Posts Tagged ‘birth story’

Birth Story: “Music As My Focus, My Drishti”

February 25, 2013

Congratulations to Sarah W. on the birth of her baby boy Declan!

Read on to discover how yoga made its way from her prenatal yoga classes at Blooma into her labor and birth (think yogi squats, mamas!). Are squats uncomfortable for you, like they were for Sarah? Just like this mama writes about below, tucking a rolled-up blanket under your heels can help you relax and release into this pose. Give it a try — then close your eyes, inhale deeply with hands at heart center, and let out a deep ahhhhh.


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{By Sarah W.}

DeclansmileI’d like to start this story off with telling you that I could not do a yogi squat for the first month or so of prenatal yoga at Blooma.

Though I understood the virtues of that position during labor, it was the most uncomfortable position for me at six months pregnant. I was embarrassed that I couldn’t hunker down during classes, so I practiced that pose pretty much every night in front of my husband, Sean. (more…)

Birth Story: “The Most Gratifying Moment of My Life”

February 15, 2013

This blogging wonder mama’s birth story is one not to be missed! From her mantra of “loose on the top, loose on the bottom,” to her  beautifully-worded descriptions of labor and birth, this story is filled with gems!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Family first{by Sarah A.}

I’m not going to bury the lede here — the arrival of Edwin was, to-date, the most gratifying moment of my life.

But I couldn’t have known that 24 hrs before his arrival. Twenty-four hours before, I was weary from an unshakable sinus infection. I couldn’t tell if my midwife’s suggestion to break my water the next morning (I was 40 weeks and 4 cm dilated) would relieve the stress of life at the moment, or add to it.

Knowing we wanted to labor with our midwife, Deb Stealey, my husband Chris and I decided to go for it.

The night before we broke my water, I continued the tradition from my first pregnancy of meeting my best friends for a steaming bowl of Pho* (Vietnamese cure-all soup) and got to bed early. (*I seriously swear by the stuff.)

The next morning at Abbott, we broke my water and with the encouragement of nurse Jessica and Deb, we got to gettin’!

“I don’t want you to shuffle the halls cooing at the nursery. I want you to WALK-walk!” Jessica said, swinging her arms with vigor. (more…)

Birth Story: “Sex, Squats, Wine, a Bath & Spicy Food”

February 8, 2013

So, mamas — do you ever wonder why we prenatal yoga teachers encourage you to “ahhhhh” nice and loud during class? Strange as it may feel, there’s a reason for it, and this mama’s birth story hits right on it:

Once I got to the hospital the contractions became painful enough that I had to vocalize with each one (ahead of time, that seemed kind of silly to me, but when the moment came it just felt natural), so I moaned and ohmmed all day long, which helped me stay as relaxed and open as possible.

hennabellyRead on for the rest of this Minneapolis mama’s lovely birth story!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Hi Blooma!

Writing cuz I was at the Tuesday night (Dec. 4) prenatal yoga class at Blooma Minneapolis with Sarah — folks who were at the class would remember I was past due, and I went in to labor in the middle of the night after yoga and gave birth Wednesday, Dec. 5! I wanted to write to share the story!

I was 4 days over 40 weeks, and had been trying all the old-wives-tales labor-inducing tactics while trying to remain patient as well. I don’t know if it was the awesome yoga class that night, or the pineapple, walking, sex, squats, wine and a bath, spicy food, or most likely baby decided it was time!

That night after yoga, I woke up at 2 am feeling sick and uncomfortable. Contractions started in the next half and hour, and Evey Josephine was born at 2:13 pm that day!

labor in showerAll in all, it was an amazing birth experience, I would describe it as simultaneously awesome and terrible. I ended up being able to labor and birth with no medications or major interventions, which was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done but I’m SO glad I was able to. I don’t know if I would have been able to if not for the things I have learned, done, and the encouragement I’ve gotten from all the folks at Blooma and The Childbirth Collective, as well as our amazing doula Ellie. THANK YOU!

