Jauchy and Jeff are such a sweet couple and we were so grateful to come along side them and get to share in such an awesome experience. Jauchy prioritized walking and preparation during her pregnancy and her body responded beautifully to labor. She was able to rock an unmedicated induction - no easy feat! Jeff was an informed, supportive partner and together they made a beautiful team! I'm so excited to share their birth story with you.
My mother had always told me how difficult it was for her to conceive both my brother and me. It took her over a year to get pregnant with either of us, so she warned me over and over again to start trying early and to expect it to take a while, but not to lose heart. Heeding her advice, my husband Jeff and I decided to start trying a year into our marriage, right after our honeymoon (so that I could eat and drink to my heart’s content), but also to keep our expectations low.
We got pregnant our first month. That’s the way life goes, I guess.
We were shocked, but also incredibly excited. It was happening! Here we go! ..and then my nausea and back pain started almost immediately. I always saw those pictures of glowy women smiling serenely down at their bellies and thought that pregnancy would immediately transform me into one of them. I felt betrayed and lied to when, instead, I spent my first trimester nauseous all day, every day, exhausted, and perhaps only “glowy” from sweat after throwing up.
Then the second trimester rolled around. Magically, my nausea disappeared, my energy perked up, and--the best thing ever--I began to feel my little potato move and kick in my belly, as if saying, “Hi mom, I’m here! We’re in this together.” The little kicks, plus the fact that I wasn’t constantly miserable anymore, helped me begin to bond with this life growing within me. I wanted to do anything and everything I could to provide the best for her. I started reading about labor and births to better prepare, and began feeling very strongly that I wanted to do a natural, unmedicated birth. However, the more I read, the more I realized I was actually terrified. I mean, I’m supposed to push a human baby through my body? How is that even possible??
I shared my fears with Jeff and he replied that billions of women have given birth before me and I was sure to be fine. I wanted to punch him.
In addition to reading about births, I was also talking to my mom friends about their own experiences. One of them had used a doula and couldn’t rave enough about the positive effect her doula had on her birth. I’d read about doulas before, but had never really thought to use one myself, so with my friend’s encouragement (thanks, Kathleen!), I began to consider it more seriously and research local options.
I broached the topic with Jeff. He said he didn’t really understand the point of a doula (“Isn’t that what the doctor and nurses are for?”), but he was open to it, so we lined up a couple interviews. We didn’t connect with any of the first doulas we met and began to feel like maybe a doula wasn’t in the cards for us. But then, we met Kersti and Wendy, and instantly clicked and felt so comfortable with them.
Choosing Kersti and Wendy to be a part of our birth team ended up being the turning point of my pregnancy. Up until meeting them, my fear and anxiety surrounding the birth process was only growing and growing. Rationally, I knew it would somehow work itself out, but, mentally, I honestly didn’t see how I was going to get through it. However, Kersti and Wendy had this warm, supportive energy that was just what I needed. They checked in with Jeff and me constantly (I had gestational diabetes, so lots of tests and monitoring), educated us on what to expect, and made themselves available to us at all times, no matter how small or stupid our questions or concerns. I couldn’t believe it, but they actually made me excited to give birth. I had been alternating between feelings of dread and terror regarding my due date, but suddenly, I found myself looking forward to it!
Finally, we were nearing the end of the pregnancy. The doctor observed Lily’s growth rate slowing down in the womb and recommended we induce the week before the due date. Since I’d