June 29, 2016
Sam Huggins + Juniper
Getting pregnant was not something we had intended on doing when it happened the first time. Not that we were being careful either, we were letting the chips fall where they may. About a month before I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I had a significant fight about "when to start" which ended in me agreeing to go to India for a month and then revisiting the idea when we got back. Low and behold, about a month later, I was knocked up. I came home from work with a three-pack of tests and walked straight past my husband into the bathroom to pee on a stick. When I looked at the test I screamed. Jon came in and we sat crying. What tipped me off that I might be pregnant was that I was unbelievably tired, I was getting earth shattering migraines, and I couldn't drink at all. I was falling asleep all over the place. Literally, I'd get into a car and just pass out from exhaustion. We did not find out the gender because I LOVE surprises. We aren't the types to go crazy with gender normative nursery decorations anyway.
My husband was supportive during my pregnancy for sure. All though it didn't feel super real to him until the end of my pregnancy! We moved, he fulfilled all of my nesting requirements, he worked more, got healthy, all the stuff! Not to say that we didn’t have our moments where one of us didn’t feel heard. Of course we did. He was baffled by me talking about my inner voice so much.
- Samantha's daughter Juniper hangs out in the pool while her mom labors over her soon-to-be baby brother Jasper.
As soon as I met my midwives I knew they were it. We got along so well. They answered my questions, they took a lot of time with me. I really knew what I wanted from my care providers. To me, having a good support team is paramount to making it through a fierce labor! I knew I needed everyone on board and trusting in me to climb this mountain.
I had wonderful doulas for my labors! At my first labor, I had one of my very best friend's and her 10 month old daughter there to support us. Of course her kid and mine are super sonic best friends as a result. And at my second I was blessed to have another bestie doula who is also one of my business partners. I’m really so lucky!
I tirelessly researched what was out there. Learning about all of the baby product is like learning a new language. I mean, who has ever heard of a foot muff? Everything that we bought/registered for, I wanted to be safe, ecologically sound and useful. What helped me to minimize my registry was something my midwife said: you need a safe place to set the baby down, a safe place for the baby to sleep, a way to feed them and one layer of clothing more that whatever you are wearing for the babe to stay comfortable. That really took the pressure off of us to register for bottle warmers, products meant to trigger fear and five kinds of butt cream. Close girl friends threw me a baby shower at a local Brooklyn bar in summer. Lazy melodic music floated through the air, bright flowers popped out of old mason jars and the love was fierce. I was forty-one weeks pregnant in the last week of August. No sign of baby coming. At. All. I literally set up camp on my couch with Food Network, a fan and bowl of ice cubes that I melted on my gigantic belly. I did a lot of crying that week. I was in bed when I went into labor! It was a classic, water breaking on the sheets moment. I was prepared though. I had put layers on the bed. Pro tip: waterproof mattress pad, sheets, waterproof mattress pad, sheets. I didn’t have an early labor with either of my pregnancies so there was no time for peaceful meditation or romantic snuggles once things got started. My breath was my spirit guide and my rope back to center. When the time came, I didn’t have a choice but to push!
Both of my babes were born in my living room and it ruled. One on the floor next to the couch and one in a birthing pool. It was amazing to give birth and then get up a little while later and walk to my own bed with my new family and just settle into this new version of ourselves. Holding my first baby, Juniper, was the most intense reorganization of priorities I have ever experienced. Things that I thought would matter to me suddenly didn’t. She was it. The beginning and the end.