~Age: 17, almost 18
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 pregnancy, 1 incredible birth
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 23 weeks
I was 16 years old when I found out I was 2 weeks pregnant. My boyfriend, who was/still is my best friend, was 18 at the time and we were both mortified and at a loss for words when the fourth pregnancy test that I took read ” + “. I’d never thought that I would be “one of those girls” that I was always so quick to judge–I knew nothing about how much it takes to bring a life into this world. I told my mom the day after I found out and she told my dad that night…I’ll never forget the day after. It seems like I didn’t say anything to anybody that day besides saying the word ‘yes’ to my dad when he worked up the guts to ask me if I was scared. I immediately decided that I was going to give my child a fair shot at life and I started researching different ways to give birth. It only took a few days for me to decide on doing a completely natural home water birth, it was time to grow up and do what was best (in my opinion) for my baby. No ultrasounds, no drugs of any kind, just love, a peaceful environment and positive thinking.
Despite all of the remarks and rude comments that I got for wanting to give birth that way, I knew that it was what I wanted to do and I was determined to make everything go the way that I wanted it to. I decided very early on to eat an organic, protein rich, hearty and healthy diet for the months that followed. I got pregnant in mid July and I moved across the country that November with my family and boyfriend. A few months passed, and with his family pressuring him daily to move back by them and leave me, my boyfriend caved and moved 1,000 miles away from me and our unborn child. (We stayed together, though it was extremely difficult, and he’ll be moving back in with my family and I in the next few months.) As time went on I got more and more excited to go into labor and after about 7 months of positivity, support and spectacular chiropractic care, I was fearless. I knew exactly how labor was going to go and I knew what to expect as if I’d already done it all in a past life.
Exactly 1 week after my due date at 3:54 a.m. my contractions woke me. They were very subtle but I knew that day, April 16, 2010 was going to be the day that I would finally be face-to-face with the mysterious creature that was my child. Like I said, I had no ultrasounds or testing of any kind during my pregnancy so I was even more anxious about finding out if I was going to have a Dominic or an Ava. Contractions barely grew stronger over the following hours until I was in the grocery store 8 hours after they’d begun and I had to squat in the freezer section to breathe through my first ‘painful’ contraction. Things started moving along so I hurried home with my mom, a.k.a. my birth coach&birth partner, and called my midwife. I told her that I was starting to feel uncomfortable and I needed her around. As I was waiting for her to get to my house, my mom and I prepared the birthing tub and all of the things that would be needed for cleanup afterwards. My midwife got there 9 hours after contractions had started and things were really starting to move along. I went from squatting and holding the island in the kitchen to the handle of the back door, and finally to a pile of pillows in my bedroom as I moaned through my contractions. 10 hours into labor, my water broke and contractions were so unbelievably strong after that, they took my breath away. By the time my midwife checked my cervix, I was 8cm dilated and ready to climb into the birthing tub.
I squeezed my moms hands as I spiraled my hips in the warm water and ‘moo’d through my 90 second long contractions with only 30 seconds between them. Before I knew it I felt the undeniable urge to push that everybody always told me about, but it was nothing like I thought it was going to be. There was such an incredible life force moving through my body and as I screamed (not because of the pain but because the sound was literally being pushed out by my body) I felt my baby’s head starting to crown. One contraction later, it’s beautiful head had been born and the body was still kicking and squirming around inside of my body. I laughed as I felt my child’s beautiful dark brown hair under water and said “Baby! Stop kicking!!”. 3 powerful contractions and 10 minutes later, after 12 life changing hours of labor, my incredible child was fully submerged in the water. All 8lbs 11oz and 21inches of my beautiful child was gently unwrapped and able to unfold in the warm tub. I reached my hands down to pull my baby up to my chest and as I was still in shock, I asked “Is it a girl or a boy?!?!” My midwife simply said “Why don’t you reach down and feel?” And as soon as I did, I cried “She’s my Ava!”. With a huge sigh of relief I threw my head back and my proud mama (who is now also a proud grandma) splashed water on baby Ava’s back and cried with me. I got out of the tub and crawled in to my own warm bed with my new baby and latched her on to my breast for the first time.
I was completely healed in 2 1/2 weeks. No cuts, no drugs, no stitches, no doctors. Just love. My daughter is my world and I will always remember every detail of this story. I hope that another young mom reads this and realizes that regardless of what people say or do, you are perfectly capable of doing exactly what you want. Anything is possible if you work for it.
30 thoughts on “My entire story…hoping it will give somebody hope or simply put a smile on somebody’s face. (Anonymous)”
Love love love it! I got pregnant at 17 and also decided to have a home water birth. It was the best 4 hours of my life! As someone who’s been through it, you know that sometimes there aren’t even words to describe how amazing it is. Your picture’s are awesome :) Congrats on your little Ava. I’d love to have a fellow teen mom home birthing friend.. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever want to chat.
What an amazing, beautiful story. You have an incredible amount of wisdom at such a young age- your daughter is so blessed to have you as her mommy!
Well done you wonderful woman.
