My birth story! This might be one of the unexpected and emotional events in my life! Well, let see where to start....
As some of you might know my husband has severe PTSD, I mean severe! Ans he even went into treatment last year at a fabulous facility local to Houston Camp Hope! Camp Hope changed our lives! While he was inpatient we found out we were pregnant! So we found our midwife and started to mentally prepare for 6 children!!! Yep, that's right 6 children! You see my sweet husband came to the marriage with 3 and I came with 1 we had one together and now with this new addition, it would make 6! So 6 kids, a ton of debt and PTSD. I was felt as if the world was defiantly out to get me! Everyone said, God, doesn't give you more than you could handle! They were all right in hindsight!
Pregnancy, 9 months of morning sickness, hemorrhoids and tons of tears. Why all the tears you may ask? Well, Eric and I were apart for the first 3 months of this pregnancy! So that was really rough. The other side of that is I lost a ton of friends because we were trying to live differently! Eric and I were not doing things the same old way as before. The whole suck it up and drive on moto that they taught you in the Army wasn't working anymore! We had to dive into our problems and resolve them!
So at 5 months pregnant, we moved to The Woodlands area to live closer to my husband's treatment center. He was attending four times a week, nonstop therapy, support groups, meeting and constantly reading the latest literature.
We decided to also move my photo studio to Old Town Spring. That was one of the greatest decisions of my life BTW! So I threw myself into my work and bust my butt! My wonderful business partner who was also my doula gave me weekly messages and we always chatted about my concerns about my birth! She would always do check in's and see where my head space was! She wittiness what it took for me to be a caregiver to my husband with PTSD. She watched his TBI and PTSD take over. She learned our whole dynamic! And to be quite frank we aren't the easy people to be around!
Our midwife learned very quickly as well that my concerns about my birth all centered around my husband and his behavior. So I planned and I planned! I had an answer for every outcome! Now matter what I would have this baby without fear, whether or not he could handle it!
So I thought I had it all figured out!!! I was totally in over my head! PTSD for the win! We will get back to that part later!
On July 3rd I was having so many contractions but I was in total disbelief that anything would come from it! By 3 pm I was losing my mind! I told my husband we had to go to Joannes fabric store to pick up fabric for a project I was going to start! When I arrived all the sweet ladies knew what I couldn't seem to understand, that I was in labor! In hindsight it is quite comical! I got everything I needed and off we went! I was still extremely restless! When we got home I hoped in the bath and went to bed. The next morning around 4am I couldn't sleep through the contractions anymore so I hopped back in the bath! ( a hot bath will either stop everything or if it's the real deal the contractions won't stop) The contractions didn't stop!! So I screamed at my husband who was passed out "hey, it's time to call Erin (our doula)!" He said do we blow up the pool, is this it?? This is the real deal!! I looked at him and laughed and said yes it is!
Erin arrived around 5ish... and the party started! We kinda had too much fun for the first few hours! We told a bunch of jokes and basically hung out! Shannon Stellhorn my midwife arrived a few hours later.
I wasn't sure if this was the real deal but it felt like it. Emotionally I was detached. I didn't want anyone to waste their time. I just wanted it to be fast... like everyone else. Well if I have learned anything it's that I am not going to have it easy. I have to work for it. And let me tell you I worked my bottom off! So when Shannon arrived she checked me and yep I was a few cm and not complete. I was so disappointed. I asked her if she should leave and she said Ashli you are having a baby today! So a few more hours passed and I progressed some but nothing like a third time mom should've!
So Shannon asked if I would mind have my scar tissue massaged... well it hurt so bad I still have nightmares but it was a game changer! We did this song and dance three times before she asked would you like me to break your water? she broke my water....
my hours passed and many things unfolded. My husband took my reaction to a contraction personal and he was triggered. It was honestly the worst thing ever. I was vomiting from this horrible tea my midwife had me drinking and he was crying because he thought I was keeping him from our unborn children. He couldn't let go and I couldn't either. We finally were at the end and it was time!!! Baby was coming but I just couldn't do it without my connection to Eric. So he came in the room held my hand and fifteen minutes later we had a baby!!! Yep! That's all it took fifteen minutes of us together embracing one another and baby was born! This spans of time was 24 hours from the moment our doula arrived to when baby was born. It was riveting! I knew right then that we made it! Our sweet daughter announced the babies gender!!! She said it's a Boy!!! We did it!! We had our final addition to the crew!
Emiliano 7.14 lbs 20.75 inches
I left a ton out!! This wasn't an easy story to tell but it's our story!
God bless you all!!