Have you always known that you wanted to have biological children, or is that something that came with time?
Nikki’s decision to have biological children wasn’t one that she and her husband had in mind for the majority of their 13 years of marriage. Her decision took time and much consideration, as you’ll soon hear.
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Okay, let’s waste no time and jump into Nikki’s incredible story!
Nikki listened to to every single podcast episode leading up to her pregnancy, and she felt it truly helped her prepare for what was to come.
She originally thought she and her husband would only foster/adopt their children. She explains how that changed in this Youtube Video: Why I Changed My Mind About Having Babies
Nikki’s dealt with chronic pain since she was 13 years old, so the though of being pregnant terrified her.
Now that she’s experienced the miracle of creating life,
Nikki would love to have lots of biological children, though they may also still adopt, too
Therapist said, “You think you can’t do it, you don’t KNOW you can’t do it.”
Nikki’s pregnancy: It was half horrible, half perfectly fine!
She was sick the entire time— throwing up until days before she gave birth
She aimed for a very low-key stress-free pregnancy. She ate well through the book Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols
As soon as she became pregnant she began researching
She went to a birth center and met with a midwife there. When she left, she thought, “This is like a fake version of what I actually want.” She then did a vlog in a Kroger’s parking lot sharing about how if she weren’t pseudo internet famous, she thinks she’d have a homebirth, because it’s what feels right for her pregnancy.
So many people messaged her saying “don’t let that stop you!”
At the original appointment, the midwife bothered her in two big ways:
- She didn’t interact with her husband Dan at all, and they thought of the pregnancy as “their” pregnancy
- She didn’t get the feeling that the birth center would actually support informed consent
She reached out to one more midwife, Jen, and she immediately realized she was the one for her.
Nikki’s opinion: If you’re not going to prepare, you’re going to end up with something you don’t want.
She dove down and read books and consumed 70% positive birth content with some bits of “what if” transport stories to feel prepared no matter what.
The end of the pregnancy was hard for her, but she doesn’t feel confident that she felt any worse than any other woman
Nikki thinks she was in prodromal labor for a few weeks before labor began
She mentions that she didn’t have many checks or tests during her pregnancy, and for the next she’ll do even less. She did the glucola test, which didn’t give accurate results because she never has sugar. She learned that next time she’ll decline or test her blood sugar at home instead.
The night she went into labor, at 12:30am her husband was feeling sick, so he took some Nyquil. Not long after, Nikki had to go pee. When she wiped, she realized there was blood. She tried to wake Dan up, but he couldn’t get up— He’d just taken Nyquil!
Nikki labors by herself for a few hours, then wakes Dan up. He goes to fill up the birthing pool, and she suddenly feels something “stuck”….He looks to see that her bag of waters is bulging out of her vagina. Dan snaps a picture and sends it to their midwife, Jen.
Jen heads out and lets Dan know that he may be catching the baby without her there. He’s excited!
Nikki remembers her mom saying, “Oh, you’ll love your baby so much that you’ll forget the pain.” She says that she didn’t forget the pain— it was painful to her—but because she was so loved and supported during it, she has nothing but love and positive feelings around it.
She feels like it’s important to note that there are people who come out of the birthing experience and into postpartum unscathed. Her recovery was relatively easy, and she feels that much of that is related to the fact that she had such a wonderful birthing experience.
Isn’t Nikki so personable AND insightful? Honestly, choosing the clip to play at the beginning of the episode was so hard, because she had so many great points! As we head into the episode roundup, let me cover a few:
- “if you don’t prepare, you’re going to end up with something that you don’t want.” I think this is such an important point. Culturally, we often times put so much emphasis on things like weddings and baby showers and nursery decorations… but the reality is that the decisions made regarding your pregnancy, labor and postpartum… they have the ability to stay with you and impact you indefinitely. Doing your best to prepare, no matter the actual outcome, whether things go completely according to plan or completely off track…. The actual energy that you put forth into preparation provides so much empowerment in your experience.
- Which leads to my next point: Our need to balance the concept of control and…. Lack of control. You know, I’ve noticed lately a number of mothers who are unhappy with their birthing experiences, even those who have “successful” homebirths. I think somehow the idea that if birth doesn’t look exactly a certain way, sometimes moms may feel as though it’s a failure. To me, it seem so important to appreciate your individual experience for what it is. To appreciate what was given to you, and to recognize that we only have control over our own small sphere. There’s a massive amount of unknown to our stories, and we have to be willing to hold it all with an open hand. You can still have an empowered experience even when things don’t go quite as planned, or don’t look quite how you’d imagined. I loved hearing how Nikki recognized that from the very beginning.
- And finally, I love hearing how Dan and Nikki worked together so wonderfully in labor. Truthfully, I imagine much of this comes from the way they approached their pregnancy and labor as “theirs”. Both took ownership, both felt connected and responsible. Dan’s comfort level with potentially catching their baby alone showed how connected he was to the experience. What a beautiful story.
Okay my friends, make sure you go check Nikki out on Youtube and Instagram. Like I said at the beginning, she’s such a lovely balance of personality and insight. It was a blast having her on the show. Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got for you today. I’ll see you back here next week.