Coco Brown's Resilient Home Birth Story

Coco Brown’s Resilient Homebirth Story

March 5, 2024

I am so excited to introduce you to this week’s maven on the Mavens of Motherhood Podcast, Coco Brown of Our Growing Abode. Coco Brown is a mom of two, creative and maternal wellness advocate online spreading honest words and inspirational sharing for mothers. I’m so grateful that she is sharing her beautiful home birth story with us. She shares her story and journey into motherhood and how she overcame an eating disorder, loss, grief and miscarriage to get pregnant with her daughter Poet. How she healed her body and mind intentionally with small and big holistic lifestyle changes and received guided help along the way. She paints the picture of her home birth and takes us there into the depths of her journey as it is so fresh in her memory. She even faced shoulder dystocia during the birth of her daughter with grace, empowerment and swift guidance from her midwife. This is an empowering and inspiring story and I am so freaking stoked for you to listen to it! 

Her first experience giving birth

Journey Into motherhood with her first was shocking for her, she was dating her now husband and got pregnant unexpectedly. Coco didn’t feel ready for motherhood at the time. They decided to move into a home together, get married and start their family. Her first baby is a son that was born shortly after her husband’s father died and feels like a gift for her husband. Her goals with his birth was an unmedicated birth but Coco was still navigating a lot of fear around birth still. 

She chose to have a hospital birth with an OB she found that her experience was not what they had promised. It felt very “legal” and under the code of the hospital policies. Looking back, she has never felt safe in a hospital and her body showed her that she didn’t feel safe and she wanted to go home after her water broke. She begged to go home after her water broke and her OB insisted that she come to the hospital immediately. When she arrived at the hospital, her contractions immediately stopped. She hated getting cervical checks and it was so painful. Coco felt very stressed, uncomfortable and experienced that cascade of interventions. Since her labor stalled, they pushed pitocin. Pitocin pumped into her for 30 hours of labor at the hospital. She was filled with fear and the OB pushed her to have a cesarean birth. Her husband advocated for her to get the spinal tap and wait for an hour. 

After about thirty minutes, she was fully dilated and encouraged to push. Her son was born quickly there after that and needed assistance from the OB emerging. She felt powerless and that something was taken from her. She felt violated and it impacted her postpartum experience. After reflecting on her birth experience she felt like she lacked support and wasn’t worthy of support at the time. She learned so much from experiencing a traumatic birth experience and decided five days postpartum that she wanted a redemption birth story.

What Coco did to change her birth story the next time…

Coco and her husband watched the Business of Being Born which is a documentary about the hospital system in America and how broken it is in supporting birthing families. It is a great documentary that I encourage all families to watch as they navigate their decision on where to give birth and getting clear with what to expect from hospitals. 

She shifted everything and she took a full year to focus on her wellness. She completely changed her entire life and got the help she needed from a lot of experts some of which include, acupuncture, naturopath, hynotherapists, mental health therapists and a holistic chiropractor. She did EMDR and worked with a Hypnotherapist on fear release to help prepare her for her next birth.

She manifested her dream birth by communicating it out loud to herself every day while she was pregnant. She did not get lucky – she did the work and believed in herself and her baby. 

Coco Brown’s Home Birth Story

Listen to the podcast episode starting at 40:00 or if you prefer to read Coco Brown’s home birth story and her journey into motherhood please read the story written by Coco herself below.

Part 1

My “guess date” came and went as I continued to have strong Braxton hicks for days on end — each day I couldn’t help but wonder if they would grow into the finish line, her birth.

April soon became May and I just knew it was meant to be. It was written in the stars. She would choose her very best May day. 

I, however, was beginning to feel the pressure which ultimately led me to spending a few days offline and focusing inward. Connecting to my baby, my body, my birth space, my birth partner, my family. 

On May 5, our household had a hard day and both Jamie and I needed some TLC- rest, connection, and space to welcome surrender. 

I had a call with my midwife and we discussed the beauty and importance of release of control. After being heard, held, seen, lifted by her… I felt a renewal and decided to have my parents take Emrys for the night so Jamie and I could focus on connection and slowing down our anxious thoughts. 

May 5th, the flower moon rose and lit up our bedroom skylights and my contractions picked up intensity after some much needed, fun intimacy. We watched positive home birth videos and ate ice cream. I had manifested and prayed deeply for a daytime labor and birth and it was about 9pm at this point. Eagerly, I texted my midwife and told her where I was at and let her know I was going to do what I could to get rest tonight. I hopped in the bath to relax my body and slow the contractions down in hopes I could rest through the night. I talked to my girl and asked her wait until morning. 

And that happened exactly. I was able to sleep on and off for about 4 hrs or so in between contractions— I woke up on May 6, my birthday, around 5am fully surrendering to her timing. 

