Our birth story: the up’s, down’s, emotional ride, and how we responded when things didn’t go as we hoped.

This week is a very special issue for me.

Last Sunday morning Micaela and I welcomed our daughter and first child into the world, and I’ve spent every day since overcome with an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness. 

The spirit behind The Weekly Thread is very free flowing, as there is no overarching objective, as I’m not trying to sell you coaching, or position myself as some kind of expert. 

Rather, I’m simply an entrepreneur trying live the happiest, healthiest, most optimal life I can, and I use this weekly newsletter blog as a medium to share and communicate with you all the research and other noteworthy news I’m coming across in my ever evolving journey and passion for living life to the fullest. 

Which means, instead of me creating a massive, well planned content calendar, I choose each and every week to write and share from the heart; share with you what I find most interesting and inspiring at that moment. My weekly “Meditations” are all things I’m truly thinking about and pondering on more deeply. 

Well, to say the least, this week has been consumed with so many thoughts and emotions about my daughter, wife, and new family, and so, I’m going to share with you our birth story, as it’s a unique one, and truly does tie into what I’m trying to accomplish in writing and sharing The Weekly Thread with you each and every week. 

My main goal of this newsletter blog is to help arm you with objective information and strategies to help you in my own small way, also live a happier, healthier, more optimal life. 

The intent is to empower you in as many ways, or in whichever ways you so choose, to take greater control of your health, in a proactive manner, that reduces the risk and subsequent need for medical intervention.

When people research longevity, or study people and/or cultures with greater longevity, it is typically defined by those living to be 90 years of age or more, without disease, and that should also equate to a reduced need for medical interventions, if any at all. 

It’s within this theme that I will tie in and share with you the wild, emotional ride that is our birth story. 


Stories help us relate to a specific lesson or theme, and can provide us with real world context that helps us make sense of things in our own lives. 

Regardless of who you are, or where you are at in life, I think there will be something that you can take away from what I am about to share with you, whether you are an expecting mother or plan to be in the future, a big meathead like me, or a 50+ year old man looking to gain greater perspective on the right mindset to take a more proactive approach to taking your health and health matters into your own hands. 

An analogy for this I would use is the correlation between heart disease and a subsequent heart attack. 

Over the course of what is now 50+ issues of The Weekly Thread, I’ve shared numerous studies and other news related to heart disease, along with some lifestyle and nutritional recommendations and tips that could help you stave off heart disease if applied. 

If applied, the goal is to avoid medical intervention related to heart disease altogether, as there’s no need for intervention because you’ve done the work ahead of time, in a proactive manner to care for yourself to the extent that you never develop heart disease. 

Now, if heart disease develops and you suffer a heart attack, there is no doubt that you want an immediate medical intervention, and we live in a country with some of the best medical interventions available should a heart attack occur. 

However, I don’t think I’m going out on too much of a limb in assuming that for most, if not all of you reading this, the ultimate goal would be to never need medical intervention because no heart disease and issues related to heart disease ever develop. 

(I will revisit this analogy later.)

That is the spirit behind our birth story and our approach to birth, even though things went anything but as we had hoped for. 

The spirit behind a natural home birth. 

**The decision to choose how one wants to go about their birthing process is highly personal, and a matter of health for the mother and child that each and every person should make based on what they perceive as best and most fit for them and their family. What I am about to share about our personal approach to birth and the decisions we made when things didn’t go as we had hoped, is in no way meant to cast any kind of judgment, nor is it meant to be advice, or any kind of recommendations. I am merely sharing with you objectively from our personal perspective, feel free to take from it as much, or as little as you’d like. 

We made the decision to do a natural home birth. 

First, I’ll do my best to clear up any misconceptions some may have about the mindset and approach one has when opting to go this route for their birth. 

The idea of course behind the choice for a home birth is to get back to doing something naturally that the body knows how to do, and has been doing forever. 

Now, the counterpoint to this oftentimes is that things can go wrong (no doubt there), why wouldn’t you take advantage of the technology and expertise that we now have in case something goes wrong!?

Tremendous point, however therein lies the rub. 

The decision to check into a hospital for a birth is based on the chance that something could go wrong, and that you want to be there already in case something does. 

There are also other reasons as births are also scheduled for c-section or inducement. Objectively speaking, these are medical interventions. Again, it is a case by case situation when someone deems this necessary, or goes this route, I’m not trying to argue that point, however, the above are undoubtedly medical interventions in the natural birthing process. 

