Sareena’s Birth Story

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It all started at 2 am on January 5, 2016 when I started feeling really uncomfortable. I hadn’t slept for the past 48 hours, so I was hoping I’d just be able to go back to sleep. Nope, our baby girl decided she was ready to meet her parents, I just didn’t realize it.

From 2 am to 5 am, I just kept running to the bathroom every 20 minutes, then 10 minutes, because for some reason my instincts were telling me to just sit comfortably on the loo because that was the most comfortable position for me to be in during my surges. My husband just kept laughing at my process of dealing with labor. It was pretty hilarious and we couldn’t help but crack up as I’d run there. It seemed pretty ridiculous and not ideal. Apparently I was doing something right because later on I found this article explaining my method further (see Sameer?!! I am not insane!). I should also mention that hours before I started getting my first contractions, my body cleaned itself out (a sign that labor is near). I started to freak out because I had an irrational fear that maybe the baby was in trouble and she was trying to tell me something. I still didn’t know I was in labor, my only thought was if the baby was okay or not. We called our doula at 5:30 am and told her I’ve been feeling uncomfortable at regular intervals, she said I was most likely in labor, and she came right over.

6 am: My Doula aka savior arrived. From the moment she confirmed that I am indeed in labor and that what I am feeling is normal, I INSTANTLY relaxed. It was game time. I now realized that I just need to let my body and baby do their thing. My doula guided me with breathing techniques through each surge. My discomfort vanished. There was no pain, I went into a deep trance, and everything was a blur. The only thing I was feeling was exhaustion from lack of sleep, so I took a shower. It was exactly what I needed; I felt refreshed, recharged and ready to welcome my baby. Later on as the surges kept coming closer and closer, I couldn’t think of my own discomfort when my baby was doing all the hard work in trying to make her way to me. Maybe she’s scared, and so she needs to arrive at a safe place. I knew everything that was happening was normal, and as long as I continue to stay calm, I won’t be releasing catecholamines (stress hormones) that interfere and slow down the process. I want the baby to come to a happy mommy who is in complete control. Along with deep breathing, this thought process is what made my pain completely disappear. I never want my baby to think that she caused me pain, because she hasn’t. She is trying to come as fast as she can to me, and it’s my job to make her journey as smooth as possible by just letting her work with my body.

Later on, my doula asked if I was bleeding at all; I was. She saw how much and said that was a great sign and means I am dilated enough to get going to the hospital. We grabbed our bags and off we went! The car ride was a complete blur. I remember Sameer was trying so hard to be careful about every bump and turn on the way to the hospital, but I couldn’t have cared less about any disruptions because I was completely in a trance (or half asleep). I’m pretty sure he was freaked out I was going to have the baby in the car itself because I was apparently very close.

We arrive at the hospital, and I understood why people say to labor as long as you can in the comfort of your own home. The bright lights and the cold triage room made me feel uneasy. My trance was broken as I was stripped to a hospital gown and was checked to see how dilated I was. That was the only incredibly painful part of labor & birth for me– I felt like I needed an epidural for just getting checked! I didn’t want anyone interfering with what was going on, I was in my own world. I was told that I was 6 cm; I freaked out and started to doubt myself, wondering how I would handle birthing her if I couldn’t even handle being checked. Then I realized that it was because I tensed up at a process in birth that isn’t technically natural. I then resumed into my state of hypnosis and my doula asked someone to check me again 10 minutes later. I was now dilated at 9 cm!

We then entered the delivery room, where we waited for me to dilate that last 1 cm. The room was filled with sunshine with a coveted view, but I remember learning that melatonin synergizes with oxytocin to enhance labor contractions and move labor along (it’s the reason why cats and other animals usually like to be alone and in the dark to give birth). So we made sure the shades were drawn and lights were kept off even in the delivery room. My doula had an LED candle for ambience, incorporated aromatherapy, massage, and slight acupuncture to create a relaxing environment in a hospital room. She even fed me honey sticks & peppermint to maintain my energy levels since I was practically half asleep throughout labor.

