We have a baby! It’s been almost 3 weeks since we brought her home, but it’s still so surreal. And although there are many sleepless nights, we are so so happy. Being a mom gives me a happiness I never expected.

Our little girl, Siena Rose came into this world at 1:41 p.m. Saturday, June 30 – just 3 weeks shy of her due date. Her birth story starts off quite hilarious and the climax of her birth is just as crazy.

**Warning this story is graphic (and long)***

A Sweet Start

It all started Friday night (June 29) when we met a couple friends at Sweethut, a bubble tea place, for drinks and to catch up before baby’s arrival.

We are about 10-20 minutes into the conversation when I feel a tiny pop. I just thought the baby kicked or bumped me weird. But seconds later I felt a gush of liquid, down there, and looked at my husband wide-eye, and the following ensues:
Me: “umm Trey…” (with this look 😳)
Trey: “what??….” (he sees I have a scared look on my face)
Me: “I think my water just broke”
Trey: (in disbelief) “what??!”

I stand up, and I swear, like the movies, amniotic fluid just gushes down my legs. I look down and there’s a puddle of blood tinged fluid. I quickly sit back down and my friends and cousins are freaking out a bit and we’re all nervously laughing like what the heck is happening?!

Unfortunately, I was wearing this white, striped dress, so there was no hiding a huge stain and I was so scared to stand up because every time I did, more amniotic fluid would come out. One of my friends had on a hoodie and quickly wrapped it around my waist. Three of them, along with Trey formed a circle around me to block people from seeing my soaking wet bottom and we booked it to the door…while also leaving a trail of fluid as I walked.

They helped load me in the car while some ran back in and tried to wipe up as much as possible as well as call for someone to mop up a “spilled drink”.

So I’m in the passenger seat with no towel or blanket available, mind you, so lets just say Trey’s passenger seat needs some deep, deep, deep cleaning.

We then head for home where I make my way up two flights of stairs and into the bathroom for a shower, leaving behind what looks like a crime scene in our house.

I’m cool, calm, and collected. I shower, put on make up, and curled my hair because I’m extra and was not about to give birth not looking my best 😂.

Side note: I had a hair, eyelash extension, and prenatal massage appointment all scheduled for that very weekend. Baby thought mama was too much and had other plans.

Our Training

Some people have asked us why Trey and I didn’t go straight from the hospital after my water broke or even rush to get there. Some background…

In the weeks leading up to our due date, Trey and I had been taking a 12 week birthing class on the Bradley Method. Like most people, we had no idea what that was or that something like that existed, but it’s basically a comprehensive series of classes which teaches and prepares a couple to give birth naturally. That means vaginally with no drugs 😳.

Trey and I were introduced to this class by our cousins (who have 5 kids). We really wanted to take this class for several reasons. Some of them were because we wanted to be well informed, understand the birthing process, and be an advocate for ourselves in the event we are pushed to do something unnecessary or out of convenience for staff versus for the safety of mother and baby. The more and more we learned and researched about the benefits of a drug-free, natural birth, the more we wanted it.

Labor & Delivery

In our training we’re taught to labor at home for some time before heading to the hospital. Home is more comfortable and relaxing for mamas. But in my case, my water had broken so we called the doctor on-call (who was already very rude on the phone – more on that later) and was told to come in immediately. But still, Trey and I took our sweet time getting to the hospital.

Once there, we got checked-in and met the doctor on-call. This was our first time meeting her, but I have never met a medical professional more egotistical, unprofessional, and a DIVA like the doctor on-call that night. We had not been there for more than 30 minutes and already she was barking orders and wanting to start me on drugs immediately to rush my labor.

The way she spoke to us and treated me was so bad that I was shaking from nerves and fear. Trey and I knew things were heading south and our birth plan would be nonexistent if we didn’t change course asap. So thank goodness, my OB practice is also a midwife practice. Right then and there Trey and I decided to ask for a midwife instead to avoid having to deal with this physician.