The decision and approach to do a home birth is to avoid these interventions if not truly necessary. It does not at all discount and/or dismiss any of the technology that is available, rather, the decision acknowledges all of the readily available technology, however, also acknowledges a greater desire to do this process naturally, without intervention if not needed. And then, if medical intervention is needed, to then utilize the necessary measures or interventions. 

In short, you hope for everything to go well, but also plan for everything when doing a home birth. 

In our case, things didn't go anywhere near as we had hoped, but we did have a plan for everything. 

It’s worth noting that I continue to describe our birth story as not going as we had “hoped”. Often you’ll hear people say something didn’t go as “planned”. 

The distinction here is that we had a plan for everything, including worst case scenarios. Ultimately we hoped for the best case, and most desirable scenario, but did plan for every scenario, so it would be wrong to say “it didn’t go as planned”. 

Our approach to our birthing process, is the same approach we take to all matters of our own personal health, which is to educate and subsequently empower ourselves to take matters as much as possible into our own hands. 

Micaela is a very fit, very healthy woman, who takes a proactive approach to her health. 

Just like how through proper lifestyle, movement, and nutrition, she can do quite a bit to prevent heart disease, and as a result, prevent any need for medical intervention for heart disease, she also took the same approach to her health when it came to making the decision to have a home birth. 

We attended a natural birthing class (not to be confused with a home birthing class, as one can have a natural birth in a hospital setting as well) which I would recommend to everyone to educate and empower themselves regardless of how one chooses to go about their birthing process, where we learned about everything that happens throughout the pregnancy process, the birthing process, and even walked through scenarios if things went wrong, decisions we’d make, and had a birth plan outlined for every scenario, even the worst case scenarios, with decisions we discussed and agreed upon ahead of time. 

So again, as I get into our birth story (almost there), I’ll iterate that it didn’t go as we had hoped, but did go to plan, because we planned for everything. 

Finally, all throughout her pregnancy, Micaela ate very well, exercised and did movements focused on creating an ideal birthing environment for the child, as well as doing her part to help the baby position properly. 

In short, she backed up her decision to do a home birth with hard work and effort in the months leading up to it, to ensure the birth went as well as possible, and she was as educated as possible ahead of time, further empowering herself to make the best decisions for her and our baby along the way.  

The Wild, Emotional Ride of the Birth of Our Daughter

I have to begin this story by letting you know that what I witnessed and was a part of, was truly a superhuman effort by my wife. 

I am not one who struggles to find words, and I honestly do not have the words to describe how proud I am of her effort and mental toughness throughout the birthing process. 

Therefore, when I say she was “superhuman”, that is an understatement, and merely the best I can do to paint the proper picture. 

Potential Intervention #1

Micaela’s water broke on a walk late Friday afternoon at only 37 weeks. 

Now, technically, she was at full term, and her midwife could still be part of a home birth, so the baby wasn’t premature, but it was definitely 2-3 weeks early based upon her due date. 

Had we been doing a hospital birth, there is a decent chance we would’ve been told to come in right away and they would begin the inducement process as a result of her water breaking so early. 

Now, with the water breaking, especially this early, there is a risk for infection as contractions may not start soon enough after her water breaking, so this is definitely acknowledged, but remember, we were prepared. 

We took a natural herbal blend that is designed to help with contractions along with some other natural methods, and contractions began naturally, at home, without needing to artificially induce, by 12 am early Saturday morning. 

Contractions intensify quickly. 

By 12:30am Micaela was vomiting, and by about 1am contractions intensified quickly, to the point where they were every 1-2 minutes, and gaining in intensity. 

You hear stories of women going into birth and initially contractions are 10+ minutes apart and very mild in intensity, and they spend hours cleaning, walking, staying moving before things begin to pick up in intensity. 

That was not the case here. 

By 1am, I was fully engaged in the birthing process, doing my part to apply pressure to areas of her hips during contractions to help ease the pressure and pain of the contractions. 

This is also where you begin to realize just how much control you have over your pain during birth. 

I helped guide her through proper breathing techniques during her contractions and again, by also applying pressure to her hips, and it was remarkable how much a team effort, practice, and preparation can help to mitigate the pain associated with birth, which of course, alleviates the desire to use medication, also a goal of a home birth. 

