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First birth: Natural hospital birth with a doula

Not knowing what to expect with her first pregnancy and birth, Carolyn took Hypnobirthing classes, hired a doula, and planned for a natural hospital birth. A “labor cocktail” got contractions started the day after her due date, leading to 9 hours of labor on the toilet and a 40-minute car ride to the hospital during transition. After an emotional rollercoaster, between her doula, the hospital staff, and three hours of pushing, Carolyn succeeded in her goal of a natural birth.

Second birth: Natural hospital birth

Her second birth experience was much smoother than the first. Labor started in the wee morning hours and was fairly smooth sailing from start to finish. Unlike during her first labor, the only way Carolyn was comfortable was walking around. This labor also included a long car ride, including a stop at daycare to drop off her oldest son. One huge contraction upon arrival at the hospital took her through transition and it was game on. The 30-minutes she spent pushing were loud enough to get the attention of the anesthesiologist, but Carolyn managed to have a second natural birth.

Third birth: “Rogue” Homebirth

Knowing this would likely be her last child, with her third birth Carolyn decided she was finally going to have the birth experience she desired. She turned down military medical care and sought out a midwife and planned for a homebirth. Contractions started late in the evening the day before her due date, which happened to be the birthday of her second son. Labor stalled a bit around sunrise, perhaps due to her mind being preoccupied with ensuring her midwife was caffeinated and fed. She went in and out of the birth pool, hoping for a tranquil water birth, but it just wasn’t in the cards. Carolyn’s midwife recognized the signs and told her to get out of the tub, which was almost immediately followed by her body’s “fetal ejection reflex” kicking in. She barely made it onto the birth stool before her daughter came rocketing out of her, completely outside of her control. In the end, Carolyn completed her family with a successful and complication free homebirth.

military birth

Carolyn Winn Bio

Carolyn and her husband are both active duty military. Being in the military has certain limitations on the choices available to you for birth, like¬†which hospitals you can go to and when you’re allowed to move while pregnant. Carolyn tells the story of her two natural hospital births, one with a negative doula experience, as well as an empowering homebirth. She also describes the challenges of traveling internationally for work while pumping, and recovering from diastasis recti after her third birth. Connect with her on Facebook at Carolyn Louise or via email


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