The beautiful Irene Barajas, Bella Mae (5), Devyn Kay (3), Kylee Ann (13 months).
Irene's first pregnancy was wonderful and the entire time her OB was on board with her plans and wishes. Her water broke about 12 days prior to her due date and she went into the hospital without labor really starting. Her family all came to visit and while she was progressing, it wasn't fast enough for her doctor. After about 16 hours, even though both she and baby were doing well the doctor pushed Pitocin. Irene began having back labor that was both intense and constant rather than the waves that contractions usually bring. She had an epidural which provided some relief but they kept the blood pressure cuff on her which meant that every 15 minutes she was woken up.
She continued to progress in the morning and eventually she was told she was ready to push even though she wasn't feeling any urge to do so. Irene pushed for 4 hours in extreme discomfort. Her doctor kept trying to stretch her perineum despite her asking for her to stop and attempted vacuum extraction three times unsuccessfully. Every time the vacuum came off Bella's head with a loud pop, Irene screamed at the thought of her babies head coming with it. It wasn't until recently that she realized how upset she still is about her experience.
Eventually, Irene was told that she was going to have a cesarean if she wasn't able to get her out baby out immediately and she says she found the strength somewhere in her pinkie toe to push her out. This birth experience informed her decisions after and she knew she wanted to birth differently with her future children.
Both Devyn and Kylee were born at home with the same midwife after very short labors. She woke up in labor with Devyn which was quite shocking after not experiencing the natural onset of labor with Bella. Devyn was born in the water and Bella was immediately bonded with her sister. Kylee was the only of her daughters to arrive after her due date and she had a smooth and uncomplicated labor. As she was pushing in the water, she pooped - as you do - and Bella came over to reassure her by saying, "It's okay mommy, I poop in the bathtub sometimes too!"
Irene hopes to create an environment in which her daughters can grow up confident in themselves and their bodies with a strong foundation unshakeable by the hang-ups our society perpetuates.