With her first son, Remy, Tayler went a week past her due date and had a very long labor (over 30 hours). Looking back, she realized that she had been resisting every contraction. So for her second birth, Tayler wanted to do things a little differently. During her pregnancy, Tayler practiced hypnobirthing; and during labor, she remembers repeating the word “opening,” and actually feeling herself dilating. Tayler’s second son, Sage, was born in the water and en caul very shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Tayler Gunn Bio
Tayler lives with her three boys and two kitties in Southern California. She and her husband Nate both own their own businesses and love what comes with it. Tayler owns Wildbird ring slings, a babywearing company. They spend a lot of their free time at the beach and running around with their boys. Connect with Tayler at @taylergolden or @mywildbird and see her ring slings at Wildbird.co.
Listen to me chat with Alexis about today’s sponsor, BabyList, at the end of today’s episode and check out my sample registry of some of my favorite items for pregnancy and postpartum!
Transcript Episode 156 – “Hospital Waterbirth Story” Taylor Gunn
[Voice 1] Uh, I think my water just broke!
[Voice 2] I think that things really intensified..
[Voice 3] She was right there, and she was coming…
[Voice 4 It was…it was an amazing feeling.
[Voice 5] I could cry just thinking about it. I could FEEL her HEAD!
[Voice 6] (choking up) We heard her cry. We were holding hands and she was SCREAMING (chuckles)!
I’m Bryn Huntpalmer and you’re listening to The Birth Hour. This podcast is designed as a safe place for women to come together to share their childbirth stories. Stick around to hear informative and empowering birth journeys from women all over the world.
[Bryn] This episode is sponsored by Baby List. Baby List’s mission is to make baby registries more personal and less overwhelming. You can put anything on your baby registry from any store. Aside from being able to pull in items from various stores, you can also add neat things like mommy-and-me workout classes, photography sessions, doula support, and postpartum stuff like home-cooked meals and dog-walking. At the end of this episode I’ll be talking to Alexis about her experience using Baby List.
[Bryn] Today’s guest is Taylor who has two little boys. She’s going to be mostly focusing on her most recent birth story today. Hi Taylor – welcome to The Birth Hour. Thanks for coming on the show today.
[Taylor] Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
[B] Can you start by telling listeners a little bit about you and your family?
[T] So I’m Taylor Gunn. I have two boys Remy is 3 and Sage is – he just turned 7 months old. And we just recently moved to California. My husband is originally from here so he wanted to get back to the surf life, and we’ve been having so much fun at the beach. And yeah – we’re just super happy down here.
[B] Awesome. Well, I know we’re mostly gonna focus on your most recent pregnancy and birth story, but is there anything you can kind of share about Remy’s real quickly before we get into Sage’s?
[T] So Remy’s birth – my pregnancy was really generally easy like I, you know just, normal pregnancy stuff – just being uncomfortable but his birth. I actually I went a week past my due date, which I was fine with, but my labor was really long. And looking back now I feel like I understand why it was so long. I was just really fighting each contraction and having pretty hard contractions for about 36 hours. And I kind of felt like I got hit by a car after – like it was a really rough labor, and I had a hard time. And so going into Sage’s, I was very nervous because I had my experience with Remy, which was really hard. Even though I still loved it, I was still very proud of my birth, it was just very hard.
[B] Yeah. Well is there anything that you did differently like during your second pregnancy to kind of prepare for maybe a quicker labor? Or just different circumstances?
[T] Yeah, so there’s this class I took, um… it’s in Utah. It’s by Laurel and Curtis and I just loved it. She like really understood that I had the fear of a long labor again and I did lots of exercises to practice like how I could make my labor shorter. One of the main things I did was I really focused – and I know that like everyone knows this, and I knew this with my first time around too, but I really was able to implement it in my second labor – I was able to really relax during my contractions. And my keyword with Sage’s labor was “opening” and it was so crazy like I could literally – like there are a few contractions that I had, and I remember I was sitting on the toilet and I was having a contraction, and I just remember saying like “opening…opening” like over and over in my head, and I could feel myself dilating. It was amazing. And I feel like that’s what made it go faster.