Inspiring story from a strong, intelligent girl. You should be very proud of yourself.
Your story is amazing and very inspiring.
As a young mom myself, I know how scary and daunting such a task can be at 17. You can read my stories, just search “Bryana”.
I can not believe the wisdom, strength, and courage you hold at such a young age. Your daughter is blessed to have you as her mother. And Ava is also blessed to have such a supportive family behind her.
I wish you the best on the journey of raising your daughter :)
Wow! What an amazing story! You are very wise for your age! Or any age for that matter. I had a home water birth with my 3rd baby and it’s was just as amazing as what you described! Congrats on your beautiful baby :). My step mom told me one day that I am a “real woman” for pushing out 9+ pounds of baby and she was just “faking it” with an epidural lol! After having my first 2 with an epidural, my first almost 10 lbs, there is nothing fake about it! I will say that the home birth was life changing and the best experience of my life. You go girl!
You are a wise woman for being so young. Congrats on your baby and your journey:)
I love it! Thank you for sharing your incredible story, you are an intelligent and mature young woman. I had a water birth at a birth center with my daughter and your story inspires me to try a home water birth for my next.
great story! i’m all for home births, my mom had several and my sister had two. i’d love to have one next time as well. congratulations!
Wow! I read that and had such an urge to have another baby. Beautiful story, your daughter is lucky!!
Congratulations, beautiful story and beautiful pictures!
Beautiful story the pictres make me cry.
Beautiful story and beautiful pictures!!! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!!! :-)
Wow! That is so fantastic! And so wise at such a young age! Fabulous lady!!! Congratulations on such a wonderful birthing experience!
Your story is AMAZING and INSPIRING! And the last picture with your little girl on your chest is so powerful it brought tears to my eyes. WOO HOO! Go you!
Ur very intelligent..loved ur story…ur strength. The last picture brought me to tears!!! It’s a beautiful moment captured, filled w such emotion. Thank u for sharing! :)
you are an amazingly powerful mama. this story seriously just made me cry. thank you for adding love to this world!!!
Amazing birth story!
What a beautiful, beautiful story!! I teared up and it was written with such strength, love, and lots of great information for those of us collecting the thousands of years of anecdotes of birthing mothers. :) It sounds like you made a wonderful choice for you and it was the perfect day!
I also agree that more natural labors and deliveries can help postpartum healing, but I also endorse many aspects of Western medicine and hope we can move forward to a point where mothers can choose a good balance of science AND their own wishes (not done nearly enough since most practitioners tend to force either/or.)
Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.
wow… you are an amazing woman, what can I say you did everything right down to eating organic, and youre only 17! im out of words here, you are such a great mom, look at all the possitive feedback youre getting from other mamas! I think you did what most if not all of us wanted to do but someone talks us out of it or we just plain get scared… I know I did, congratulations on, well, everything
Great post! Love how supportive your Mom and family were. Congrats on getting the birth you wanted. You seem very mature. You guys will be fine. Good luck!!
I agree with others, you are wise beyond your years. And I am also very impressed with your parents, supporting you with all of your decisions. What a beautiful birth story, thank you for sharing it. I, unfortunetly, have let fear run my births. Having a c-section with my first breech daughter, having a medicated (forced by the doctor) hospital VBAC with my son. I am now 17 weeks pregnant with my third and would REALLY love a home birth but am so scared of what “could” happen. I am still praying for the strength to do what i know and feel is right. Thank you for your inspirational words… God Bless you and your family
KW, I’ve not heard of a midwife forcing the midwifery model of birth on any clients. Have you? If so, I’d think those midwives should be passed over in favor of more open-minded ones. In my experience, midwives offer suggestions, but forcing those suggestions would sort of defeat the purpose of choice in birth which is a part of what the midwives I’ve known believe in. And they never, ever, put mom or baby at risk when natural methods are not the best choice (not that you think so, but I have heard this idea proposed elsewhere and for all who read this, I wanted to be clear).
Lisa, have you checked out ICAN or perhaps a local chapter? They could provide you with excellent information and support in your decision making process.
This story is SO BEAUTIFUL! And so inspiring. :)
Amazing story! I really wanted a water birth, or at least to labour in a pool, but we had no time to fill it! Baby came really fast. But at least I got the homebirth part of it…
What an awesome experience you had.
what an amazing TRUE story!!! Congrats to you! You got to do what i wanted,,, but couldn’t because of Gestational Diabetes :( but hey,, we’re all blessed to be mothers right?! Best wishes on everything!
I don’t even know what to say. I don’t think I can even form sentences to describe the way this story made me feel as a mother and a woman. Connected, maybe?
You are a beautiful and obviously strong WOMAN and I admire you. I managed to hold off tears the entire story until I looked at your last picture. I’m 33 weeks pregnant myself, with baby #3, and this story has made me look forward to LABOR in a way I never have. Amazing and moving. Congratulations.
Thank You for this post! I am 6 weeks into my third pregnancy and will be doing a home birth. Everyone feels the need to implant their fears on me about doing this. However, I feel moved to do this and stories like this only strengthen my resolve!