I labored at home from 2 am until about 7 am, able to breath deeply through each contraction. They were coming quickly from the start, on average 3 minutes apart, lasting between 30 seconds to a minute. Eventually when I called the doctor (and also called my best friend who is an OB), they recommended I go in, but I was hesitant, it was my goal to stay at home as long as possible. But, I was not comfortable anymore and the contractions were coming quickly and getting stronger, I knew I wouldn’t be any less comfortable at the hospital.

We went to Abbott, found I was dilated to 5 (woo-hoo!) and Ellie met us there. I labored in the shower and then leaning on a table or birthing ball, with near constant attention from my husband and Ellie. During each contraction, they would hold my hands, rub my lower back, help me sway back and forth, hold me up from collapsing, and encourage me.

Once I got to the hospital the contractions became painful enough that I had to vocalize with each one (ahead of time, that seemed kind of silly to me, but when the moment came it just felt natural), so I moaned and ohmmed all day long, which helped me stay as relaxed and open as possible.

Hugging in labor

Hugging in labor

I also remember “transition” contractions were extremely painful, but time went by quickly. I was “stuck” at about 9 cm with one little lip of the cervix for a long time, and the doc wanted to break my water. I was frustrated and hesitated through several contractions, but eventually trusted her advice, they flipped me on my side and helped hold back the cervix lip while I pushed and they broke the water and got the baby turned a little bit better, and very quickly we were into the pushing stage! Moaning was not enough for this stage, I’m pretty sure I was gasping and yelling!

I pushed for only about 20 minutes, with her head coming nearly out and then going back in with several contractions (I got to feel her head!). Then the doc wanted me to get her out with the next push because they were starting to get worried about her heart rate, so with the next contraction and big push, she came out pretty much all at once! We did it!

All the prep I had done, and the amazing support I had from my tireless team of Matt and Ellie (and a great nurse & doc!) helped make this possible, and I feel so blessed that I was able to have a fairly natural birth!

Thanks to everyone involved in Blooma and all the other amazing women who go there, you’re all amazing! I hope to see you at a future BYOB yoga class or mamas group!

Happy after birth

Happy after birth


*{A little note from Blooma: We joyfully share birth stories sent to us by Blooma families, however, Blooma does not claim responsibility for and does not endorse individual choices made by families or their care providers. We seek to share an array of birth stories to showcase a wide range of experiences.}

Birth Story: “Blurry & Amazing”

January 25, 2013

This mama was a regular at Bridget McGreevy’s prenatal yoga class (Blooma St. Paul), and went one Monday morning experiencing what she called “monkey labor” — those early signs that something is happening… labor is on the way!

New mama Erika says even now, she’s still surprised by her birth story. Sometimes a little bit of denial is just what you need to make your way through labor! 🙂

Welcome to the world, Baby Hans!

Welcome to the world, Baby Hans!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{by Erika}


Since having my “monkey” labor on Monday morning, I think I was kind of in denial about being in labor and ignoring some things that I felt. (more…)

Inspiration to Write Your Birthing Story

January 22, 2013

Before your baby’s arrival, you may have had an idea of how it would all go. Maybe you read or heard others’ birth stories — in books, in prenatal yoga, or right here on the Blooma blog.

Now it’s your turn. You’re on the other side!


Whether you had the birth of your dreams or need to write as a therapeutic process, you have an important story to record — the story of the day you ushered a new life into the world.


Please join me, Blooma’s blogger, birth doula and prenatal/BYOB yoga teacher, for a cozy, candlelit two-hour Writing Your Baby’s Birth Story workshop that’s part yoga, part writing exercises (with memory-jogging tips + plenty of encouragement!) and part free-writing time.

You may choose to keep the story private or share it, but either way, the act of writing down your birthing experience is a powerful way to make sense of it all, to record your memories, and to reflect on the day you became a mother — whether for the first or fourth time!

Alisa Blackwood leads the Writing Your Baby's Birth Story workshop Feb. 1 at Blooma St. Paul.

Alisa Blackwood leads the Writing Your Baby’s Birth Story workshop Feb. 1 at Blooma St. Paul.