Then it came down to push. I was so happy and relieved to be able to push, but for some reason the first two pushes felt like a long time and I thought she was supposed to be out already. I started apologizing to everyone because I thought I was taking too long. My OBGYN started laughing and was like, “um you’ve been pushing for like 7 minutes, most people push for hours! You’re doing amazing, take your time.” Confidence restored. I pushed again. Everyone was cheering me on, especially Sameer. He was getting so emotional, he kept kissing me throughout my pushes and had the biggest smile on his face. He was so excited to meet our baby girl. I pushed for the 5th time and…

at 1:18 pm Our darling daughter, Sareena, arrived into this world. She weighed 6 lbs and 12 oz, measuring at 19.5 inches. She was immediately placed onto my chest for skin to skin contact, where my husband and I were in such awe of her beauty and chubby cheeks.

A daughter, mother & father were all born on January 5, 2016. We are so madly in love with Sareena, she is the best thing that could have ever happened to us.

Words from my husband

You handled the whole birthing experience like a total rockstar and I’m so proud of you. Even the doctors and nurses were amazed at your strength and determination to have the birth you’ve always wanted. It’s amazing to think that just a few hours ago, that little beautiful person was inside you and now here she is right in front of us. I admire your courage and determination; even throughout postpartum healing you’ve been an absolute goddess. You are the best wife and mother a husband and child could ask for. I love you so much my best friend, soulmate and the mother of my child.

I credit my support team (husband & doula) and hypnobirthing to help me gain mental strength–which was the key to my success in a natural childbirth. I have never felt so empowered and so alive and with a purpose. I honestly can say I enjoyed giving birth and look forward to experiencing this beautiful privilege again. I’d like to end with my mantra that wiped the fear out of birth:

I choose LOVE. This is my baby’s birthday. Today I will put my needs, my desires, my hopes, and my feelings on hold so I can concentrate on giving my baby the birth she needs.

I choose JOY. I will not give into temptation to wallow in self pity. I will celebrate each contraction as one step closer to holding my baby. I will remind myself that this is the event I have waited for a long time.

I choose PEACE. I will not battle my body or my baby. I will simply allow my baby to use my body as an entrance point for life.

I choose PATIENCE. I will overlook the inconveniences of labor. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will be thankful for the time to savor this change in my life. I will use this time to put my heart and mind in a state of joy to meet the baby.

I choose KINDNESS. I will be kind to my baby. She is alone and may be frightened. I will not allow myself to benefit by putting her at risk.

I choose GOODNESS. I will not let myself give in to the temptation to use labor as an excuse to be rude, angry, mean, hurtful, lazy, or prideful. This is my first opportunity to teach my baby about relationships.

I choose GENTLENESS. Nothing is won by force. If I raise my voice, may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it only be of me.

I choose SELF CONTROL. I will not allow myself to lower my standards simply because I am in labor. I will continue to strive for excellence regardless of the pain.

Note: I am not judgemental or against anyone who had a c-section or epidural. Not everyone has the same knowledge, awareness or maybe even desire to achieve a drug free natural birth. The benefits of a natural birth are endless compared to their medical counterparts, but sometimes medical interventions become necessary and I am SO thankful for these advances to ensure everything happens safely in the case of a complication. Personally, I had an overwhelming desire to avoid any intervention and let everything happen naturally because it was something important to me considering all the long term benefits for the baby. If you ended up needing any medical interventions for whatever reason, my heart goes out to you. All birth is beautiful and strong. I just hope someone gains encouragement from my experience; because hearing positive experiences is the first thing that helped me in achieving a natural birth.

Photos by Miranda North

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  • http://www.straightastyleblog.com/ Amy Ann Arnold

    Sounds like you had a wonderful birth just the way you wanted. Congratulations on a healthy and beautiful baby girl!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Amy! <3

  • Neelima Sunil

    Absolutely beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this miracle with all of us :) Looking forward to more posts from you :) Happy mothering!

    SkatterbrainN

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Neelima! Glad you enjoyed it <3

  • Pisa

    What a lovely post! This pictures are so beautiful!
    Xx Pisa
    http://www.inlovewithmyclothes.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Pisa! <3

  • Raysa Garcia

    OMG! Congratulations gorgeous! She’s beyond beautiful❤️Breathtaking.
    Love every single photo.
    What a blessing!
    Happy midweek.
    Xox, Raysa

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Raysa! <3

  • http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr/ Miss J.

