Hey mamas! Welcome to the twenty-third post in my Honest Birth series! I’m excited to share another real mama’s birth story, because I think it’s so important to share our childbirth experiences with each other. My goal with this series is to provide a place for women to share their birth stories without holding anything back, as well as compile stories for pregnant mamas to read in preparation for their own childbirth experiences. Every mama is different and every birth is different, and I believe that when we share our stories we help each other.
Today I am featuring Jessica Dahlquist of the Extraordinary Moms Podcast! If you haven’t heard of the Extraordinary Moms Podcast, you must be living under a rock! Jessica interviews all different kinds of moms who share their motherhood journeys and the lessons they’ve learned along the way, and it’s a fabulous podcast for anyone to listen to! She’s recorded over 250 episodes (which is incredible in itself!) and there are so many that I still want to listen to! She has been married for almost 12 years, has three boys, lives in Southern California, and loves to read, sing, bake, and encourage women to tell their stories. Today I am honored to have her share the birth story of her first son, Parker!
Ready to read her son’s story? Let’s do it!
The Birth Story of Parker Higgins Dahlquist
I always wanted to be a mom. So a year and a half into being married, we deemed it the right time to start our family. Much to my surprise it wasn’t that easy. It took 18 months and some minor interventions to finally see those two pink lines on the test. I found out on Father’s Day, and we couldn’t have been more excited. I was 25.
I remember feeling very nauseous and tired, but never throwing up with my first. I did have very specific food cravings, though perhaps that was just because I loved the free pass to eat whatever I wanted. We moved to Ann Arbor for my husband to start law school and I was able to work part-time from home. I remember for Halloween, I dressed in all black and made my teeny belly into a magic eight ball.
I am a petite person so I felt every pound. I think I gained about 45 pounds and had really severe sciatica nerve pain. It hurt to sit and I took advantage of being able to nap. At the end of my pregnancy, I remember being so anxious to be done, so when at 39 weeks they said I hadn’t progressed, and they wouldn’t schedule an induction until 41 weeks, pushing that date into the next MONTH, that did me in! I needed to have this baby in February for my own sanity.
Thankfully, my work officially ended on February 23 (my due date), and after having weeks of false labor and regular contractions, I went into labor that night. 25 hours later, Parker Higgins Dahlquist was born on February 24, 2010. The labor was long and grueling and I felt every contraction in the last 2 hours when the pressure became more extreme, even though I had an epidural. It hurt so bad. And he was 8 pounds 7 ounces, so for someone who is 5’ 1”, that’s not a small baby. But I’ve never been so happy to see a little wrinkly baby in all my life.
I had a doula with me, because I was afraid that my husband would struggle with the whole experience, and I wanted to make sure someone was there to be calm. Her presence really reassured me and she advocated for me when I needed it.
He was born during a snow storm and I just remember how the world felt so beautiful. I had waited to long and endured such a hard labor, and everything was perfect. I healed pretty well and jumped back into life pretty quickly because I loved dressing him, showing him off, and doing life with a baby. It was such a special time.
The one piece of advice I would give is to not cling too tightly to any expectations. Nothing will go exactly as you thought, as it’s such a foreign experience the first time (or the second or third). So give yourself grace, surround yourself with people and professionals you trust, and acknowledge how amazing you are for bringing life into the world. Oh, and wear pretty earrings during the delivery. You’ll feel a little more put together and feminine.
Wasn’t that great? I loved the advice Jessica shares with other moms, and I love that she prepared ahead of time and knew a doula would help her through childbirth the way she needed! Thanks so much to Jessica for sharing her story on the Honest Birth series! Make sure you check out the Extraordinary Moms Podcast (with a new episode each week!) and follow Jessica on Facebook and Instagram! And don’t forget to check back again in two weeks because I have another Honest Birth post going up!