top of page
  • Writer's pictureCourtney Leigh

Stevie’s Birth Story

Updated: Feb 9

Sharing this story over a year and a half later. There’s was aspects about this birth that required healing, things I didn’t realize affected me deeply until months later. There were also aspects that transformed me forever and left me wanting to experience birth over and over.

This birth and my daughters Stevie’s introductory to life made me question everything. I had to unlearn what I thought to be true. I accepted responsibility for decisions I made and refused to live in victimhood.

On to the story:

August 2021

The birth of my first true love, Stevie Grey:

Around 7:00pm August 5, I knew something was different, contractions had started and were consistent and not going away. I began to time my contractions for a bit later that night, I sent a screen shot to Jordan and my doula to let them know what was going on. I attempted to sleep with Jordan when he got home, but I was overwhelmed with excitement and emotion. I spent most of the next 10 hours laboring in our bath tub, bouncing on the bosu ball and listening to my birth playlist.

I was texting my doula on and off all night, keeping her updated on the sensations I was experiencing. She came over the following morning around 6am.

Around 8:30am August 6 Jordan went to the kitchen to make my doula & I breakfast, I was laboring on the ball, chatting when we heard pans falling in the cabinets and POP, my water broke! I was immediately flooded with emotion, for some reason I felt a shift and realized I would be meeting my baby today, on Jordan and I’s six year anniversary.

I continued to labour at home for a couple more hours, using the tens machine and talking with my doula and Jordan. Around 10am I decided to head the birthing center. To my surprise, a midwife I connected the least with was my midwife on call and would be at Stevie’s birth. I was instantly let down that she’d bet attended my birth, but I kept it to myself and didn’t voice my concern.

When we arrived around 10:30am the midwife asked to check me- I was 6cm dilated and was ready to get in the tub. Her presence was already bugging me, everything she said and did. I asked Jordan to turn on my birth playlist, filled with Christian music that would lead me through all of the surges to come.

We finally ditched the required face masks, we could no longer bear it. Jordan poured water over my back and messaged my head. I had already crossed over worlds, floating in the ethers, working alongside my baby and was no longer talking to anyone in the room.

Around 12:30am FER (fetal ejection reflex) was beginning to kick in, my body was bearing down and pushing involuntarily. This was the most amazing sensation ever. I began to vocalize loudly through every surge, with every push of my body sending Stevie downward.

About 2:30pm I was urged to get out of the tub and encouraged to labour on the toilet. This is when I felt like maybe I couldn’t do this- then I remembered, this is transition, this is the hardest part.

I even vocalized multiple times that I quit, and wanted to give up. I was tired, I was overwhelmed by all of the people in the room, I was tired of the talking by everyone in the room and was ultimately tired of my cervix being checked and being moved in and out of the tub. I just wanted to lean into Jordan, I kept imagining it was just us in the room.

I moved back to the bed and was checked yet again, and had what my midwife called a “cervical lip”, she asked if she could push it out of the way my next contraction, I obliged, and it was easily the most painful part of my entire labor. She was unable to move it.

Around 4:00pm I was in need of rest, I laid down on the bed, wrapped my robozzo around me, laid on my side and fell asleep. I can vividly remember, being asleep, but waking up to involuntary pushing through with each surge and falling back asleep. I experienced what I felt was supernatural peace, I was completely open (dilated) and was experiencing complete euphoria through each surge.

Around 5:30pm, I was still asleep and the midwife asked to check me yet again while I rested, The Blessing by Kari Jobe was playing and what do you know, she let me know I was complete and that Stevie was right there.

I was no longer experiencing fetal ejection reflex and was instructed to try pushing on my next contraction. I asked for a mirror so I could watch as a guided Stevie out with each push. I reached down and felt her crowning and felt my heart melt as I touched the baby that had been dancing in my womb for nine months.

I remember looking at Jordan in his amazement as he awaited to be the first person to touch her and bring her up to me.

Stevie was born at 5:30pm, August 6, into Jordans hands after 22 hours of labour. She was brought up to my chest, as I instinctively rubbed her back I was yelled at not to and to stop. This is when everything became a bit of a blur as the tone in the room immediately changed and she was taken from my arms.

Stevie was aggressively suctioned the moment she was born. She was taken from my arms and given to jordan, inflation breaths suctioning, I was feeling obligated to get my placenta out of me. The allure of birth was gone. I delivered my placenta around 5:45pm. I was shot up with pitocin immediately and given fundal pressure. I was focused on my daughter and wanted her in my arms. Stevie was experiencing TTN and was given inflation breaths to clear her lungs, and was ultimately sent to the NICU for monitoring because her oxygen levels didn’t suit the midwives comfort levels.

I held my daughter for the first time an hour after she was born. She was weighed and measured, umbilical cord cut from afar. I felt like I was floating outside my body. I just wanted a moment to connect with my baby. Her and I, skin to skin undisturbed, but that wasn’t going to happen.

I was so conflicted, I was guilty from my birth high because there were parts of labor that were amazing but I was also disturbed by how hands on my midwife was and my womb ached as I watched my healthy daughter held captive for monitoring in a hospital full of sick babies. I felt betrayed and abandoned by the midwife on call. I knew I didn’t like her from the moment I met her and I ignored my intuition and was flooded with guilt.

I went on to endure a 2.5 day NICU stay. Where I fought tooth and nail for my daughter. I watched her lay in a plastic box, no IV, no signs of infection, and pumped with routine antibiotics without my consent. I was fear mongered by staff for informed medical decisions I made for my family, I was denied donor breast milk and gas-lit into using formula.

My milk was slow to come in, a nipple shield was shoved on my breast, I pumped as much as I could with a flange 3x too big for my nipples at the advice of the hospitals “IBCLC”.

I watched a nurse attempt an IV on her 6+ times, a couple in her hand and several in her head as she wailed in agony. She finally gave up and admitted she didn’t really need one anyways. A charge nurse muttered she didn’t know why my baby was there when she was as perfectly healthy compared to the 30 weaker across the room.

I watched my daughter sit in a car seat for two hours for monitoring before we were “allowed” to leave, when she should have been naked against my own bare skin soaking in this new world. Instead, her entrance was full of strangers, nose pokes, anxious energy, her mother being told she doesn’t know best and us only allowed to interact with permission.

It isn’t easy to share this story even now, even though I’ve healed and forgiven. Even though I’ve taken the responsibility for the hand I played in my own birth. It took my months to come to terms with what had happened. But I also wanted to accept the good, even if I had to pick through it with a fine tooth comb to find it. I was going to use the pure ecstasy I experienced in moments of her birth, and watching her emerge from me as my muse and never forget it.

Stevie deserved more, she deserved time to transition, I deserved to aid her in coming into her body and taking her first breaths, she deserved to crawl to my breast and nurse and so much more.

I know my daughters purpose in her birth was to be the driver into me stepping into sovereignty and no longer outsourcing my decisions. A part of my died when Stevie was born, I was no longer the meek mother who would be told by others what was best for my baby or I.

It might be hard to understand why I would be grateful for a birth that left me with so much hurt, but I am. I'm eternally grateful for this lesson and for my Stevie.

30 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page