    You three look amazing! Thanks for sharing this beautiful experience Shveta!

    ♥♥♥

    Jeanne

    http://fashionmusingsdiary.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Jeanne! <3

  • http://www.thestylecontour.com Jalisa

    Shveta, I teared up reading this entire article; it is beautifully written and quite poetic. Definitely save this entry and look back at it because it really is a wonderful post documenting such an amazing time in your life. I haven’t had a child of my own yet, but your strength and words have encouraged me and have given me a whole new perspective on the birthing experience. To be honest, the birth part has been something that I’ve feared at the very thought of because of the pain and not feeling capable, but this really helped in giving me that confidence that when the time comes, I can and will do it and with grace! Your daughter is beautiful and I’m so happy to have “known” you from when you were pregnant with her and hope to see everything unfold here. You have a beautiful family and I’m sending lots of love and blessings your way :)

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you so much! This is exactly why I felt compelled to share my story. I want to invoke confidence for women everywhere and show the true beauty of birth! Your thoughts on this means a lot to me, Jalisa! <3

  • http://www.livinginsteil.com Vanessa @ Living in Steil

    Such a beautiful story and family! Your baby girl is precious and I love the name. Congrats to you and Sameer on the newest addition to your family.

    http://www.livinginsteil.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Vanessa! <3

  • http://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com for seven seasons

    Oh congratulations to you and your husband! You sound like you truly were a total rockstar while giving birth. I’m so impressed with your mindset throughout the whole process. And your little girl is beautiful!

    https://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you!! <3

  • Rakel

    Congrats! Your baby is precious! ^^

    Rakel ♥ http://www.alovelystyle.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you :)

  • PLAYING WITH APPAREL

    Oh what a beautiful baby. I am so happy for you and your stunning family. Congratulations!

    Thank you for sharing your story

    Filipa xxx
    PlayingWithApparel.com | Instagram

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Filipa! <3

  • http://www.laurajaneatelier.com Laura Jane Atelier

    Awe I am so happy for you guys, what a beautiful baby
    xo
    http://www.laurajaneatelier.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Laura! <3

  • Rasa Virviciute

    So beautiful, the story and the photos. xo

    http://www.aimeroseblog.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Rasa <3

  • http://www.qustomquinns.com Quinn

    Shveta, your little family is amazing! Your beautiful daughter is just absolutely gorgeous. All your readers wish you love + happiness!

    xx http://www.qustomquinns.com/blog

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Quinn! <3

  • Fashion Abejita

    Congrats! Sareena is a beautiful baby and I wish her a wonderful life. What a lovely name, too! Your story is so touching and inspiring :)

    fashionabejita.blogspot.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Awww thank you so much!! xoxo

  • AngeliePangilinan

    Congrats! Such precious photos. You have a really beautiful family! :)

    Angelie // Tony Moly Pure Eco Aloe Gel Review

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Angelie! xoxo

  • http://www.stacyco.com/ Stacy

    Beautiful and cute photos!

    Sincerely, Stacy

    My Sewing & DIY Blog

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Stacey!

  • http://dreaminloud.com dreamingloud

    WOW!! Amazing, love how you interpreted it so beautifully. Sereena is so beautiful, just like you :)

    http://dreaminloud.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Awww thank you! xoxo

  • http://styletomes.com Style Tomes

    Wonderful experience! I love the way you recapped everything- your daughter will find the words so informative and touching when she’s old enough to understand. Your doula sounds like a fantastic addition to the experience, and I am even more encouraged to use one when my time comes. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    xo
    N
    Style Tomes || Instagram

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you! Yes I absolutely recommend a doula!

