Believing in Your Body
by Jenna Kovacic
Jenna is enjoying life with her husband, son and daughter. After her first birth experience, she knew she needed to do something with her newfound passion and so, she became a doula! She is a promoter of self-care, a lover of meditation, simple living, books, any outdoor activity and tries to be as present as possible in her everyday life.
You can reach her on Facebook or Instagram : @over.the.moon.birth
When my son was born, a part of me was born too…
My journey started in March of 2016 when my husband and I found out we were expecting. I was scared, but not because it was finally happening, because something didn’t feel right. I was feeling off, almost like it wasn’t real, and I kept looking at my positive test trying to convince myself that it was. I had the strangest feeling that I would be pregnant again in a few months with a boy, but I didn’t understand why I felt that way, I was pregnant now.
At seven weeks, we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy. I was never meant to have this baby, and that’s why I never truly felt pregnant or connected. I was devastated, I had wanted to be a mother for as long as I could remember. I allowed myself to grieve and then I really started to care for myself, emotionally and physically.
Two months later, I was pregnant with a little boy, just like I felt I would be. Time had come to change my thought patterns and face the fear of the unknown. I was ready to go deep and prepare myself for what I knew would be a challenging but exciting experience.
At my first midwife appointment, she seemed to be looking forever for his heartbeat and then she finally said, “Ah, your hearts are beating together”, and then I got it. We would have to work together, always.
I was eager the entire pregnancy for the birth, it was all I could think about. I dreamed of a successful home birth and devoured every book on the subject. I used hypnobirthing and kept visualizing how it could go. At 40 weeks and 6 days, I went into labour. My husband put a plate of dinner in front of me and my first real contraction hit. I remember laughing saying, “Whoa, if this gets any worse, I may not be able to handle it!” My body and mind were going to test me in ways it never had before, just a few hours from then.
I called my midwives and they told me to take a nap and relax. I couldn’t do any of those things, so I took a shower, shaved my legs and put some comfy clothes on. I hydrated as much as I could and tried to eat, but I was experiencing incredible back labour. The midwives arrived around midnight, excited to see me eating and in good spirits. Shortly after, I was in active labour and having very intense, strong contractions. As the contractions became more intense, I transported into the “labour world”. I was somewhere else and became someone else. I wasn’t nervous at all like I thought I would be, I had all the confidence in the world that my body would do what it was supposed to. I laboured in the shower, on the bed with some music, in the bathroom and on a birthing stool. I was on this magical ride, feeling every wave, and I kept saying yes to it all. My body felt powerful and strong. I let myself go, allowing my body to do the work it needed to bring my baby to me. I vividly remember falling asleep between contractions which could have only been a few minutes and yet I felt like I had slept for an hour.
After 15 hours, it was time to push and we were so excited! My midwife told me our baby would be with us very soon. So, I started pushing, and pushing, and pushing, and nothing was happening. I saw the midwives look at each other because they didn’t understand why it was taking so long. I would push with each contraction and I slowly, but surely, started to wear myself out. I had two midwives and they ended up calling two more for support. I tried different positions and nothing helped, but not once did I waver, I knew I could do it. I just needed more time. A few more hours of pushing and they saw his head wasn’t completely turned, he was coming out on the side. I lay in bed, my husband next to me, sweating, a cold cloth on my forehead while the midwives fed me fruit and tea for hydration and energy. I kept pushing with everything I had, every ounce of energy, every muscle in my body. I didn’t know pushing could be so hard. At one point, all four midwives were standing, kneeling and sitting next to me while my husband paced the room, all coming up with different ideas on things we could try. After each contraction, and another push that didn’t bring me my baby, I collapsed on the bed, unsure of how long I had been pushing. The room was still and I could feel the energy pulsing, everyone’s eyes were on me. Was I going to do it? Could I do it? What would happen? My midwife said, “Look, the sun is coming up.” I had no idea it was already the next day.
My husband suggested the hospital numerous times, but I knew my baby was okay and I so badly wanted to have him at home. His heart rate was steady and strong, and he was cool as a cucumber, still wiggling around like he always had, waiting to meet us. I had been telling my son days before that I was going to be brave for him and I wasn’t going to let him or myself down. Things started to slow, my contractions were further apart, but the support and positivity in that room never changed. My husband sat behind me, cradling me, whispering, “Come on, you can do this” over and over. His sweet tone kept reminding me to be relaxed and stay in this. Everyone in that room encouraged me to keep going, to not give up, and to find the strength wherever I could.
I’ll never forget the moment everything shifted. I was sweating, exhausted and sitting on a birthing stool which wasn’t helping. My doula grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes and said with firmness and so much warmth, “You can do this, let’s do this.” I got back on the bed and I pushed, but this time the pushing felt different. I pushed from what felt like the depths of my soul, everything I had left went into those pushes. Unlike before, I had been pretty quiet during my pushing, I let out a roar like no other. I didn’t realize how much I had been holding back. That strong push was what we needed, and it moved his head out! I gave another big push and felt the rest of him slide out of my body. I heard a midwife say, “12:57”. Just as I looked up, they were placing my big, beautiful, pink, sweet boy on my chest. My husband’s eyes filled with tears, and everyone looked so relieved. Forty-one weeks of growing this little soul in my body, nourishing him, loving him, keeping him safe and then finally bringing him into the world. I’ve been attached to him from the moment we made him. I am forever grateful for the most raw, emotional and empowering experience of my life. My son’s birth story is a true testament to what your mind and body can overcome along with the right support system. I knew right after I gave birth to him that I wanted to experience this again, and I did, in July 2019. We welcomed a beautiful baby girl in our home, in the same bed her brother was born in, with the same support and care.
To my son and daughter: I know we were waiting for each other and I’m so glad we are finally all together.