Birth Blog

Birth Boot Camp Review: An Interview With A Former Student (Turned Friend)

by Julia West on June 9, 2015

Last Fall I had a fairly crazy schedule. I was pregnant, working part-time from home, moving into a new house, chasing around a two year old adventurer and teaching two overlapping Birth Boot Camp series. It is was a really busy time, but a very rewarding few months. I met some of the sweetest couples and made some dear friends during those classes. They were all so kind and patient with me and so attentive during class- all of which meant the world. One of those couples is Bree and Mark. They are young parents but what they lack in years they make up for in maturity and obvious love for each and their sweet baby girl. I am so thankful I met them and SO appreciate Bree taking the time to answer these questions for me!

Photo Mar 14, 2 23 12 PM

all the couples and babies from Bree and Mark’s class <3

Bree, what inspired you to pursue natural birth?

Natural birth for me, came originally from a paralyzing fear of doctors, hospitals, needles, ect. But as I started my natural birth journey it blossomed into an entire life change. Natural birth and a natural lifestyle in general means that I have almost complete control of what happens to me and my family. And having control of my birth meant that I could have the dreamy beautiful serene experience that I longed for.

How did you hear about my class and why did you decide to take it?

My midwife Kim told me about Birth boot camp and your class. Honestly I didn’t really look into any other classes, I wanted to do what Kim suggested. It didn’t really ever occur to me to not take classes.

Did you look forward to coming to class? Why?

I LOVED coming to class! (Except for maybe the nutrition one!) I felt so hungry for knowledge and I loved that Mark got to learn from someone other than me just telling him. I liked hearing from other soon to be parents and working through everything together. I really enjoyed the way Julia presented the information. I felt like I was learning a lot but it was more like a friend telling you and not like a teacher. The knowledge was presented to us in a conversational way, which is so important when it comes to natural birth. When you’re on this journey you HAVE to make decisions for yourself. I thought the class was really empowering!

I know you did a lot of reading and research on your own. What are some things that you learned specifically from this class?

There were a few things that really stuck out to me from class; the progression of labor, comfort measures, and all the choices you have as a parent.

How do you think those things helped you when you actually gave birth?

Although I wasn’t able to to communicate to my husband during labor, I knew where I was in the timeline of labor. I started out my labor basically in transition. So all the contractions he saw me have were the kind that make you want to die. He was terrified that I had 20 hours ahead of me like that, puking and screaming and begging for Jesus to make it stop (seriously!) But I knew what was happening. I knew she was coming fast. I could see the pages of the book in my head and I wasn’t worried. At least not about the timeframe.
I wish I had time for Mark to use comfort measures, but we will just have to keep those in our arsenal for the next baby.
As for our control of decisions, it made me feel confident that even if I was transferred to the hospital, nothing would happen to Collins that I wasn’t comfortable with.

How did they help Mark?

Although he conveniently forgot about the progression of labor 😉 the class as a whole helped him to trust me in the decisions I made and it encouraged him to have a voice in the process. He learned so much, and now he like to tell people about our experience. I can tell he would love to spread the joy that we had on the day of our baby’s birth.

Tell us a little about your birth experience.

It was amazing!! All of it!! But for real, parts of it were super hard! My labor was 5.5 hours from the first contraction to the moment Kim pulled her up to my chest. It was fast and very painful at times, but I knew that women were created for this. And like many people will tell you, by the time it’s too awful and too hard for you to continue, it’s too late to turn back! I had my quitting moment in my bathroom, on the toilet, in my own head. I thought to myself, I can’t do this anymore, it hurts too much, I want a c-section, I never want kids again! And 15 minutes later I started pushing! Thankfully the birth center isn’t far so we were able to get there and into the tub in time to have a beautiful water birth. I loved pushing! I sincerely wished I could have pushed for longer! (I promise I’m not crazy!) It was an awesome 25 minutes in the tub, I had the support of my midwife, sitting quietly by the tub and my husband behind me. It was an amazing experience that made me wish I could have tons of babies over and over. In fact it was so inspiring that it led me to want to be a doula. I can only hope to help women have the empowering experience I had.

What are some things that you took away from the class that will last beyond the birth?

First and foremost, I gained my mommy soul-mate! My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I’m serious. I’m so happy I found Julia, a like-minded mommy who I can ask questions about motherhood or confide in about anything. Secondly, I blossomed into a strong courageous woman who now knows that she can stand up for what she wants. I feel confident in my decisions as a parent and as a woman in general.

Bree's baby girl and my baby girl

my baby girl and Bree’s baby girl


Would you recommend this class to expectant couples?

Absolutely!!! I cannot imagine facing something like natural birth without the knowledge we gained. In our society it’s common for people to tell you that doing it natural is awful and scary, and crazy. So it’s so important to have a support system and other parents to reassure you that there is nothing crazy about wanting a beautiful natural birth!

You can check out Bree’s beautiful birth video here. She will be offering doula services in the DFW area soon and I know she will be an incredible support to all the families she serves!

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