mom laboring in tub

Elias’ Birth Story

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Elias, I knew I wanted to do things differently in regards to my prenatal care and birth. I immediately started researching midwives in Vegas and ended up stumbling upon Serenity Birth Center. After attending a zoom consultation meeting over the phone I knew this was 100% the route I wanted to go and where I was supposed to be. However; it turned out that both of my insurances didn’t cover a midwife or birth center birth. I battled back and forth with them for 12 weeks, calling and emailing anyone and everyone who I could get through to and even writing multiple letters pleading my case and practically begging for coverage. Finally, when I was 16 weeks pregnant I received a phone call from the OB case manager of my insurance letting me know that not only were they going to cover my case, but they decided to get certified and cover anyone else who wanted an out of hospital birth. I was truly shocked, I didn’t expect for my voice to be heard, let alone for them to be in agreement with my request but I’m so glad that all of my hard work paid off!


At this point, I had already started doing tons of research on everything in regards to birth education. From reading books, to following instagram pages, to watching documentaries, to listening to podcasts, and studying a birth course. Knowledge is power. The more I knew, the better prepared I felt. We are taught to fear birth as a society and never told to study the ins and outs of it. Yet, we wonder why women feel so unprepared by the time they are ready to deliver their baby. It’s so easy then for women to be forced into extreme interventions because they don’t know all of their options or that they even have any! Whenever all of the "what ifs" came to my mind or were brought to my attention from someone else after telling them my birth plan, I immediately shut them out and instead was overcome with the sense of comfort that everything would be fine and this is where I was meant to be. I always felt peace and confidence in my decision to birth. I had faith that my body and baby both knew what they needed to do and that they’d work together to achieve the end result of a safe delivery. The woman body is truly incredible and was MADE to birth. 

My prenatal care alone with these women was amazing and nothing like I had ever before experienced with an OB. They were so informative, caring and approachable. I felt so welcomed and safe from the very beginning, I truly was in the best hands.

On February 9th, 2023 at 7:15 p.m. my water started leaking. I called my midwife who then told me to put a pad on and try to get to bed by 9:00 p.m. so I could get some sleep before things started to pick up. I did a prenatal yoga video, ate dinner and then hopped in a warm bath. While in the bath, I started listening to lessons in my birth course again to refresh my mind, get me in the zone. Once I got out of the bath, I actually started noticing/ feeling my contractions but they were still pretty mild. I was having consistent contractions while laying in bed at 10:21 p.m. and was unable to sleep. At 11:44 p.m., I rolled from my side onto my back during a contraction, trying to get some relief and there was a big POP. I was now SOAKED and knew this was DEFINITELY my water breaking, no doubt about it. I went to the bathroom and realized the fluid I was leaking was green… I knew exactly what that meant, it was meconium, aka poop. I called my midwife, April, informing her of everything that just happened and she told me to put a depend (adult diaper) on and try to get some rest. However; things immediately started intensifying after that. I hadn’t felt Elias move in that whole hour after my water broke, so April had me come into the birth center to be checked just to make sure he wasn’t in any distress and was tolerating the contractions well. I got to the birth center at 1:30 a.m., and Alexyis, a student midwife, checked his heart rate with a doppler and it was great, my blood pressure was as well. She also performed a cervical check and let me know I was dilated to a 3. I was sent home to continue laboring and hopefully be able to get some rest.

We arrived back home at 1:58 a.m., I laid in bed and tried to fall asleep but my contractions were too close together and continued to progress in intensity, so I needed to get up and start moving through them. I knew this would help my labor progress faster as well and help move baby down. At 3:10 a.m., I texted my Grandma (who was acting as my doula) asking her to come over, she arrived at my house 30 minutes later (3:40 a.m.). I paced my house holding onto my husband’s arm. During a contraction, I would stop and hold him for support, as my Grandma was applying counter pressure to my back, to help ease the pressure I was feeling. Elias was posterior, otherwise known as "sunny side up", so my back was on fire with each contraction. At 4:00 a.m., we called April letting her know my contractions were every 2-3 minutes and she told me to head back to the birth center in an hour. During that hour, I bounced on a yoga ball, labored over the toilet and danced (swayed my hips) through my contractions while leaning over my bed with a heating pad on my back, to help relieve the back pain.