A few minutes later our midwife walks into the room. At this point its almost 2:30 a.m. The moment we made the decision to call for a midwife was the turning point in what was an awful start at the hospital. If it wasn’t for our two midwives, we wouldn’t have been able to do a natural birth.

Since I was just having Braxton Hicks contractions at this point, instead of medical interventions, our midwife just told me to sleep, rest, and relax. It wasn’t until around 7 a.m. did I start having real, more intense contractions. From there, I woke up and starting walking laps around the hallway to help with the contractions and labor. Walking helped me tremendously!

The Rose

I did walking laps until about 9 or 10 a.m., pushing through some intense contractions. At this point, my contractions are only 6-7 minutes apart and my water has been broken for almost 11 hours, increasing my chances of getting an infection. So our midwife comes in and tells me she wants to try something that has a high success rate of increasing labor naturally, before she would administer Pitocin. She suggested doing an enema. WARNING: this is where it might be TMI. So they basically take an IV bag of soapy water and stick a tube up my butt and pump my butt full of this liquid. I then have to hold it for 5 minutes before I can run to the bathroom and relieve myself. It basically feels like you’re having the worst diarrhea and you have to hold it while also breathing through contractions.

It’s crazy, but guess what?! IT WORKED. Not 10 minutes after the enema, my contracts increased to 3-4 minutes apart and were so intense, they were off the charts – literally, the monitor couldn’t display the peak of my contractions. At this point it was probably close to 1 p.m.

My contractions were increasingly getting more intense and I wasn’t just quietly breathing through them any longer, I was getting loud.

Everything after the enema seemed to just fly by. I was breathing through one contraction after another and the next thing I know I had this huge urge to push. The nurse called the midwife, and I was screaming at this point that the baby was coming and I NEEDED TO PUSH. I was standing and leaning over the bed up until now, but I couldn’t wait for the midwife to come check me. So Trey and my mom helped me crawl into bed, the nurse checked me and said I was 6 cm dilated and told me not to push quite yet! I was so loud at this point breathing through each contraction, which were coming on more rapidly.

Just a couple minutes later the midwife comes in and I’m screaming that I need to push, she quickly checks me and I’m already 10 cm dilated. A frenzy of activity is happening around me to prep, which I’m not paying attention to because my eyes are squeezed shut, breathing and screaming through the contractions. The next thing I know, I’m pushing and her head is out. And then just a few more pushes and, bam!

They lay my baby on me and the I’m crying and Trey is crying and it’s just this pure bliss, awe, and joy.

At 1:41, our baby girl came into this world.

Through all the pain and exhaustion, our little Siena Rose was so worth it and I’d do it a million times again for her. And I honestly could not have pushed through it all if it wasn’t for Trey who was an amazing coach and supporter, and of course my mom who was also at my bedside.

About the name

Siena Rose Han is named after St. Catherine of Siena and her middle name, Han, is after my grandfather.

Postpartum

I’ve always been told childbirth is the most painful experience imaginable, but honestly, the pain was completely manageable. I attribute it all to our Bradley Method class, which taught us good nutrition, exercise and most of all, preparing yourself mentally. I also attribute my ability to push through and keep up my endurance during labor to regularly working out and keeping up with my cycling classes all throughout my pregnancy (stopped at 34 weeks). My postpartum recovery has also been speedy. Because I didn’t have to get an epidural, I was up and walking soon after labor and only needed to take Motrin for my soreness. It’s been almost three weeks and I’m already itching to get back in the gym and start running again.

All in all, our birth story wouldn’t have had this outcome if it wasn’t for the grace of God and our prayers to St. Gerard. I carried his medal and prayed to him constantly throughout labor.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much for bearing through it all and reading!

We are obsessed with our little love!

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2 comments

Reply

Uyen this is so amazing! You inspire me! Way to persevere and what a treasure you have now! Can’t wait to meet her 💓

Reply

Aw, you’re the best Bernadette! Thank you!! Can’t wait for playdates with our babes!

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