Letters from Laney Crowell on Birth and Babies and New Motherhood

Birth (Part 1)

A month ago, I had my baby girl Isabella Sage. She’s only 30 days old and yet, it feels like I’ve traveled to a whole new universe. It’s been a magical love fest, a ride I had no idea I was getting on. I was excited to become a mom, and I’ve always adored babies, but I had no idea it was going to be like this. It’s heaven.

I want to share a little bit about my birth. When I say, my birth, I mean the birth of Isabella, but also the birth of me, into a mother. I want to share some of the details of the day she was born, but also what I’ve been feeling afterwards. It’s been such a huge transformation for me, emotionally and spiritually. In many ways, I’ve felt the strongest and the most beautiful of my life.

I’m writing this in two posts. The first being my birth story. I really enjoyed reading other women’s birth stories before I gave birth, so hopefully my story is inspiring to you, or someone else reading on here.

It was October 19th, 4 days past my due date. I had gone to see my acupuncturist Lida that morning. We did a long treatment to get my body ready for labor. I had been having contractions for weeks, and had even gone into the hospital thinking that I was in labor the week before. I was 5 cm dilated and was getting so uncomfortable that I knew it was time for the baby to be born, even if she needed a little help to come out.

When we got to the hospital, they took all my vitals and measured my contractions. I wasn’t in what they consider ‘active labor,’ but I was past my due date and dilated, so we decided to start taking Pitocin to get my contractions to be stronger and more consistent. It was 3:00 AM when everything got started. I had gotten a piece of advice from a few friends to get the epidural right away. I thought about holding off, but ultimately decided that it was most important to sleep and enjoy my labor. Thanks to the epidural, I slept from about 4 AM to 12 PM on and off, with lots of tests and nurses coming in throughout the night. For the most part I felt fine. The epidural made me really itchy and at one point when a nurse asked me to sit up a little bit, I got really nauseous, and before I could get a bed pan, I vomited all over the floor. Other than that, it was a pretty uneventful.

At around 4 PM, my water broke. It felt like a balloon popped inside of me. Everyone says that when your water breaks, it’s not like in the movies. This was exactly like the movies! There was so much water, it covered the hospital bed. At this point I knew it meant we would be delivering soon. I didn’t realize how soon though. It turns out that I was already 10 cm dilated and it was time to go.

An hour later, the nurses started to prep me and the room for delivery. Right beforehand, Shawn and I had the room to ourselves. We held hands and meditated. These were our last moments just the two of us and it was something I wanted to cherish and honor. We were about to bring a baby into this world, which isn’t something that I take lightly.

When it was time to push, I was so ready. I wanted to meet my baby and hold him or her (and find out if it was a boy or girl!). Labor is no joke. The pushing is exhausting, the pain is real, and it takes endurance. Shawn stood by me the whole time whispering words of encouragement. The nurses and doctors were my cheering squad. I can still remember them around me, and their voices I can hear so clearly- it’s bringing tears to my eyes as I write this. After 45 minutes of pushing, and excruciating pain, Isabella joined us. Shawn said over and over again, “It’s a girl, It’s a girl!” They put her right up on my chest and we hugged and kissed and cried.

It was hands down the best moment of my life.

Isabella Sage Sachs. Born at 7:53pm, October 20th, 2017. 9lbs 3 oz. 21 ½ inches.

We had two names picked out. One for a girl, one for a boy. For a boy we had the name Sage, and we loved it, so after she was born, we decided to make it Isabella’s middle name. Isabella’s name has been in my family for over 5, now 6, generations. It’s my middle name, my beloved aunt’s name, my great grandmother, and my great-great grandmother’s name. To me, the name represents strength, intelligence, and deep, kind beauty, inside and out.

After a day and a half in the hospital, we got to come home. Which is where we have been ever since. I thought I would want to get back to work right away, I thought I would want to work out ASAP, and I had no idea how hard breastfeeding was going to be. So I’m taking it really slow and enjoying every second with little Baby Buddha.

Here are the beauty products that I brought with me, and used, in the hospital:

  • Essential oils: Hospitals are not the warmest places. In fact, I find them quite scary. So, I packed some of my favorite essential oils [Frankincense, Peppermint and Lavender] to smell while in delivery. I would sniff them every hour or so and they made me feel so much more comfortable.
  • Lip balm: It’s so dry in the hospital, I was applying this Osmia Lip Repair every 30 minutes!
  • Face wash: The level of discomfort after giving birth is significant. For me it was difficult to even hobble over to the bathroom. I didn’t have the energy to take a shower right away so my Peet Rivko luxe Gentle Cleanser was really nice to help me feel like myself (-ish). We love this product, and have written about it in depth on a few occasions.
  • Travel sized shampoo and conditioner: When it was time to take a shower, I was so glad I packed these. The hospital body wash/shampoo combo definitely wasn’t going to cut it. Rahua minis where the perfect solution.
  • Towel: The hospital towels are just like the body wash/shampoo, disappointing. We ended up having Shawn’s parents bring us towels so we could shower comfortably.
  • Makeup: I packed a whole bag of makeup but didn’t end up using it. I just didn’t have the energy. Looking back, I wish I had applied some Juice Beauty Tinted Moisturizer to even out my skin in pictures!

Photo by Shawn Sachs

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