  • http://www.kelseybang.com kelsey bang

    these pictures are perfection! gorgeous family!

    kelseybang.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you so much, Kelsey!! <3

  • http://aglassofice.blogspot.co.uk/ Gabrielle

    How lovely of your husband to say how proud he is of you and I’m so pleased to hear everything turned out well. A huge congratulations to you and what an inspiring post, I’ve often feared the idea of giving birth (as much as I want a family) and so your words have been genuinely comforting :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you Gabrielle, I really hoped my words could be of comfort to women everywhere :)

  • WhatWouldVWear

    Such a wonderful post, love! Congrats on your most precious baby! Your birth story brought back memories of my own child birth, to my now, 4 year old son. I really had tears coming down my face – your story really touched my heart. I can;t believe that you only pushed for 7 minutes! That’s incredible! I’m so happy and proud of you! May you enjoy the newborn phase because they do grow so fast! Sending much love your way to you and your beautiful family!

    xoxo, Vanessa

    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.net

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you so so much, Vanessa!! I already feel like she’s growing so fast so I can’t even imagine how I’ll feel years from now! But there’s always more to enjoy as I’ve seen from your posts! <3

  • http://www.mahryska.com mahryska

    wow! beautiful!!

    kisses from dubai ❤️

    http://www.mahryska.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you! <3

  • https://www.selinasinspiration.com Selinas Inspiration

    oh my god! I’m in love! this post so cute! Congrats for your baby! I’m very happy for you ♥
    xx
    Selina | Selinas Inspiration

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Selina! <3

  • sweetsimpleday

    Such a cute baby!!! Congrats for welcoming new family member!!
    Beautiful family~~ xo

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you! <3

  • Len Dela Peña Parent

    What a gorgeous family!! Your little bundle of joy is adorable. Congrats babe! Amazing post! Love it! Wishing you a very happy and relaxing weekend!
    Much love, Len
    http://www.lenparent.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Len! <3

  • thefashionsalt

    Congratulations! She is absolutely beautiful!! I’ve never heard of hypnobirthing, but it sounds like an amazing technique. I’d definitely like to try that when I have a child. This was such a beautiful read. I wish you all the happiness in the world!!
    ~Lili
    http://www.thefashionsalt.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Lili! Yes, hypnobirthing is the best! It changes your outlook on life and is applicable in many situations <3

  • Jillian

    What an incredible story. I’m so impressed by you and your strength! Congratulations to you and your husband on baby Sareena, she is a little doll.
    xo, jill
    http://www.BornFancy.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Jill! <3

  • Akansha

    Shveta, thank you so much for writing this post. It’s so heart-felt. And now I know what kind of things I should think of when giving birth..whenever that happens ;).

    Your proud cuzzo,
    Akansha

    http://www.akanshaagrawal.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you! <3

  • streetmadonna

    Amazing story. Sareena is so beautiful! That hair! I’m so happy for you and your husband. What a beautiful little family you’ve created. Sending lots of love.
    http://www.streetmadonna.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you! Haha the first thing they said as she was coming out was “omg she has SO MUCH HAIR” <3

  • Stripes n Vibes

    This is such a beautiful article and I read it in a heartbeat!
    I really hope that when we will be blessed I’ll have same knowledge, confidence and be as calm as you were! Your daughter is very beautiful and I wish her all the love and happiness in this world! I’m sure she will be stylish little princess as her mommy! Congratulations to you and your beautiful family!

    Tanya
    http://www.StripesNVibes.com
    BlogLovin

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Awww thank you, Tanya!! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this! <3

  • http://banglesandbungalows.com Yasmin Hakim

    Wow! I can’t believe the strength you showed throughout the entire process. But then I remember you were doing it out of love for your baby. She is such a beauty. You two are very blessed to have her. I’ve never really heard the story of a doula birthing process. It seems so personal and more natural than I realized it could be. I am in awe of the level of concentration you were able to muster in such an arduous situation, but I’m sure you had plenty of practice and preparation. It was so funny hearing the toilet story and how you both were laughing before you went into labor. Maybe it was a sign of the type of person your baby will be and the life she will have. I hope so. Good luck to you all! Also, love the natural light in all these photos. Stunning!

    xx Yasmin

    http://banglesandbungalows.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you so much, Yasmin!!! You may be onto something about the sign about how the baby will be–she’s definitely been such a happy and smiley baby! She’s more of a calming presence for me than anything <3

  • http://www.naomella.com/ Naomella

    Shveta! One more time congrats on your baby! So adorable! The pictures are amazing and this post will become such a great memory for you and your family! I agree on your view on natural birth, but like you said, sometimes it´s not working out! I am looking forward to your next blogpost! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience in details with us! I think we all loved this post! xoxo

    http://www.naomella.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Naomella! <3