[B] That’s awesome. What was your prenatal care like?
[T] I always like to do a lot of yoga while I’m pregnant. It gets a little harder – like I feel like I always, you know, you have the excuse when you’re pregnant – it’s a little more tiring. I always try to eat really healthy. I was trying to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Um, lots of chocolate ends up happening for me too (chuckles).
[B] Very important (chuckles).
[T] But yeah, I don’t know. I just say exercise and eating good food was really important for me.
[B] Did you feel differently with your second pregnancy versus your first?
[T] You know, first trimester I felt like is generally a harder time for lots of people, including me. And with Remy I was pretty nauseous, and then the second time was Sage I was just way more fatigued. I didn’t feel as much nausea and I would definitely take the fatigue over the nausea. Being nauseous is so hard. But just very tired and I just wanted to lay in bed. Good thing Remy wanted to watch lots of movies with me during that time.
[B] (chuckles) I remember when we met just how much of a snuggle bug he was.
[T] Yeah, he is such a cuddler and he still is. I love it.
[B] Great, well let’s get into your birth story. Unless there’s anything else about pregnancy you want to share?
[T] No, that sounds great.
[B] Okay so what were some of the first signs that you were going into labor?
[T] So with Sage, I tend to carry my babies to 41 weeks. I’ve learned that because I’ve done it twice now, and so with Sage I was – let’s see – I was seven days over my due date. And the next day was September 11th. I was like – and you know, that’s kind of a hard day to be born on.
[T] And I was like okay let’s let’s just not have the baby tomorrow – let’s have it on Monday, which is September 12th. But of course around like 10 o’clock that day – 10 a.m. I was like, “Oh!” Feeling some twinges, I think “today is going to be the day.” So I started feeling some contractions, and they started getting a little more consistent. I was like ‘Okay this is it. Here we go!’
[B] Were they strong right away? Or did you kind of ease into it?
[T] Um no. They definitely eased into it. I I remember…so I feel like because my labor was so long with Remy, like I was home for most of my labor, I think – we went to the hospital and we got turned back because I was only dilated – even though my contractions were pretty strong. Like I couldn’t even walk through them. And so I feel like that made us think that things had to be really, really intense to go to the hospital. And so for the first part of Sage’s labor I just feel like we were just in denial. I was like, ‘No, it’s fine. I’m good. Like, it’s not intense.’ Even though I was getting pretty close. Like my labor total with Sage was five hours.
[B] Wow (laughs)!
[T] So they started out pretty easy. That’s even including, like, pre twinges.
[B] Mm-hmm. Did you have Remy there with you during that early labor?
[T] Yeah, so it’s so funny – so we called his parents to let him know when we thought it was like real. It was around 10 o’clock and we’re like, ‘Okay, so we think it’s happening.’ I’d called my doula to let her know. I called the Midwife at the hospital and I let them all know that I think this is it, but I wasn’t sure yet. And things picked up pretty quick, and I kind of needed Nate, my husband, to like help me at that point, but I was still in denial that it was picking up faster. I felt like the whole time he was just – because Remy was very concerned about me.
[T] And he kept trying to touch me and… You know, some people like to be touched – but I was just at a point where I just needed to be in my own head. So being touched was kind of hard. So Nate was trying to entertain Remy. He had called his parents to come get Remy, but I don’t know…(laughs) We still to this day have no idea where. (laughs)
[T] I don’t know. They said they were coming for hours and hours but they took a really long time to show up.
[B] Oh my goodness. So when did you finally make that decision that it was time to go?