Upcoming workshop dates include:

Give yourself the gift of entering a sacred space to remember, feel, cry, laugh and get it all down on paper (or your laptop). The Writing Your Baby’s Birth Story workshop is held every two months, alternating between Blooma St. Paul and Blooma Minneapolis.

Sign up online for the next workshop (Feb. 1, 7-9 p.m. in St. Paul), and email me at with any questions!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma

Birth Story: Cinnamon Rolls, Yoga & a Circle of Women

January 18, 2013

This beautifully-written story is a tear-jerker, in the best possible way. New mama Belen details her baby’s birth beginning with early labor and attending her last prenatal yoga class. Has anyone else felt this way about their prenatal yoga classes at Blooma?

The realization that this would be my last prenatal yoga class was very hard for me. I had grown roots in that room, become strong and grounded and I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye. I wasn’t ready! I was now one of the women crossing over to the other side that you would wonder about the next week when she didn’t show up for class … I left tears of joy and sadness on my mat that morning and quietly left behind thoughts of peace for each of the mommas with whom I had shared that sacred space.


photo by Belen Fleming

Wait until you see what happens when this mom-to-be occupies herself through early labor (just like you’re supposed to!) and learns to tune into her body and intuition, with the support of a fabulous birthing team. (more…)

Birth Story: “I Just Knew I Could Do It!”

January 8, 2013

Big love to new mama Amy and congratulations on Althea’s arrival!

Mamas, this is a beautiful, beautiful birth story, in which Amy uses yoga, mindful breathing, mantras and visualization — all the good stuff you practice at your Blooma prenatal yoga classes!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{By Amy}

Welcome to the world, Althea!

Welcome to the world, Althea!

On November 6, my husband, Mark, and I got up early to head to the polls. Our neighbors were in line behind us and we told them all about our upcoming due date. We joked that I’d probably go into labor right after voting.

I felt really good all day and had a general sense of happiness and a “let’s get a lot done today” attitude at work. I’d had a lot of Braxton Hicks and cramping that day, and had felt for quite some time that I was going to have the baby early (our guess date was November 15). (more…)

Birth Story: A “Total Believer” in Hypnobabies

December 27, 2012

Welcome to the world, sweet Viviana! Mamas, curious about Hypnobabies or Hypnobirthing? Check out what this mama had to say, and enjoy her amazing birth story!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Viviana{by Karen}

I had already started Blooma’s Prenatal Teacher Training when I found out I was pregnant. It was perfect timing. I started to feel really sick; nauseous, headaches, sleepless nights, but getting to the 10 required Prenatal Yoga classes was such a treat and could not have happened at a better time.


Birth Story: Welcome, Baby Finn!

December 14, 2012

Congratulations to new mama Maren on the birth of her son! She shares his birth story below, and also beautifully states her intention around taking time to slow down post-birth:

I’m trying hard to apply the lessons I learned during pregnancy — to slow down, listen to my body, and be gentle with myself. 

Mamas, doing this is the biggest gift you can give yourself and your baby postpartum. It’s so hard for many of us to slow down — even right after having a baby — but this is the time to do it. Snuggle in close and take each other in. Maren, thanks for sharing your birth experience and insights so far into motherhood!


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Maren + Finn

Maren + Finn

Hi Bridget,

I hope you’re doing well. I was sorry to miss yoga on Monday evening, but it was for a really good reason: our son, Finnegan was born on Friday, October 19th at 8:45 p.m. He weighed in at 7 lbs, 4 oz and was 20 inches long.

Finnegan has blonde hair, big eyes, and, in our completely unbiased opinion, is adorable! He’s a sweet, snuggly little boy who loves to sleep all day and stay awake at night. After only a week, we already love him way more than we imagined possible in such a short time!

Labor and birth were challenging (as expected!) and amazing. We were surrounded by an incredible team and are so thankful that everything went well for both me and Finn. My husband did an absolutely amazing job supporting me through labor. I don’t know what I would have done without him. Even our doulas suggested that he should consider being a doula himself because he was so good! (He’s planning to stick to environmental education.)