  • Siffat Haider

    What an incredible story, Shveta, so beautiful. I’m so glad everything went well, and that you had such an incredible support team holding your hand through it all. Your daughter is an absolute doll, so so beautiful! I can’t wait to see more pictures of her dressed up like the mini fashionista she is sure to become. Sending so much love your way!
    xo
    Siffat
    http://icingandglitter.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you so much, Siffat! <3

  • http://thedailyluxe.blogspot.com/ Rachel

    Shevta this story is incredible! Huge congratulations to you and your husband on Sareena’s arrival- what a beautiful little girl! The way you handled the birth with such peace and trust was really inspiring! It sounds like you stayed so strong and were so positive and confident during the process :) The words from your husband as so touching too!

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you so much, Rachel! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading this <3

  • Doreen’s Style Diary

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful birth story. Your daughter is beautiful. These photos are so beautiful and precious. I’m so happy for you and your family.

    http://doreensstylediary.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Doreen! <3

  • Lauren Blair .

    This was really powerful! I think it’s awesome that you were able to be candid and share this so beautiful. Congrats on motherhood!!!! XOXO
    Lauren-Blair
    http://www.prefertobedemure.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Lauren! <3

  • http://www.racheldinh.com racheldinh

    Beautiful photos of you and your family! Congratulations to you and your husband, what a blessing.

    http://www.racheldinh.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Rachel! <3

  • http://thedemeler.com Demeler

    wow! congradulations
    xx
    http://thedemeler.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you! <3

  • http://www.everydaycoffee.it/ Francesca Giagnorio

    Congratulations *_* Love these pics and your story <3

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Francesca! <3

  • http://lestylorouge.com/ Ashley White

    Omg, amazing story, lady. Thank you for sharing it + these pictures- gorgeous family!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Ashley! <3

  • http://www.thepinkwings.com Gina G

    Wow this is such a beautiful post~ I have a small obsession with reading birth stories and feel so informed after reading yours, thank you~~ <3

    Gina
    Pink Wings

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Gina! <3

  • http://www.thepinkwings.com Gina G

    Oh and these photos are so beautiful and perfect!

  • http://www.ninasmode.com Nina

    This is amazing Shveta ! I really enjoyed reading this post and those pictures are super cute ! I’m so happy for you, Thanks for sharing !
    Nina ( titritmode )
    xox
    http://www.ninasmode.com

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Nina! I’m so glad you enjoyed this <3

  • http://pumpsandpushups.com/ Brooke & Erica

    Congrats pretty momma!!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

    Brooke
    pumps and push-ups

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you, Brooke! <3

  • http://www.asipofbeauty.com/ Swati (AsipofBeauty)

    I’m not a mom yet but your article somehow made me come closer to the thought of becoming one! This is described so beautifully and how gorgeous is your family! That little angel has my heart Shveta! Many Congratulations on the birth of your joy and happiness for many many years to come :) Hope you two are doing great, you look as radiant as ever! Take care!

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aww thank you, Swati! I’m so glad I was able to make you feel closer to motherhood! That’s my goal <3

  • Kashmir & Silk

    Congratulations !! This is such a wonderful post !! So powerful ! :) Xx
    http://kashmirandsilk.com/

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Aw thank you! <3

  • http://www.glowlicious.me Lily Widjaja

    Congratulation, welcome to motherhood life :)

    Lily Widjaja

    http://www.Glowlicious.Me | Bloglovin

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Thank you, Lily! <3

  • Shell Peterson

    This is beautiful! I teared up reading this! Beautifully written and you are such a strong momma! I also want to thank you for writing the disclaimer at the bottom of the post. Some mom’s tend to be more sensitive to the topic and feel like they did something wrong if they went a different direction. You heart is so beautiful and your little girl will reflect your character and strength. I just love seeing your gorgeous pictures!

    • http://www.SHVETA.com Shveta Sontakey

      Awww thank you so much, Shell! I’m so so glad that you encouraged me to write my birth story–it was such an important & positive thing for me to be able to reflect on my experience :)

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