Part 2 

Jamie stayed in contact with our midwife informing her that my contractions were slowing down from the rest and were about 10-15min apart and completely manageable. 

I was feeling pretty determined to nudge them a long so I did the miles circuit, ball work, danced, cleaned the house, etc. when I got tired, I would take a nap in the left-side-lay. When I got hungry, I would eat fruits and protein. I drank coconut water, stayed hydrated, and peed (and pooped) often. 

I took two naps that day and both felt amazing. After the second, around 2pm, I felt a little overwhelmed by defeat since my contractions were still 10min apart. 

I was starting to think we may go another day— together my husband and I released that into the universe and left it totally up to her. 

My contractions began to intensify around 4pm but still remained all over the place— I decided to lay down and rest for a third time. Each time I laid down I battled thoughts of wondering if I was slowing her labor down and dug deep into my intuition to rest easy knowing I was following what she and I both needed, rest for a big ending.

As I laid down, I visualized my dream birth again and gently closed my eyes to sleep. A contraction came on and I slowly breathed through it— then I felt a massive POP. 

it was shocking and pretty painful, so I assumed it was her head plopping into place passed the pubic bone. That, or my water breaking. I had this with Emrys and immediately went into transition with him…. and that’s exactly what happened with this little love. Only this time, fear would not consume me. 

Part 3

I ran to the shower and had a little “bloody show”. I worked through intense waves rolling in one after another about 1-2 minutes apart. I found a focus point and repeated “I am an ocean. I am safe.” I could feel her moving down and the intensity of a life force moving down and through my body was BIG. Like really big. I had to use all tools in my tool bag. Transition was my greatest fear in regards to pain and I was so proud to be tackling it with fearlessness. 

My midwife was on her way and that felt so good— I was ready to check on our girl and get some extra love in the space.

Jamie used counter pressure to help with my intense contractions but I labored so differently this time around and everything felt very internal. With Emrys, I felt a lot of back and hip pain outwardly. This time it was massive feelings of intensity inside my pelvis, uterus, tailbone, anus. Very much inside. I needed to approach the intensity with very internal breaths. 

My midwife arrived about 5:20pm and I told her I felt like I was uncontrollably pushing and asked if I could get in the tub. The tub felt incredible. A massive slow down for a few minutes while I adjusted to a new environment and headspace. We all smiled. I cried tears of joy thinking of her arrival soon. It was truly beautiful. My friend/photographer and another incredible midwife I’m close to arrived in perfect timing as well. My whole team was here, holding me, holding space, filling the room with love and encouragement. I was so held. I’ll never forget that feeling.

Part 4 

Contractions intensified again and I began my journey through the fire around 5:45pm. My body was pushing with a force I never knew existed in me. With a look of concern I told my midwives I felt confused because I wanted to “breathe her out”, but my body was telling me to push with an intensity that felt much much bigger. This life force required all my strength. I tried with everything in me to slow down, breathe up, allow her come on her timing. But my body and mind were having a hard time staying aligned. 

This was the moment I knew she was a rather large baby with large shoulders. I told my midwife I could feel her shoulders really digging in (or said something about her shoulders) and scrambled a bit to find a position I felt I could push her out in. Nothing felt right. Something felt off. 

Up until this point I had had zero cervical checks but I had decided to have her check me for a cervical lip … but there was none, just a big head of hair. 

I began to feel overwhelmed with thoughts of confusion. I just couldn’t seem to find what worked. No position felt like “the one”. My waves were sending me to a place where death lived— death of fear, death of weakness, death of uncertainty, death of powerlessness, death of anxiousness. As my water broke, so did my expectations of her birth, of this life, my doubts, my fears, my pain. It all broke in pieces, everything I thought I knew. Each wave that rolled in I faced head on, staring each in the eyes. Meeting fear and moving through it, yelling through it, pushing through it, growling through it, visualizing myself as the ocean, digging deep into my primal state, working through my thoughts out loud in the safe space with my team. And ultimately reaching the other side for a break of calm.

With everything in me, and I mean every ounce of strength and courage I had, I pushed her head out at 6:54pm as the sun was drifting downward creating all that golden light we all love. A head filled with black hair, we laughed. As relieved as I was— I was feeling an amount of intensity and fire that sent me straight back into the flames. 

I thought we were here. I thought I was done. The end. 

Why wasn’t she coming out? I used everything I had to guide the rest of her body out but it was NOT moving. I began to feel broken. 

My midwife knew immediately and intuitively our girl would need a magical team to help make her way earth-side. A little (a lot) of help. 

And so the team jumped in full force. With urgency. 

No, literally, my midwife jumped into the pool with us and switched gears completely. It was technically a medical emergency and yet, it felt like just that last drowning before life could rise. 

