burst into tears. We savored the skin to skin, before they took her to get checked and when they returned her to me, my sister (also my birth photographer) asked me how I felt, and it was pure sweet accomplishment!

Both of these experiences have taught me that life will NEVER happen the way you want it to, but in the end it’s all so very worth it.

I hope my story can empower you and lift you up from whatever fear you may be having. It is absolutely astonishing, what the female body is capable of, and for that let’s be proud! AND! No matter how you birth, WE’RE ALL CHAMPIONS!!!

Photos by my amazing sister ( De Haas Photo ), who has been my birth photographer for both of my babies!

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