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4 min read
IN HER OWN WORDS
Here, model & singer Caroline Vreeland gives us the inside scoop on her birth story in her own words—from what it was like changing her mindset around natural birth to watching her pregnancy with a mirror.
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My due date was [February] 2nd, and I went that night because he was already so big. They knew I wanted to try to do it naturally, so my doctor was like, We really don't want to go past two weeks, but I also wanted him to come when he comes. I didn't want to force it, but I did get acupuncture on the night of the second, and it stimulated labor. I called my doctor, and I was like, I think my water might be broken because there's a leak. I'm a very active pee-er and obviously more so with the pregnancy, but I knew it wasn't pee. So, she said, Just go to the hospital, go check it out.
I go with my beanie and my car keys. No hospital bag, nothing. And they checked and said, Your water is broken, we're going to break the rest of it and you're staying here, you're going into labor.
Nico had to run home and get the hospital bag. I'd written [Nico] this long list: I need my special eye makeup remover and this one type of moisturizer and my deep conditioner. I had a whole plan. I would go from like, Fuck the list, get back here! And then the contraction would go away, and I'd be like, Honey, just drive safe. Please don't do that thing where you fly over the potholes.
I was that person who said, I'm going to do everything naturally. I got spooked about the medical system and I had this whole mindset that I didn't want to use any drugs. Cut to when I got there, I had the most beautiful situation. We loved our doctor, we loved our hospital, and it was everything I didn't expect. The doctors were so kind. I didn't feel any kind of pressure whatsoever, and after three and a half hours of laboring, I was begging for the epidural. Best thing I ever did. I can't believe I wasn't going to get it.
Once I got the epidural, I got all the way up to nine centimeters, but I wasn't moving from nine to ten. So they're like, We want to introduce Pitocin to get you to ten because you've been at nine for three hours. I was like, Do anything, baby! I ended up doing both things that I wasn't thinking I was going to do, but I was so grateful to have the option. I don't know how anybody could labor at home with those contractions. There’s no break to rest. But I was proud that I did my three and a half hours.
And then when it came time to push, they had told me that the epidural doesn't prevent you from feeling like the ring of fire where the head comes out. I was a little nervous that I would still be feeling that intensity, but it was fine. I pushed for forty-five minutes and he was 10 pounds. There was some tearing, which I didn't even know was happening. I was surprised they started sewing. I was like, Oh, I don't know what’s going on down there. And since he was big, he had to be wrangled out. I watched all those videos where the head comes out and then the body slithers out. That was not what happened.
[Watching the pregnancy] was such a cool thing. I would recommend that to anybody who has the option, because the hospital had a mirror that comes down from the ceiling and I think it really motivated me. I wouldn't have known how much was showing if I wasn't looking. I wouldn't have known, OK, if I just push a little more, this could really be coming soon. That was a big highlight. In true Caroline fashion I had one of those disposable Kodaks and I was literally pushing and then I would be like, Can you make sure your finger is not blocking the flash?The nurse was so amazing. She took a ton on film. I'm glad I watched and I'm glad I made Nico watch a lot of those badass birthmother videos. There's so many different ways it can look. Watching it was exhilarating. You just feel invincible.
Long story short is you make a birth plan, and the first rule is that it's probably not going to go the way you plan. It was the opposite of what I planned, but it was still beautiful and even better than I thought it could be.
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