Soul Mammas Podcast Episode #2: The host, Nicole De Leon, talks about her four day long prodromal labor birth story
Episode Description: In this episode, host Nicole De Leon talks about the birth of her baby last Spring and how it took a completely different turn than she thought it would. Finding herself in “prodromal labor” for four days with a large posterior baby, was one of the hardest experiences of her life. Because she didn’t know that the babies spine was rubbing against her spine (back labor), she didn’t understand why the contractions were so excruciating even in the earliest stages. That confusion carried with her during and after her labor where she questioned if she could’ve done anything differently.
After spending countless months preparing for an all natural and relatively seamless birth, and taking intensive natural birth classes, Nicole found herself having to face the prospect of multiple interventions and even the possibility of having a C-Section. Nicole emphasizes how sacred birth stories are for women, and how if they don’t go as planned it can be quite a traumatic ordeal and can lead to depression and even post-traumatic stress. Even though she was able to have her baby vaginally, it was a very close call and required many interventions that she originally had sworn off. Her loved ones have encouraged her to “forget about” the story and move on in light of the fact that the baby was born healthy, but Nicole emphasizes how it is something she still thinks about almost daily.
It can be isolating to feel disappointed about a birth story that didn’t go as planned, and how many moms also share in this experience. The Soul Mammas Podcast as a platform for moms to speak freely about their birth experiences among other important topics of motherhood, and on this episode Nicole does just that. Honoring however our baby is brought into the world without judgement is to the utmost importance to our host and her tribe of soul mammas.
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0:00: On birth stories and their importance
“I just want to make a disclaimer that however you brought your baby into the world, whether it was planned that way or not, we’re going to honor that here as a sacred space. It’s real sensitive topic and I know that firsthand because mine did not go as planned.”
6:32: On planning for a “natural” birth at the hospital
“So we had this birth plan written down and I was pretty, you know, I was feeling pretty good about having the baby there, but I just felt like I had to really stick up for myself and make sure that there were no interventions.”
7:18: Feeling discouraged when arriving at the hospital
“So they say, “you are just one centimeter dilated! You’re not even ready. You need to go home.” Well that’s like the most discouraging thing to hear when you have labored for a whole night and a whole day and you’re feeling this excruciating back pain already and you’re feeling contractions three to five minutes in length!
8:10: On realizing I was in prodromal labor with a posterior baby
“So I’m like, what is going on? I had no idea there was this thing called ‘prodromal labor’. So what it is, is your body preparing the baby to come down and to come out, but it’s aggravating your cervix-the baby facing that way rubbing on your spine. So it’s actually making you not dilate! Cervix needs to be 10 centimeters and I was ONE!”
10:28: On returning to the hospital a SECOND time after another 24 hours in labor
“I keep meeting all these different doctors and nurses and they’re like, ‘you are two centimeters dilated’. Okay, but it has been another 24 hours! That is the most discouraging thing you can hear when you’re in excruciating pain, you haven’t slept for two nights, haven’t eaten. They kept saying, ‘I recommend you going home and sleep’. So you know, I was pretty upset at this point and it’s like, this is, this has gotten ridiculous.”
11:13: Being admitted to the hospital three times!
“It goes on for another whole day, so I have to go home again. I ended up being admitted to the hospital three different times! The next time that I go back, I have to say yes to, I’m forgetting the name of the medicine that they gave me, but it’s something intravenously that will help you sleep. So I say yes to it and of course I hadn’t wanted any interventions. . .So I say yes to the morphine, the one that they initially had offered me, you know, two and a half days earlier. This saying ‘yes’ to any of these was completely the opposite of my birth plan.
14:21: On feeling hopeless
“It (prodromal labor) can go for weeks and hadn’t slept. And I’m like, this is insane, you can’t go, it’s a form of torture, not sleeping and you have to be strong to give birth. And I’m talking about like, I had four hours of sleep in four days and I still hadn’t eaten although I tried.”
17:59: On being pressured by doctors and nurses
“One of the nurses said, ‘you know, you might have to just start considering your options’, and she was referring to a c-section. At that point I decided that there’s no way I’m going to have this. I’m going to have this baby vaginally no matter what happens. I’m super stubborn.”
23:03 On her coming out after one push with the vacuum
“And I, I bear down one last time and I pushed my hardest I could ever push and she comes out, she comes out on one push with the vacuum!”
26:13: On birthing my healthy, beautiful daughter and feeling guilty for questioning how it all went down
“So I was so happy that my baby obviously was healthy and I didn’t have to go in and have a c-section and then I got to have her on my chest right away and everything which was just so important to me. But I left there questioning so much and in the weeks that in the weeks afterwards, the aftermath, and even until this day I have a lot that I think about with my birth story, what could I have done differently, you know, it was really traumatic for me.”
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