[T] So, I had been laboring at home. Things got more and more intense. I think, you know, sometimes in labor it’s kind of a fog – everything that happened, but I know I was moving to different places in my house, just walking around. I was able to really enjoy my downtime from my contractions. I was able to actually talk to Rem and talk to Nate, and that was one of my big goals this time around: to enjoy the downtime body would give me. And I feel like I accomplished that for sure. Umm, let’s see. So things got more and more intense. Like, I remember at one point, I told Nate, ‘I need a bowl.’ I was just sitting on the rug, but I couldn’t move And yeah, I just puked everywhere. Luckily, Nate came with a bowl at the very last second. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Where are your parents? We need to go. I’m so ready to go and be at the hospital.’ And they were still like 20 minutes away, and I was in pretty hard labor at that point. I was deep moaning through each contraction. They showed up…let’s see… they showed up and I remember Nate’s mom came inside. I was in the middle of a contraction. It stopped, I ran out to the car, we hopped on, and took off. I’m pretty sure I was in transition in the car, which was terrible.
[B] (sympathising) Oh, yeah…
[T] Yeah, it was really rough. I was in the front seat. I was kneeling backwards on the seat and just hanging onto the headrest. Nate was just trying, you know, he was very good – like he had my tapes on, he was trying to rub my back as he drove… and I dunno.
[T] I mean, he was like trying to, I don’t know… get that really quick. So, we pulled up. We got to the hospital, and it was Sunday – so they didn’t have their valet service. So he just parked the car at the fron. He wheeled me in all the way up. I didn’t want to be checked, but when we got there I was like, ‘Yeah I’m like curious to see where I’m at.’ I was at a nine and a half already. And my doula just met us at the hospital. And so they checked me, and I remember I just had this super intense contraction. I was standing at the time and it brought me all the way down to my knees. Then they got the bath ready for me. I hopped in the bath, and Nate wasn’t there. I had no idea where he went. So I was like trying to hold on for him. I was like, ‘Where did where did he go?’ He had to go park the car because he had just left it in the front.
[B] Mmmm. Ohhhh…
[T] (laughs) I know, so I was just like in the bath. I was still really good. I had my Doula there. She was breathing with me through the contractions. He showed up, and then I like I felt Sage coming, and I wasn’t pushing at. I just felt my body pushing him out, and I was just trying – because I really didn’t want to tear so, I was just like trying to pant through him coming because I felt my contraction just pushing him out.
[B] So is that something that you learned in your class or just intuitively?
[T] Yes, that was something I learned in my class. Because I tore with Rem, and it was – you know, tearing is never fun. You don’t want to tear down there, so I really wanted to… cuz with Rem, I was at the point where I pushed for two hours with him, which was so hard. I was just pushing so hard with him, and I was like, when he started to crown and stuff I was like – I just want him out, and I just pushed so hard. And, you know, I just tore because I wasn’t patient anymore.
[B] I totally did the same thing. My midwife was like, ‘ You need to slow down now.’ And I was like, ‘No (laughs) I need to get this baby out.’
[T] (through a smile) Yeah, I know. It would have been so much better if I was just patient!
[T] But yeah I was like, ‘I just need this baby out.’ And you just push him out real quick. You know, cuz it had been too long. So that was like another thing in my birth class – that I really…I did not want to tear. So I guess a good way like when you know some… I don’t know I experienced it both ways. You know I experienced where I had to push the baby out, and I experienced when my body just kind of pushes the baby out. Which was really cool that I got to feel both ways that it can happen.
[B] Mmm-hmmm. So, when you say that you having you ‘pant’ do you mean like literally…
[T] (laughs) like a dog, yeah!
[B] Okay, like a dog.
[T] Yeah, I don’t know. It was just something I learned. I guess it helps tighten that muscle. I – I don’t know. It’s like that muscle right there it just helps it relax.
[T] So you’re not like pushing down on it. I don’t know.
[B] Very cool
[T] Um, so yeah. I was like just panting. Trying not to tear at all, because I felt him coming so fast, and I knew if I bear down at all he would just come out so quick. So while my body was pushing him out, I just reached down into the water because I was in the tub and there was – I felt like it felt like a jellyfish, almost. And I was like, ‘What is that? !hat is not the top of its head.”
[T] The sac was still intact. So he was starting to come out and he came out all the way and he was born “in call” – meaning he was fully in the sac.
[B] Oh wow!