We arrived at the birth center around 5:30 a.m. I received a cervical check and was told I was dilated to a 6! We then headed into the birth suite where I'd be delivering Elias. I was asked if I wanted to get into the tub for some relief. At first, I was hesitant because I knew this could delay labor and keep me from progressing as fast as I could be but I needed the relief, so I agreed. I got in the tub and positioned myself on my hands and knees with the water running directly onto my back. This was extremely helpful and allowed me to soften. I labored in the tub until Elias was born. I got into multiple different positions to help him turn, move down and engage in the pelvis. What’s so crazy is that I began dozing off in between contractions as I relaxed every inch of my body. Who would’ve thought you could sleep during a time like this, but boy did those cat naps help me regain some energy and prepare me for the contractions yet to come.

mother in birth tub

During one of the hardest parts of my labor, I happened to look up from the birthing tub to see the whole entire room filled with people. Not only was my personal birth team there, which included my husband, grandma and cousin but it was currently shift change for my midwives so both of them were there along with another midwife, nurse and student midwife. The amount of love and support I felt was incredible. Their presence alone brought so much comfort and encouragement into the room. You could see the supportiveness in each and every one of their eyes. I was pushing for roughly an hour and 45 minutes, give or take, before my sweet boy made his grand entrance. This was hard work, I was exhausted, my body was cramping up and my mind began to wander. One of my midwives, Dani, made me an electrolyte drink to help with the cramping, and although I was super nauseous, I choked it down through a straw as my Grandma “fed” it to me. As my mind started to wander, I began to think as if I couldn’t do it and I wasn’t strong enough. Dani told me to reach inside of me and feel Elias’ head. I did and this was the exact motivation that I needed to put myself back on track. During one of my contractions he began crowning and was completely taken back by all of the sensations I was feeling (ring of fire). Again, Dani reminded me that everything I was feeling were good signs and that I needed to stay calm and breathe. So I did just that and let my body stretch around him. It took me 3 separate pushes to finally get Elias’ whole body earth side, two for his head alone and one for the rest of his body.

mother gave birth in birth pool

My big 10 lbs, 7 3/4 ounce baby was born in the water on February 10th, 2023 at 10:08 a.m. I was able to catch him myself and then bring him to my chest just like I had written in my birth plan. I then sat with Elias in the tub until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing. Dani clamped the cord and then let Sebastian cut it.

mom and baby in birth pool

I don’t think anything will ever come close to how empowered and rewarding this whole experience made me feel. This was truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I have zero regrets and would do it all over again, every single day with these same results. I’m so thankful for my outstanding birth team, I truly couldn’t have done it without them! From the never ending words of encouragement, to the back massages, to letting me squeeze them during contractions, to reminding me to slow my breathing, relax and be soft, to constantly placing cool washcloths on my head and giving me water. They were so uplifting and supportive, which was super helpful during these tender moments of labor. I know that everything happens for a reason. I know I was meant to be at a birth center with midwives who don’t jump to  unnecessary interventions. I know I was supposed to have Elias unmedicated, that way I would be able to move freely and listen to my body and what it needed. This also allowed me to get into all of the different positions to help him turn, move down and out. If I  was in a hospital and had an epidural I for sure would’ve been given a c section due to bubbas size and the fact that I couldn’t push him out on my back. God truly works in miraculous ways. I know that his hand was leading me and everyone else involved in both my pregnancy and birth throughout this whole experience from beginning to end. From all of the craziness with my insurance, to the actual birth itself. All of the pieces ended up coming together exactly how I needed them too. I got the outcome that I wanted, a natural, unmedicated birth to my healthy baby boy.

To my sweet boy, thank you for being my reason for unlearning everything I thought birth was and being my biggest motivator behind doing my own research and rewiring my brain to see birth for what it truly is. You have changed my whole outlook for the better on all things childbirth. I am so grateful to have had this experience because of YOU!

mom and baby

Written by mama, doula and birth advocate, Brylee Gauthereau. @brylee.gauthereau on instagram. 

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