After the birth of my first son, although it went well, I knew there were a lot of changes to be done for my second labor. After all, now that I have the experience of pregnancy and seeing my son growing up, I have more confidence in myself both as a mother and a laborer woman. I was aiming towards a spiritual adventure for that magical moment of my second son's birth but I needed some help in order to go through with it.

If my husband was conducting my delivery, I'd probably be rushed in to the hospital on the first sign of contractions, be strapped to the bed with an epidural and if pain showed up for even a moment, I'd be sent for a cesarean immediately. I had different plans so I asked my husband to stay at home with my older son when the moment comes (with an excuse that he needs his father in such an emotional transfer) and I would get myself a doula.  We have known Gilli Stuppel for a few years now. She as been my acupuncture therapist and a dear friend, so when she told me she started practicing as a birth doula, I had no doubt she is the answer to my perfect birth fantasy. We started working together on breathing and positioning, but most of all her help was mentally and spiritually. She convinced me I could do it any way I want to, and reassured me that a second birth is usually easier.

On top of a doula, I also had a great Doctor joining our team. I came to Dr. David Ghozland through a newspaper ad and that turned to be one of the best decisions I've made. When I came to Dr. Ghozland with a birth plan that included natural birth and a doula, he not only accepted it but reassured me that as long as the baby and I are well, he is merely there to "catch" him.

Now all I had to do was wait for the time to come and although a second birth should be on time or even earlier, I reached my due date with no sign of the baby wanting to come out. At first I was a little nervous but since I was aiming towards a natural experience, I decided to let nature control our fait. According to my doctor the child was fine and due dates are as we know only a time line crated by people so we had nothing to worry about. Yet when I felt the first contraction two days after my due date, I was really anxious to get that baby out!

It was Tuesday morning at around 5. I called up Gilli at around 7 and she came right over, both of us with the thought it's just a couple hours away from labor. We timed the contraction and Gilli called up my doctor and told him we'll give him a call once we feel it's time to go the hospital. Everything seamed to be going well until it started slowing down. We immediately went over to Dr. Ghozland's clinic who assured me the baby was fine but still up and I was only 3cm. dilated. We decided to go for a long walk to get that baby down! we turned around the neighborhood for god knows how long, people looking at me with fear (someone actually wanted to call an ambulance afraid I'm having the baby on the street) and every few minutes I'm stopping to catch my breath and go through another contraction, which now started being even further apart.

By the end of that day, after a second check up by Dr. Ghozland which showed no difference, and some rest under Gilli's supervision and acupuncture needles, I've realized I was too anxious which only  interfered with the process and that as long as the baby was fine, I should let him come when he's ready.

That night I woke up every 10-15 minutes to go through contractions. I even stood up through the tough ones and than went back to sleep. After that long exhausting day, I was too tired to mind the pain and my body already got used to it. The next day I went to see my doctor again and we came to a mutual agreement, since I didn’t want any medicated induction, that we should wait till the evening and then  break my water and see what happens.

Wednesday evening I left my older son with a friend while my husband and I checked into the hospital. I figured until gilli and my doctor arrive, I might as well have some company. But since kids are so  unpredictable, not long after I signed in the hospital and checked in my room, my water broke naturally.

The nurse called up my doctor, my husband spoke to Gilli who was already on her way, and I felt quite fine for someone who was by than 8cm dilated. 

From that moment on, everything seamed so surreal…I am standing next to the bed while Gilli is  massaging my lower back and putting some pressure on and my husband (remember he wasn't supposed to be there!!) and Dr. Ghozland are sitting together chatting, the only thing missing is a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. At around 7:30pm, forty minutes after my water broke, I felt it was time. I was squatting backwards on the bed gilli was comforting and massaging me as I go, my doctor encouraging me to push and my husband (yeah, he stayed for the whole thing) watching with amazement as he fans my face with a piece of paper since I was really hot.

The highlight of the whole event was when I was supposed to push but felt the cool breeze had stopped,  I look back to find my husband so concentrated on what's going on down between my legs, that he was  fanning towards the wall! I started laghing so hard I forgot to push…

Eventually, that one last push came and the baby's head was out. According to Gilli the umbilical cord was  tied around his neck, but Dr. ghozland just asked me to stop pushing, removed the cord and asked to continue as if nothing happened. At 7:50 pm, our baby screamed out his way to the world.

Looking back I can say the combination of my body getting used to the pain of the contractions (believe it or not, 30hrs. of laboring has its upside), a cool and open minded doctor and a great supporting doula helped me experience a great and easy labor. Add to that a sweet nurse, a husband who overcame his fear  and the gift of holding my baby after that whole journey and you have a woman who's willing to have more kids.    

- Jesse                             




-Gilli Stuppel, L.Ac
Licensed Acupuncturist, Childbirth Doula, Herbalist, Naturopath