In short, it iterates just how much in control you are if you take the proper measures, and do the things you have in your power to do. A little bit of pressure on the hips (or A LOT in my case) and some focused breathing goes a long way in pain mitigation. 

By 4am I was already contacting her birth team which included her mother, a doula, and a licensed midwife. 

When her midwife arrived and checked her out, she confirmed that everything was progressing along very quickly, and it looked like we may meet our new baby (sex unknown at this point) by 8am, or sometime around there. 

Everything was going perfectly, until it wasn’t. 

The baby didn’t come by 8am, or 9am, or by 10am. 

Contractions kept progressing, however, we weren’t getting to the point of full on pushing. 

Micaela and I were upstairs in our house together, just us two, working on breathing and relieving pressure during the contractions. 

This was an incredible and intimate experience we shared together, and I’m so happy I was able to be there, in it with her, supporting her in my own way physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

It finally got to the point where we felt like it was time to start actively pushing so we headed downstairs to the birthing tub. 

There’s no real way of knowing for sure, or what entirely happened, but once she got in the birthing tub it seemed like her contractions slowed down and became less intense. 

She kept pushing for about 2 hours, but it seemed like she and the baby weren't making any progress. 

Her midwife checked her out, and confirmed the baby had actually regressed and her cervix had become less dilated. Furthermore, the cervix looked swollen, and if the baby was going to have any chance at making its way back out, we had to get the swelling down in the cervix. 

We went from what looked like a very fast, progressive, ideal birth to now about 12 hours into a very active, intense birthing process, and we’ve moved backwards. 

This is where another potential medical intervention likely could’ve been recommended, as talks of medication and a c-section would probably start taking place. 

On our end, we were monitoring the baby’s heart rate, and she appeared totally fine and showed no signs of distress. 

We decided instead to go back upstairs and try to rest in between contractions. 

In our minds, and because of our approach and preparation heading into birth, we knew these kinds of things can happen, and the body is still fully capable of doing what it was meant to do, and because both mom and baby were in good health all things considered, we decided to continue in the home birthing process and try to regroup. 

Time to relax and recover for a second wind. 

I knew my job here was critical if we were going to get back to the point where a home birth was still an option, and she was again ready to begin active pushing. 

It was now about 12:30pm, and Micaela hadn’t eaten anything, as she couldn’t keep anything down; so now, over 12 hours into a very intense, painful process, which already included 2 hours of hard pushing, she was running on empty. 

Also mind you, we had gone to bed at around 10:30pm that evening, and according to her biofeedback strap that tracks her sleep, with being woken up at 12am with mild contractions, she had only gotten 1:10 of total sleep that night. 

Anyone would be running on fumes that day if that was the case without also having to go through the birthing process. 

I knew we had to get her some actual rest, and give the swelling in her cervix a chance to recede, while still managing contractions. 

I got her into bed, and got her to relax enough to where her contractions slowed to about every 3-5 minutes.

During each contraction I jumped out of bed and guided her through her breathing and applied pressure to her hips, as well as cheering her on. 

Once a contraction was over, I jumped back into bed, held her hand, and got her to relax to the point where she was able to squeeze in a bunch of 2-3 minute short naps in between contractions. 

Already having essentially spent everything she had in the tank, she was so exhausted that she was able to relax quickly enough between a contraction and fall asleep almost instantly. 

Then she’d wake for the next contraction, and I’d get right back into my job there with her. 

We did this for about 3 hours before regrouping the birth team, and calling her midwife back to the house to check her out and see if our attempt to relax her enough to get fully dilated again had worked. 

And we’re back!

Her midwife returned to the house for an examination around 4pm and gave us the confirmation we were hoping for. 

Micaela’s cervix had almost fully dilated again. There was just a small bit that was still in the way, and she was confident she could manually push it back and that would be all we needed for the baby’s head to emerge through again. 

Our decision to refocus our efforts on recovery paid off, and we were once again back in business and ready to begin pushing, now almost 18 hours into her labor. 

It was an incredible feeling knowing we maintained control of what we could, took matters even more into our own hands, and that it all resulted in us being back on track for a home birth. 

Once the baby’s head emerged through the cervix things progressed pretty quickly initially, and it looked like we may be a few contractions away from seeing the head crown.  

