The beginning of my birth story. aka 1 year ago I wasn’t covered in tape quite yet.


365 days ago my birth story began. It started out like a normal day with my 39 week midwife visit in the morning. Baby P was looking good and I could feel his position in my womb, reconfirmed by my midwife Shar La Porte of Midwifery Care NYC. Then at the end of our visit she checked my blood pressure. It was significantly elevated for me so she suggested I go to the hospital to be monitored for a while. I had chosen Metropolitan Hospital as my plan B transfer hospital so went there for monitoring. After 4 hours, tons of meditation and calming mantra, my pulse and BP remained high. The midwife on duty suggested I stay to be induced. I declined, signed myself out and went home with the intent to buy a BP cuff and monitor myself. I was certain that the entire pizza I ate the night before was to blame. I felt totally fine.

On our cab ride home, however, I received a call from both of my midwives recommending that I return to the hospital to be induced. This was so not my plan A, B, C, D, E. Never in my planning of possible birth scenarios was induction for high blood pressure a possibility. Post dates, maybe, but not this! I was healthy and active throughout my entire pregnancy without any health concerns. My midwives kindly but firmly let me know that I was now high risk and no longer eligible for a home birth. Many tears ensued.

I had a long sob filled call with my doula Lindsey as we processed this major change of events. I cried as I packed a bag for the hospital. I cried and cursed as I deflated my birth ball to take with me. I packed the many little items I had prepared for my birth altar, including the mala in this picture that was made of the ashes from my sweet Thea by Bree of Baby’s Breath Birth. I called my brother to cry and vent and curse some more. I swore him to secrecy because I knew inductions could take a while and I didn’t want calls and texts asking “is the baby here yet?!”


I arrived after shift change and got settled into a room to begin the process. I set up the room, just like I do for my doula clients, with electric tea lights, music and energy clearing spray. This wasn’t my plan but I was going to make the best of it.


I was 1cm dilated, 50% effaced and baby was high in my pelvis at -2/3. Not the best but not the worst starting point. Cervadil, a cervical ripener was inserted. Cervadil is a prostaglandin gel, inserted vaginally (fun fact the hormone prostaglandin is naturally found in semen). The plan was to go to sleep and start pitocin in the morning. About 30 minutes later I started feeling contractions. As a doula I had been so curious what contractions actually felt like after explaining them to clients and witnessing many people give birth. I even wrote some notes on my observations. And then shit got intense. I wasn’t timing them but I noted the monitor that they were coming closer and closer together and gaining in intensity. Cervadil doesn’t cause contractions. My hope was that the vaginal exam with the Cervadil was enough to kick start my body into labor on its own. After a few hours with contractions 1-3 minutes apart I text my doula that I needed her even though it was early. Thankfully she’s a cool human and a really amazing doula and she rolled out of bed and came to my side.

more to come...