I wasn’t scared. I was focused, I was moving through, I was following closely to my trusted midwives words, and being guided by two of the worlds brightest lights and best baby ushers. I had one midwife pressing on my belly and one full force, both hands inside me, shifting baby girl to dislodge her shoulders. 

(I didn’t know what shoulder dystocia was before this birth but I will tell you this— I needed my team to help get her out. Period.) 

Part 5

The sound that came out of me as I used my entire being to bring her out while two midwives guided her body— it was a feeling I will never forget: a feeling of knowing 100% this would’ve been a traumatic medical emergent hospital birth had I decided to go that route and yet here we are at home, doing it. I was doing it! I said I couldn’t but I knew I could and my midwife reminded me of that. 

Although she needed her team to help her out and my body endured a bit more than expected— I would never call her birth trauma. There was still so much love, so much grace, so much peace, so much bravery, and thank the Lord, so much knowledge and experience. The last four minutes before we all came up for a big breath of air and oxytocin. 

My midwife placed her on my chest at 6:58pm as the sun began to set. She was eyes wide open and her skin was 100% blue/purple. I looked to my midwife for reassurance and she said her heart was beating perfectly and she was getting all her oxygen from her placenta still. She was just in as much shock as I was— a massive baby for my stature. She looked about two months old. I kissed her face and Jamie and I spoke lovingly to her as she came into her body. 

Both my midwives looked at each other and knew immediately why this labor was what it was… my big girl. 10lbs 2oz, 22.5in long, with a big ole head and big ole 16in+ chest and shoulders. And all the buttery rolls. 

She was so cozy her womb home— it really took a perfect team to help usher her earth side. 

Part 6

My midwife says often “I didn’t save you, you saved you” and other really beautiful words of empowerment to all the mothers who birth their babies at home. However, this time, I am telling you she did save me. She saved my baby. She saved me from a traumatic vacuum delivery, a c section because “baby is too big for natural delivery”, and saved me from my sweet girl having to go through the trauma of having her clavicles broken to get her through my birth canal with shoulder dystocia. She was fully apart of this birth and a vital one at that. 

She saved me from myself, from my thoughts of weakness and my “can’t”s. It doesn’t happen often, but in this journey— she jumped in fully and in many ways. 

I can’t express to you what it feels like to need the type of team we were so blessed to have. Despite her size and shoulder dystocia— I believe our girl still had the beautiful, love filled water birth at home she deserved. THAT is actually a miracle. 

I wonder how rare that is, truly. I will forever be grateful for my midwife and my intimate little team of love and strength incarnate. I’m crying thinking about how blessed I am by them and how much I truly love them. 

The joy I felt after what could’ve been extremely traumatic just proves how powerful your chosen care team can be and how important it is to lean into your intuition. 

Part 7

My mom arrived just as I was getting out of the pool and my initial postpartum team was here. I felt so held. 

My midwife basically carried me to the bed since my body was also kind of coming back to earth and learning itself again. It felt so amazing to lay in my bed with my girl, still attached to her placenta, and have these women and my husband loving on me, massaging me, validating me. I’ve never felt more loved and celebrated. And on my birthday!!

I told my midwife I felt like I had drowned and have been resuscitated. She simply said “good” “write it down”. Ha! 

The oxytocin was heavy filling the sunset lit room. My husband said at one point he felt so high he was sure our midwife drugged him (she gave him some herbal remedy for his shock after baby came out— a purple baby was a bit shocking for us to see) 

I birthed my placenta and needed a little help with that one too. 4+ lbs of pure nourishment. 

We all took guesses on her weight — she looked about 11 lbs y’all! 10.2lbs, we all smiled and laughed as she just about reached the END of the measuring tape. Our tall girl. We spent the next hour just filling the space with joy and laughter and connection. Staring at this beautiful, chunky, healthy babe. 

My friend/photographer took more photos and we all just kind of sat there processing that last 4 minutes of her birth together. 

In none of this did I ever feel alone. From start to finish, that very first miscarriage 2.5yrs ago, to postpartum now… I have been held and loved and guided with grace and confidence. The power of a midwife and proper support people! 

I was set up with all the comforts and tucked in my own by 9pm ready for some food and sleep with our new girl. 

It was the wildest birthday I have ever had and I can say with full transparency — we share a birthday not just because it’s the day we both happen to be born but because we share, on this day, this sacred journey to the depths of fire and back to the blossoming of life. Together we healed generation trauma regarding births that goes all the way back to my grandmother’s birth. I am forever changed, my girl, you took me there. You REALLY took me there. She is my greatest teacher already. 

Happy birthday Poet Fleur, you are everything I needed and more🌷 


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