My water broke the night before Finn was born, though I wasn’t positive at the time whether that was actually what had happened. I talked with the midwife on call who told me to go to bed and see what happened.

In the morning I was having contractions every 10-15 minutes so they said I needed to come in for augmentation with Pitocin because I’d already been ruptured for > 12 hours. Thankfully, by the time we got to the hospital 2 hours later I was having strong contractions every 4-5 minutes so we were able to avoid the Pitocin.

Welcome to the world, Baby Finn!

Welcome to the world, Baby Finn!

Labor got pretty intense soon after that. I was dilated 2 cm when I got to the hospital and was 4 cm several hours later … and again several hours after that. It was at that point (after about 8 hours of labor) that I wasn’t sure I could do it anymore and really started to consider an epidural. But, my team did a great job of encouraging me and helping me set short-term goals (e.g. let’s try these 3 things, recheck your cervix, and then re-evaluate) and helped me get through it, even though I’ll confess at one moment I was secretly convinced that they were all being really mean to me by not agreeing that I should have an epidural right away. 🙂

The doulas and midwives had me try contractions in a couple different positions and checked again, and I was still at four. I’m pretty sure I cried at that point. However, the midwife also had said that I still had a bulging bag of waters and they recommended rupturing it then. We agreed and as they checked me immediately afterward my cervix went from 4 to  8 1/2 — during the check!

Hope came flooding back then. Within an hour I was starting to feel like pushing, and not long after that I was complete. I pushed for almost exactly an hour (which was WAY better than just enduring contractions!) and Finn was born. Apgars were 9 and 9 and we got to hold him right away. We couldn’t have been happier!

Thanks for all your kindness and support during the last few months. I am so grateful for the time I spent at Blooma and *especially* in your classes. During the pushing phase I was so thankful for strong muscles & good hip flexibility from prenatal yoga … not to mention all that great practice on breathing and relaxing through intense sensations, which served me well throughout labor and delivery!

I’m definitely excited to bring Finnegan to BYOB yoga, though I’m learning that even an uncomplicated vaginal delivery requires WAY more time for recovery than I’d anticipated. I’m trying hard to apply the lessons I learned during pregnancy — to slow down, listen to my body, and be gentle with myself. So, it might be a few weeks ’til I’m ready for class. Any advice on when people are typically ready to get back to yoga?

Again, thanks for everything. Hope to see you soon.

Take care,


Jesse’s Birth Story: “Calm, Peaceful, Powerful”

November 28, 2012

A big, big congratulations to Blooma Prenatal Yoga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher, Jesse Bennet, on the arrival of her sweet baby boy!

Today Jesse shares her birth story and intimate photos of her labor and first moments post-birth.

We love you, Jesse, for all that you share with Blooma’s mamas and for your beautiful strength as a woman, mother and teacher.


Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


{By Jesse}

My labor began Saturday the 18th when I could tell my Braxton Hicks were turning into a bit more organized and intense contractions.

My mom flew into town from California just for the weekend to see me pregnant because I wasn’t “due” until the 29th! Saturday night of course we were watching “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” (I love that movie!!) and I began timing my contractions. They were getting stronger.

At midnight they really arrived every 5 minutes and I knew that my body was starting to work! Fifteen minutes before leaving to take my mom to the airport my water sprung a leak!

My mom stayed to be with Madison, and Ryan and I headed to Abbott. We arrived at Abbott around 1:30 and I was a 4. By 2:30 my midwife was able to break the rest of my water and I went into full active labor.

The next 5 hours I spent moving— on the ball, stretching over the bed, and I spent a lot of it in the shower with Ryan pouring water on my back.

Once I hit transition they filled the tub and when I got in my body felt so much lighter. Time is a little fuzzy during labor but I remember in the tub feeling strong.

My midwife said I would know when it is time to push and she just let my body birth. It was calm and peaceful and powerful.

My sweet son Samuel was born in the water at 7:42 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs, 2 ounces and we could not be more in love.