[T] Which was so cool. Like, I could see him under the water and as soon as I grabbed him – because I really wanted to grab my baby this time – so I grabbed him, and it broke. I pulled him up out of the water. The cord was wrapped around his neck a few times. The Midwife just untwisted it, and put him straight on my chest. And it was… it took him a few minutes to cry, but it was fine. He was good. It was amazing. That moment when they put them on your chest is the best.
[B] Mm-hmm. So was this like a birth center within a hospital? Or just an amazing hospital with birth tubs?
[T] It’s an amazing hospital so the U of U Hospital is super – like their Midwife group is amazing. You can have the best birth there. They’re just so naturally minded focus midwives.
[B] This is back in Utah?
[T] Yes. Yeah this is in Utah at the U-Hospital. And they have birth tubs there. I don’t know. I had both my kids with them and they were just so amazing. Like with Remi, my midwife – I wasn’t I was in the room for eight hours, and she was there doing counter pressure the whole time. She was just with me. And she taught me. She was amazing. I love the midwives there. I could not speak highly enough for them.
[B] Awesome. So did you have any tears?
[T] I had a little tiny one, but it seriously healed within like a week. It was amazing. It was super, super tiny.
[B] Awesome. Well, how was your postpartum recovery overall?
[T] So right after he was born, I felt so amazing! I just compared it to my first time with Remi – after that, I felt like I got hit by a car. I was just dead. It was hit the middle of the night, I was in labor for two days, I was just so tired. My labor was Sage – I started at 10 a.m. and he was here by like three. We had dinner as a family, and I just had so much energy. I felt so good. And even after, I stopped bleeding within five days.
[T] Yeah. So compared to Remi, when I blood for eight weeks night and day, it was so different.
Yeah. It was really amazing.
[B] And how is it once you got home, and this time you had a toddler, and breastfeed.
[B] All that. How’d that go?
[T] So I’ve always been lucky with breastfeeding. You know, it’s always hard at first when you’re super engorged, and newborn’s trying to figure it out. But I’ve been very fortunate with my breastfeeding experiences with both my kids. Figuring out that the two kid thing kind of threw me for a loop. Just learning how to split my time between them was really hard. Luckily, Nate my husband, was super helpful with Remy. And I was so nervous with Remy because he’s very clingy to me, and so I didn’t know how he was gonna take it. But he handled it very well. He was so in love with Sage. And he still is. And jealousy was never a problem, which is something I was really worried about. So it was really good.
[B] That’s awesome. It’s like the sweetest thing to see.
[T] It really is. I did have some postpartum anxiety. It started around two weeks postpartum and lasted till about eight weeks. I just was needed to be like compulsively clean about the house. I don’t know what was wrong with me. It was really it was frustrating on everyone. But I was just – I don’t know… you know, those hormones – they really mess with you.
[B] Was it anything that you had experience the first time? Or totally new?
[T] Totally new. I’m a clean person, but if the house was even a little bit messy it would stress me out so much I couldn’t even enjoy my baby. It was super weird. I’m grateful for everyone who helped me through that. But it was a hard little thing.
[B] Yeah. What did you do to get through that?
[T] Nate was really sweet. He got a housekeeper a few times for me to help ease my worries about it. And just talking it through with some people – with my friends. I had a few really supportive friends, and when I would have those urges that would build up all the sudden – just learning some coping skills, like to just breathe and, you know, just trying to put it out of my mind in the moment.
[T] And telling myself that it wasn’t that big of a deal.
[B] Mm-hmm. I’m sure people can relate. Even if cleaning wasn’t their thing, but something else that was super stressful.
[B] Well, are there any resources, aside from that course that you mentioned, that you recommend to pregnant or new moms?
[T] I’m a little nerdy about birth I just love reading stuff online. There’s this website that I just love reading their articles on called bellybelly.au It’s an Australian company. I really like that website and reading lots of their articles. I like childbirthconnection.org and I like hypnobirthing websites, as well. And I loved watching, I’m sure I know every pregnant person loves doing this, but reading birth stories online and watching YouTube videos.
[B] Mm-hmm. And now listening to them? (laughs) With the podcast.
[T] Yes! (laughs) Exactly!