Micaela, running on empty, with no sleep, no real food of any kind in her system, 18+ hours into the birthing process, managed to channel something deep inside that I think we all have inside of us, some may call it “the human spirit”. 

She pushed with everything, and I mean EVERYTHING she had for hours. 

But to no avail. 

The baby, still totally content and showing no signs of stress, was making no headway. 

Closing in on midnight, and the 24 hour mark of her labor, her midwife recommended that we transfer to a hospital as the baby was making no progress, and at this point, all of Micaela’s muscles were so exhausted, so tense, that there was no way to relax again at this point. 

She, and another midwife agreed that transferring to a hospital and receiving an epidural would help her tired, worn, tense muscles relax, and would give Micaela a chance to get a nap in as well and prepare for yet another final push. 

The goal was a birth with as little intervention as possible, including any kind of medication, however, we were at a point where we deemed it necessary to start utilizing some forms of intervention. 

In all honesty, knowing you’ve done the work, and rode things out, still with healthy baby and momma, but ultimately, the ideal birth you wanted was not in the cards, makes the decision to start utilizing medical interventions a lot easier than feeling like you were rushed or coerced into the situation. 

The trip to the hospital was not an emergency trip, it was a conscious decision.

Part of the desire to go unmedicated and with little intervention, is to go through the pain, the tremendous release of oxytocin, all of it, with your child, having that deep connection, and Micaela not only went through all of that, she did it for 24 hard, grueling hours, and as I mentioned, dug deep inside and gave what I can only describe as a superhuman effort. 

From that perspective, she had accomplished one of the major goals of a home birth already, even if we had to make the decision to start utilizing medical interventions. 

To the hospital we go. 

We arrived to Aurora Summit around 1am. 

Our midwife made it clear to the nurse our intentions on how we wanted to utilize the epidural and why. 

I have to give a big thank you to the attending nurse and entire staff at Aurora Summit, as they were tremendous and very respectful of our birth plan (remember, this was not the scenario we hoped for, but we did have a plan in place for this exact scenario). 

Micaela received an epidural and took a short nap, and it appeared the epidural did what he had hoped it would and relaxed the muscles enough to set Micaela up for one final try at a now hospital vaginal birth, which was the next best scenario in our birth plan if things didn’t quite go as we wanted, which of course, they didn’t. 

The attending nurse was incredible and supportive of Micaela, and made it clear that it was her birth, and she was there to help her have the birth she wanted. 

Micaela pushed for another 2 hours, maybe longer before the doctor came back in and examined her. 

Unfortunately, this now third wind, even with more relaxed muscles, wasn’t enough, and it was now pretty clear that this baby was just not going to come out the way we wanted and prepared so much for. 

At this point, the decision was unfortunate and truly heartbreaking, but it was clear that she needed to have a c-section. 

My heart absolutely broke for Micaela. 

It wasn’t just this truly Herculean effort she displayed over the last 30+ hours, it was her preparation throughout her entire pregnancy. 

If anybody deserved the home birth that they wanted, it was Micaela. 

She did the work from start to finish. 

But alas, it wasn’t in the cards, and when it becomes clear that there are only two decisions left, either mom and baby die trying to give birth, or you have a c-section; the decision, albeit heartbreaking, does become obvious, and easy to make. 

At 8:35am on Sunday, May 26th, after 32+ hours, and a whole lotta adversity, our daughter was born, cool as a cucumber, and perfectly healthy. 


This entire process was an incredible dose of perspective. 

Micaela went from a home birth, which she still did for the majority of her labor, to a traditional hospital birth, to a c-section, all in one birth. 

Which is also why I’m sharing this highly personal story, (with Micaela having final edit) as it may help provide greater perspective for any mother-to-be, and/or future mother’s-to-be, and further help arm and empower them in whatever decision they choose to make about the type of birth they want, or how they respond if adversity comes their way in the birthing process. 

For me, this entire process has only affirmed our overall approach to matters of our own health, which is to educate and empower ourselves, and do what we can to proactively take matters into our own hands. 

And when matters of your health take a turn, I’m then incredibly grateful that we do have the advanced technology and expertise to help in more emergency situations. 

It’s likely that in the future, we will go about things exactly as we did with the birth of our first child. 

Prepare for a home birth, armed with even more information and experience about the process, knowing that going through as much of a natural home birth as possible is better than none at all from our perspective, even if the result is another transfer and c-section.