Kate was anticipating a week’s head start of maternity leave before expecting her baby boy to be born, but she realized he had other plans when she went into labor 4 days before her due date. She woke up in the middle of the night with waves of pain radiating down the front of her legs but kept falling asleep in between the waves, until at one point she realized she must be having contractions. She timed them for a while and eventually couldn’t get back to sleep, so she woke her husband and decided to call her OB, who told her to come in. She got up, took a shower, and they called their family members as they headed to the hospital around 5am. Once there, Kate labored for a bit in her L&D room before requesting an epidural, and afterward rested and watched The Office while chatting with some family members who were also there at the hospital with them. Once she was 10 centimeters and fully effaced, she learned it was time to push, pushed for two hours and delivered her sweet baby boy! It was a great, uncomplicated experience with an epidural and a relatively easy physical recovery, which she feels increasingly grateful for. 

When Kate found out she was pregnant again at the end of February 2020, she had a different intention for this pregnancy, labor and delivery. She decided she wanted to give birth unmedicated – without the use of epidural – and decided to hire a doula. When COVID-19 spread throughout the United States in March, Kate was faced with a lot of uncertainty and anxiety over herself, her family’s health, and the health of her baby, but her Christian faith kept her afloat through the most difficult moments of that year. Kate’s main goal throughout this pregnancy was to be informed about her rights and her options for birth, instead of just accepting what might be considered “the norm”. She didn’t want to think of herself as just a “patient”, and her baby’s birth just a “medical event”, she believed that labor and birth are something that can be enjoyed, and she wanted to feel fully confident in herself and her support team, informed about her options, and calm despite the chaos of the world.

hospital birth story

Kate went into spontaneous labor 2 days before her due date very early in the morning. She was tempted to call her OB again right away (like last time), but called her doula first who encouraged her to continue timing contractions and distract herself if possible. She and her husband got up, enjoyed some time around the house with their toddler, took a walk, played Scrabble and watched their favorite comfort show – The Office. Once her contractions were getting a little bit too intense to talk through, she headed to the hospital where she was 7cm at arrival. With the help of her doula and husband, Kate gave birth to her daughter unmedicated feeling perfectly at peace, confident in herself, and so overwhelmed by the intensity of the experience yet how beautiful it was. This birth experience ignited Kate’s passion for pregnancy and birth, and inspired her to become a birth doula, so that she could support other women and their families during such a monumental and vulnerable time of their lives, and help them know that they too have the right to feel informed, can be empowered in making decisions about their care, and be confident in themselves no matter what their birth situation might look like. 

Kaitlyn DelloStritto Bio

Kate is a wife and mom of two living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is passionate about supporting women throughout pregnancy, labor and delivery and has been working as a birth doula since March of 2021. She also enjoys spending quality time with her family, thrifting and collecting mid-century vintage, cooking, and picking up any hobby that piques her interest. Connect with her at soteriabirthdoula.com or via @soteriabirthdoula on instagram.


Motif Medical

This episode was sponsored by Motif Medical. Motif designs insurance-eligible products for busy moms. With a focus on innovation and empowerment, Motif’s line of breast pumps and maternity compression garments are sophisticated, yet discreet, and made to support mothers as they navigate new motherhood. Discover why moms are reporting more milk in less time with the Luna breast pump, and see how you can get it covered through insurance at motifmedical.com/birthhour

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