[B] That’s kind of how the idea for the podcast came for me. Because I was so into reading the stories all the time.
[T] Yeah! It’s amazing! I know. You can’t get enough of it when you’re pregnant.
[B] Yeah. Well, can you share with listeners where they can find you online?
[T] So you can find me on Instagram. I’m Tayler Golden. I also have a baby wearing company. It’s called Wild bird. www.wildbird.com
[B] Vry cool. I know lots of people probably know you already. I work with Baby List, and people always talk about how they register for your slings on their on their baby registries.
[T] Oh, that makes me feel so good!
[B] Well thank you so much for coming on to share your birth story with us!
[T] Of course! Thank you so much for having me! It was so fun to talk about it.
[B] Now we’re going to talk to Alexis about her experience using Baby List. Hi Alexis! Thanks for coming on The Birth Hour to talk about Baby list. Can you start by just tying listeners a little bit about you and your family?
[Alexis] Yeah my name is Alexis Beach and I live in Kansas City with my boyfriend, my four year old son and three week old daughter. I’m a doula with Kansas City Doulas.
[Brynn] Great. And did you use Baby List, I’m guessing, probably not with your first – and then discovered it with your second pregnancy?
[A] Yeah, I did. I actually discovered it through this podcast!
[B] Oh yeah yeah!
[A] It’s been so great. I wasn’t even sure I was gonna have a baby shower with my daughter, but I did end up having one and using it. I got it like as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I was like, ‘I need to get on Baby List!’ So I got it and started adding things. And I just used it still to this day – even for my own personal list of things that I need to get for baby because there’s so many things that I want to get, but it’s from different places. Like, a lot of stuff from Amazon is on there, from Target, Etsy, all kinds of place. So yeah, it’s been such a good organizational tool.
[B] Yes, exactly.
[A]I’m using it even still now for things that I know in the future I’ll want to get with her. Or even for my son – different ideas. It’s just a nice place – a central location -to make a list of things to remember to get for your baby. And it’s been really great – another really great thing about Baby List is that they’ll send you an email when you have price changes on your items. So there have been times where you know something’s decreased in price or even increased in price, so I know that’s a good deal – I should get that now, or no I should wait. So it’s been really great.
[B] Yeah. Do you use it on the computer?
[A] Mostly just the app. I mostly use the app.
[B] O,h cool. So can you talk a little bit about how that works?
[A] Yeah, it’s super, super user-friendly. It’s just the Baby List app, and you just get on there and you can click ‘add items.’ You can type in a store or they have all the major stores there for you. Just click on – – I use it for Amazon a lot, so I click on Amazon – and up in the corner there’s ‘add.’ You can add as much as you want. You can also separate stuff into categories, like clothes, and books, and toys, and just general items. There’s all kinds of categories you can have.
[B] And I know that also you can add stuff on there that is not an item but more like a gift – like placenta encapsulation, which is something that I did with my daughter, and like donate to charities, and all kinds of stuff like that.
[B] Do you ever recommend it to your doula clients? Because I know a lot of people use it to kind collect funds to pay for their doula.
[A] Oh yes, all the time. That’s a really great thing to do. To say, ‘You know, wel,l we don’t need a car seat – we already have one car seat, so you know, we would rather you contribute to paying for our doula.’ Which is a really great thing. Or even a postpartum doula.
[B] Yeah, definitely. Especially if you live in an area without a lot of family or friends close by to help out after the baby arrives.
[A] Yeah, exactly.
[B] Cool. I’m glad it’s been working out for you and that you’ve continued using it.
[A] Yeah, it’s really great.
[B] Thank you so much again to Tayler for coming on and sharing her stories with us, and to Alexis for talking to us about Baby List. You can connect with me on social media at The Birth Hour. And you can get information from today’s episode at thebirthhour.com Thanks so much for listening (& reading!). If you enjoy today’s show, head to thebirthhour.com and click ‘become a member’ to pledge your support. As a thank you, you’ll get an invitation to join our private Facebook group and have access to exclusive episodes. Your vote of confidence and support means the world to me.